Babes in Bar-land

These girls were young.  Of legal drinking age but definitely young. But what struck your friendly bartender as he coaxed from each the adult beverage of her choice, was precisely how “not-so-young” all three tried to act. They were polite, they were poised (why they even called me, “Sir”), and when it came to ordering their drinks they were downright adult about it. But when girl number one lingered a bit too long on the final syllable of her order, “Stella Artois”, both of her friends screamed in girlish delight, “A-r-t-w-a-a-a-a-h-h?” The girl blushed and giggled.

And after I placed a glass next to the Amstel Light which girl number two had ordered, and she pushed it away saying, “Actually I don’t need a glass, per se,” both of her friends giggled wildly and echoed, “Per s-a-a-a-a-y-y-y???” Hilarious!

And then finally, when girl number three had reached a verdict (and not without caution I might add), and asked for a Stoli on the rocks with three wedges of lime, I waited to hear, “Three l-i-i-i-i-m-e-s???” but it never came. She just got a rolling of eyes which I thought was sweet.

And as they sipped their drinks in lady-like fashion I couldn’t help thinking as I made my way down the bar, What a wonderfully refreshing sight are these three young ladies! Stella, Amstel and Stoli… women but definitely girls which nothing could hide. They came, they saw and damn near conquered. But they also reminded your friendly bartender of a trend now afoot out in Bar-land… of young people not behaving badly in grown-up bars. And that’s a good thing.

For it appears, from what I’ve been seeing, that not every member of the youthful set chooses to suck his booze through a hose while held upside down by his ankles to a chorus of “Chug!!!”. Or to imbibe by downing concoctions of all stripe and color. And for those who do like to party this way I’m not over here passing judgment, I know it’s part of being young and blowing off steam. But for those who don’t may I say, “Good show!!”, and not just for behaving so well but for ordering so well.  For I’ve noticed a return to the classics these days when it comes to the young drinking old, with martinis, Manhattan’s and sours drinks back on the table. Why even the famed Old Fashioned.. a drink I used to make ten times a year… is now front and center and rolling out right on schedule. As are Rusty Nails, Rob Roy’s and vodka Gimlets. Whatever the reason (and thanks to the young), the old is once again new and back in vogue.

In fact just last night I had a couple at the bar who fit this description to a tee… young people ordering the old, in this case Old Fashioned’s… and I asked what they thought was the reason for this current revival. Without missing a beat the guy spoke up and credited the TV show Mad Men saying, “Young people love that show, man, and a lot of us are really looking for the stuff that’s classic. And that show is loaded with it!” His date then smiled and agreed and so did I. But not so much on the part about Mad Men, at least as the sole reason, but definitely on the part about young people seeking what is “classic”. I did it when I was young… scoped out the “cool” I saw in the past and added it to my arsenal… it was a rite of passage. Change is good but so is preservation else why have a thing called Archives, and thanks to the many who get this point classic drinks are now pouring their way out of the Bar-chives.

Which reminds your friendly bartender now about music. About how a Harry Connick Jr., for example, back in the 1990’s, reintroduced song classics to a whole new generation. Now I’m not saying Connick was solely the reason for music appreciation 101, but just like Mad Men the man did have an impact. And his generation paid attention. For when you look at the juke boxes out there in Bar-land and see what is still being played… Patsy Cline, Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong and my favorite, Nat King Cole… you know that the young are still seeking “classic” in music. And that’s also a good thing. Yes, just when you thought all this stuff would be lost… the best of what came before us… “Encore!” is shouted aloud by the next generation.

I went back to the Babes in Bar-land after I saw they were were out of fuel, and asked if they wanted to do it again, same way. And they did. But unfortunately they weren’t using accents this time which severely reduced the humor factor, now they were who they were and fully relaxed. And an hour after that they were really “relaxed” as some clown kept sending them rounds of lemon drop shots. Which they accepted.

“Wooooo-oooooh!” they shouted with glee, slamming their glasses on the bar after each new belt, followed by a tinkling of giggles along with the slam. Yes the party was on for my party of three…  Stella, Amstel and Stoli… just as the Lemon Drop Kid had hoped it would be. But eventually it started to move into crazy and I began to fear that all wouldn’t turn out well. The shouting was getting louder, Lemon Drop was getting more brazen, and I wondered if I’d have to step in and play the big brother. But the girls it seemed were still in control which Amstel assured me with a wink, “Girls just wanna have fun!”, so I let them be.

