Water, water everywhere…

Welcome back, my favorite barfly, thanks for flying in. How was your trip through cyberspace? “Fast, Scribbler, fast! Like, click-of-a-button fast.” Good, now c’mon down here to the end of the bar, I saved you a seat in the corner where we can talk. “Okay.” The usual? “Yeah, Bombay Sapphire gimlet, straight up.” With two limes, right? “Hey, good memory there, Scribbler, and let me have a glass of water on the side.” {Grrr!}

Hey, sweet Gimlet, wanna play a guessing game while I put your drink together? “Sure, love to.” Okay, here goes. What’s the most common drink your friendly bartender is asked to pour every night? I mean the one liquid he dispenses more than any other? “Hmmm, that’s a tough one. Let me give it some thought, okay?” Sure, let me see what those clowns want down at the end of the bar. I’ll be back.

All right, Gimlet, time’s up. Any ideas? “I have lots of ideas but why don’t you give me a hint?” Okay, I’ll make it a multiple choice. Is it Ketel One and soda with a glass of water on the side? Is it Chardonnay with a glass of water on the side? Is it Tanqueray and tonic with a glass of water on the side? Is it Jack and coke with a glass of water on the side? Is it dirty Grey Goose martini with a glass of water on the side? Is it Pinot Noir with a glass of water on the side? Or is it Dewar’s and soda with a glass of water on the side? Whaddaya’ think, my little Gimlet?

“Scribbler, why do I get the feeling that this is a trick question?” Because it is a trick question, you clever little devil. Oh, then the answer is… ta-da!… a glass of water.” Bingo, Gimlet, well done! It’s that goddam, pain in the ass, ordered for nothing, ubiquitous glass of water!

“Whoa, holy smokes, Scribbler, do I detect a little malice or did you accidentally swallow a bottle of grumpy pills? Don’t you know that water with a drink is a good thing? Health-wise I mean?” Of course I do, but that doesn’t mean it’s still not a pain in the ass. Hey, a guy performing the Heimlich Maneuver is doing a good thing too, but that doesn’t mean he still can’t be thinking, “Damn, my soup is getting cold.” So let me lay this out in a little more detail.

“Okay, but before you do let me have another and make this one a double. And let me have two glasses of water this time.” Sure thing, Gimlet. {Grrr!}

All right, here’s the deal. The glass of water in and of itself is not a big deal, it’s not what you’d call heavy lifting in the workplace. In fact I order it myself when I’m chasing down a stiff Jack Daniels or two. But that’s the point… I actually drink the stuff and put it to use. Nowadays though, like with everything else that crops up in Bar-land, a trend has emerged and it’s the “thing to do” more than it is a healthy drinking exercise. I swear to God, except for your basic beer drinkers who would wet their pants and beds at night if they ordered water with their suds, it seems that every other drinker has water on the side… water they rarely touch and that’s what gets me! See, most of the time it’s nothing but bullshit, woops, sorry about the language there. “That’s okay, Scribbler, {hic!} let ‘er rip.” Okay, so most of the time it’s nothing but bullshit because they rarely touch this water they had to have. And so the ice turns to water, the glass fills up to the brim and then the condensation forms a puddle around the glass. But pick up that glass and try to tidy up and Lance-less Armstrong is sure to say, “Oh, Sir, could you throw a little more ice in that? Thanks!” Sure, no problem, Lance, how ’bout I throw in some Ginko and St. John’s Wort while I’m at it?

Are you starting to see my point, Gimlet? “Ahh, sure, Scribbler… {hic-cup!}… kinda’.” All right then how about this to further make my case. When this “thing” really does become a pain is when you’re slammed two-deep at the bar, ten people come in all at once, and eight out of the ten want that extra glass of water. So now, when time and speed are of the essence, your friendly bartender is asked to pour eighteen frigging drinks instead of ten. See what I mean? And again, obviously not a big deal as far as actual work is concerned, but I guarantee you six of those eight will never touch that water come hell or high water. Let the puddles begin!

All right, all right, I see your point… {hic-cup!}… Scribbler, now I see it more than… {hic!} just kinda’.” Are you all right there, Gimlet? Would you like me to put some bitters and sugar on a lemon for you? It’s foolproof for the hic-cups. “Nah, I’m okay. But let me ask you this question while I’m thinking about it.” Sure… shoot. “Okay, what is the most popular drink you pour that isn’t a glass of water? You’re earlier question pleaked my ‘sinterest.” It what? “It peaked my interest.” Oh, I see. Well, besides beer and wine, I’d have to say the most common drink in here is either Ketel One and soda or Grey Goose and soda. But I’ll tell ya’, this dirty martini is slowly takin’ over the world!

