Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Correspondent’s Notebook

“Could Not Be Reached”

While we’d be a bit presumptuous to call ourselves an investigative journalist, we do admit to a certain curiosity about the underlying particulars behind a story here and there.  Every now and then you find an onion with mule’s ears, and other times you discover a quarter-million dollar forgivable loan to local well-connected businesses.  So it is that we went in search of the rationale for the above story on WGME, which we talked about here: http://othersideofbrunswick.blogspot.com/2016/12/councilor-kathy-wilson-recent-election.html

We pursued two possible sources for more information, and we think they’re exactly the sources most readers would pursue if they were in our socks.  Four days later, neither has replied to our  inquiry.  So we’re going to stick with our original inclination, which reads thus:

Absent any such evidence in the local newspaper of record, we’re left to infer that Councilor Wilson trumped up these accusations in order to incite media attention, inflame local emotions, and reinvigorate the Task Force.

Always intereste in more in more details, we repeat that Councilor Wilson, or anyone with more information, can contact us if they like.

Life Is Just A Bowl of Olives

                              Image result for bartender condiments

Those of you who enjoy an adult beverage from time to time may recognize this garnish caddy once common at traditional bars.  We don’t know if they still are common.  Not because we don’t enjoy such beverages these days, but because we normally have them served at our table, rather than while seated at a classic ‘bar,’ like a Bogart wannabe in a tux.

Image result for bogart martini

But we do recall from time to time asking for an extra olive (or two) in our classic icy Martini, and not having to pay extra for it.  Come to think of it, we may have nipped an olive or two from the caddy years ago when the barkeep was looking elsewhere.

                                 Image result for bogart martini

On occasion we find ourselves on the ‘other side’ of the classic cocktail axis, ordering a Manhattan “up,’' especially in colder seasons.  This drink is typically garnished with a maraschino cherry, providing a sweet counterpoint to the taste of bitters used in the recipe.

As Chance would have it, we found ourself in just such a situation recently at a local establishment.  We asked our server to make arrangements for us to have two (2) cherries in our drink, and indeed we did when it arrived.

                            Image result for maraschino cherries

For those not well versed in such trivia, these cherries range from low end, rather small and lifeless without stems, and looking a bit maimed from automated processing.


To those looking much more sassy, full of color, stems intact, juicy and plump, and relatively undamaged.

From time to time, we’ve had the full range of specimens presented on anything from a wooden toothpick, to one of those little plastic swords or spears, to simply lying in the bottom of our drink.  The stemmed versions, obviously, are less in need of such accessorizing.

On this recent occasion, our two cherries were from the first category above, and absent any accessory to make them easier to enjoy.  We were left to treat them as finger food, or fish them out with a utensil; we won’t tell you which we did.

But we will tell you that the two, sizewise, were at best the equivalent of one of the proud examples in the second photo.

By now, you’re probably saying ‘so what,’ and wondering why we’re bothering you with this story.

Good questions.  And here’s the answer.  Because when our bill came, we had been charged $1 for the extra cherrry, limp as it was, on top of the price of our drink.  In a place whose food prices we found beyond normal expectations.  And whose table settings were wrapped in paper napkins and standing in a little bucket on the quasi picnic table we were seated at.

That’s why.  What’s next?  Charging by the packet of sugar for one’s coffee?

We’re pretty sure the management has no idea what an impression this gave us, because we didn’t complain.  But we can assure you we will not gladly return because of it.

As our spouse likes to tell servers, “he doesn’t get out much anymore,’' and that’s true.  But we did spend twenty years or so of our career getting out a lot, and eating at some of the finest establishments around.  And not a one ever charged us for an extra olive or extra cherry.

At our age, we suppose, it’s only right that we get all the pits, figuratively speaking.

Fair warning: don’t ask for a warmer on your coffee if you haven’t priced it first. 

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