[Please note: for full effect the following should be read while listening to Chet Baker Quartet’s version of Lush Life, which can be found here: http://youtu.be/hMZhi_hgRdg -- go put it on, we'll wait...]
Sometimes your bartender can know you too well.
I was back at my old neighborhood watering hole in the Fenway last night and my favorite bartender, the incomparable Sean Frederick, greeted me warmly by my Christian name.
He had once confided that I and one of my mates who used to come in together quite a lot had earned ourselves the nicknames among the bartenders of "Brooklyn" and "Old Fashioned" based on our drinking habits (I was Brooklyn, after the beer, not the beard).
But my drinking buddy had turned me onto to old fashioneds (actually old old fashioneds) and while I rarely ordered one at the Citizen, I rotated it into my cocktail repertoire at my other watering holes.
Ok. Fast-forward a couple years to last night, and Sean saunters over and says archly, "so are we gonna do that old kabuki dance of looking at the drink list and going through the specials, or am I just gonna pour you a damn Brooklyn?"
I'd actually been sort of craving an old fashioned. I had a case of Brooklyn at home in the fridge. But now it felt kinda weird. Because I wasn't there with my old drinking mate, and ordering an Old Fashioned in his absence would seem suspicious now, like, "hey, you're not Old Fashioned. Where's Old Fashioned? Oh my God, what did you do with Old Fashioned???" Like I'd chopped him up in my basement and was wearing his skin, or something.
So I said, "gimme a Brooklyn. Or three." And got over it.