Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Man of Straw I Certainly Am Not; I'd Offer You a Masterclass but I Threw My Straws Away Years Ago

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Man of Straw I Certainly Am Not; I'd Offer You a Masterclass but I Threw My Straws Away Years Ago

Article excerpt

Byline: gary bainbridge One man's struggle with the 21st century. Follow Gary on Twitter @Gary_Bainbridge or email him at gary.bainbridge@trinitymirror.com

HAVE come to the conclusion that we have gone mad with regard to straws in drinks for grown-ups.

IFor reasons which need not concern you, I have spent more time than usual in the sort of establishment where there is a menu for drinks on the bar.

These places are great if you are one of those people who like spending PS12 on a deceptively large ice-filled drink called something like a Squiffy Belgian or a Red Lorry Yellow Lorry, which contains 26 different ingredients, which takes the bartender 18 minutes to prepare, and which is gone in four slurps.

These are establishments which believe that the bit that everybody likes most about going out for a drink is the waiting by the bar rather than the actual drinking part.

Perhaps it is my ingrained lack of sophistication which makes me unsure about such places. When I was growing up, and when I first attempted to obtain alcohol from a public house, things were much simpler. You knew where you were with a vodka and tonic, or a cider and black. Basically the recipes for drinks were exactly the same as their name.

But I do not let such considerations stop me, for these days I consider myself a kind of David Niven figure, the sort of man who knows which fork to use without being told, and owns socks which need those little shin suspenders, and claims ladies' farts.

And so I found myself in a cocktail lounge recently. I sidled up to the bar, eased onto a stool, perused the menu coolly, and caught the barman's eye. With practised savoir-faire, I leant forward. "A Sexy Dog Explosion, please," I said.

I was sceptical, I admit, about the barman's ability to deliver a definitive Sexy Dog Explosion, as Rihanna or the late Sir David Frost might have enjoyed. The list of ingredients was long and obscure, and apparently involved a degree of muddling, whatever that is.

I watched him busy himself with ice and cups and swizzle sticks while I read a couple of chapters of my book, and eventually, long after I had forgotten that I had ordered a drink, he presented me with my Sexy Dog Explosion with a flourish. …

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