Me and My Parrot Stroll Right into a Bar

Lewis Rosensteil, head of Schenley Distillers, as soon as had 5,000 parrots skilled to say “Drink Previous Quaker” bourbon, then gave them to bartenders.

The Wall Road Journal, overview of “Empire: The Previous and Way forward for America’s Whiskey” by Reid Mitenbuler

I imagine it was Montaigne who first stated, roughly, that no man is a hero to his valet, however the Frenchman by no means met my parrot “Ballot.”  He’s named after the chicken within the TV adverts of my youth whose Poll Parrott Shoes, it was stated, would allow me to run quicker and bounce larger.  Since I used to be gradual of foot and as soon as injured myself by hitting the crossbar high-jumping, bringing a stanchion down on my head, I longed for these sneakers however might by no means persuade my mom to purchase them for me.  After my tragic high-jumping accident Karen Smirtka’s mom drove me residence whereas Karen sat within the entrance seat me with a combination of disgust and disgust.  “It seems to be like you’ve got an egg rising out of your head,” she stated.  Karen pulled wings off flies for her science mission.

I received Ballot for a tune, regardless that he’s not a lot of a songbird.  He was laid off by Schenley Distillers after a failed advertising and marketing transfer by which he and 4,999 different parrots had been taught to say “Drink Previous Quaker,” a second-rate bourbon whiskey.  I suppose no person ever advised the executives at Schenley that whenever you get the urge to have a shot of bourbon, the primary spiritual group you consider is not Quakers.

Image result for stanchion high jumpBallot’s getting up there in years, like me, however he’s the stressed type whereas I’m slipping into senescence sensibly, slowing down, assiduously pursuing my new interest of gathering sibilants.

“Are we going to do one thing tonight, or are you going to sit down round listening to the Best Hits of the Thirties once more?” he requested, and reasonably sharply I’d add.

Image result for old quaker bourbon
Previous Quaker bourbon: Strive it with oatmeal!


“Is it my fault you’ve by no means shed the impulsiveness of youth, in contrast to the feathers you molt round the home yearly?”

“You by no means need to exit, you simply sit there trying stuff up in books.”

“You may really feel otherwise when you had prehensile means and will flip pages.”

“I need to go to a bar,” he snapped.

“It’s cheaper to drink at residence.”

“That’s not the purpose.  You drink to be social, to meet different members of your species.”

“Sorry, I’ve already met sufficient of ’em.”

“Properly I haven’t–let’s go to the Coach & 4.”  He was referring to the faux-Colonial watering gap the place the elite of our little exurban city likes to satisfy and mate.  On any given evening you might meet an area zoning legal professional, maybe a selectmen or an insurance coverage dealer on the make, wooing a no-longer-young divorcee from a neighboring city to the west who’s making an attempt to climb her means into our acre-and-a-half zoning paradise.

Image result for women at bar
“Don’t even take into consideration sitting subsequent to us until you’re a millionaire!”


“All proper, however don’t blame me when you come up empty-handed.  You’re not precisely a spring rooster anymore.”

“Look who’s speaking,” Ballot stated, giving me the gimlet eye of disdain.  “A man who’s actually counting the times till he qualifies for the Senior Residents Low cost at Applebee’s.”

We hopped in my automotive, which elicited one other important comment from the chicken in my hand.  “You recognize, the Olympics is each two years, presidential election is each 4, census is each ten.”

“What’s your level?”

“Do you suppose you could possibly wash this accident-waiting-to-happen as soon as earlier than it dies?”

Image result for pollen on car

“I’m ready for spring pollen season to finish,” I stated as I squirted wiper juice on my windshield to scrub off the sickly-green coating that greets me each morning.

We drove over to the bar and took one of many excessive tables off to 1 facet, at Ballot’s suggestion.  “This manner you may scan the entire scene, and also you’re not tied to the ladies on both of facet of you.”

“Kind of like being a linebacker as a substitute of a defensive lineman in a three-point stance?”

“I wouldn’t know–attempt to catch the waitress’s eye, would you?  You’re larger than me.”

I raised a finger and attracted the eye of Dottie, a veteran of “The Coach” (as locals confer with the place) who has, in her twenty years on the sawdust-coated flooring, seen all of it.

“What’ll you boys have tonight?” she requested together with her real smile as she wiped the desk.

“I’ll have a Michelob Extremely and he’ll have the suet and a shot glass of water,” I stated.

“Coming proper up.”

“A Michelob Extremely–whadda you, coaching for the Marathon?”

“What’s fallacious with that?”

“We’ll do a blind style take a look at and see when you can inform the distinction between that ‘beer’ and my water.”

“I didn’t know you had been such a connoisseur.”

Dottie introduced placemats and Ballot hopped on his, desperate to get at his suet.

“Tempo your self,” I stated cautiously.  “Consuming that stuff will make you drink quicker and also you received’t be capable of carry out when you get fortunate.”

He gave me that querulous eye parrots are identified for.  He began to talk–appeared to hesitate–then plunged forward.  “You’re not really making an attempt to present me recommendation within the romance division–are you?”

“I’m a married man, simply passing on–free of charge–knowledge I’ve acquired at nice expense.”

“If you happen to suppose I want your assist,” he stated with a voice that was pregnant with machismo, “simply disguise and watch.”

With that he flew haltingly–I warned him in regards to the suet–over to the bar and landed between two bottle-blonde–is “bimbos” too sturdy a phrase for the web?  My guess is that they’re both actual property brokers searching for listings or secretaries trying to give up their jobs and develop into saved ladies.

“What a cute little chicken!” one says as she presents Ballot a pizza-flavored goldfish.  He sniffs at it however doesn’t chew, clears his throat and, regardless of all of the bravado he displayed when he was simply hopping round on my desk, he appears to–freeze within the face of the waves of peroxide that dangle from the heads of the harpies of the bar.

Image result for pizza-flavored goldfish
Pizza-flavored goldfish: Yum.


“What’s your title?” the opposite asks.

I wait, on tenterhooks, to listen to his response, however nothing comes.  The tenterhooks are beginning to dig into my Dockers “No Wrinkle Zone” chinos, with signature “Iron Free Straight Match”–and check out saying that 5 instances quick.  I might hardly bear to see the little man endure, however since he was so unbearable just some minutes earlier than, I discovered the interior energy–someway–to endure it.

He opened his little beak and, as I’ve performed so many instances in my very own life, haltingly started to stumble over his phrases.

“Drink . . . Previous Quaker!” he lastly spat out–and the 2 ladies started to chuckle hysterically!

“You’re so cute–I’m going to take you residence with me!” the extra buxom of the 2 stated, as she tucked him into her cleavage and stood as much as go.

Image result for woman parrot cleavage
“Don’t imply to counsel you’re a chicken mind, however is {that a} parrot in your head?”


I might solely look on in envy because the three settled the tab and received as much as go.  Ballot regarded reasonably cosy tucked into the décolletage that bounced by on their means out.  “Ballot didn’t desire a cracker,” he says as he passes by, “so you may have my goldfish.”

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