Then fortunately, when it was time to leave they righted themselves and prepared to depart in good form, proving in spades these babes in Bar-land could drink. They got up, gave me a trio of smiles, pointed to the generous tip on the bar then wobbled on their heels to the door with a final “Wooooo-oooooh!” For good measure. And it was clear to me as they made for the street that a good time was had by all, except of course for the Lemon Drop Kid… the guy left behind much wobblier than they. Per se!

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

42 Responses to “Babes in Bar-land”


  1. 1 Comrade PhysioProf September 26, 2009 at 8:04 pm

    Dude, what the fuck is a rusty nail??

  2. 2 scribbler50 September 26, 2009 at 8:15 pm

    It’s a fucking scotch on the rocks with a splash of Drambuie, Dude!

  3. 3 lfineaux September 26, 2009 at 8:18 pm

    Ha! I know what a rusty nail is and used to love to have one occasionally. I wouldn’t mind having one now.

    It’s not often I know something CPP does not. I’m savoring this moment.

  4. 4 scribbler50 September 26, 2009 at 9:53 pm

    Savor it, lfineaux, and savor a rusty nail while you’re at it.?

  5. 5 Dr. Jekyll & Mrs. Hyde September 26, 2009 at 10:57 pm

    So true about Mad Men, which was in my mind before your post even brought it up. Those characters are all lushes by any definition today, but boy are they classy lushes.

  6. 6 scribbler50 September 26, 2009 at 11:21 pm

    Dr. Jekyll & Mrs. Hyde: Love the show myself and those “classy lushes” do make it seem like fun. I think Don Draper is one who leans toward the Old Fashioned.
    Thanks for checking in.

  7. 7 physiobabe September 27, 2009 at 6:44 am

    Ah, yes, Scrib. A Manhattan and Sinatra singing “Summer Wind.” Doesn’t get much better.

  8. 8 scribbler50 September 27, 2009 at 7:47 am

    You got it, Physiobabe, that’s a real New York moment. Thanks for stopping by and sharing it.

  9. 9 Isis the Scientist September 27, 2009 at 1:26 pm

    I don’t think I’ve ever had an old fashioned. Maybe the next time I visit Scribbler…

  10. 10 scribbler50 September 27, 2009 at 1:54 pm

    You’re on, Isis, an Old Fashioned drink for a new fashioned gal!

  11. 11 JSaw September 27, 2009 at 3:45 pm

    Oh wow! That was an awesome post… both for the description of your three classy ladies and for the cocktail list.

    And there is something so joyous about seeing a group of women who know how to have fun but also how to keep things controlled. Poor Lemon Drop – thinking he was hitting up some sorority girls and ended having to deal with real women 🙂

  12. 12 serendipity37 September 27, 2009 at 4:56 pm

    Wouldn’t it be ‘A wonderful life’ if everyone would listen to Frank Sinatra, Nat ‘king’ Cole and Peggy Lee and drink Tom Collins?

  13. 13 goosenyc September 27, 2009 at 6:49 pm

    Ah Scribbler another wonderful vivid posting…off to pour me a gin gimlet now…cheers

  14. 14 scribbler50 September 27, 2009 at 6:54 pm

    JSaw: Thanks, for that. And you’re absolutely right, these girls had their stuff together. Another night in Bar-land… isn’t it grand?

    serendipity37: Thanks for bringing up the Tom Collins, another classic drink, though it’s revival is not as marked as what I mentioned. But if that’s your choice and you want Peggy Lee on the juke box (a classic indeed whom I failed to remember) then I’m with you, pal. Thanks for checking in.

  15. 15 scribbler50 September 27, 2009 at 6:58 pm

    Goosenyc: Enjoy your gimlet and I’m glad you liked the post. And as the song goes, “Everything old is new again,” which makes you cutting edge, my dear friend!

  16. 16 lfineaux September 27, 2009 at 8:13 pm

    I think going out for drinks is close to becoming a lost social skill. I have this wonderful photo (circa the 60s) of my husband’s parents and two other couples at a bar in New Orleans. The men are wearing suits and ties and the women are clad in cocktail dresses, heels, and clutching clutches.

  17. 17 Jennifer September 28, 2009 at 7:19 am

    Gack… I could never see the point of mixing Scotch with anything… even air… I’ll take Manhattan!

    And- Barchives 🙂

    I did it when I was young… scoped out the “cool” I saw in the past and added it to my arsenal… it’s a rite of passage.

