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Monday, 25 June
Junetwentiethish

Well, Sunday was my birthday, and I DIDN'T SEE YOUR GIFTS ANYWHERE, my tens of readers! You freeloading bunch of devil turkeys from Devilonia. Wait! Before I go there, maybe I should just assume that all of your gifts are in the mail. Much like my parents' gift was IN THE MAIL, and they TRIED TO DELIVER IT on FRIDAY, but I was AT WORK like the red-blooded American that I am, and so the box full of cobras they intended to deliver to me resulted in a box full of dead cobras, and so now I have several dozen new dead meaty scarves. HA HA, murderous parents!

Please don't send me any more deadly snakes. I have plenty of scarves.

We went to our favorite bar for my birthday, which is is not the bar I have written about in the past--that glorious dive--because that bar has been sold and is being converted to a Mexican restaurant. No, we have a new favorite bar, and it is . . . it is something that is perfect. This bar is different from our old dives--for one thing, they wash the stains off of the walls, and for another, they are steadfast in their refusal to serve me martinis with dead fruit flies in them, no matter how much I plead--in that it is spectacular. It's a scratch bar of the highest order, with a fruit press right there on the bartop, and I do enjoy it every time when some new idiot wanders in and gives it a glance and asks, "So, what's on tap?" Here, finally, is a place near my home (two blocks away, in fact) where I can order a Salty Dog that will actually contain real grapefruit juice. Here is a bar where they have genuine Pimm's cups on the menu. Here is a place that doesn't stare at me blankly when I order a Gibson and then serve me a gimlet.

(If it's not clear already, I have no intention of naming this place because too many people have already discovered it, and we don't need anyone else coming in to piss in our astonishing drinks.)

The bartenders there, of course, are also spectacular, not only for their craft, which is impeccable, but also for their professionalism. For instance, when on Sunday night I asked E., the head bartender, about a drink called a Vieux Carre, which I said another bartender had fixed for me, E. cried "I showed him that drink! Fuck him!" This at full volume at the bar, to which everyone cheered. Fuck him, indeed! I appreciate a bar where the bartenders feel obliged to swear freely, e.g. "Hey, Skot, thanks for fucking me so grandly on that tip last night. What happened, did you get too drunk to add?"

E. also very kindly offered to have a drink special in my honor for the night, and I took him up on it, selecting a peculiar Manhattan variant called a Red Hook, which featured rye whiskey, maraschino liqueur, punt e mes (a sort of Italian vermouth) and orange bitters. I availed myself of several of these during the evening, and upon ordering my ninetieth or so, asked how it was going. "Your drink is taking over the fucking bar," said E. Startled, I surveyed the rest of the barsitters, and sure enough, at least half of them had Red Hooks sitting in front of them. "Every time you guys order one, someone asks me what the hell I'm making. I tell them, and then they want to try one." He paused for a moment--unusual for E., who is a dynamo of a bartender who is only happy when he is behaving like a man whose nuts are on fire--and exclaimed, "Jesus Christ, I have to start doing drink specials!"

This can only be news of the most awesome kind, since the bar in question already has the world's greatest happy hour: 5-7, every day of the week, two dollars off all liquor, no matter what kind or variant, and one dollar off beer. Only wine drinkers lose out, but why go to a bar like this to drink wine?

It was a fantastically good birthday experience. The wife got me a bottle of Redbreast whiskey, DVDs of "Deadwood" (season 3) as well as The Descent AND Dog Soldiers! Holy crap.

Other people gave me cards. You know what? Fuck cards. You know what cards say? I don't buy things for assholes like you. Which, as an asshole, I understand. But honestly? I'd rather have nothing. Nothing is somehow less insulting than a card.

(EXCEPTION TO THIS RULE: A card that features Frog and Toad. Because Frog and Toad are not only friends, they are also AWESOME. Therefore, I am really tickled by my Frog and Toad card. Still friends! It's been like a hundred years! If I had a sister, I would happily let Frog and Toad fuck her. My notional sister would totally pull that amphibian train.)

(DISCLAIMER: Cards are actually fine. God, I'm a tool.)

You're totally welcome to my next birthday party, provided that my cherished bar remains mostly undiscovered. And I'm happy to come to yours! I'll totally buy you a card.

(I swear I was just being a dick about the card thing. I'll probably buy you one. Especially if I can find one with Frog and Toad. Because? They are friends.)


Note: Comments are closed on old entries.

Comments

The entrepreneur in me is rubbing his hands together and trying to parse the words "cobra", "box", "venom", and "death" into the perfect phrase.