Oh yeah? {hic-cup!} Then lemme’ have one of those, Scripper, but this time hold the water if it’ll make you sappy.” Whoa, are you sure about this, Gimlet, you really want a dirty martini at this point? I don’t want you getting too loaded over there, you gotta get back through cyberspace, remember? “I know, I know, I’ll be frine.”

O-k-a-a-a-a-y-y-y, but if I make it, will you promise to let me call you a techie to help you get yourself back? “Sure, is he cute?” (Grrrrr!!!!)

Over and out from Bar-land… see ya’ next week-end!

PS: I’m just waiting for the guy, and believe me he’s out there, who orders a bottle of Perrier with a water on the side. He’ll get his freaking water all right… from a hose!!!

29 Responses to “Water, water everywhere…”


  1. 1 Donna B. May 16, 2009 at 4:50 pm

    Heck, if I wanted water, I’d ask you to put it in my scotch.

  2. 2 leigh May 16, 2009 at 5:46 pm

    that does seem pretty damned useless. i may ask for a soda after the alcohol catches up with (and passes) me, but never an untouched water alongside a drink.

  3. 3 Comrade PhysioProf May 16, 2009 at 9:06 pm

    Dude, I think you are fucked up on this one. “Water back” is a totally legitimate request. Don’t be such a lazy motherfucker!

  4. 4 scribbler50 May 16, 2009 at 9:40 pm

    Thank you, Comrade, for your sweet response, but you “totally, legitimately” missed the point!

  5. 5 janne May 16, 2009 at 9:48 pm

    I do usually ask for a glass of water when I order a drink. I always drink it. Bars are more often than not fairly warm, humid places, and talking with friends inevitably gets me dry-throated and thirsty.

    Drinks are great for the flavor and the alcohol, but most of them really suck for quenching your thirst. Most are more or less sweet and syrupy (yes, even gin and tonic) and that really just makes it worse for me. Also, you’d end up getting loaded really fast. A beer works fine so no water with that. A Bloody Mary actually works to quench thirst as well for some reason (it really shouldn’t).

    Also, with really flavorful juice-based drinks, they frankly get rather cloying without a regular sip of water to clear your mouth.

  6. 6 scribbler50 May 17, 2009 at 12:00 am

    Janne: Thanks for that detailed account, you get the point. As I said, I order it myself… it’s the yo-yo’s that order it just for the sake of ordering it that get my goat.
    Thanks for your comment.

  7. 7 physiobabe May 17, 2009 at 5:36 am

    Great post, Scrib. And I am sooooooo enjoying those dirty Martinis – sans water accompaniment, of course!

  8. 8 Anonymoustache May 17, 2009 at 6:49 am

    —“Hey, a guy performing the Heimlich Maneuver is doing a good thing too, but that doesn’t mean he still can’t be thinking, “Damn, my soup is getting cold.”—

    Dude, that was fucking classic!

    I think you should stop carrying water ‘on tap’ (for quality assurance purposes of course ;-)) and start handing out little bottles of water, for like a buck a piece, per request. That could cut down on the wasted requests and more importantly cut down on the mess, plus it’d be a snap for you to hand out and so it would contribute to enhanced overall efficiency. Several studies have shown that…..Dammit, I am loopy from all the fucking grant proposals.
    Hit me up with a double Toora looraloora will ya? With a splash of water, of course.

  9. 9 scribbler50 May 17, 2009 at 8:01 am

    Anonymoustache: A double Toora Looraloora it is, and I’ll throw in a bottle of water on the house. Good luck with the grants.

    Physiobabe: I told ‘ya, those dirty martinis are taking over the world. Enjoy.

  10. 10 chezjake May 17, 2009 at 8:58 am

    Well said, Scribbler.

    I tend to side with my grandfather who used to say, “There’s nothing wrong with water, so long as it’s taken in the proper spirit.”

  11. 11 chezjake May 17, 2009 at 9:01 am

    BTW, I just noticed that your establishment here still seems to be running on standard time. I’m not usually one who is in favor of early closing times, although I can see that it might be desirable from the bartender’s point of view. 😉

  12. 12 scribbler50 May 17, 2009 at 9:28 am

    chezjake: Sounds like you have a wise Granddad but I don’t understand his grandson’s comment about “running on standard time”. What does that mean?

  13. 13 chezjake May 17, 2009 at 10:51 am

    My first comment here this AM was posted at 9:58 AM EDT, but the post time shows up at 8:58 AM, presumably EST.

