Saturday, November 17, 2007

Drunk Personz

I call those of us who occasionally get together around noon on a less intensively scheduled weekday for a hamburger and a couple drinks the Drunk Boyz. That's what it says on my email "contacts" list in that space where it must say something.

Of course, the name is a little bit of mini-macho. But really I think the word in the label that rings our bell is "boyz," not "drunk." I read a review of Philip Roth's "Exit Ghost," and either Roth talked of the "fantasy of endlessness" or the reviewer used that phrase in describing the book. I need to read that book. It is apparently Roth's meditation on how one does not want to meditate on death. Oh yes, my gong went bang when I read that the book bemoaned and perhaps decried that "fantasy of endlessness."

It comes so easily. Sometimes it takes all of one's concentration to "hear Time's winged chariot thundering near." Some days I do think to myself, "Why die? I'm feeling pretty good. I'll just give it a miss." And then I think it through. And then I really am ready for a few drinks with the Drunk Boyz.

We used to do this at Martin Mack's on Haight, but our waitress Maria (pronounced muh-RYE-uh, for she is from the old country) did something or other to make us feel less special when we flirted with her, and also they raised the prices on the food and quit carrying this really cheap Chilean red we liked.

I'm not sure what jarred us. I was in my own little haze. But something moved certain members of the group to look afield, and so we tried the Pig and Whistle on Geary, which I really like for some things but not for others. Somehow it never quite fit our group. For one thing, the Pig and Whistle does a pretty good lunch business, so our loud talk was not as private as we might like.

This lack of a mutually satisfactory venue was becoming something of an issue, an impediment to the meeting of true minds -- only one previous meeting this semester, which now that I think of it is typical; we are not what you would call clubmen -- when Boy Corwin, who knows the watering holes of Haight St. as a real lion knows really real watering holes, suggested the Alembic, which is only open for lunch on Fridays and doesn't look open even then.

That's where we went yesterday. It is pricey, but as I said this is the second time this semester the Boyz have met, so ten bucks one way or the other when we settle up .... Who cares? I always try to throw in a little more than what is determined to be my share when we settle up because I tend to eat and drink a little more of my share of whatever crosses the table so actually I'm only throwing what actually is my share.

If you follow me.

Okay, yes, this is an intricate determination when one is a little buzzed, and point is to get just a little buzzed. Yesterday, I had a traditional Manhattan made with rye whiskey, though the bartender tweaked it a little as chi-chi bartenders cannot resist doing. Later, I asked for a "cheap fierce" red wine for the table, and it was neither. I had what they called "sliders," which is a disparaging term for cheap burgers, but (again) these weren't cheap. They were made of lamb, and they were delicious. So perhaps we come back to the Alembic.

But back to the headline. Several have left the group. You would think people would see membership as a privilege, but you would see that few regard it so. And you need at least six people for camaraderie to blossom. You need a little bit of shouting from one end of the table to the other. You need that strength of numbers that allows boisterousness to flourish as it must if there is a satisfactory level of din.

Feeling somewhat depleted in the strength of our membership, we were discussing allowing women into the group. And I mean older USF-connected women. Not students. Not young women. Sensible women with a certain fine contempt for everything around them, who would look upon us and have their views confirmed and thus we would be an ornament to their philosophy, women who have as much use for the unleavened conversation of men as such conversation deserves.

Some of the Boyz thought some women of our age and station might want to join us. Caveat! Actually, a couple times women of our age and station have joined us, and they drank in thimbles and smiled with varying degrees of strain, and some of us showed off as some men will always show off in such circumstances.

I mean we verbally jousted with one another, whacking one another with the flat wooden swords of our wit square on our plump arses. Strained smiles. Very strained smiles.

The women did not come back, but that was all right because it gave us something to talk about for months and months, that they did not come back and why. The world is filled with interesting Whys, and one of the best is women and their Whys.

(I do not mean to make some sexist implication that women have more Whys than men, only that they either are more interesting or seem more interesting -- to me. And so the earth is peopled, though not over lunch.)

So it's now under discussion. As far as I can make out, the qualification for female members of the newly denominated Drunk Personz would be a willingness to be a member of the newly denominated Drunk Personz.

The bar is low, very low. I cannot in good conscience recommend our company though we are, in truth, tame as housecats.


david silver said...

drunk personz sounds like a hip hop / R & B band - i like it. i also liked those lamb mini-burgers. they were tasty. so were the fries.

the collective memory of our crew is ... low. maybe we should experiment with some kind of alliteration reminder, like third thursdays or first fridays. for the record, i believe in open membership, sans students.

....J.Michael Robertson said...

I think First Fridays is worth trying.

B. Lundigan said...

I don't suppose a regular blog reader who isn't connected with USF could join?