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JEAN SHEPHERD kid Story more snails

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I say, “Yeah, hi, Nancy.”

She says, “Here, would you care for a—James, please.” And James comes over with a big tray of drinks.  There are these tall, skinny glasses, you know, the long, skinny stems?  I had never really held one of those glasses, so I grab it and it tips over!  Instantly!  And down it goes, all over the floor. She says, “Oh, I’m sorry.”

And with that everybody’s rushing and running round.  So James says, “Excuse me, sir.”  He brushes off the furniture, where I spilled all the goo-goo all over it.  I take another one of these things, and I’m walking around.  It’s a martini, see.

I had never had a martini before.  The only thing my old man ever talked about in the way of actual drink was, “How about some booze?”  Now we didn’t ever have any actual names for these drinks—it was just called booze. And—then he had a thing—once in a while when he was really putting on the dog—as he would say—he would have a thing called “a highball.”  Now a highball means that you put booze in a glass, and then you pour in ginger ale.  That was what a highball was.

So I’ve got this thing—a martini, see, and it tasted terrible—like I’m drinking some kind of strange chemical.  Ohooo!  Wow!  Has this little olive bobbing up and down there. I like the olive, so I reach in and took it out and I crunch—it is the first olive I’ve ever seen in my life that has an almond in it!  So, whole new things are opening already.  I’m walking around with these people, and suddenly they all move like a herd of cattle. They say, “Oh—it’s time for dinner. Oh oh oh oh.”

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3 Comments

  1. mygingerpig says:

    When I was 15 and living in Montclair NJ, I was introduced to a whole new class of people–rich people. They lived a mansions with large sweeping lawns and driveways longer than the street I lived on. I dated girls called Muffy and Dania, and Buffy. Girls with golden hair and shining faces who wore white buck shoes and camel hair coats with multicolored scarves gracefully draped around their necks and shoulders.

    They were different from the sexy Italian girls who wore off the shoulder blouses, short tight skirts and pointy bras and kissed with their tongues in your mouth. On one of my first dates with Muffy, I trudged up her driveway and rang the bell. From deep inside the house, I heard a muffled chime, The door swung open and a man in a suit and tie saw me and said cheerily “Oh you must be Muffy’s young man. Come in come in. We were just have in drink. Martini’s. Would you cae for one?”

    My old man, on special occasions offered a guest a shot of Old Overholt in a shot glass. Schnaaps, he called it.
    Martini’s were the stuff that the Thin Man drank. “Sure” I said with false bravado, and took the oddly shaped glass from his outstretched hand. A small sip and AAAARRRGHH, fire and ice went down my gullet and my throat felt like it had been cut with a gill saw. I stifled a cough and waited a few beats before trying to talk. Muffy showed up and off we went. My introduction to the world of the martini drinking folks in the big houses with blond haired daughters. The Education of a Jewish kid from the Bronx was just beginning,

  2. mygingerpig says:

    Typos “We’re just having a drink Would you care for one?”

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