Thursday

Enough words to fill all glasses

From Bill Dowd, Editor & Publisher of DOWD'S GUIDES:

One of the fascinating aspects of writing about adult beverages is coming across bits of rhyme, free verse and just plain doggerel devoted to one’s favorite tipple.

I have made this blog replete with bits of language fun from around the world. And, no matter how old some of them are, they keep striking responsive chords with readers.

Some are just plain fun. Like the humorists Dave Barry’s comment that “Without question the greatest invention in the history of mankind is beer. Oh, I grant you that the wheel was also a fine invention, but the wheel does not go nearly as well with pizza.”

Some are more of a philosophical bent, like this quote from the Bible’s Ecclesiastes 9:7: “Eat thy bread with joy and drink thy wine with a merry heart.”

Others take on a more personal tone. After reading this four liner --

Don't worry about the future
The present is all thou hast
The future will soon be present
And the present will soon be past.

-- a blog visitor wrote to me, “My mother died four years ago at the age of 97 and this was her favorite quote.”

Another reader got quite excited when he read my complete posting of a poem he had seen only as a snippet printed on a beer mug:

The horse and mule live 30 years
And never knows of wines and beers
The goat and sheep at 20 die
Without a taste of scotch or rye.

The cow drinks water by the ton
And at 18 is mostly done.
The dog at 15 cashes in
Without the aid of rum or gin.

The modest, sober, bone-dry hen
Lays eggs for nogs and dies at 10.
But sinful, ginful, rum-soaked men
Survive three-score years and 10.

And some of us, though mighty few
Stay pickled 'til we're 92.

As is the case with so many old quotes, poems and free verse, the origin of most is lost to history, or even hotly disputed when credit is given.

That's the case with "The Horse and Mule," although we know it has been around for generations. It is quoted, and credited to that prolific writer "Anonymous," in the respected anthology "Verse and Worse" by the English writer Arnold Silcock.

You can read some interesting research and discussion on the origins of various bits of music and poetry from the BBC's "Quote ... Unquote" newsletter (one good example of that can be found online).

But no matter whether the author is known or lost in the mists of a bar room or a failing memory, there’s something to be said for every occasion.

In parting, one of my favorites:

On the chest of a barmaid in Sale
Were tattooed the prices of ale.
And on her behind,
For the sake of the blind,
Was the same information in Braille.

To Dowd's Wine Notebook latest entry.
To Dowd's Spirits Notebook
To Dowd's Tasting Notes latest entry.

Sometimes when I reflect ...

Babe Ruth bottle cap.
... on all the beer I drink, I feel ashamed. 

Then I look into the glass and think about the workers in the brewery and all of their hopes and dreams. If I didn't drink this beer, they might be out of work and their dreams would be shattered. 


I think, "It is better to drink this beer and let their dreams come true than be selfish and worry about my liver."


-- George Hermann "Babe" Ruth

Tuesday

'I spent half my money ...

  ... on gambling, alcohol and wild women. The other half I wasted.”
-- W.C. Fields

Sunday

"Happiness is ...

... having a rare steak, a bottle of whiskey, and a dog to eat the rare steak."
-- Comedian/TV host Johnny Carson

"A bottle of wine ...

A. Edelfeldt painting, 1885
... contains more philosophy than all the books in the world."

-- Scientist Louis Pasteur

Wednesday

Homer Simpson's Beer Song

DO, the stuff that buys me beer;
RAY, the guy that sells me beer;
ME, the one who drinks the beer;
FAR, a long run to get beer;
SO, I'll have another beer;
LA, I'll have another beer;
TEA, no thanks I'm drinking beer;
That will bring us back to ...

(looks in empty glass) D'oh!

"A fruit is a vegetable ...

... with looks and money. Plus, if you let fruit rot, it turns into wine, something Brussels sprouts never do."

-- American writer/humorist P.J. O'Rourke

"I went on a diet ...

“ ... , swore off drinking and heavy eating, and in 14 days I lost two weeks.”

-- American nightclub comic Joe E. Lewis

"Worthless people ...

" ... live only to eat and drink. People of worth eat and drink only to live.”

