Bev Naps

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There’s the Bushmill’s-downing, unpublished poet requesting a whole stack of bev naps, as his muse and the booze tell him this is the one that’ll do it.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!

20 Responses to “Bev Naps”

  1. 1 Comrade PhysioProf June 6, 2009 at 7:37 pm

    Dude, when I hit the fucking bar, I put the fucking Blackberry away, and I also have no intention of writing any shit down on any napkins. I consider the bar kind of a “no writing” zone.

  2. 2 scribbler50 June 6, 2009 at 9:14 pm

    And that’s fine with me, Prof, that’s why the fuck you came in so drink up. Cheers!

  3. 3 chezjake June 6, 2009 at 10:55 pm

    Not to worry about the meaning of the term “Bev naps,” Scribbler. Most of the bench scientists who hang around here are frequent users of another paper product known as “Kim wipes.”

  4. 4 Anonymoustache June 7, 2009 at 6:24 am

    You totally manage to pull off some serious crotchety-old-fart-ism without actually coming across as a crotchety old fart, you know?
    Seriously though, this was a beautiful piece and yet another one that we can all relate to (Stop! Grammartime! ….to which we can all relate? Ah.. screw it, let the freaking participle dangle).
    Some of my more daring (and successful) molecular biology strategies were drawn on Bev Naps while under the influence!
    One of your finest posts, Scrib50.

  5. 5 scribbler50 June 7, 2009 at 7:56 am

    Anonymoustache: Thank you, man. (Notice my comma was properly placed there…didn’t want to call you a “thank you man”.)

    Seriously, always good to hear from you, Stache, and I do appreciate your kind words.

  6. 6 Pieter B June 7, 2009 at 11:51 am

    The usual writing on bevnaps I find in my pocket is names and phone numbers that I am unable to connect with any memory of the person they belong to.

  7. 7 d-a-p June 7, 2009 at 6:09 pm

    i guess pretty soon the only bev naps available will be on e-bay…
    ….like rip taylor’s “to do” list….
    ….andy rooney’s entire may 17th broadcast on 60 minutes….
    ….choreography from a close friend of anyone who’s been on “so you think you can dance”
    amazing subject this week….
    p.s. let me know if a jane powell autograph is available…i hear they are very valuable these days……
    thanks so much for the weekly ride..

  8. 8 scribbler50 June 7, 2009 at 6:14 pm

    d-a-p: And thank you so much for the weekly comment. Jane Powell???

    Peter B: Have found a lot of those myself, man, and didn’t have the nerve to call!

  9. 9 Donna B. June 7, 2009 at 8:14 pm

    Thirty years ago when I was a Denny’s manager, I always had napkins stuffed in my purse and pockets with similar enigmatic notes and phone numbers.

    But then sticky notes were invented! My computer monitors are usually spouting a multi-colored beard of unexplained phone numbers and pithy-less notes.

    And I’m afraid to throw them away, so occasionally they get stuffed in an envelope and tossed in a file cabinet where my grandchildren may find them someday.

    “Yep, I knew it all along,” they’ll say. “Grandma was nuts.”

  10. 10 scribbler50 June 7, 2009 at 9:10 pm

    Donna B: So instead of waiting for the grandchildren to misinterpret what’s in that bag, take the notes out, read them and see if maybe you have something funny to blog about.
    Thanks, as always, for checking in.

  11. 11 Toaster June 8, 2009 at 9:20 am

    Bev naps are so…mushy. Most every time I try to draw one cell clobbering another on them, they shred beneath my pen. Of course, though, if manufacturers were to fix this they’d have to sacrifice absorptionability and there’d be runny trails of condensation everywhere. That, I suspect, would inspire enough ire for 4 or 5 rants.

  12. 12 scribbler50 June 8, 2009 at 10:11 am

    Toaster: You have a point, (and speaking of points) it also has to do with what kind of pen you’re using. A felt tip is a disaster and yields an image that often bleeds and a fine point can cause the shredding to which you referred. Somewhere in the middle there is a balance that can be reached between writing implement and writing surface, to which the existence of a million and one bev nap musings bears testimony. (Unless of course one’s cocktail intake interrupts that delicate “balance”, then ripping and bleeding will occur no matter what!)

    By the way, for a short period of time last year we were using those wafer-thin bev naps in what I guess was an attempt to cut some overhead cost, but in the long run they were more expensive because they instantly turned to slop and customers kept grabbing extras off the pile to compensate. We went through four times as many. We now use cushy (almost linen-like) naps with a design embossed around the edges, a perfect framing for the art that is bev nap musings!

    PS: When we were using those wafer-thin slop pads, more than “4 or 5 rants” occurred I assure you.

    Thanks again for stopping by.

  13. 13 Jennifer June 8, 2009 at 3:03 pm

    I love it. Every bit of it.

    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.

    So true… you can even sense the urgency… please Gawd, let me get this thought down before it slips the tenuous grasp of my liquored mind! Of course, when you see it the next day, it may not be legible, but you can tell how much enthusiasm you had by the number of exclamation points.

    AHTeier!!!! WHda ahree and ado TOGHIEE!!!!!!!!

  14. 14 scribbler50 June 8, 2009 at 4:57 pm

    Jennifer: You said it. Especially the part about multiple exclamation marks! At the time, you think you’ve written the solution to world peace.

    Thanks for your comment!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  15. 15 Jennifer June 8, 2009 at 5:03 pm

    You’re welcome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  16. 16 scribbler50 June 9, 2009 at 1:00 am

    Donna B: In a “nicer way” or not, I made no reference whatsoever to anything being “boring”. If I thought you were boring you wouldn’t be on my blog roll. I simply suggested that you have some fun with all your accumulated bev naps and sticky notes.

  17. 17 Donna B. June 9, 2009 at 1:20 am

    Oh, I’m sure I’m projecting as I think I’m rather boring at the moment. Besides, just how much fun can be had from unidentifiable phone numbers?

    I really do need to get out more.

  18. 18 mvpalex August 18, 2009 at 4:53 pm

    You can’t blow your nose on a blackberry, at least not yet.

  1. 1 Opining Online » It Has Come To My Attention That My Blog May Be Boring Trackback on June 8, 2009 at 8:12 pm
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