“Bartender, I’d like a hummer.”

What’s in a name?

A clever, memorable call name for a drink is what makes that drink popular. Where would Seagram’s Seven be without a 7 and 7 or, Peach Schnapps without the Fuzzy Navel?

Here’s one for the books.

drink9f-1-webFour middle-aged women are out for their every other week ladies night out. They are feeling a bit adventurous this particular evening and are chatting about what to have when the server walks up to their table.

Let’s listen in:

Server: Hi ladies. Can I offer you something to drink?

Lady #1: A glass of chardonnay would be nice.

Lady # 2: (To the group) You know what, girls? I’m going to have a chocolate martini. I’m in that kind of mood.

Lady #1: Great idea… please change my drink to that.

Lady #3: Do you have any of that Rum Chata?

Server: No, I’m afraid not.

Lady #3: Then I’ll just have sex-on-the-beach.

(They all laugh. The server smiles and says) Perfect choice for a cold winter night in Detroit. And you, ma’am?

Lady #4: I want a hummer.

All: A what?

Lady #4: What’s the matter? My friend Louise says her husband begs her for a hummer and I thought I would try one.

Lady #3: Isn’t a hummer a car? How do you go from that to a drink?

Server: (He has become very uncomfortable.) Uh, um, uh, ma’am do you know what a hummer is?

Lady #4: What do you mean? It’s a drink…right?

Server: I suppose… I’ll check with the bartender, but a hummer is also a car… and something that…uh, well something that men really enjoy.

Lady #4: Fiddle sticks. I’d like a hummer.

(The server leaves, goes to the bartender and says) You won’t believe this Sally… I need one sex on the beach, two chocolate martinis and, um, well, don’t get angry, a hummer. Lady at that table says she really needs a hummer.

Bartender: Take your mind out of the gutter! A hummer is a drink born in Detroit that includes rum, Kahlua, ice cream, some ice and all blended together.

Server: Oh.

For those of you who have missed the nuisances of the story, go here.

The Hummer
The Hummer

The Hummer 

1-1/2 ounces rum (usually Bacardi)

1-1/2 ounces Kahlúa

2 scoops vanilla ice cream

A couple ice cubes

Blend and serve in a 7-1/2-ounce rocks glass.


As for other meanings of the term “hummer” check with Cosmopolitan Magazine.

(Based on a true event.)  

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Selecting a Wine for Thanksgiving

A husband and wife are walking back and forth in the wine section just before Thanksgiving. They are obviously having a hard time deciding what to buy.

wine shop 2

Wine makingAt a different time and place somewhere in the world, the owners of a vineyard have worried about the harvest, pressing, Wine making 2fermentation, testing, blending, fining, filtration, bottling and dozens of other things the vintner and owners are concerned about. They taste, refine and taste again. On and on it goes until they are satisfied. A great wine is born.

At the same time, the marketing and sales people are concerning themselves with the name, packaging and brand identity. They fuss over the label; they agonize about the back label copy; they pray for good reviews.

We now return to the retail shop where this wine is on the shelf. Our consumer couple is staring blankly at the shelves. We eavesdrop on their conversation:

He: What difference does it make? Pick one.

She: I’m confused. Should we pick it by price? Or, based on these little cards with ratings?

He: I don’t know. Price doesn’t always mean anything. Do you know what the Johnsons like?

She: No idea. Let’s ask the sales guy.

He: Are you kidding? Does he look like he knows anything about wine? I might ask him about beer but… It’s like asking for directions. Forget it. Let’s decide ourselves.

She: How about this one? It’s a cute name.

He:  Dancing Elves? Looks more like Fornicating Elves to me.

She: If it were up to you, you’d probably pick Farting Bears.

He: Okay. Enough. Just pick one.

She: I got it. Look at this bottle. It’s all in earth tones. Marge’s dining room décor is orange, yellow and brown — this one will match her table setting!

He: Great. Let’s go. The game starts soon.

Somewhere in the world there is the sound of gunfire. Another vintner has blown his brains out.

vintner shooing himself

(This posting originally appeared on December 10, 2010. I thought it appropriate for the season. By the way, it is my 200th posting.)

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Brooklyn Moonshine War – A Staged Reading

BMW-309x400Dear Reader,

I’ve been “off the air” for the past few weeks working on a Staged Reading of my play. Many of you have written to ask me about the absence of postings lately and that’s one the reasons. The reading is today (July 23rd), and I’ll be back on the air soon.

The Play is Brooklyn Moonshine War, a full-length play that is being read as part Midtown International Theatre Festival.


Set in post Civil War America, a timeless story of love, betrayal, death and taxes. 

In 1869, desperate for revenue, the US government tried unsuccessfully to collect taxes from the illegal distillers in Brooklyn. Frustrated by repeated failed efforts, a cadre of tax collectors, US Marshalls and 1,500 soldiers invaded Brooklyn. The mission was to collect the taxes or destroy the stills and confiscate the liquor. (Based on an actual event.)

In a part of Brooklyn known as Irish Town, distillers Liam and Colleen O’Brien thought they finally had it made in America, albeit as moonshiners. Making a living and trying to attain the American Dream was hard enough without the additional burden of “unfair” taxes.

Suddenly, the world of the O’Brien’s falls apart as two soldiers barge in and detain them until the taxman can show up. While they wait, they try to manipulate the soldiers to avoid their fate. Colleen uses her charm and guile on one, while Liam tries for subterfuge and conniving with the other.

The result is a four-way tug of war with violence, love, betrayal and unexpected outcomes.

Screen Shot 2013-07-08 at 4.52.22 PM

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