Cui Bono indeed.
Look, I try not to bore my readers with local minutiae. I try not to be a haircut blog. I try not to be relevant only to the 20,000 or so local-blog readers in the Lower Mainland.
Oscar Wilde once said that there is nothing so provincial as a provincial celebrity, and, as always, old Oscar nailed it.
So I try not to be a local blogger.
But at some point, I snap. At some point, I can take it no more.
That is the point at which I have to teach the bartender at Ceili’s how to make a Martini. For the second time.
If you think writing limericks is easy, try doing it with scantily-clad lasses shaking their shamrocks in front of you! Form a team to challenge the Vancouver Limerick allstars in an all-out battle to compose the best and kinkiest limericks. Beware of distractions from live performances by the Sweet Soul Burlesque troupe and the sultry accordion stylings of Rowan Lipkovits! Hosted by “Ravishing Rhonda” and adjudicated by celebrity judges.
In Partnership with Ceili’s Irish Pub
What an awesome event, I thought. This looks like a lot of fun, I thought. We’ll have a great time, I thought.
Well, to be fair, it was only two strikes: the event itself was great. The dancers were just the right mix of naughty and nice, and they, like all the best entertainers, gave the impression that they were having the time of their lives when onstage. I think I recognize the dreadlocked one from the Drive, and boy, does she ever look different out of the Guatemalan sweater and cargo pants! The emcee was bawdy and upbeat, the celebrity judges were funny, particularly the corporate, pantsuited Hillary Clinton figure from the Downtown Business Improvement Association, who became quite filthy and nearly incoherent as the night wore on. I’d actually heard of two of the celebrities (Hi, Catherine!) which is a high for Canadian celebrities, and some of the poetry wasn’t half bad.
So much for the good stuff.
It wasn’t actually me this time who had to explain how to make a Martini; it was Jeff, which was, I suppose, unfortunate, as Jeff is not what you’d call a Martini drinker on anything like a regular basis or, even, like, ever. But that’s what I asked him to get me. Unfortunately, the bartender had apparently never heard of such an exotic concoction and so somehow Jeff explained it, using primitive hand signals, wampum beads, and tidbits he’d probably picked up from old Cary Grant movies or something. It had booze, and olives, I’ll say that for it. Next time it might even come in the right glass, or less than half water, but I’m not holding my breath on that.
Jeff only got any alcohol at all because he spent twenty or so minutes trying to catch the attention of one of the bartenders, who had, apparently, other and far more important things on their minds. Like world peace or What Would Bono Do?
So did the crowd, if I’m any judge of why so many tiny ziplock baggies end up on the floor of a bar. I mean, it wasn’t as if you could get a drink. Booze report: 2.5 hours, 1 Martini, no waitress encounters at all except the time I lunged at one and thrust my empty glass onto her tray; she scuttled away before I could order anything, as if such a thought horrified her.
And this does not take me to my happy place.
There had been a whiskey tasting beforehand, which for reference next year would be the cart before the Clydesdale. I guess the distilleries must have brought their own samples, because no way did those people get as drunk as they did on the same kind of service that I saw. A good half of the room was three sheets to the wind, or if not three sheets then at least a couple of sleeping bags and a tea towel. It’s rare you see someone at a bar where the drinks are $10 apiece so wasted he’s picking fights with anyone within arm’s reach, but Ceili’s is nothing if not rare; it is, in my experience of Irish pubs, unique.
And thank god for that.
After the show things cleared out a bit and Jeff and I grabbed a table instead of the stageside chair I’d had and the stageside uncomfortably-trying-to-avoid-the-mean-drunks standing room he had, but after many futile glances at the bar I realized it would take dynamite or at least a pantiless Britney sighting to get those people out from behind there, and even if they came to take our order the chances were not good that they even knew what went into a Rusty Nail, which is what I was feeling like driving through their feet at that point.
So we bailed and got to Steamworks for last call and had two lovely drinks for the price of one @ Ceili’s. It’s true we were not surrounded by imitation Irish heirlooms, but we were also not surrounded by imitation waitstaff, either.
Also, here’s the limerick I wrote for the contest.
The Black Donnellys of Huron County
Were rotters all, each worth a bounty.
Pushed beyond all endurance
They took out insurance:
See, each of them blew their own Mountie.