Tag Archives: whiskey

Quiet Pints Will Be The Death Of Me

Quiet pints will be the death of me.

Let’s start at the end: a quaint neighborhood where respectable people walk their children to school and drink pH 9.5 Ethos water at $3.50 a pop at Whole Foods. I’m sprawled on the couch, dying. I awake from the dead. I rush to a tap, apply my lips and with the jaws (my own) of life, I suckle the teat of the tap, which is undoubtedly connected to the squalid L.A. River.

Nectar of the gods.

How did I get there? How do we ever find ourselves on couches with a world of hurt between our ears? The story is always the same: a quiet pint.

I met a friend for a quiet pint in a quiet bar on a quiet street at the quiet hour of a quarter to 8:00 p.m. I had a pint, alright. But this particular night, the pint was Irish whiskey. Nary a hop or barley in my glass due in part to it being Thursday.

We clanked glasses. Tried to keep our mangle-faced waitress at bay, Leave the drinks and be on your way, love. That’s girl. And keep ‘em coming. For some reason my friend had adopted an Irish accent. It may have been the whiskey. It was likely the whiskey.

The clock struck an hour that was undoubtedly early as we had arrived early. And having arrived early, and delighted that it was still early, we decided to do what any men, half-sopped in whiskey would do. We decided to go to Cheetahs. For a night cap.

Cheetahs… you’re a cruel mistress.

She taketh, and she taketh, and then she points out that there’s an ATM in the corner so she can continue the take.

But by nature she nurtures. Need a shoulder to cry on? You’ll likely find yourself buried in a set of surgically enhanced tits. Mind you, they serve liquor at Cheetahs so the tits you find yourself nuzzled among will be concealed, or at least obscured by a bit of cotton.

The girls are friendly. The girls are foreign.

The girls like my friend much more than they liked me. Breathe a sigh of relief. The attention of strippers is not only emotionally and physically taxing, it’s also a fiscal burden. Not unlike a war. With no end in sight. Want to keep an eye on things in a country you don’t govern? Want to have a night cap in a room full of naked women you don’t love? It’s going to cost you, pal.

Me? I made new friends. A South Korean and Syrian who were speaking Spanish with an Argentinean accents. They had done time together in a town called Rosario. Now they were doing time together in a strip club in Hollywood. I drank their Blue Label. I laughed at their jokes. I took their picture. I made some new friends who invited me to jump in their car and take a ride to another locale.


I lost my friend, the one who’s a hit with the girls from Lithuania, Iowa, Russia.

A half dozen girls born after the fall of the Berlin Wall take my hand and promise me the ride of my life. I’m no shape for it. I search my pockets. I find the Korean’s business card. I dial the number a hundred times and berate myself for not jumping in that S.U.V. and undoubtedly missing the 3:00 a.m. of a lifetime. Like I said, I was in no shape…

I scan the room: skin heads, suits, strippers.

I enter the V.I.P. room. You’re familiar with mechanical bulls. They heave and hoe and toss drunk people to the floor… for fun. Well, there was no mechanical bull in the room, but my poor friend sat at attention while Electra from Slovenia rode him like she was bare-backing a malfunctioning mechanical bovine. She hung on for dear life. I was sure she was going to throw her back out. She looked like she was having a fucking seizure on my friend’s thigh. Mind you, Electra’s in the best shape of her life and I’m no position to judge her ability to crush a pelvis. All I’m saying is it didn’t look like a good time.

Of course, the man paid for the ride so I let the rest of the song play. I interjected before she could offer him another round of whiplash.

At this point, the night was no longer young and our pockets were no longer full of the promise of a good time. Spartans we had been or so we thought, but it was time to hang up the blunt object that was our pickled brains. It was time to face the dawn. We made for the exit. We let down a lot of nice young girls who were just looking to take all of our money. We promised to come back soon.

Quiet pints. Quiet pints will be the death of me.

