Monday, December 22, 2008

Quotes From Around Yon Booze-osphere

As dessert ended, the woman in the red dress got up and stumbled toward the bathroom. Her husband, whose head had been sinking toward the bûche de Noël, put a clumsily lecherous arm around the reluctant hostess. As coffee splashed into porcelain demitasse cups, the woman in the red dress returned, sank sloppily into her chair and reached for the Courvoisier. Someone gently moved the bottle away. "Are you shaying I’m drunk?" she demanded. Even in the candlelight I noticed that the lipstick she had reapplied was slightly to the left of her lips. Her husband, suddenly bellicose, sprang from his chair to defend his wife's honor. But on the way across the room he slipped and went down like a tray of dishes. "Frank! Are you hurt?" she screamed. Somehow she had gotten hold of the brandy. "S’nothing," he replied, "just lay down for a little nap. Can I bum a smoke?"

That dinner party was almost 10 years ago; it was the last time I saw anyone visibly drunk at a New York party. The New York apartments and lofts which were once the scenes of old-fashioned drunken carnage — slurred speech, broken crockery, broken legs and arms, broken marriages and broken dreams — are now the scene of parties where both friendships and glassware survive intact. Everyone comes on time, behaves well, drinks a little wine, eats a few tiny canapés, and leaves on time. They all still drink, but no one gets drunk anymore. Neither do they smoke. What on earth has happened?


Maybe it's a generational thing (I'm in my 30s), but I see plenty of drunken behavior. At The Joule, a luxury boutique hotel in downtown Dallas, opening night party a couple of months ago, black-tie guests mixed and mingled and generally drank themselves into a stupor. My +1 ended up passing out on a chaise at the rooftop pool, only to wake up to find skinny dippers splashing in the water. Security was none too happy.

And as for NYC, a friend of mine was on tour for a Christmas show last year with a young, talented singer/songwriter who ordered Scotch for breakfast and one night got so bombed she had to be escorted to her hotel room by the bellhops--on a rolling luggage rack.

So Ms. Cheever can wax nostalgic all she wants about the days of drunken antics but I say, Look out your window girl. It's the holiday in New York. Three-fourths of those people out there are already drunk.


One of the enduring mysteries to me is how so much of our population voluntarily chooses to live in places where walking -- or even taking a cab -- home from a bar, any bar, really isn't an option. While I believe there is a shortage of walkable communities in many parts of the country, with many people being priced out of what little good urban living is available, I also believe that many people really like the archetypal American suburban neighborhood. This desire for complete separation of residential/retail is just weird to me.


This is no bar bet, it's a lawsuit. Can you get drunk on a flight, then sue the airline for giving you the booze?

A husband and wife are suing United Airlines for "negligently" overserving alcohol during a flight from Osaka, Japan, to San Francisco, saying the carrier's drinks fueled the domestic violence involving the two shortly after their plane landed.

Fortified with Burgundy wine allegedly supplied at 20-minute intervals by United crew members during the December 2006 trip, Yoichi Shimamoto became so inebriated "that he could not manage himself," according to a lawsuit . . . Shimamoto was arrested, accused of disorderly conduct and battery after he struck his wife, Ayisha, six times, injuring her face and upper lip.


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