Monday, July 23, 2007

Phil Gets Drunk

After my lunch with Robert Osborne, I dropped by to see good old Phil Oppenheim, who works nearby. Phil and I were surprised to discover that completely coincidentally we had read PLAY IT AS IT LAYS at the same time. Then Phil told me about a "cocktail convention" he had attended in New Orleans. One of the speakers was a friend of Phil's who has written a book about tiki bars. When I find out the name of the book, I will "post" the information for you. Phil began the evening with several sazeracs at the Carousel Bar. Next, at the convention, he had some tiki cocktails that went along with his friend's presentation. Phil recalls consuming, in that supportive capacity, a Planter's Punch, a Mai Tai, a Nui Nui (also known as a "Desert Rattler," which animal is, of course, a predominant image in PLAY IT AS IT LAYS), and - or so he vaguely recalls - something called, perhaps, "The Virgin's Surrender." Then he was mistaken for a bar owner by a British gentleman whose one goal in life is restoring absinthe to its proper place in American culture. He bade Phil have some "French absinthe" (Phil had two, and called them "wonderful and cloudy") and then some "Czech absinthe," which Phil says was "electric blue," but the color of which the English absinthe salesman referred to only as "postmodern." Then it was time for a "wretched after party" with a lot of beer. At 4 AM Phil found himself in a place called (I think) Molly's on Market, nursing an alcoholic frozen coffee and verbally sparring with an unknown woman who was flipping through a book of Renaissance paintings. Oh yes, and there were some Pimm's Cups in there somewhere. But this is not an accurate picture of the real Phil. We all need to blow off some steam some time! Even Phil!