    It is indeed. Was anyone wearing English Leather that night??

  18. 18 scribbler50 September 28, 2009 at 9:26 am

    lfineaux: It’s a lovely thought but, by and large, a lost practice. Whether it’s a good thing or a bad thing it’s not for me to say but people just don’t dress up any more. If people think it’s fine to go to the theater in shorts and flip-flops, fat chance buying whiskey will change their dress code. But I agree, it’s nice to see someone on out the town dressed like they’re out on the town.
    (By the way, why don’t you sign in as Donna B. any more? Just curious.)

    Jennifer: Thanks for checking in, friend, and I gather by the 🙂 you liked the word “Barchives”. (One never knows about the exact meaning of those smiling little devils!) And as far as the English Leather goes… and based on the comment I left on your blog… I have to claim “guilty”! But I assure it was dropped from the list that very same night. I passed that “rite” right into the trash can!

  19. 19 d-a-p September 28, 2009 at 10:29 am

    great thoughts…from the ladies to don draper to nat cole….
    my daughter loves the classics more than any other kind of music…and has since she was little..she has very good taste…
    mad men marathon on amc this past weekend…i love that show..really well done…as was this weeks bts…..
    as always, thanks….
    d-a-p

  20. 20 scribbler50 September 28, 2009 at 11:32 am

    No, d-a-p, thank you for the kind words and I’m sure you and the Mrs. had a good deal to do with your daughter’s “very good taste” in music.
    Later, friend.

  21. 21 Anonymoustache September 28, 2009 at 7:43 pm

    Checkin’ in late this ‘weekend’ dude, but it is nice to have a great barland visit on a Monday! Great post, as always. I am far from the religious type but I have to say that one of my favorite musical pieces is Nat King Cole’s Adeste fideles—there is no equal. Also, I could listen to Satchmo all freaking day—Mack the knife, his interpretation of Volare, Wonderful world, and the overplayed but still good “When the sainttts, go marchinnn innn…”
    Finally, I guess I must start seeing Mad Men.

  22. 22 scribbler50 September 28, 2009 at 8:16 pm

    Better late than never, Stache, glad you checked in. And I couldn’t agree more on your song choices. But if you ever want to hear true greatness (two for the price of one) try to find the duet album called “The Best of Louis Armstrong and and Ella Fitzgerald”. It’s the ultimate in jazz genius and a pleasure beyond words. And yeah, Nat King Cole singing Adeste Fidelis (whether you want to admit it or not) is music straight from heaven.
    Good to hear from you, pal.

  23. 23 Donna B. September 29, 2009 at 5:43 am

    Looks like I’m Donna B. today. There’s a wordpress blog I infrequently write for where my login is lfineaux. And I’m simply too scatter-brained to keep up with who I am!

    (I have no idea why I’m back to Donna B. Maybe I need a drink, but it’s way too early in the morning even for me!)

  24. 24 blue girl September 29, 2009 at 6:13 am

    “Lemon Drops”

    What a sweet, little, innocent sounding name. Ha!

    We shall not discuss my 30th birthday, per se!

  25. 25 scribbler50 September 29, 2009 at 8:43 am

    blue girl: You’re right, “Lemon Drops” sound like something you would pass out to six year-olds at a birthday party to pacify them til the clown shows up. With Lemon Drops for adults you become the clown. (Not that that was you at your 30th, per se!)

  26. 26 brenda September 30, 2009 at 3:22 pm

    Yo Scribbler:
    Check out your rave today on the Almighty James Wolcott’s blog at Vanity Fair. He likes you. He really likes you.

  27. 27 scribbler50 September 30, 2009 at 4:54 pm

    Brenda:
    I just did and there are no words. I’m FREAKING speechless over here. And I do feel like Sally Fields after she won the Oscar, that’s how much respect I have for Mr. Wolcott. “Almighty” is indeed the adjective! This is through the roof. I go to his page all the time anyway so thank God you warned me ahead of time or I would’ve thought I was having an out of body experience. There are no words to express my gratitude for whatever hand you had in this, Brenda, but for now please accept my humblest THANK YOU!

  28. 28 Remonster in Mosul September 30, 2009 at 5:39 pm

    Hey, that “Wolcott” dude is going to have to learn to keep his big mouth shut. First Siobhan’s “inthenextapartment” thingy, and now YOUR thingy are no longer MY little secret thingy. Who does that guy think he is anyway? Some type of critic, or somethin’? Sheesh!!!

