Why Can't We Have Animals In Bars Any More?

A U.S. serviceman was finally going to be heading home, after a quick stop in Germany. He'd flown from Iraq to Italy, but was forced to take a train from there. His uniform appeared well-worn, his duffle bag was dusty, and the cheerful smile he attempted could not belie the fact that he was absolutely exhausted.

The train was very crowded. The soldier walked the entire length of the train looking for a seat. He finally spotted a seat which appeared unoccupied. Upon drawing nearer he noticed that the seat was occupied by a small Poodle dog. In the seat next to the dog sat a well-dressed French woman of middle age. The war-weary soldier asked, "Ma'am, may I have that seat?" The French woman just sniffed and said to nobody in particular, "Americans are so rude. My little Fifi is using that seat."

The soldier walked the entire length of the train again, but the only seat left was under the dog.

The soldier, hat in his hand, beseeched the woman, "Please, ma'am, may I have that seat? I'm very, very tired."

The French woman snorted, "not only are you Americans rude, you are also arrogant!"

This time the soldier didn't say a word. He picked up the little dog, tossed it out the train window, and sat down. The woman shrieked, "someone must defend my honor! Put this American in his place!"

An English gentleman sitting nearby spoke up: "Sir, you Americans often seem to have a penchant for doing the wrong thing. You hold the fork in the wrong hand. You drive your cars on the wrong side of the road. And now, sir, you seem to have thrown the wrong bitch out the window."

The story hereinabove landed in my email not too long ago. It was sent to me not long after I delivered a long, angry rant about lap-dogs and lap-dog owners to some friends who were at my bar.

I am not against lap-dogs at all. Many are so cute and endearing they transform me from my usual self into a baby-talking, driveling idiot when in their presence.

I am not against the owners of lap-dogs, either. An unscientific finding I've made after years of observation is that the attractiveness of female lap-dog owners is a direct function of how rare, tiny and adorable the dog is. Suffice it to say that if you show me a dog which weighs about 2 pounds, is wearing a rhinestone collar and is being carried in a Chanel handbag, the owner is probably a fashion model with a sultry look, fabulous hair, and slender legs as long as the Mississippi River.

The target of my ire in this case was a young woman carrying a tiny pup of some rare breed in a pink Nike bag just large enough to hold the pet. So you're wondering what is the problem? Not the young woman. Not the dog. Not the Nike bag.

The problem was she carried the bag and said pet into my restaurant. This was a situation that rended my heart. On one hand, of course I wanted to make friends with, and perhaps play with the dog.

On the other hand, yours truly, being duly issued a license to conduct a restaurant by our local Board of Health must comply with the rules and regulations promulgated by that agency, or risk closure. Additionally, we are in possession of not only a liquor license but a Cabaret License as well, issued by the Board of Liquor Control in our state.  Should my license to conduct a restaurant be revoked, the other two licenses are automatically suspended until which time the Board of Health chooses to reinstate my restaurant license. Which means in our neck of the woods, animals other than seeing-eye dogs are a big no-no. Remember bar cats? Long gone are the ubiquitous bar-room mousers of yore. I seem to recall having seen several very friendly, sedate Labrador dogs in bars in my youth, as well.

A silly aside which will probably be of interest to fans of the machinations of jurisprudence is that the reason a bar cannot operate without a food license, even if they decide not to serve food, is that in our fair state, ice is considered a foodstuff. Not booze, not beer.

So against the protestations of my barmaid, a few customers, and, of course, the dog's owner, I had to beg the woman to remove the animal from the premises.

"But I bring my little (name withheld to protect the innocent) everywhere I go!!! Even (exorbitantly expensive restaurant in competitive market sector) allows me to bring her in! You're stupid and hate animals!"

Her last statement couldn't be farther from the truth. It hurt. I love all members of the animal kingdom, and have been known to pull my car over, against the wishes of all passengers, to observe cows, sheep and horses in their fields. If I come upon a dog whose owner assures me I have nothing to fear, I'm the first one to get friendly with the animal, and if I end up covered in dog-spittle; well, so be it.

Which brings me to the issue at hand. My brief discussion with the dog-toting customer revealed a lot about her personality. I'd have bet $100 that had she found a hair in her soup while eating here, she'd have threatened litigation; she just came across as that kind of unnecessarily assertive person.

Perhaps her insulting demeanor caused all thoughts of giving her a "pass" on this one to disappear from my head. Had she been charming, had she perhaps re-assured me that the pet wouldn't stray beyond the bag, I probably would've just said "aw, the heck with it; it's after 9:00 at night and the 'food police' are nowhere to be seen."

So after she left, but not after hurling a few more verbal barbs my way, I spent a little time trying to justify my actions to the few people left in the place. Then I realized that if I had to justify my actions, perhaps I'd made the wrong call. So we all agreed that we'd get together and write up a petition pleading that the Liquor Control Commission and the Department of Health allow animals in bars. (I know what you're thinking, there're plenty of animals in bars these days already.)

It is indeed silly not to allow the taverns, pubs, bars and lounges to have a mascot around. So many places, not fancy places, but places like mine, have a core group of regulars who're like family. Why not have a family pet? With my luck if our petition got consideration in the legislature and I bought a dog, sooner or later a bunch of folks would picket the place with placards that read: "Equality for Bar Animals: Let the Monkeys In!"

On a dim afternoon in catbox land, a few noders got together in virtual St. Bart's to celebrate, well, nothing. Angela supplied massages, and all.i.ask provided custom noder drinks. A list of those drinks follow:

•Tequila + strained orange juice + cucumber + a splash of sugar = the Simulacron3, sweet and fruity.

•Vodka + pomegranate juice + fresh lime = the IWhoSawTheFace, fresh and talkative. Perfect for a late afternoon sunbathe.

•Amaretto + iced coffee + a dash of cinnimon = the Dimview, intellectual and deep. A boudoir drink, the dimview is for an afternoon in a wood paneled library with a book of e.e. cummings and a pretty girl with glasses.

•White wine + pure raspberry juice + a pinch of raw sugar in a brandy glass = the karma_debt, slow and balanced.

•Limoncello + plenty of raw sugar + 7-up + fresh sliced lime = the Ancientsnow, a party drink.

•Slivovitz + peach juice = the grundoon, simple and neat.

•Peach Schnapps + a little kiwi juice = the Cool Man Eddie, chilled to be cool enough for him. Comes in a martini glass. The CoolManEddie cannot be bought, but is bestowed upon you, via the bartender, by someone cooler than you.

•Bärenjäger + peach juice = the Angela. The drink you order for the woman across the bar.

•Irish whisky + iced latte + nutmeg = The all.i.ask, savory and irish to the bone.

•Aguardiente + Pineapple juice = the Sam512, crisp and lovely. In the tallest glass you have on hand.

•Tequila + kiwi juice + of course, strawberry juice = The StrawberryFrog, juicy and slick. Have it in a champagne glass with a little umbrella.

•Bärenjäger + Earl Grey = the wertperch, elite and calming.

• Chartreuse + Kiwi juice + cucumber = the Wiccanpiper, exotic and rare. Comes in a highball glass with a tiny pirate flag.

•Tequila + blackberry juice + a splash of lime = the Halspal, enigmatic like the sphinx.

•Vanilla Stoli + Root Beer + Vanilla Iced Cream = the sloebertje, a big kids root beer float.

Request a Drink: Message all.i.ask.
Dimview is looking forward to reports on how these drinks all tasted, when they have been tried and tested by the HD5ers.

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