I don’t like the guy sitting at Table 24. Something about him gives me the creeps. I can’t put my finger on it but give me time.
“Can I get you something from the bar?” I ask.
The man looks at the woman sitting across from him. “A glass of wine, perhaps?” he asks.
Pursing her lips, the man’s date looks over the wine menu. After a moment she says, “I think I’m in the mood for a cocktail.”
“What kind?” the man asks.
“Very good Miss,” I say. “And for you sir?”
The man gives me a dirty look. “I’ll be doing the ordering waiter,” he snaps.
I look at the man. Two slate grey holes are where his eyes should be. That’s whats giving me the creeps. I feel my thousand yard stare revving up but I shut it down. Its Christmas.
“I’m sorry sir,” I lie. “What would you like to order?”
“The lady will have a Cosmopolitan,” the man says.
“Yes sir,” I repeat, needlessly.
“What kind of vodka do you serve?” the man asks.
“Most of them,” I reply.
The man looks at me blankly, his face a humorless mask.
“List them for me.”
I rattle off all the vodkas we serve.
“You don’t have Stolichnaya? ” the man says, slightly outraged.
“I’m sorry sir,” I reply. “We do not.”
“Make the lady’s Cosmopolitan with Ketel One,” the man orders.
“Yes sir,” I reply. Yes massah! is probably still politically incorrect.
“I’ll have a Belvedere martini up,” the man says. “With a touch of vermouth and a lemon peel.”
“Shaken, not stirred.”
“I’ve been a waiter for almost eight years. In all that time I’ve never heard someone use that line but I’m prepared.
“Would you like a Vesper?” I ask.
“Excuse me?” the man says.
“It’s made with gin, vodka, and a splash of Lillet.”
“Never heard of it,” the man says.
“Ian Fleming had the recipe in one of his books.”
“Who?” the man says.
“The man who created James Bond, of course,” I deadpan.
A faint blush colors the man’s cheeks. I have to bite my tongue to keep from snickering. Got you Commander Bond.
“Just get me my martini,” the man says.
“Very good sir, I say,” departing from the table.
I go to the back and make the couple’s drinks, very smug and satisfied with myself.
I’ve got nothing against people with a 007 jones. Truth be told, I’ve been a fan of Ian Fleming’s super spy since I was a boy. One of the first movies I remember seeing with my father was The Spy Who Loved Me. Being a voracious reader, I gobbled up all of Flemings novels before I was twelve. I knew how to make a Vesper before I was old enough to drink. And yes, I’ve dreamt of playing baccarat in Monte Carlo, bankrupting an egomaniacal super villain who conveniently tells me his plans for world domination while a sultry redhead in an evening gown refills my martini glass. My other car’s an Aston Martin.
So it pains me to say this – James Bond’s an asshole.
Have you ever noticed how 007 treats waiters? I’d have to review the DVDs but I don’t think he ever says please or thank you. If he does hes probably trying to screw the waitress. Bonds always barking orders, snobbishly declaring Dom Perignon needs to be served at 38 degrees Fahrenheit, ordering around bartenders, dissing wine of questionable vintages and, oh yeah, killing people.
If you’ve read all of Fleming’s books, as I have, the notion that Bond is a jerk doesn’t seem far fetched. Flemings Bond is a slightly sociopathic killer, a sex addict, smokes seventy cigarettes a day and’s a full blown alcoholic. So what if he saved the world from the nuclear blackmail, SPECTRE and the Communist Chinese? In the end he’s gonna die from a bullet, lung cancer, liver failure, or his pecker falling off. Its one thing to enjoy the films and entertain a few fantasies but you’d never want James Bond’s life as your own. So don’t be a poseur and ask for a martini shaken, not stirred. It’s better stirred anyway. Most bartenders would agree with me.
Honesty compels me to admit that, despite all my ranting and judgmental raving, I went to see Casino Royale a few weeks ago. I enjoyed it. Something tells me the guy sitting at Table 24 did too.
I bring the couple’s drinks and take their order. The mans just as fussy with his food as he is with his drink. The couple finishes dinner, skip dessert, and leave.
After the man and woman walk out the door I pick up the check holder and look inside. The tips lousy. But that’s not the worst part. The man stole my pen.
Instead of chasing the man down, I go to the POS computer, click a few buttons, and a map of the surrounding area appears on the screen. The homing device secreted in the stolen pen is projected on the display as a red dot. The signal indicates the mans traveling west. I chuckle. Mr. Bond probably lives in New Jersey.
I press a button. The red dot disappears. In the distance I hear a muffled explosion. I permit myself a small megalomaniacal laugh, close the program, and get back to work.
Note to self – ask Q Branch for more exploding pens.
I’m fresh out.
Fleming’s Bond is quite an asshole really. It’s hard to name a bad trait he doesn’t have, you’ve already hit alcoholism, the sense of entitlement, and snobbery, but lets not forget the whole host of bigoted beliefs. He’s quite the homophobe, has some rather interesting beliefs about blacks, even some rather unsavory views of americans. Yet somehow, I still can’t help but read every one of Fleming’s books.
I didn’t care for the earlier Bond movies — too over-the-top, for one thing — but we were supposed to like the guy. Daniel Craig’s Bond is different because he knows you don’t like him, and he doesn’t care. He really doesn’t. Instead of being a horny jerk, he’s just flat-out brutal. When he kills someone, it isn’t cool. It’s just cold-blooded. It’s much more (relatively speaking) realistic.
Sorry, should read: “because we were supposed to like the guy.”
“Daniel Craig’s Bond is different because he knows you don’t like him, and he doesn’t care.”
That’s why he’ll be replaced before he has a chance to get too comfortable in the role for many years. Audiences want to like Bond. I thought his version was worse than the Dalton verson which I never really thought was that bad. I’m sure some will disagree but Craig isn’t the good-looking Bond people have been watching for 40 years. Even straight men can look at Connery or Brosnan and think, “Damn, now there’s a guy I want to be like” – at least their success with women.
Vesper (the drink) was in Casino Royale. I didn’t realize it was also in the books.
“Even straight men can look at Connery or Brosnan and think, “Damn, now there’s a guy I want to be like” – at least their success with women.”
Wrong. Not all men constantly think about sex, and I don’t care for casual sex at all. Success with women is not as high up on the list as entertaining conversations with women.
Max, the other 99% of the male sex disgarees with you.
Sigh… It’s the Red Wings dilemma. I was a fan in that long drought before they won the Stanley Cup. But I looked like every other fair weather fan right after.
So every time a new Bond film comes out, I feel like I should stop ordering Martinis.
But they are better stirred. And with Hendricks. And just the tiniest bit of dry Vermouth.
“Craig isn’t the good-looking Bond people have been watching for 40 years.” -dave
With this, I must disagree, as you said some would. But many women I know find him absolutely delicious and like him more because he is more human. Rather than being a fun-loving, skirt-chasing killer, he has been hardened by it. I have not read the books, but upon seeing these comments, I think I should!
lmfao, I loved it!
omg!!!!! people stealing your pens is worse than making hot tea!! AHHH!HH!
Daniel Craig isn’t handsome? Do you have EYES? Much rather have him than Brosnan (or Connery, but that’s because Connery looks better with grey hair). He looks too much like Dennis Quaid, who I will always and forever associate with bad Disney movies from the mid-90’s.
Everyone loves it whenever people come together and share views.
Great blog, stick with it!