  14. 14 D May 17, 2009 at 11:32 am

    I don’t think I’ve ever ordered a drink AND a glass of water at a bar. But I have many times ordered just a glass of ice water – DUI’s are ugly career enders in my line of work. I always, always tip for that water, though.

  15. 15 Isis the Scientist May 17, 2009 at 11:39 am

    Scribbler, I imagine you’d rather be pouring my water than cleqning up my vomit when you refuse me my water.

    I agree with the good professor on this one. Sack up, dude. 😉

  16. 16 Stephanie Z May 17, 2009 at 1:05 pm

    Whew. Scribbler, you had me worried on this one. I often order a glass of water, but never until I’m thirsty. I promise, any water you bring me will be a third gone by the time you turn your back.

  17. 17 Lost in The City May 17, 2009 at 3:06 pm

    Does ordering a glass of ice that I then proceed to add to my white wine as the night goes on count toward ordering water??

  18. 18 goosenyc May 17, 2009 at 3:09 pm

    Another great post Scribbler…your observations are keen…looking forward to bellying up to your cyber bar again next weekend.

  19. 19 scribbler50 May 17, 2009 at 3:39 pm

    Goosenyc: Thank you so much, you’re seat is reserved.

    Lost in The City: Nothing wrong with ice on the side to keep your wine chilled, (though a wine snob may black out at the very sight of it), just as there’s nothing wrong with water on the side to help keep one’s intoxication at bay. My point is… if you order it, use it!

    Stephanie Z: Not to worry, have all the water you like and drink it as slowly as you like.

    Isis the Scientist: I know you’re busy as hell but did you actually read this blog, darling? Just like the “good professor” you’ve totally missed the point. I don’t “refuse” water to anyone and would never, ever do so, (potential vomiter or not), I’m simply referring to those who say, “Oh, and a glass of water on the side,” just for the damn hell of it. Settle down, Dude-ess! (I want to add a smiley face here but I don’t know how, dear blog friend.)

  20. 20 Isis the Scientist May 17, 2009 at 5:02 pm

    Dude! There are only so many hours in a day I have to get to the meat of a post. Just pour me my damned water! 🙂

  21. 21 scribbler50 May 17, 2009 at 5:11 pm

    All right, Isis, you win… but you better damn well drink it!

    (Crap! There’s that smiley face again that I don’t know how to come back with!)

  22. 22 chezjake May 18, 2009 at 8:47 am

    Hi Scribbler,

    About those smiley faces. Read here about how to type them: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emoticon

    WordPress apparently automatically transforms them to the graphics.

  23. 23 scribbler50 May 18, 2009 at 9:17 am

    Chezjake: I’ll look into it, but I doubt I’ll be using it this morning… it’s a gray morning here in New York, it’s Monday, and I’m not in what one would call a “smiley” mood.
    Thank you though… if I can figure out how to download that stuff I’m sure I’ll have some use for it in the future. Especially the “frown-ey” face!

  24. 24 d-a-p May 18, 2009 at 10:40 am

    perhaps a little “red light..green light” with the patron who hasn’t touched their water…you know no second drink until they pick up the glass and you say “green light” and they drink…”red light” and they can stop and have the next toddy…the alcohol will take the day and the game will get old really fast…just make sure the patron isn’t bigger than you are…
    d-a-p

  25. 25 scribbler50 May 18, 2009 at 11:32 am

    d-a-p: If he’s bigger than me I’ll need a yellow light for “caution!”
    Thanks, as always, for checkin’ in,

  26. 26 arikia May 19, 2009 at 12:47 pm

    I only order water when it is the end of the night and time for me to start ramping down. Why taint, not only the taste, but the experience of a martini? They might as well just order a gin and water.

    Scribbler, I will come to your bar and never order a water. And thank you for the lovely comment on my new blog. You are amazing.

  27. 27 scribbler50 May 19, 2009 at 12:56 pm

    You’re welcome, arikia, and thanks for visiting my blog. I’ll be saving you a seat from now on.

  28. 28 Katherine May 21, 2009 at 11:24 pm

    arikia: I’m not sure how you can taint anything with water, it’s flavourless.

    Another legit water drinker chiming in here. I’m glad you’re more conscientious about pouring water than most waitstaff at restaurants I’ve been to. If I see anyone I know ordering water at a bar and not drinking it, I’ll harass them on your behalf 🙂

  29. 29 scribbler50 May 22, 2009 at 12:21 am

    Katherine: Thanks for joining the “if you order it you better drink it” water brigade… welcome aboard!


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