Put a cork in it!!!

At the risk of being accused, dear reader, of “jumping the shark” too soon (Season Two-Episode One), your friendly bartender leaps nonetheless into that area some might rightly call the lurid, or the low-brow, or the “go to stuff” as the comic might say, or the sophomoric which you might say… but when the shark in this case is alive and well and still a menace in the currents that flow through Bar-land, his story must be told and I’m here to tell it. (But with reluctance!)

So if you’re above the age of twelve or have attained a level of sophistication that soars beyond the antics of a Benny Hill, or a Peter Griffin from Family Guy, then I suggest you “mouse” away from these words and check out some of those lovely folks on my blog roll. For that’s where you’ll find the grown-ups this week and as for the rest of you… pick up your sixth grade readers and follow me.

Now the first inkling I had that something clearly was wrong was by the expression on the woman’s face who’d ordered the Corona. And when she extracted the lime from the neck of the bottle and placed it under her nose and began inhaling, and looked at me with eyes that bespoke pure horror, I knew that ensemble could only mean one of three things…

a) “Was that you?” (meaning me!)

b) “Do you know who it is?” (meaning anybody.)

c) “I don’t care who it is, what are you going to do about it???”

Well of course you’ve assumed by now, dear reader, the “it” assailing this damsel in distress was a colossal trouser-al breach of the first order… or as Shakespeare might say, a fart in the castle most foul… and it wasn’t just troubling this woman but all within scent-shot. For I refer here not to some harmless “stinker” which garners at worst the snicker and pinch-nosed titter, but rather a gaseous release of such epic proportions that one wants to search the Bible for signs of the End Times. It was that catastrophic.

And what initially came to my mind, oddly, as I watched all this gasping for breath and heading for cover, was the notion that had this occurred in the Long Branch Saloon in long ago Dodge City, gunplay would’ve erupted forthwith and Marshall Dillon rightly would’ve looked the other away. But this wasn’t the Long Branch saloon so what should I do?

Well, the first thing you do when you get such a look… the one sent your way by Corona… is immediately return that look in kind and shrug your shoulders as if to say, “Who indeed?” Then, your innocence securely in place, you give her a nod that says with aplomb, “Don’t worry, Darlin’, your friendly bartender will handle this .” And you move down the bar like Holmes who has entered a crime scene.

But fortunately this case… “The Case of the Mysterious Stench”… was solved in a matter of seconds as the culprit it turns out was sitting just two stools down. It was a sommelier from a restaurant on the upper westside, a friend whom I’d known for years, and a guy whom I’d always referred to as Jack the Wine guy. So what told me Jack the wine guy was now Jack the Ripper? Elementary, my dear reader, elementary!

See, one’s cheeks don’t balloon that fully I surmised, one’s eyes don’t bulge that greatly, and one’s skin doesn’t redden that brightly unless the owner of all of these traits is suppressing a laugh. And a deep dark secret! And Jack the “Ripper” was awash in all of these symptoms. Where’s my Meerschaum?

“Holy fuck, was that you, Jack?” I asked, but not so Corona could hear, I wanted to give young Jack the benefit of the doubt.

“W-w-w-w-a-s what me,” Jack stuttered, and Jack doesn’t stutter.

“That cloud that killed the flowers over in the entryway. What do you think I mean?”

“Oh that,” he said, rather blithely. Then he fanned his nose and feigned a look of disgust. “Hell no that wasn’t me, Christ that’s awful!” But the smile that was breaking through belied all his acting. For it is written in the Book of Acts (Heinous Acts: chapter 9, verse 4), “… a farter can’t resist laughing at his damage.” Ever!)

“Well, either you or your goddam friend here (a waiter from the same restaurant) have stunk up this place royally so I hope that’s a one time shot because believe it or not I’m trying to make a living here.” Then I quick walked away before I too started laughing. What can I tell you?

Then, a mere two minutes later, after the universe had realigned itself and all seemed right with the world as God had intended, a cloud more deadly than before re-entered the proceedings. And Corona and two of her girlfriends ran for the ladies room.

“You’ve got to be kidding!” I shouted in disgust, from a good six feet away, not enjoying the smell of napalm in the evening.  “You mean to tell me you bastards did it a-gain?” And when the cloud finally lifted, I walked back into the zone for one more go at these guys.

