Excuses for Being Drunk: Greenpoint Style
Today I had the pleasure of accompanying my husband on a bourbon acquisition trip to Sunnyside, Queens. This trek was precipitated by the (READ: his) discovery that there was no 101 proof Wild Turkey whatsoever in our apartment. There hasn’t been any for several days; I know this because I am the one who polished it off (that shit works wonders for cramps). Feeling mean-spirited and menstrual, I placed the empty bottle back on the shelf and waited for him to notice. Three days later he did. Today.
After much whining on his part about “having to go to Manhattan or Astoria” to get his high octane (self) medication of choice* and how mean my act of trickery was, etc., I took action. I went online and searched for liquor stores located in Sunnyside, Queens. My logic was as follows:
- I remembered my husband talking about having the “perfect” cocktail at an Irish pub in Sunnyside recently.
- The mixed drink in question requires the use of Wild Turkey 101. To him it does, anyway.
If there is a bar in Sunnyside that keeps Wild Turkey 101 in stock…
- There must be a demand for it and…
- if there’s a demand for it, the local liquor stores probably carry it.
Voila! 8-9 years of college/post-graduate education put to good use!
I called the “Lowery Liquor & Wine Company”. The kindly woman at the other end of the phone assured me that they had 101 proof Wild Turkey in “one liter bottles”. We hauled ass to the Greenpoint Avenue stop of the B24 without delay. I even spied a choice piece of turdage en route. On Green Street— or Manhattan Avenue, take your pick.
I will gladly traipse along the “Boulevard of Death” if it means my husband gets his drinky and shuts the fuck up. Besides, riding the B24 means I can savor the splendor that is Pissville within the confines of an air-conditioned bus.** Long story made short, my husband got his booze and is now contentedly watching episodes of Robot Chicken (courtesy of our TIVO).
Now that he is out of my hair I have time to recount a morsel of Greenpoint goodness from the days long gone. Today’s selection dates from the August 17, 1889 edition of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle and is entitled “Excuses For Being Drunk”. Enjoy!
EXCUSES FOR BEING DRUNK.
Justice Goetting Is Furnished With Quite a Number.
Yesterday the bulk of the business before Justice Goetting consisted of assault and battery cases. Today, by way of a change of fare, the larger portion of the business consisted of intoxication cases. The pleas and excuses of the prisoners were various and amusing.
“I went to see my folks in Greenpoint. I live in Myrtle Avenue, and I was tired,” said Miss Jennie Hullback.
“But how came you to be found drunk in the cellar of a house on Manhattan Avenue?” said the Justice.
“I used to live there.”
“Ah, $10 or ten days.” And Jennie was hurried to the rear.
“Well, Maggie,” said the Justice, addressing Mrs. Meyer, a fresh arrival at the bar, “have you ever been arrested before for being drunk?”
“Only wanst, yer Honor (with an amiable simper) and Justice Naeher discharged me.”
“But you don’t expect to be discharged this time, do you?”
“Well, (with a supplicating look) I leave it all to yer Honor.”
“Well, I’ll let you off with a fine of $3, or three days in jail, whichever you prefer.”
“Well, I suppose I’ll have to take the days.”
Frank Cunningham, of Greenpoint, was the next called.
“Was he drunk yesterday?” asked the Justice of the officer who arrested him.
“Drunk? Why he is never sober,” said the officer, and the Justice left Frank the alternative of dollars or days.
“What,” said the justice, “You here again?” as he recognized Mrs. Mary May, who, with her husband, had been fined by him yesterday $3 each for being drunk. “Were you drunk again last evening?” he asked.
“Well, yes, your Honor, I was drunk, but I was not paralyzed drunk; I had only drunk beer.”
“Where is your husband?”
“Oh, he went home.”
“And you went home and got drunk. Ten dollars or ten days.”
Mrs. May was piloted to the rear.
Mrs. Annie Howe, of Oakland Avenue (now McGuinness Boulevard— Ed. Note), was next called.
“How” (said the justice, unconscious of the fact that he was perpetuating a pun), “did you come to get drunk?”
“Well,” said Mrs. Howe, “a lady friend of mine came to see me and we drank a little too much beer. I have never been drunk before.”
“It is a bad business getting drunk, but anyhow I’ll suspend this sentence: you can go,” and she did not stand on the order of going, but, bowing departed with all speed.
Mrs. Mary Boylan, of Manhattan Avenue, accounted for her appearance before the justice on the charge of being drunk by saying, “Your Honor, I was very weary and I went to the Greenpoint Avenue police station to rest awhile and the officers thought that I was drunk when I was only tired.
From now on I am using “The Mary Boylan” defense, it beats trying to blame the cats.
*This is one of the perverse ironies of living in Greenpoint. On any given day there are people passed out at the intersection of Greenpoint and Manhattan Avenue, liquor stores are open every Sunday (all of which offer a mind-boggling array of vodka)— and yet there is no 101 proof Wild Turkey to be found. Go figure.
**”Circles” (36-21 Review Avenue) has since been rechristened “Rush Hour”. The awning describes this establishment as being a “gentelman’s club“, so be sure you’re donning a dinner jacket when you stuff that hard-earned cash into those g-strings. This is a class establishment.