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Eavesdrop It Like It’s Hot

“I’m making my child birthing playlist, and it’s really good so far.” YAS Fitness Center, Venice

“I shaved my moustache off for that girl, man! Now that she left me, I’ve got a clean lip and a hole in my heart.” Short Stop, Echo Park

“I can’t do anything before I read my horoscope. I won’t leave my condo.” APA Reception Desk, West Hollywood

“Anyone know what stop to get off for the county jail?” Pershing Square Metro Stop, Downtown L.A.

“One of my girlfriends had her baby shower on 9/11, just to put some positive energy out there on that day. I love, love, love that!” Lido Dry Cleaners, Hollywood

The Neapolitan Mastiff

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Shucking: Deflowering Maize and Uncovering Vino

Few things arouse ire in me more than being interrupted while shucking corn. A morning of skinning down to the kernels, sweating through flannel and follicle alike, leaves me in a right state for Maker’s Mark sour punch and a snooze. Just as I had deflowered the last of my maize, Hugo De Naranja rolled up on in his Ford 150 and shouted out the window:

“You ever let your reds bleed?”

I dropped that Mesoamerican delicacy into the dirt.

“Son of a bitch!” I yelled.

“Do ya?” Sweat beaded down his face. He wasn’t leaving until he had an answer.

“Meet me at Gigi ‘s Last Stand[1] in fifteen, I can’t answer that right now.”

Hugo burned his truck out of the monocrop flatlands I was working that day. I gathered up my shucked transgenic maize, loaded up my barrel and wheeled it across the single lane highway into the makeshift parking lot of the place we call Gigi’s Last Stand. Hugo sat on the porch with his feet kicked up on the wooden railing.

“Well?” he called to me.

I dropped the wheel-barrel and started heading up the dusty steps. The porch was empty besides Hugo, which wasn’t strange considering it was not quite 9:45 a.m. Gigi kicked through the swinging doors just as I plopped down next to Hugo.

“Watcha drinkin’ rum or whiskey?”

“Whiskey, all around,” said Hugo.

“Two whiskeys,” she turned her back and headed inside.

“I’ll tell ya something, Hugo.”

“To breathe or not to breathe reds, I hope.”

“It’s something, I’ve thought about for a long time. I mean, it was a popular practice with everyone from the Egyptians to the Greeks, it’s in the Talmud, even the Mayan and the Aztecs got into it.”

“I had no idea.”

“Shit, yes, bloodletting was something people have done to fight illnesses, get closer God, lose weight, save lives and what have you. The Romans equated the process as universalizing menstruation. A healthy and genderless practice.”

“Hold your horses there, Red Pollard.”

“So I think about myself, and letting my own ‘reds breathe’ as you called it.”

Gigi kicked through the door with the mason jars of whiskey-drenched punch.

“Thank ya kindly,” I received my drink and greedily breathed it in. “Why has letting your reds breathe gone out of style in the contemporary medical world? Why is drinking wheat grass ‘in’, but bleeding out bad blood is deemed taboo? And I’m telling you, Hugo, in my humble opinion, I disagree! Modern science, stem cell, hopscotch, body rock, fresh-pressed scrubs and lab coats, I can’t abide it! But what I could oblige, what I could really believe in, letting the old blood run dry.” I took a deep breath, “Out with the old and in with the new as they say.”

Hugo looked at me kind of funny, like he didn’t know what to say.

“At least that’s the best way, I know how to answer your question Hugo. That’s just the way I feel.”

“ I was talking about valpolicella.”


“Valpolicella classico. It’s a shit wine, but I wondered if letting it breathe…”

“Son of a bitch, Hugo!”

“I just bought a case at Trader Joe’s.”

I got up and looked out over the porch. I thought about spending the rest of the day shucking. Just shucking the shit out of that field. Deflowering maize until my hands bled and I was blind and burned.  I turned back to Hugo.

“I’d let a bottle breathe and see if it helped.”

“Yeah, that’s what I was thinking.”

I sat down and sipped my Maker’s punch. Tomorrow maybe I‘ll dig up the blood turnips.

The Neapolitan Mastiff

[1] Gigi’s is a semi-abandoned porch-front, where a widow named Gigi serves Maker’s punch out of mason jars and tequila drop-kicks out of chilled, child-sized cowboy boats. Gigi’s only works Monday, Wednesday and Sunday morning.

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