-- Greek philosopher Socrates

"Work is ...

" ... the curse of the drinking class."

-- Irish playwright Oscar Wilde

When God made man ...

... he made him out of string.
He had a little left, so He left a little thing.

When God made Woman, He made her out of lace.
He didn't have enough, so He left a little place.

Here's to God!

Here's to a love ...

... that's a thousand miles long but comes in six-inch installments.

May all your troubles ...

... during the coming year be as short-lived as your New Year's resolutions.

Tiny Tim's 'A Christmas Carol' toast

"Here's to all of us.

"God bless us every one!"

-- Charles Dickens

Wishing you more happiness ...

... Than all my words can tell,
Not just alone for Christmas
But for all the year as well.

Saturday

I used to know a clever toast ...

... but now I cannot think it.
So fill your glass to anything
And, damn your souls, I'll drink it!

Don't worry about the future ...

... The present is all thou hast,
The future will soon be present,
And the present will soon be past.

As we start the New Year ...

... let's get down on our knees
to thank God we're on our feet.

Sunday

I wear my pink pajamas ...

... In the summer when it's hot,
I wear my flannel nightie
In the winter when it's not.

And sometimes in the springtime
And sometimes in the fall
I jump between the covers
With nothin' on at all!

Monday

I drink to your health ...

... when I'm with you.
I drink to your health when alone.
I drink to your health so often,
I'm worried about my own!

Friday

May God grant you ...

... many years to live,
for sure he must be knowing,
the Earth has angels all too few,
and Heaven is overflowing.

May your home ...

... always be too small
to hold all your friends.

Thursday

"Sitting by the Fire on a Snowy Evening"


By Robert Frost's Cat

Whose chair this is by now I know.
He's somewhere in the forest though;
He will not see me sitting here
A place I'm not supposed to go.

He really is a little queer
To leave his fire's cozy cheer
And ride out by the frozen lake
The coldest evening of the year.

To love the snow it takes a flake:
The chill that makes your footpads ache,
The drifts too high to lurk or creep,
The icicles that drip and break.

His chair is comfy, soft and deep.
But I have got an urge to leap,
And mice to catch before I sleep,
And mice to catch before I sleep.

May thy life be long and happy ...

... Thy cares and sorrows few;
And the many friends around thee
Prove faithful, fond and true.

Always remember to forget ...

... the things that made you sad.
But never forget to remember
The things that made you glad.

Here's to you and here's to me ...

... Friends may we always be.
But, if by chance we disagree,
Up yours! Here's to me!

Tuesday

A Haiku Champagne Toast

Champagne bubbles rise
like tiny moths to light bulbs
here's to you my dear

Starkle, starkle little twink ...

... Who the hell are you? I think
I'm not under what you call
The acofluence of incohol.

I'm just a little slort of sheep
I'm not drunk like thinkle peep.
I don't know who is me yet,
But the drunker I stand here
the longer I get.

So just give me on more drink
To fill my cup
'cause I got all day sober
to Sunday up.

There's the wonderful love of a beautiful maid ...

... and the love of a staunch true man.
There's the love of a baby that's unafraid,
all have existed since time began.

But the most wonderful love, the Love of Loves,
even greater than the love for Mother,
is the intimate, tenderest, passionate love
of one dead drunk for another.

There are many good reasons for drinking ...

... And one has just entered my head:
If a man doesn't drink when he's living,
How the hell can he drink when he's dead!

Candy is dandy ...

... but liquor is quicker.

-- American poet Ogden Nash

Wednesday

I drink to your charm ...

your beauty and your brains.
Which gives you a rough idea of how hard up I am for a drink.

-- American actor and comedian Groucho Marx

To my friend ...

Friends we are today,
And friends we'll always be.
For I am wise to you,
And you can see through me.

Playing with words

Here's champagne to our real friends,
And real pain to our sham friends.

God then made man ...

The Italians for their beauty.
The French for fine food.
The Swedes for intelligence.
The Jews for religion.
And on and on until He looked at what
He had created and said:
"This is all very fine but no one is having fun.
I guess I'll have to make me an Irishman."

