is a two time winner of
the prestigious Quill and
Tankard writing award
for humor from the
North American Guild of
Vince's column is now
a regular feature of
Have A Good Day!
Here we are in September. Summer is just about over, schools are open, and some of the greatest
National Days of the year are soon to be celebrated. While none of these rises to the level of a true holiday
you still might be able to scam a day or two off from work for a few. After all, who but a true bataphobic
(had to check my pocket phobia guide for that one) boss wouldn’t give you off on September 3 - National
Skyscraper Day. The first building called a skyscraper was 102 ft. tall. It was the Home Insurance Building
built in Chicago in 1885. There weren’t many sophisticated tools for determining such height back then so
one enterprising regular at the rooftop bar simply tied a long piece of string to a beer bottle, lowered it to
the ground and measured it. Simple, but flawed. He forgot to include the height of the beer bottle.
You might, or might not, want to take September 6th off. It’s National Fight Procrastination Day. It’s a great
time to reminder people to make a decision, take action, do it now. Secretly I’m hoping that procrastination
wins the fight since I firmly subscribe to the rule not to do today what you can put off until tomorrow.
September 13th is Fortune Cookie Day. You know, the cookie little slip of paper inside of it brings you
good luck, a whimsical saying, or a philosophical thought like ‘don’t drink your beer too fast or it will squish
out your nose’. For the record, the Fortune Cookie did not originate in China. Rather, it was invented in
California as a food compliment to Anchor Steam beer.
September 22st is National Elephant Appreciation Day which was actually created to celebrate Groucho
Marx when he said “yesterday I shot an elephant in my pajamas and what he was doing in them I’ll never
September 24th is National Cherries Jubilee Day a dessert easily made with a can of cherry pie filling,
some cognac (or brandy) and vanilla ice cream. Which leads one to ponder if we can have a day, despite
political correctness, that lauds, even indirectly, cognac and brandy, why not beer? Well, not to worry beer
does have it days.
I’m hoping you had a pint or two on International Beer Day on August 5 and a few more on our own National
Beer Day, April 7. Maybe we should just have one big Intergalactic Beer and Romulan Ale Day to cover all
terrestrial and extraterrestrial bases. That would free up a room to celebrate some other good causes, oh
say growlers for instance. Wait, there already is a National Growlers Day on Dec. 17. Hey you’ve got to
have something to put the beer in so why not?
Of course there are even days to celebrate specific beer styles. November 3rd is International Stout Day
which begs the question if you fill up a growler with stout on November 3 can you celebrate both holidays at
the same time or do you have to do it again on December 17th ? This is the important stuff they never tell
If you miss the International Stout Day there’s always International Guinness Day, sometime called St.
Patrick’s Day which is followed by Corona Day also known as Cinco de Lime Day. Actually there really is
a Guinness Day. It is September 23. A bit of research showed that huge parties are planned for Kuala
Lumpur, Largos, New York, Dublin, and Hoover’s Tavern on Rt. 53 ( if the delivery truck arrives on
schedule). Also several parts of Canada are celebrating the day. The festivities there may not be as good
as those in Dublin but since most all the Guinness we get in the US is actually made in Canada it should be
a decent wingding.
Home brewers get a day too – May 4. Each year home brewers around the world invite family and friends
to their brewing site to celebrate the holiday. Everyone is encouraged to help out with the brew, enjoy the
fun and join in on a world-wide toast at noon CDT. One word of caution, if you’re not a good home brewer it
might be wise to have some commercially produced brews ready for the toast. It’s recommended that you
take the label off those bottles and claim you personally brewed them. After a few rounds you might even
begin believing it yourself.
If there’s a Day for beer logically there should be one for a place you drink it in. You guessed it; National
Tavern Day is on March 4. But that makes me wonder, what exactly is a “tavern”? Does that include bars,
pubs, and lounges? It just doesn’t seem fair if they’re left out. Still on the books here in NJ is a 1904 law
that defines a tavern as: “A food service establishment serving beer or wine only with a menu limited to
prepackaged foods, and hot dogs.” Beer and wine only? So if you went to a tavern on March 22, National
Margarita Day, you’d be out of luck, holiday or no holiday. With a law like that no one should complain if in
response the local margarita bar refused to serve wine on May 25, National Wine Day.
The most popular craft beer style in the USA is India Pale Ale. No surprise then that it too gets a day on
August 6th. By one measure this year’s IPA Day was somewhat of a flop. According to the Brewers
Association, the event generated roughly 10,000 tweets with the official #IPADay hashtag. That’s more
tweets than I got out of my Cracker Jacks whistle ring before it broke but far less than pro-wrestler The Iron
Shek got when he returned to his homeland in the nation of Parts Unknown.
IPA Day is nice but the big boy of beer style days is celebrated on December 10, National Lager Day.
Lager is the most consumed type of beer in the world but with a great variety of quality and flavors. For
example, Budweiser is a lager but then again so is the fabulous Augustiner Bräu Lagerbier Hell.
Bet you’ve never seen those two in the same sentence before.
And then we come to the national day recognizing those great individuals without whom all those drinking
days would be meaningless since we’d never get served. Yes, it’s December 9, National Bartender
Appreciation Day where we recognize the people who steadfastly perform their function of being a
pharmacist with a limited inventory. According to a Harris poll 76% of bar goers believe that the bartender
is more important than the décor of a bar. In fact 78% said the only thing more important than the bartender
was what he was pouring. So next time you’re enjoying a few libations on December 9th raise your glass
and sing out with the traditional bartender’s toast, “I’ll have another please.”
Professional bartenders do such a great job that I hope there never is a National Bartenders Vacation Day.
There’s nothing worse than having your regular purveyor of adult beverages out of action for any reason.
This past month, at three of my regular watering holes, that’s just what happened. At the Libertine Pub the
substitute bartender actually poured a full pint. The regular bartender, Brian, has mastered the automatic
cut off two ounces below the glass’ rim. And he’s consistent, be it a pint, half liter, or liter. Some regulars
actually use a marker to draw a full pint line on the glass as a helpful hint. Brian just washes it off.
The Gaslight Brewpub brought back former bartender Eric to cover for vacationing master bartender Jeff. It
was easy to see Eric’s been away for quite some time but he hit his stride when a customer came in and
asked “what’s the fastest way to get to Seton Hall University?” “Are you walking or driving?” Eric asked.
“Driving,” says the guy. “That’s the quickest way,” says Eric. The guy did not leave a big tip.
Confusion reigned unchecked at the venerable Tap Room Pub last Friday when the usual bartender
Rachael was on her summer getaway. Shockingly it was local bar legend Leo who became the most
flustered by her absence. Why shockingly? Well, Leo is the guy whose shirts never wrinkle, who when
leaving a room is still the most interesting man there, and who, if he mails a letter without postage, it still
gets there. Yes, it’s that Leo. This night he sat at the bar mystified; his usual glass of wine was not waiting
for him. When Flo, the sub, asked him what he would like to drink he was dumbfounded. “Rachael always
knows what I like and has it waiting for me.” Apologetically Flo handed him the beer menu only making a
bad situation worse. “Look, I rarely drink beer but when I do I drink…. wine.”
I told Leo not to worry. Things would be better tomorrow; it was National Have a Good Day Day.
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