David Bruce: Alcohol Anecdotes

At one time, newspaper reporters used to drink—a lot. During one drinking session, Paul Galloway, reporter for the Chicago Sun-Times, became perturbed—make that very perturbed—about something that editor Jim Hoge had perpetrated. Mr. Galloway became so perturbed that he decided to do something about his perturbation, so he went back to the Sun-Times offices, picked up a chair, and threw it as hard as he could at the window of Mr. Hoge’s office. Big mistake. Mr. Galloway recounted later, “Something I had not foreseen was that the window was made of Plexiglas. The chair bounced back and almost hit me.” Mr. Hoge was not present at the time, and he need not ever have become aware of the event, but Mr. Galloway was still perturbed, so he insisted that the City Desk log the event, although the City Desk assistant advised him, “Forget it, Paul.” The next morning, Mr. Hoge was at his desk, and he perused the log, as was his custom. He also called Mr. Galloway, who now regretted having insisted that his action of the previous night be logged, into his office. Mr. Hoge said to Mr. Galloway, “So, Paul, I understand you have a problem with our interior decoration.” Mr. Galloway replied, “No, sir! I find it excellent! Nothing whatsoever wrong with it! Enviable, in fact!” Mr. Galloway was a very good writer, and Mr. Hoge was a very good editor, and very good editors realize that very good writers can occasionally disagree with very good editors, and so Mr. Hoge said, “I’m relieved. Now get back to work.” Another of Mr. Galloway’s stories is about the time—2 a.m.—he was standing guard in the Army. His Major sneaked up behind him and said to him, very clearly and loudly, “Sheep.” Mr. Galloway was puzzled by the word, but he stood at attention and said, “Yes, sir.” The Major again said, very clearly and louder than before, “SHEEP!” Mr. Galloway realized that, of course, the Major must be under a great deal of pressure and therefore his mind had snapped, but he again said, “Yes, sir.” The Major, clearly angry, told him, “Don’t you ‘yes, sir’ me! Sheep! SHEEP!” Mr. Galloway said, “Would you like me to get you a sheep, sir? I will get you a sheep as soon as I’m off watch.” The Major shouted, “NO! YOU’RE A MORON! I DON’T WANT A SHEEP!” Mr. Galloway asked, “What would you like, sir?” The Major shouted, “I WOULD LIKE THE GODD*MNED PASSWORD!”

Rabbi Abraham J. Twerski, M.D., works with people who are addicted to alcohol and/or illegal drugs. A Catholic priest he was treating was addicted to alcohol, so Rabbi Twerski urged him to use grape juice instead of wine during Mass. Unfortunately, the priest responded, “We can’t use grape juice. It must be wine.” Fortunately, Rabbi Twerski knew Cardinal Wright, who worked at the Vatican. Rabbi Twerski called Cardinal Wright to request that he ask Pope Paul VI to allow this alcoholic priest to use grape juice instead of wine during Mass; otherwise, the priest would die. Cardinal Wright promised to do that, and Rabbi Twerski told him, “Tell the Pope I said that he will have a mitzvah.” After two days, Cardinal Wright called Rabbi Twerski to give him the very good news that Pope Paul VI had given instructions that all alcoholic priest must use grape juice instead of wine during Mass.”

Good things can come out of evil. Someone once put LSD in Richie Ramone’s drink. He had a very bad reaction to it, and he had to be carried away in a strait jacket. However, he wrote the great Ramones’ song “Somebody Put Something in My Drink.” Of course, Richie gets the credit for writing a very good song. Whoever put the LSD in his drink gets a ticket to Hell—or at least a few more hundred years climbing the Mountain of Purgatory. By the way, the Ramones insisted on canned soft drinks in their dressing room. Yoohoo chocolate drink was also a favorite dressing room tipple.

The Chicago Sun-Times was a crowded place to work. Ann Landers, whose real name was Eppie Lederer, had a desk in a room filled with many other desks, each with a reporter working at it. Her desk was next to the desk of Paul Molloy, the TV-radio critic. One day, Mr. Molloy was working at his desk while talking on a telephone headset. He tipped his chair too far, fell backwards, lay on the floor, and kept on talking. Eppie Lederer looked at him, then dug a pamphlet out of one of her files, and handed it to him. The pamphlet had this title: “Drinking Problem? Take This Test of Twenty Questions.”

John Lennon could behave erratically at times. He and fellow musician Harry Nilsson once spent a drunken evening together. After getting kicked out—with good reason—of a Smothers Brothers concert in Los Angeles, they went to the Lost on Larrabee restaurant. John disappeared into a bathroom, and then he reappeared with a feminine hygiene product on his forehead. He asked the waitress, “Do you know who I am?” The waitress looked at him and said, “Yes, you’re some a**hole with a Kotex on his forehead.”

Young rappers tend to be pretty crazy. Older rappers can settle down. Beastie Boy Adam Yauch went to a health-food store to buy a present for his parents one holiday season, and he said that he wanted a carrot juicer. The health-store employee recognized him and said, “So I guess you guys don’t drink forties anymore?”

CBGB’s is well known as a venue for early performances by such bands as the Ramones, Talking Heads, and Blondie. People under age 18 could get in to hear the bands, but their hands were stamped “Nobooze foyouz.”

Demonax the Cynic philosopher was once asked whether wise men should drink wine. He replied, “Surely you can’t imagine that Nature made the grape only for fools.”

Ballet dancer Igor Youskevitch once told a beautiful waitress, “If I may be so bold, a martini is like a beautiful girl’s bosom. One is not enough, but three is too many!”

“Somebody left the cork out of my lunch.” — W.C. Fields.


Copyright by Bruce D. Bruce; All Rights Reserved


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