Tropical drinks aren’t a staple in the place where your friendly bartender tends, and in point of fact they’re not even on the radar. For one sweeping look at the classic decor with its rich dark wood and wall-to-wall sports and boxing memorabilia, a customer simply isn’t moved to go all “luau”. (Even on nights when I don that sleek sarong!) But if we did happen to feature those Mai Tai drinks, those Coco Loco’s, et al, and we had in stock an ample supply of those little paper umbrellas that go in those drinks, this past Tuesday night your friendly bartender would’ve passed out those paper umbrellas to everyone at the bar. And not to decorate their drinks, dear reader, as rightly you might surmise, but to protect them from the non-stop sneezer who was absolutely “mist”-ifying!
Are any of you familiar with this what some out there in Bar-land have called “the whiskey sneezes”? Yes? No? This thing where a guy who’s sitting at the bar (it’s almost always a guy) suddenly erupts into a series of explosions spraying the proceedings which he can’t stop for love or money. And I mean that phrase literally. For if you offered this guy a thousand bucks or a date with the woman to his left if she were willing… this goddess who’s a mere eleven on a scale of ten… much as he’d give his right arm to stop he couldn’t. And, alas, your friendly bartender couldn’t stop him either. And YFB stops stuff.
He stops the hiccups with a mix of bitters, sugar and lemon. He stops an upset stomach with a healthy shot of Fernet-Branca. And if he’s lucky and the over-served customer happens to be willing, he can even stop a staggering mumbler from staggering and mumbling with a pot of hot black coffee. But with a whiskey sneezer there is no stopping and he just has to step away and hope that it ends. Like when the naked guy on the street approaches spouting his non-stop obscenities and parts of the New Testament… you give the fucker room and hope that he stops!
Personally I’ve never had “the sneezes”, (I irritate in other ways), and none of my very best friends have had them either. But some of my very best customers have and I have to say it’s really a pain in the ass! And quite frankly, bizarre!
It usually occurs… this thing which can turn an itty bitty man into mighty Mt. fucking Etna… oddly and always after a sip of fine whiskey. Ergo the “whiskey sneezes”. But I’ve also seen this occur on a good red wine. (“Wine sneezes, anyone?”) And your friendly bartender doesn’t know why, (he’s a bartender for God sakes, Captain, not a scientist!!!) and would like to get a handle on this phenomenon. For why really does a civilized person ordering a civilized drink… and who’s not, as history has shown, allergic to alcohol… suddenly launch into 30 or 40 eruptions? It boggles and baffles.
But one I thing I do know and this you can take to the bank… shortly after that very first sneeze and the subsequent and heartfelt blessings from those around him, “God bless you!” becomes “God damn you!!!” after sneeze number six. For this man has not only ruined the bar as a line-up of people with their palms over their glasses will attest, but he’s scared the shit out of those who’ve just walked in. Possible and raging flu symptoms kinda scare people.
And on a personal note, with regards to your friendly bartender’s all important tip cup, he’s lost his share of customers due to these monsoons. Yes, on more than a few occasions, more than a few of his loyal bar diners have folded their menus and asked to be moved to dry land. Real dry land like a table on the second floor! And as much as that pisses him off as he watches this exodus, your friendly bartender certainly can’t blame these people.
And now to the point of this post which is more than just bitching…
See, thanks to a few of my very good blog friends who happen to be in the science community (and you know who you are), I’ve attracted quite a few scientists who come to this blog. (I know, imagine that, me being read by scientists! Me, the guy who in college would run past the science hall for fear his I.Q. was showing, now typing stuff being read by scientists. Talk about boggling and baffling!) But that being said and the accolade humbly placed here, your friendly bartender tenders this most obvious question. Short of him throwing this guy over his shoulder and carrying him out like a sack of spasmic amoebae, do any of you aforementioned scientists have a solution to this? Or at least a logical reason why this sneezing occurs? If you do, please feel free to enlighten or in this case rescue. For if your friendly bartender lays his eyes one more rolled-up cocktail napkin desecrating his bar with what’s inside it, a non-scientific approach just might be implemented.
Ah-choo and God bless you!
Over and out from Bar-land… see ya’ next week-end!