“Answer me this,” I said. “Why would two grown men, men who are well into their thirties, by the way and who actually work in this business, just sit here and proceed to do this to a fucking bar? Wipe it out like this! Do you realize that if someone had lit a match just now this whole fucking place would’ve been gone?” Then I started to laugh which clearly weakened my position. “I mean, you’re a wine guy for Christ’s sake, Jack, you of all people should be able to put a cork in it?” Then at this the three of us collapsed into gales of hysteria. And just as Corona and her girlfriends walked back in. Talk about timing!

But now to make matters worse, dear reader, as if things weren’t bad enough, one of those bastards let go another hellfire. Un-be-l-i-e-e-e-e-e-v-able! So the girls immediately grabbed their drinks, gave us three dirty looks, and asked the waiter to find them a faraway table. And who could blame them? Which left the sorry sight of us three…  Larry, Curly and Moe… Athos, Porthos and Porthole… three grown men alone in a haze of pathetic. Yeah, “Don’t worry, Darlin’, your friendly bartender will handle this.”

But I’m here to tell you I tried, dear reader, I really, really tried, but this was a case of the fart just having the last laugh. As it always does! Which makes me wonder… what is it after all these years (arrested development aside) that makes such a ridiculous event remain so hilarious? It’s a sound, it’s an odor… both experienced thousands of times as either victim or vile perpetrator… yet it never fails to reduce one’s IQ by thirty. I mean look at the British for crying out loud with all their pomp and circumstance, there’s nothing on the planet funnier to them than “the fart”. I’m just sayin’.

Oh well, the Lady I fear doth protest too much so he better just let this go, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. But then tell that to Corona and her friends for even though these women weren’t regulars, I haven’t seen hide nor hair since the explosion.

Over and out from Sophomore Central, next week water balloons!

30 Responses to “Put a cork in it!!!”


  1. 1 Donna B. November 7, 2009 at 5:35 pm

    Yes, just let it go. But please, not while I’m there, OK?

  2. 2 Ken November 7, 2009 at 5:49 pm

    So, he who farts last, farts best?

  3. 3 Anonymoustache November 7, 2009 at 8:30 pm

    In the immortal words of Bart Simpson, “Ooh gross…but strangely compelling”. Funny stuff, dude, but I do feel for the poor ladies who had to suffer that nuclear fallout.
    But, what did ya expect, man? A freaking sommelier…you know what goes with wine…you probably poured him a glass of red and he couldn’t help but slice some limburger to go with it.
    And lastly, a humble suggestion….the musketeers in this case should’ve been named Athossss, Porthossss and Ara-mist. A fourth if present, would have, of course, been F’Artagnan.
    OK, so I am intellectually twelve, but I’m happy….that’s gotta count for something.

  4. 4 Petro November 7, 2009 at 8:31 pm

    Jeebus, I had to open all the windows. And it’s cold and *rainy* here…

  5. 5 Isis the Scientist November 8, 2009 at 8:57 am

    Well, you said he was a wine guy, right? Those snooty bitches are into things like bouquet and aroma, right?

  6. 6 Jennifer November 8, 2009 at 9:07 am

    “Two stools down” takes on a whole new, disgusting meaning!

    I was laughing more than I should have. Maybe you could suggest farting and non-farting areas for the bar.

    A nasty, heinous fart can bring on laughter and anger faster than just about anything else… especially when it’s repeated!!

  7. 7 scribbler50 November 8, 2009 at 10:33 am

    Donna: Not to worry, dear. Or, “Don’t worry, Darlin’, your friendly bartender will handle this!”

    Ken: If you say so.

    Anonymoustache: Once again you’ve outdone me, Sir, as I did semi-labor over that third musketeer’s name. I should’ve labored longer as “Ara-mist” was brilliant! (er-ah, from one twelve year-old to another.)

    Petro: Sorry about that, friend, I think it’s safe to close your windows now.
    Welcome aboard.

    Isis: There’s bouquet and aroma, and then there’s croquet and Ramona… that’s how far apart are the two events. But I like the thought.

    Jennifer: Glad you found the humor in this and more important… glad you had the nerve to admit it. I have to say my finger shook just a little before I hit PUBLISH. Love your suggestion of sectioning off the restaurant. “Party of three? Farting or non?” Very funny!
    (But I’ll leave the “two stools” business alone. Woops, I said “business”, didn’t I? Yikes!)

  8. 8 physiobabe November 8, 2009 at 12:50 pm

    I miei occhi stanno bruciando, Scribbler caro.

  9. 9 scribbler50 November 8, 2009 at 1:07 pm

    Physiobabe: Okay, this is getting unfair. I have no idea what your comment means but given the subject matter it can’t be good. Off I go now to my weekly Italian translation site!