I can totally market this.

Comment number: 014349   Posted by: You can call me, 'Sir' on June 26, 2007 06:50 AM from IP: 152.17.52.151

I totally suck for missing it. Sounds like much fun was had and I MISSED IT ALL.

But this week? IS FROM HELL and I needed to be well-rested for the nightmare of the TPS auditions.

Happy belated birthday, Skot!

Comment number: 014350   Posted by: Suzanne on June 26, 2007 09:05 AM from IP: 66.235.35.226

Seriously, I need to know the name of this bar. If only so i can steal recipes for myself. And since I'm only in Seattle maybe twice a year, my piss won't add much to the mix. What if I ask nicely. What if I beg. Or threaten?

Comment number: 014352   Posted by: Chris on June 26, 2007 12:49 PM from IP: 76.214.63.91

Well Happy Birthday.

I'd've sent you a card, but I can't fucking afford stamps. Forty-one goddamn cents! It's an outrage!

Comment number: 014353   Posted by: Joe on June 26, 2007 01:34 PM from IP: 68.164.200.151

Happy birthday, man! No gift for you... you're not 40 yet. :P

Comment number: 014355   Posted by: Candi on June 26, 2007 03:05 PM from IP: 71.210.25.105

Buy you a card? You think that's cheap? Next year, I'll make you a card, with five cents worth of fancy cardstock and doilies and a gluestick, just so you can rant for six consecutive paragraphs riffing on the word "gluestick."

Or I would, if we weren't actually practically pragmatically strangers.

Many happy returns of the day!

Comment number: 014358   Posted by: Elsa on June 26, 2007 03:40 PM from IP: 4.156.99.38

happy fucking birthday!!!! i would totally get you a Frog and Toad card. and because of your pithiness, i would even consider a gift of frog and toad plush toys. but i don't really know you well enough to give you something so personal as a plush toy so i suppose that a card will have to do. perhaps a card with songs from a year with frog and toad, the musical. too much? ok then. happy birhtday!

Comment number: 014365   Posted by: aly on June 27, 2007 07:08 AM from IP: 63.148.206.250

Skot, I wanted to let you know that I was thinking of you on Sunday, as I was drowning in my own bodily fluids. Ok, I wasn't drowning, but it wasn't pretty. I was thinking, "Gee, I bet Skot would love an ass-kicking head cold for his birthday."

Seriously, who gets colds in June? Ew. Let me just wipe that off. Sorry.

Comment number: 014367   Posted by: Ian J on June 27, 2007 09:49 AM from IP: 192.150.22.5

Oh, come on, you're going to spend a whole post raving about the glories of the place, and then leave me wondering? I actually had just the sort of drink you're talking about, you know, the vastly superior sort, but it was made by a bartender in a divey bar who just wanted to lure me back so he could flirt with me more, and wouldn't tell me what it was. I need a proper source now. Even if they cost $10 each...I could go on my birthday. Oh yeah, happy birthday!

Comment number: 014369   Posted by: Jennifer on June 27, 2007 03:28 PM from IP: 64.81.160.223

Red has probably nattered on to you about the glories of the Pegu Club in NYC, but the Negroni-oid thing I had as my second drink (the "Cornwall Negroni") had punt e mes in it. What the hell is that stuff?

Comment number: 014371   Posted by: Snark on June 27, 2007 08:21 PM from IP: 70.238.248.189

Happy birthday, sir.

Comment number: 014375   Posted by: kaf on June 28, 2007 12:42 PM from IP: 75.6.44.65

Happy birthday!
And I apologize for my ignorance, but what is a "scratch bar"?

Comment number: 014380   Posted by: Barb on June 28, 2007 10:30 PM from IP: 75.30.133.50

Happy belated birthday!

Comment number: 014401   Posted by: Frida on July 2, 2007 04:43 PM from IP: 74.32.229.127

Been away for a couple weeks, so just happened to see your birthday post. Happy Belated. It seems we not only share a birthday, but seeing as how you also mentioned somewhere a 20th high school reunion, we must also share the same year. We're like fuckin' birthday twins.

Comment number: 014443   Posted by: John on July 7, 2007 11:56 PM from IP: 69.180.177.60

Been away for a couple weeks, so just happened to see your birthday post. Happy Belated. It seems we not only share a birthday, but seeing as how you also mentioned somewhere a 20th high school reunion, we must also share the same year. We're like fuckin' birthday twins.

Comment number: 014444   Posted by: John on July 7, 2007 11:58 PM from IP: 69.180.177.60

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