Tuesday, September 06, 2011

What I Learned Today At Barangrill

It’s just a trick on you
Her mirrors and your will

Barangrill, Joni Mitchell

Even if the city that surrounds it has become a crisp, efficient, thoroughly uptight center of modern finance, Singapore's Raffles Hotel still conjures up images of louche, colonial luxury. This is in no small part due to its signature drink, the Singapore Sling, a tall red concoction that stands proud at the head of the tribe of umbrella drinks. There are countless different recipes for the Sling in existence, and not even the hotel has the original 1915 recipe, which has been lost to history. But this one comes from a 1948 cocktail guide written by one John Kelly, an undoubtedly upstanding citizen who ran a liquor-importing business in Shanghai before the Japanese chased him out. Once back in the States, he claimed that he got his Sling recipe directly from the good people at Raffles. We have no reason to doubt him, and with its twin virtues of simplicity and delicious, we daresay we believe in him.

The Recipe: Combine in a tall glass: 1.5 oz London dry gin (Beefeater or Tanqueray), 1.5 oz Cherry Herring or Bols cherry brandy, and .5 oz fresh-squeezed lime juice. Add ice, stir, and top off with 1 oz chilled seltzer. Float .5 oz Plymouth sloe gin over the top, stick a straw in it, and garnish with a lime wheel perched on the rim.

When I was about to open the door
and go inside Barangrill, I looked in
and saw a beautiful woman running.

I opened the door for her and she smiled
and kept running and said, “Thank you, sweetheart!”

She kept running across the parking lot
toward a beat-up old car parked by itself.

This woman was wearing a low-cut blouse
and she had big breasts that bounced as she ran.

A guy pumping gas took out his cell phone,
flipped up the lid and took a video
of the beautiful woman with big breasts
running, bouncing, across the parking lot.

When the woman saw this guy filming her
she made a disgusted face and gave him
the finger. He yelled, “That makes it better!”

She got in her car, fired up the engine
and burned a little rubber speeding off.

The guy with the phone cam, still pumping gas,
thumbed buttons, laughed and watched the scene replay.

I went inside, frowning, thinking about
holding open the door for the woman,
being nice, getting a Thank you, sweetheart!
and the guy filming her got the finger
for being sleazy and filming her breasts
bounce as she ran across the parking lot.

I was nice. But he got the video!

If I told this story to a waitress
at Barangrill I know she’d laugh at me.

It’s all that balancing plates while they walk.

Even without me telling this story
every waitress at Barangrill can tell
I’m not the kind of guy who’d do something
that would make a woman look disgusted
and give me the finger in her anger.

It’s all that balancing plates while they walk.

Today at Barangrill I learned nice guys
don’t get the finger. Or good videos.

At least the waitress didn’t laugh at me.

But only because I kept my mouth shut.

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