fatman Find the clues!

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Mixes Well With Others

Piglet and I are running fifteen minutes late for a Mixology course that costs $250 a head. An easy walk has turned into a light jog as we make our way towards J.J.'s Bar & Grill at the Casino. Such a lovely, sunny day. It's usually one of those days that I'd spend gawking at pretty girls and running into things or finding a nice place in the city where I can have a coffee while I watch the world go by- people walking to and from work, old ladies spraying mace into a foreign person's eyes because they were startled, skateboarders jumping from high up platforms and breaking limbs, heads, spinal columns. 'Uh,' says Piglet, 'Bad news. I've just realised we're actually one hour and fifteen minutes late.' I glare at her. The light jog becomes a mad dash...

We burst into the bar and before we can mouth our excuses ( '....just crawled out of a train wreck. Thousands dead.', '....travelled through a time tunnel.', '....was all Piglet's fault I swear on my mother's eyes.') we are ushered to our seats amid the glares of impatient bar people. The grey haired bar 'Guru' who was running the show didn't seem to mind. The cheque has cleared already. All is good.

He then runs a pretty good cocktail/ mixology course. He briefly runs through ingredients that go into the various alcohol (juniper berries, coriander, eyes of newt, ground-up hedgehog, etc.) and things like the difference between bourbon and whisk(e)y so folks who don't know get a crash course before launching into a bit more of the history and best way to serve things, possible combinations and such. But I always find the useless trivia the best reason for turning up to these things. For instance; Did you know that Lars Olsson Smith (1836-1913), founder of Absolut vodka, got a tad peeved about strict spirit laws and declared a vodka war against the city of Stockholm and blew shit up? Neither did I until today.

The only problem I had with the Guru was that, like all proffesionals, this guy is extremely picky about what seems to me as pretty minor things. The knife isn't sharp enough, the lemon isn't the best, the ice is crappy. O.k.- now I know this guy is at the top of the profession but C'mon! It's ice. I hope that I never get snooty about something as pissy as ice when there are real problems in the world (ie. poverty, wars, diseases, etc.)

He then fields a few questions from the peanut gallery ( 'What's the difference between a Julep and a Smash?', 'Who was the first astronaut to drink a ginger/ zucchini martini during the descent to Earth?', 'How many postmen do you need to change a light bulb?') before he hints at the insanity inherent in late night workers. 'There was someone from Der Raum (a bar) who used a syringe to inject caviar in a cocktail,' he's saying to a room full of nodding heads. Caviar? Syringe? What the....? There are also bars out there that employ a full-time person to grill lemons. Yikes.

Make mine a beer,

(Two Days Before Eviction)


Blogger Gaijin Girl said...

Hey. Love your blog Fatman. Don't know what it makes me, but just spent the last two days reading every entry. Probably just makes me one bored puppy who's not given enough work to do.
Don't give up on the Trans-Siberian dream. I'm planning to do that trip this time next year. It will totally Rock.

1:02 pm  
Blogger Fatman said...

The Trans-Siberian will be funky awesome. Yes I know that once I'm on the sucker I'll be bitching about the cramped compartment, railway food, the ogre-like provodnitsas (female train attendants) who won't let you use the toilets, the Russian travelling companions with flatulence, the language barrier, the lack of the gunfight atop the speeding train in the moonlight like every cheesy espionage film where spies hide microfilms up their butts, etc. However right now it's got me excited. Thinking about learning some Russian in January so I'm not going to be a total yutz on my journey. See you in St.Petersburg.

10:58 am  
Blogger Gaijin Girl said...

Ah, I'll be starting my wee journey from Vladivostok and going the opposite way. The only reason being that it's only a boat ride from where I am and I somehow hope to finish up in France.
I was going to email something to you but can't find a link for your address (quite right as then you get freaks like me writing to you). However, I can't help myself so here's a link to check out. I'm hoping Pixie Day might somehow amalgamate with Pirate Day so I could witness the ensuing devastation. Check this out...

10:39 am  
Blogger Fatman said...

I know e-mailing would probably be easier but...
Plan so far is- Around September two friends and myself will drop into Japan. Hang for a few days. Take ferry to Vladivostok (sp?). Spend about five days there. Two-Three weeks on and off Trans-Siberian. Moscow for a few days. St.Petersberg for a few days. London. Home. So, a bit over a month.

In theory.

Finances and job security will play a major role in upcoming journey.

1:53 pm  

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