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Friday, April 08, 2016

I HAVE A MINOR COMPLAINT: Don't Take that Glass!

It's been a long time since a cranky old man has vented his spleen on this blog--far, far too long. I shall now rectify this terrible oversight.

Today's whinge begins with a prose portrait. Imagine if you will the following scene. You are sitting in a pub or restaurant and in front of you sits a delicious glass of beer. It is perhaps your last beer of the evening. (This is deck-stacking, but I'm ranting so stay out of the way.) You have taken a shine to this beer, and the more you drink, the more greedy you get. You consider offering your pub-partner a swallow, but it's just too good. That kind of generosity is for full glasses, when you have enough to spare. Bit by bit you lower the level, savoring ever longer-lingering mouthfuls of fine ale. (Or lager, yes, but please, don't interrupt.) The amount of beer gets dangerously low, and you start taking ever smaller sips to preserve the beer. At a certain point, you leave just enough so that it will suffuse your sensory apparatus with a long, lingering aftertaste that will take you out into the night and, possibly, follow you into your dreams.

And then, at that moment, a waiter strafes the table and snatches the glass without even slowing down. "Wait!--" Nope, it's too late. That last swallow is headed for the drain. And there you sit, despairing, like a child whose ice cream has fallen off the cone.

I grant that the above scenario may seem far-fetched to you, but it happens not-uncommonly to me. And it happened last night at La Buca, a nice little Italian restaurant nearby (where, it must be admitted, the waiters are not so clued into the whole beer etiquette thing.) Perhaps I'm weird. Perhaps this behavior is aberrant enough that anyone engaging in it should expect to have his glass whisked away as a kind of penalty for lollygagging. But dammit, I paid for that glass of beer, and as a consenting adult, I should be able to do anything with it I damn well please, including lollygagging.


Thank you for your attention.


  1. Yeah, I had that happen recently. Botched service is what it is. No excuse.

  2. I would speak up. Say " I'm not done with that beer!" Like my dad used to say, "You gotta roar if you wanna score." Akin to the one about the squeaky wheel. Don't blog whinge, that's too Portland. Be happy you can drink too. There's more a codger like you (you seem to think you're old when you're not, dude!) has to complain about. Life's too short. Love you, Jeff. Go Sox!

  3. Angelo, I'm usually able to pull that off, but sometimes, particularly if the pub/restaurant you're in is noisy, the server is six feet away before my first howl reaches him, and by then it's too late. And sometimes you see them coming, so you can take pre-emptive action. But sometimes the maneuver succeeds. And that's probably good, because it gives old men an opportunity to complain.

    Go Sox!

  4. I feel your pain. Apex is notorious for this. It's like they wait until you're not looking and then suddenly your glass is gone. Gone like magic! I recommend keeping a hand on the glass at all times when the beer gets low.

  5. From the title I thought you were going to tell us to stop stealing pint glasses from bars. So that's still OK, right?

  6. Twitter made the same comment. I'm sure that's an issue, too, but since I don't work at a pub, I'll leave it to someone else to make that complaint.

  7. Completely agree. This has definitely happened to me and I make sure to get the server's attention (usually by flailing my arms awkwardly and looking extremely heartbroken that my not-finished-glass is making an escape).

  8. BRIGHTSIDE: walk up to bar, tell them server took your drink before you were finished, 9 times out of ten they will give you a halfpint to recompense. You end up with more beer than you had before. AND as a result of your interaction, the bartender or manager trains their staff to ask before taking a glass off a table.

  9. You are not weird. It's happened to me more than once.