  10. 10 physiobabe November 8, 2009 at 1:09 pm

    Then I shall speak English. Loosely translated it means, “my eyes are burning.” Love ya, Scrib.

  11. 11 scribbler50 November 8, 2009 at 1:14 pm

    Physiobabe: Sorry about your eyes but at least your heart’s still burning.
    Ciao, Bella mia!

  12. 12 Stephanie Z November 8, 2009 at 3:47 pm

    I was going for Athos, Porthos and Aromas, but I love Ara-mist as well.

    It’s funny how subsequent farts don’t get less, er, potent in their IQ-lowering capabilities. One would expect the effect to, um, bottom out eventually, but it never does.

  13. 13 scribbler50 November 8, 2009 at 4:03 pm

    Stephanie Z: “Aromas”, excellent! You’ve given our chief punster a run for his money. But “bottom out” is tops, well done again.
    Geez, this post is getting… um… cheesy!

  14. 14 d-a-p November 8, 2009 at 5:53 pm

    an excellent “ode” to an “odor”….or as my grandmother used to say when having such an occurance happen to her…”oh, i think i stepped on a frog”….
    always the proper lady…
    thanks again for the laughs…
    d-a-p

  15. 15 chezjake November 9, 2009 at 2:08 pm

    Hi Scribbler,

    Yes, we here in the States and the Brits all get properly sophomoric on the subject of farts, but the Aussies make it an art form. Consider the following verse (or is it worse?) written by a couple of Aussie university students and frequently done as a recitation after the consumption of appropriate quantities of beer.

    MCARTHUR’S FART

    Andrew Bleby and Rob Bath, 1974

    Back in Donga country there’s a tale the old folks tell
    Of a man whose name is famous in the town of Bungadell.
    And if ya like, I’ll tell you all about this little town.
    It’s a dry and dusty place, until the rain comes down.

    Back in 1927, it hadn’t rained for weeks.
    There was bull-dust in the billabongs and dead sheep in the creeks.
    But the hero of our story was soon to help them out
    On the day McArthur farted, and saved the town from drought.

    Now, no one knew too much about this joker from the scrub
    We’d heard some yarns about him from the drovers in the pub
    Some said he came from Bunker’s Run and some from Beula’s Park
    But the one thing that they all agreed – he sure knew how to fart.

    Now Bungadell was dry and hard like a three week stale old crust
    The sheep were drinking whisky but were only pissing dust
    We had a dam upside the hill, a mile out of town
    That should have filled the water tanks, but not a drop come down.

    So we sent a deputation there to see what could be wrong
    And found we had a problem that we hadn’t counted on
    Old Bert’s dead horse was blocking off the exit to the dam
    You think that we could shift it? Nah, the bloody thing was jammed.

    Fifty blokes with crowbars struggled fifty days and nights
    But couldn’t shift the bastard, it was stuck there good and tight
    The dam was full of water but we couldn’t get it out
    ‘Til the day McArthur farted and saved the town from drought.

    We blasted it with dynamite and couldn’t get it loose
    And even Murphy’s bullock team wasn’t any use.
    “There’s only one last chance!” said Clancy’s brother Blue
    “We’ll have to get McArthur — see what he can do!”

    Well, the cry went up “McArthur!! He’s the one who knows the art
    He’ll send that dead horse flying with a well constructed fart!”
    The people waited eagerly for the day to come about
    The day McArthur farted and saved the town from drought.

    Well, at last McArthur came and the people gathered ’round
    To see the man whose fart was gonna send the waters down
    He came on two big horses, with half his bum on each
    A bum so wide a man could drive a tram between his cheeks.

    Now, McArthur was a quiet man, but thorough, through and through
    He said “I’ll need some food and drinks, so see what you can do”
    So we made the preparations, we made a mighty spread
    Fifty tons of onions, and piles of prunes and bread.

    Fifty tons of blue veined cheese and fifty kegs of stout
    On the day McArthur farted and saved the town from drought!
    He sat back with a knife and fork and really knocked it back
    He polished off those kegs of stout in twenty seconds flat.

    McArthur got up slowly, then he turned his bum around
    And the people dove for shelter as they heard a dreadful sound
    A roaring like a lion, and a chill ran through their hearts
    As McArthur’s body trembled and let off a mighty fart!

