Tag Archives: Humour

Drinking with the Presidents

Lincoln

Honest Abe…Apple Cider?

“Round Robin bartender, Jim Hewes, is a dean of the Washington cocktail scene, and also something of a cocktail historian. Every inauguration season, he brings out a special menu of drinks based around what our 44 presidents drank, or might have drunk.”

Here is that list (HT: The Washington Post)

44. Barack Obama: Blue Hawaiian

Combines the president’s penchant for aged Tequila and the cool blue waters of the Pacific. Features aged Tequila, Curacao and fresh lime juice.

43. George W. Bush: Diet cola with a slice of lemon

Light and crisp, able to keep even the busiest Chief Executive, active, alert, and awake.

42. William J. Clinton: Tanquerary Gin and Tonic

A standard on the Washington cocktail circuit.

41. George H. Bush: Absolut Vodka Martini

Always politically correct, with or without garnish.

40. Ronald Reagan: California Sparkling Wine

Introduced to Washingtonians at Reagan’s first Inaugural.

39. Jimmy Carter: Alcohol-Free Sparkling Wine

Served, much to the dismay of the fourth estate, throughout his four years in the White House.

38. Gerald R. Ford: Glenfiddich Whiskey over ice

Served in the spirit of bipartisanship. Gerry also favored Budweiser “longnecks” in the bottle.

37. Richard M. Nixon: Bacardi and Coke.

Dick would relish mixing and stirring for his guests aboard the presidential yacht Sequoia.

36. Lyndon B. Johnson: Cutty Sark and Branch Water

A post-war favorite of “Cactus Jack” Garner and Sam Rayburns’ most famous protege.

35. John F. Kennedy: Beefeater Martini, served up with olives

Served regally in the White House to those in the good graces of America’s “Camelot.”

34. Dwight D. Eisenhower: Johnny Walker Black Label on the rocks.

An acquired taste from his time spent at Allied headquarters in London during WWII

33. Harry S. Truman: Maker’s Mark and soda

An aficionado of Kentucky’s finest, both he and Bess enjoyed this long-drink while playing poker at the White House.

32. Franklin D. Roosevelt: Plymouth Gin Martini

”Oh… so cool, so clean, so awfully civilized!” Often scolded by Eleanor for his penchant for the highball, this elegant elixir was served at the most important political party in DC; the Cocktail Party.

31. Herbert Hoover: Long Island Iced Tea

Prohibition-conscious imbibers relished this enticing tall drink, which contained everything on the bar except “the kitchen sink”.

30. Calvin Coolidge: Cranberry juice and soda

A gentle New England tonic to fortify one’s Puritan constitution.

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Eudora Welty Writes to The New Yorker

Via the brilliant Letters of Note.

“In March of 1933, in an attempt to secure some work, 23-year-old Eudora Welty wrote the following charming letter to the offices of The New Yorker. Incredibly, they turned her down.

Eudora went on to write numerous pieces for The New Yorker and later won multiple awards for her work, including, in 1973, the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for her novel, The Optimist’s Daughter. Seven years later, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.”

March 15, 1933

Gentlemen,

I suppose you’d be more interested in even a sleight-o’-hand trick than you’d be in an application for a position with your magazine, but as usual you can’t have the thing you want most.

I am 23 years old, six weeks on the loose in N.Y. However, I was a New Yorker for a whole year in 1930-31 while attending advertising classes in Columbia’s School of Business. Actually I am a southerner, from Mississippi, the nation’s most backward state. Ramifications include Walter H. Page, who, unluckily for me, is no longer connected with Doubleday-Page, which is no longer Doubleday-Page, even. I have a B.A. (’29) from the University of Wisconsin, where I majored in English without a care in the world. For the last eighteen months I was languishing in my own office in a radio station in Jackson, Miss., writing continuities, dramas, mule feed advertisements, santa claus talks, and life insurance playlets; now I have given that up.

As to what I might do for you — I have seen an untoward amount of picture galleries and 15¢ movies lately, and could review them with my old prosperous detachment, I think; in fact, I recently coined a general word for Matisse’s pictures after seeing his latest at the Marie Harriman: concubineapple. That shows you how my mind works — quick, and away from the point. I read simply voraciously, and can drum up an opinion afterwards.

Since I have bought an India print, and a large number of phonograph records from a Mr. Nussbaum who picks them up, and a Cezanne Bathers one inch long (that shows you I read e. e. cummings I hope), I am anxious to have an apartment, not to mention a small portable phonograph. How I would like to work for you! A little paragraph each morning — a little paragraph each night, if you can’t hire me from daylight to dark, although I would work like a slave. I can also draw like Mr. Thurber, in case he goes off the deep end. I have studied flower painting.

There is no telling where I may apply, if you turn me down; I realize this will not phase [sic] you, but consider my other alternative: the U of N.C. offers for $12.00 to let me dance in Vachel Lindsay’s Congo. I congo on. I rest my case, repeating that I am a hard worker.

Truly yours, 

Eudora Welty

Locksmith

The Worst/Greatest Death Scene Ever

From Turkish movie, Kareteci Kız, 1973. Not much else to say….

Moustards

Image

Men Throwing Rocks With The Wrong Hand

Beautifully, joyfully awkward. And with a Carla Bruni soundtrack. Lovely.

“Bloody great lumps of hot iron” – A Letter

“In February of 1977, a disgruntled fan named Stephen Gard wrote to legendary comedian Spike Milligan with a number of complaints about his recently published, autobiographical account of World War II, Monty. Milligan, who had been wounded in action as a lance bombardier during the Battle of Monte Cassino, responded with the following letter.”

(via Letters of Note)

28th February, 1977

Dear Stephen,

Questions, questions, questions. If you are disappointed in my book ‘MONTY’, so am I. I must be more disappointed than you because I spent a year collecting material for it, and it was a choice of having it made into a suit or a book.

There are lots of one liners in the book, but then when the German Army are throwing bloody great lumps of hot iron at you, one only has time for one liners. In fact, the book should really consist of the following:

“Oh fuck”

“Look out”

“Christ here’s another”

“Where did that fall?”

“My lorry’s on fire”

“Oh Christ, the cook is dead”

You realise a book just consisting of those would just be the end, so my one liners are extensions of these brevities.

Then you are worried because as yet I have not mentioned my meeting with Secombe and later Sellers. Well by the end of the Monty book I had as yet not met either Secombe or Sellers. I met Secombe in Italy, which will be in vol 4, and I am arranging to meet Peter Sellers on page 78 of vol 5 in London. I’m sorry I can’t put back the clock to meet Secombe in 1941, to alleviate your disappointment — hope springs anew with the information I have given you.

Another thing that bothers you is “cowardice in the face of the enemy”. Well, the point is I suffered from cowardice in the face of the enemy throughout the war — in the face of the enemy, also in the legs, the elbows, and the wrists; in fact, after two years in the front line a mortar bomb exploded by my head (or was it my head exploded by a mortar bomb), and it so frightened me, I put on a tremendous act of stammering, stuttering, and shivering. This mixed with cries of “mother” and a free flow of dysentery enabled me to be taken out of the line and down-graded to B2. But for that brilliant performance, this letter would be coming to you from a grave in Italy.

Any more questions from you and our friendship is at an end.

Sincerely,

Spike Milligan