No, this isn’t a story about Beverly napping as the title of this blog implies (ya’ big silly!), it’s a riff on beverage napkins or as we call them here in the saloon business… “bev naps”. Isn’t that clever??? We also use terms like “86” which means, “Throw that bastard out!” and “up” which means “no ice” and “rocks” it’s opposite. But those are subjects for blogs down the road and this, as I said, is a riff on those little white squares. So here goes.
Sorting out dozens of notes the other day which were written on gangs of bev naps, your friendly bartender was particularly taken by one that pointedly stated, “Blog about bev naps”. Huh? That’s like tying a string around your finger to remind you to go buy string, it baffled me.
Hmmm, why did I write this? I pondered, staring at that little white square with the shaky inscription (things often occur when I’m heavily cocktailed) mulling over the reason for “bev nap” on bev nap.
Then suddenly the reason occurred and here is that reason…
When not kicking around the meaning of life and the role that corduroy pants might seem to play in it, or push-up bras, your friendly bartender has long been fascinated by all the correspondence inscribed on bev naps. You know, those millions and millions of thoughts and notes… reminders, requests and game plans… recorded in darkened bars during moments of enlightenment.
Why there’s the TV programming executive, after two martinis and a thirteen share in the overnights, woefully changing her Tuesday night line-up on a bev nap. There’s the wide-eyed junior copywriter, filled with Jack Daniels and hope, scribbling what he hopes is the next big Bud Light ad slogan. There’s the Cosmo-sipping party girl who just flew in from Chicago, submitting on her bev nap a request for a song to the guy who’s playing the piano, and adding below “Piano Man” slyly her phone number.
There’s the Bushmill’s-downing, unpublished poet requesting a whole stack of bev naps, as his muse and the booze tell him this is the one that’ll do it. And there’s the office manager with the furrowed brow who’s faced with the task of downsizing, sliding his bev nap from under his Dewar’s to jot down the tentative names of those facing dismissal. And last but not least, there’s the motivational speaker, nursing her white wine spritzer, writing down a joke she’s just remembered to kick off tomorrow’s speech on starting your own business. And there are millions more of these thoughts and ought-to’s written on those little white squares, then folded into a pocket or purse for reference.
But, alas, the point of this blog is to announce the demise o f those bev naps… this recording on Bar-land stationery… for it’s all done now by a thumb on a new-fangled gadget. You know, the iPhone and BlackBerry, maybe the fucking Gooseberry, or whatever the hell those toys are everyone’s playing with. And though your friendly bartender totally understands the beauty of these toys and their worth… their place in the modern world of instant everything… and he hails them as one more step towards “we’re all connected”, he still finds them far less romantic and surely less personal.
For there’s something about letters formed with the hand in the crawl of the human scrawl, and the revelatory hints therein as to slant and firmness, that possibly say even more than the words that are written. It’s like the difference between getting an autographed copy of a novel signed by the author sitting in front of you, or getting a printed inscription already in the book. No comparison. No contact!
And these gadgets have not only taken their toll on the transfer of words that are written, they’ve taken a major bite out of words that are spoken. Let me explain. See your friendly bartender is not “Chatty Cathy” when it comes to engaging a customer, he picks his shots and talks where he feels it is needed. But he’d at least like to get a verbal response when he asks a fucking customer, “What’ll ya’ have, pal?” Because too many times there are too many people buried in those little machines, where you almost have to shake them to bring them out of it. Yes sometimes I feel like Test Monitor Guy presiding over a room full of students, where I want to yell, “All right, students, thumbs down!” For it’s thrown off the whole dynamic of Bar-land as people don’t talk they text, or play fucking poker or watch a goddam porno movie.
Oh well, I guess what I’m really saying is… I love those little bev nap thoughts, especially the ones you’ve written yourself ’cause you never know what the hell you’re going to find there. For example, check out this (pearl) I unearthed the other day amidst that pile which contained the “Write about bev naps” thing. It said (on two naps folded together), “Do a thing about commas… like don’t forget how important they are in a sentence. Cause if you leave out the comma in, “God am I a boob, man,” you’re now saying “God am I a boob man!” Or… “Boy am I an ass, man,” becomes “Boy am I an ass man!” Write it, man!. Or how about this little gem in the rubble (or rubble amidst the gems)… “He was heavily decorated during the Viet Nam war, you know… costume jewelry, rouge, this type of thing.” Text that!
Over and out from Barland, see ya’ next week-end!