May you ...

Work like you don't need the money,
Love like you've never been hurt,
Dance like no-one is watching,
Screw like it's being filmed,
And drink like a true Irishman.

Monday

Another candle in your cake? ...

...

Well, that's no cause to pout.
Be glad that you have strength enough
To blow the damn thing out.

Saturday

May your coffin have six handles of finest silver! ...

...
May your coffin be carried by six fair young maids!
And may your coffin be made of finest wood
from a 100-year-old tree
that I'll go plant tomorrow!

The horse and mule live 30 years ...

...
And never knows of wines and beers.
The goat and sheep at 20 die
Without a taste of scotch or rye.
The cow drinks water by the ton
And at 18 is mostly done.
The dog at 15 cashes in
Without the aid of rum or gin.
The modest, sober, bone-dry hen
Lays eggs for noggs and dies at 10.
But sinful, ginful, rum-soaked men
Survive three-score years and 10.
And some of us...though mighty few
Stay pickled 'til we're 92.

Some Guinness was spilt on the barroom floor ...

... When the pub was shut for the night.
When out of his hole crept a wee brown mouse
And stood in the pale moonlight.
He lapped up the frothy foam from the floor
Then back on his haunches he sat.
And all night long, you could hear the mouse roar,
"Bring on the goddamn cat!"

Tuesday

Beer is living proof ...

... that God loves us and wants us to be happy."
-- Benjamin Franklin

Wednesday

Four blessings upon you ...

...
Older whiskey
Younger women
Faster horses
More money

A wedding toast

Here's to you both
a beautiful pair,
on the birthday of
your love affair.

Here's to the husband
and here's to the wife.
May they be lovers
the rest of their life.

I love to drink martinis ...

...
Two at the very most.
Three I'm under the table.
Four I'm under the host!
-- Dorothy Parker

Without question ...

... the greatest invention in the history of mankind is beer.
Oh, I grant you that the wheel was also a fine invention,
but the wheel does not go nearly as well with pizza.
-- Dave Barry

When money's tight and hard to get ...

...
and your horse is also ran,
When all you have is a heap of debt
a pint of plain is your only man.

Eat thy bread with joy ...

...
and drink thy wine with a merry heart.
— Ecclesiastes 9:7

Fill with mingled cream and amber ...

...
I will drain that glass again.
Such hilarious visions clamber
Through the chamber of my brain.
Quaintest thoughts, queerest fancies
Come to life and fade away.
What care I how time advances;
I am drinking ale today.
-- Edgar Allen Poe

Here’s to a long life and a merry one ...

...
A quick death and an easy one.
A pretty girl and an honest one.
A drink for you, and another one!

When we drink, we get drunk ...

...
When we get drunk, we fall asleep.
When we fall asleep, we commit no sin.
When we commit no sin, we go to Heaven.
So, let’s all get drunk, and go to Heaven!

May the winds of fortune sail you ...

...
May you sail a gentle sea.
May it always be the other guy
who says, "This drink's on me."

Here's to cheating ...

... stealing, fighting, and drinking.
If you cheat, may you cheat death
If you steal, may you steal a woman's heart.
If you fight, may you fight for a brother
And if you drink, may you drink with me.

Of all my favorite things to do ...

...
the utmost is to have a brew.
My love grows for my foamy friend,
with each thirst-quenching elbow bend.
Beer's so frothy, smooth and cold.
It's paradise, pure liquid gold.
Yes, beer means many things to me.
That's all for now, I gotta pee!

In all this world, why I do think ...

...
there are five reasons why we drink:
Good friends,
good wine,
lest we be dry
and any other reason why.

On the chest of a barmaid in Sale ...

...
Were tattooed the prices of ale.
And on her behind,
For the sake of the blind,
Was the same information in Braille.

Here's to the breeze ...

... that blows through the trees,
That blow the skirts off of young girls' knees,
Which lead to the sights that sometimes pleases,
But more often leads to social diseases.

Here's to the perfect girl ...

...
I couldn't ask for more.
She's deaf 'n dumb and oversexed,
and owns a liquor store.