  29. 29 Anonymoustache October 1, 2009 at 6:48 am

    Wow dude! Congrats on the extremely well deserved recognition and plug! Vanity freaking Fair, huh? I guess before we know it you’ll be posing in a body paint suit on the cover — I’ll bet your lady fans on this blog are really looking forward to that!
    Anyways, mad props, homie.

  30. 30 scribbler50 October 1, 2009 at 12:37 pm

    Thanks, Anonymoustache, except for the body paint part. I can’t commit to a color so I probably won’t do that. Maybe something tweedy, writer-ish, with a cocked fedora.
    Thanks for the congrats, Bud!

  31. 31 JSaw October 1, 2009 at 3:18 pm

    Definite congratulations on the Wolcott mention. I think he captures the essence of Behnd the Stick quite well. Though I do have to agree with Remonster a bit as well. Ha!

  32. 32 scribbler50 October 1, 2009 at 3:52 pm

    Remonster: Think of it this way… you haven’t lost a thingy, you’ve gained a bunch of people to share cocktail hour with. Including Siobhan In The Next Apartment. To me, thingy’s couldn’t be looking better for you! But I appreciate the sentiment.

    JSaw: Thanks, pal, and ditto… I appreciate the congrats.

  33. 33 Kewalo October 1, 2009 at 7:12 pm

    Thanks to Wolcott I’ve had a wonderful afternoon reading your blog. I was a bartender in Honolulu for 20 yrs and I sure have missed it.

    Your blog is just wonderful! I loved the thread on Budd Schulberg. And now feel compelled to watch Mad Men if only to see people drinking “real” drinks again. There is nothing in this world as a good, icy cold Martini, unless it’s the bartender who knows how to make one.

    You have a new fan.

  34. 34 scribbler50 October 1, 2009 at 7:51 pm

    Kewalo: Welcome aboard, mate! Glad you liked the blog but more important, glad it sparked good memories about the job. By the way, if you do get into Mad Men, do it right. Get the box set and start at the beginning, it’s the only way.
    Thanks for the kind words, and again, welcome.

  35. 35 Lennie Pike October 2, 2009 at 9:24 am

    Also sent here by Walcott. Mad Men? Nah. “It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World.”

    Tyler Fitzgerald: Anybody can fly plane, now here: I’ll check you out. Put your little hands on the wheel there. Now put your feet on the rudder. There. Who says this ol’ boy can’t fly this ol’ plane? Now I’m gonna make us some Old Fashioneds the old-fashioned way – the way dear old Dad used to!

    Benjy: What if something happens?

    Tyler Fitzgerald: What could happen to an Old Fashioned?

    Indeed – what could happen to an old fashioned? That’s why I enjoy them.

  36. 36 scribbler50 October 2, 2009 at 11:16 am

    Lennie Pike: And I enjoyed your comment. Great memory, great anecdote, thanks for joining the “mix”.

  37. 37 slowp October 2, 2009 at 11:22 am

    Man! I haven’t had an old fashioned in 20 years and I haven’t had a Perfect Manhattan in 30! (I am glad to hear that 20 y.o.’s are beginning not to — unlike their parents — act like complete assholes.)

  38. 38 d-a-p October 2, 2009 at 4:25 pm

    what a compliment from Mr.Wolcott…
    sometimes really good things happen to really talented people…
    this is one of those times…
    all the best as the journey continues…
    d-a-p

  39. 39 Arikia October 2, 2009 at 7:30 pm

    You definitely showed me a great time when I visited your bar land 🙂 Your martinis are phenom!

  40. 40 jc October 3, 2009 at 8:48 am

    WOOOOO!!!!! SCRIB! Drinks for you are on the regulars today!!! uh, but you still gotta pour them if you want the drinks drinkable. I can add the umbrella.
    *happy dance*

  41. 41 scribbler50 October 3, 2009 at 8:28 pm

    slowp: 20 year-olds are doing just fine. Unlike some of their parents to be sure.

    D-a-p: Thanks, pal, a journey indeed… make sure you stay on board.

    Arikia: It was my pleasure to serve you, and to chase away all those guys who kept descending on you. 🙂

    jc: No sweat. I’ll do the pourin’, we all do the drinkin’ and the dancin’!

  42. 42 Arikia November 4, 2009 at 8:04 pm

    Haha like crows in a corn field!


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