    He farted and he farted till the earth began to shake
    The hills began to tremble and the dams began to break
    And still McArthur farted till he made the thunder crack
    The winds, they howled, the lightning flared, the skies were turning black

    They heard it up in China, where they’re upside-down as well
    They heard it up in Heaven and they heard it down in hell
    I hardly need to tell ya, it was really on the snout
    On the day McArthur farted and saved the town from drought
    .
    Well that’s how McArthur saved the day back there in Bungadell
    And still his memory lingers on (and so too does the smell)
    Even across in Adelaide, they’ve heard about his art
    And every other year they hold a Festival of Fart!

  16. 16 scribbler50 November 9, 2009 at 2:48 pm

    Jesus, Chezjake, thanks… that was priceless. And by two university students no less. Leave it to the Aussies, eh?
    PS: I knew this post, given its high-minded subject matter, would bring out the “artiste” in somebody!

  17. 17 scribbler50 November 9, 2009 at 3:08 pm

    d-a-p: God bless grandmas, huh? Tony the the guy I work with uses the frog line.
    Thanks for your weekly check-in, Bud.

  18. 18 chezjake November 10, 2009 at 10:52 am

    Hi Scribbler,

    I thought you’d enjoy that. Sometimes high-minded but low-browed is just the ticket.

    Now, since you’ve had McArthur for an appetizer, perhaps Eddie Baker can serve as your just desserts. This is actually a song I’ve heard at numerous pub sings, but I can’t find an online recording of the tune. (A note of explanation for the non-Brits, a “fete” refers to the kind of small carnival that is frequently sponsored by a church as a fund-raiser.)

    Here’s mud in your eye!

    EDDIE BAKER’S MUCKSPREADER
    (John Kirkpatrick)

    Now in My-tholm-royd in Yorkshire, one Saturday in June
    All the village was preparing for the fete that afternoon
    There were sideshows, stalls and roundabouts and every kind of game
    But the village fete will never now be quite the same
    For this pleasant country scene was transformed by a machine
    Which belonged to Eddie Baker from the farm just down the road
    With his tractor and his trailer and his load both sweet and pure
    Five hundred imperial gallons of best liquified manure

    Chorus:
    Down the road went Eddie Baker in his rattling old boneshaker
    And he never knew the trail he left behind him

    Now Eddie quickly picked up speed on the track from Lower Lumb Farm
    Though his load careered madly he never thought ‘twould come to harm
    And so noisy was the clatter and the crashes and the booms
    He had to turn his old transistor up so he could hear the tunes
    As he zoomed across a bump it triggered off the trailer’s pump
    And its hose discovered freedom it had never known before
    It waved wildly round and round, from side to side and up and down
    As spreading dung and desperation, Eddie sailed into the town

    Chorus

    Now Jemima Smith and Barney from down the old folks’ home
    Were on their way to a lunchtime tipple at the Peacock and Trombone
    She was adjusting of her spectacles to a admire a garden rose
    When a blast from Eddie’s onslaught whipped ’em right from off her nose
    ‘Oh, gawd’, says old Jemima, ‘I’ve just had a funny turn
    Oo , I feel or cold and clammy and how my skin does burn’
    ‘Oh, speak up, dear’, says Barney, as together they did cling
    ‘It’s short-circuited me deaf-aid, I can’t hear a bleeding thing

    Chorus

    Now the Icecream Factory Silver Band were warming up to play
    To commence the celebrations of that very special day
    When there appeared on their music dots they couldn’t play too well
    As with the gentle tang of Brasso mingled a new exciting smell
    And their tunes all went awry as they hung ’em out to dry
    And the sousaphone player played his last ’cause he sucked when he should have blowed
    There were different tunes in different times and all in different keys
    And ‘Nellie the Elephant’ sounded more like ‘The Flight of the Bumble Bee’

    Chorus

    Now the greasy pole was greasier than ever known before
    And the icecream had a chocolate sauce no palate could ignore
    And into the coffee-coloured candy-floss Grannie Walker plunged her teeth
    And for evermore the ones on top were stuck to the ones beneath
    And in the tug-o-war there were broken bones galore
    There was blood all round the bottle stall as both teams slithered through
    There was chaos round the cake stall and the tea was more like glue
    ‘Cause you didn’t just get sugar when they asked, ‘One lump or two?’

