Someone must have invented a time machine because Scarlett O’Hara was in my station last week. Or maybe it was major case of reincarnation and Scarlett was simply living in a new body, but the drink that was ordered was definitely from another era. And Scarlett O’Hara had sexual reassignment because the person I served was a man. I approached the table ready to write down Cosmopolitan, Dewars on the rocks, Amstel Lite or some other non-descript drink but I was taken for a loop instead. The man, with his deep voice and manly stubble thought long and hard about his beverage of choice. After a laborious ninety seconds of hemming and hawing, he said, “I’ll just have a mint julep.” I waited for him to crack a smile and say, “Nah, I’m just joshin’ ya, dude. Gimme a beer.” I waited in vain because he was as serious as the civil war. I looked under the table to see if he was wearing a hoop skirt and a petticoat. I looked at my watch to see if we had flash backed to 1861. I saw no confederate soldiers nearby so I knew that it was still New York City in 2011. Who in the fuck orders a mint freakin’ julep at a bar? This ain’t no Kentucky Derby party, Colonel Sanders.
What I said: I’m sorry, we don’t have any fresh mint tonight. What else would you like?
What I thought: Are you for real? I don’t know nuthin‘ ’bout birthin‘ no babies and I sure as hell ain’t gonna bring you mint julep. Those things are nasty anyway, all that bourbon and sugar water? And do you really think we have those silver plated mint julep cups? You’s lucky that your glass ain’t all chipped up. What the fuck other stupid ass drink are you gonna order, Miss Scarlett?
He went into a little tizzy at learning he would have no mint julep that night. He caught the vapors. So I asked his girlfriend what she wanted. (Yeah, I know…he had a girlfriend. Surprised me too.) “I’ll have a Manhattan on the rocks, thanks,” she said assertively. It was Scarlett’s turn again. He twisted his face up and finally came up with his new drink choice. “Give me a Singapore Sling then.” I could practically hear his girlfriend’s eyes rolling to the back of her head as she started to formulate her “It’s not you, it’s me” break-up speech.
A Singapore Sling? Now he think he’s Rita Hayworth? I thought he was about to light up a cigarette, put it in a long black holder and saunter up to the piano to drape himself over it and sing a torch song.
What I said: One Singapore Sling coming right up.
What I thought: You’re a real pussy, aren’t you?
Of course we had to look up the recipe for a Singapore Sling because it hasn’t been made since Rita Hayworth made The Lady From Shanghai in 1947. “It calls for cherry brandy,” said Tom the bartender. “We don’t have cherry brandy.” I responded. “Aww fuck it, just put some regular brandy in it with splash of grenadine and call it a fucking day. She won’t even notice.”
He loved his Singapore Sling. I expected for his second beverage he would ask for a banana daiquiri or a Bahama Mama, but he only ordered a bottled water. “One Singapore Sling is my limit,” he said as he patted his chest. I offered my condolences to his girlfriend via sympathetic smile. As they left, I wondered how Miss O’Hara planned on getting home. The F train wasn’t running that night and the N/R was running local, so it was going to be a long horse and buggy ride back to Tara. Fiddle dee dee. Frankly my dear, I don’t give a fuck.
And for another Gone With the Wind reference, click here.