    Chorus

    Now Geraldine the Carnival Queen was looking all forlorn
    She got browner than she bargained for as she sunbathed on the lawn
    And it gave a fatal heart attack to next-door’s pekinese
    Whilst upon its back a skating match took place among its fleas
    And the force of the cascade swept through the goldfish of Miss Blade
    Right up into the hanging basket down at number twenty-three
    And it dumped the Johnson’s tortoise in the bird bath at the Jones’
    And wiped the smile right off the faces of their plastic garden gnomes

    Chorus

    Now the Reverend Roderick Butterworth was sitting down to eat
    When the perilous plague of pestilence came belting down the street
    Some of it fell among the thorns, some fell on stony ground
    And some fell on his car outside with all his windows down
    ‘Oh, bugger!’, said the vicar, as he swigged some demon liquor
    ‘I suppose we should be thankful that it’s not St Swithin’s Day
    But even my insurance doesn’t cover act of God
    And I know the scouts are going to say, “Stuff this for bob-a-job”‘

    Chorus

    So he trundled through the village, down the road and past the hall
    And where he’d been for years after all the weeds grew ten feet tall
    And he never knew the chaos that he’d caused along his way
    And he never heard the crashes as he crossed the motorway
    And in time he’ll dwell on high in that great muckheap in the sky
    Where St Peter’ll dive for cover every time he passes by
    It’ll rust up all their haloes, it’ll clog up all their wings
    As, wiping shit from off their faces, all the angels they will sing

    Chorus

    Published by Free Reed 1978.
    Source: John Kirkpatrick ‘Going Spare’ Free Reed LP FRR 030.

  19. 19 scribbler50 November 10, 2009 at 1:39 pm

    Good grief!!! Yet thank you, Chezjake, that oughta’ cover it. Meal complete! And “good grief” again.

  20. 20 Anonymoustache November 10, 2009 at 9:24 pm

    Chezjake,
    I am laughing so freaking hard I can barely type. I think you have enough material to start a blog of your own, “Behind the Ick”.

  21. 21 JaJa November 10, 2009 at 10:52 pm

    Anonymoustache,

    “Behind the Ick”. Hillarious!

  22. 22 JaJa November 10, 2009 at 10:55 pm

    oops, make that one L.

  23. 23 siobhan November 11, 2009 at 3:40 pm

    Oh, my. I managed to keep myself to just a smile throughout your post, until that second-to-last paragraph. then, I laughed out loud, to the astonishment of the lady next to me on the plane. Apparently, you have years to go before you need to worry about jumping any sharks!

  24. 24 scribbler50 November 11, 2009 at 5:15 pm

    Siobhan: Shame on you, and I thought you were such a grown-up! But seriously, my friend, glad you had a chuckle (and at 30,00 feet no less) as I mentioned above I was a little unsure about this one. Thanks!
    PS: Enjoy your trip, you deserve it.

  25. 25 blue girl November 13, 2009 at 10:56 am

    Scribler, this is hilarious! You are one of three bloggers I know who have written about this *sort of thing.* lol And this is the best one!

    Ever go into the bar at the St. Regis? If not, you have to. There is a Maxfield Parrish painting/mural behind the bar that is pretty darn awesome. And the story behind it is pretty darn awesome, too.

    Here’s another blogger’s take:

    http://www.ggwoo.com/blog/?p=558

    It is indeed a “work of art.”

    The middle schooler inside of me could *play with that phrase* a little. Snicker, snicker, snicker…

    Go here to get a better look. I think it’s the 22nd image.

    http://www.stregisnewyork.com/photo-gallery/

  26. 26 scribbler50 November 13, 2009 at 12:12 pm

    blue girl: I have been to this bar, have seen this mural and never would’ve dreamed in a million years that that was the back story. And the great Maxfield Parrish no less, hilarious! Just shows ta’ go ya’… *this sort of thing* has been cracking people up I guess since forever. Makes you wonder who the first caveman was to not only clear out a cave but get a laugh for his “efforts”. (And the middle schooler in me could *play with the last word of that last sentence*. Snicker, snicker, snicker…

    Hey, thanks for that, Blue Girl, just like the mural your comment is priceless!

  27. 27 blue girl November 13, 2009 at 2:22 pm

    Scribbler, Seeing that painting was a goal for years. The Skimmer and I finally got to the St. Regis on one trip, sat at the bar and ooh’d and awe’d at the painting. Then the bartender told us the back story. At first I was a tad shocked and offended. I had come into this dark bar to order a martini, enjoy the artwork of Maxfield Parrish and be a little sophisticated dagnabit! lololol

    Now, I just find the whole thing hysterical!

  28. 28 Toaster November 15, 2009 at 4:09 am

    Oh how the bile doth sear
    As it conjures a stream of strong tears
    For us poor unregaled
    Neither hearty nor hale
    For no story has this week appeared

  29. 30 labbless January 3, 2010 at 6:09 am

    The matchless message, is interesting to me 🙂


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