We shall now offer you a brief Lesson in Etiquette relating to one’s conduct in the tavern. As is our habit, we shall ask you, friend, to imagine yourself in the position described below. We will then invite you to choose, from a variety of seemingly sound options, the preferred approach. A brief discussion will follow.
You have just enjoyed a splendid tavern concert by a strangely bewitching two man band. They sang several songs about the drink, which you enjoyed greatly. You are now watching them as they socialize with the tavern’s patrons, some of whom are evidently enthusiastic about the duo’s music.
It is clear from observation that the partying credentials of this duo can not be denied. They socialize with ease. Free drinks are tossed their way with great frequency. They guzzle some, politely turn down others, and even hand a few to unsuspecting young ladies (who assume that the drinks was paid for by the duo). Clever, boys!
Indeed, accepting and deflecting complimentary beverages in appropriate proportion appears to be a great skill of these two. This, dandying about with barroom goers, is something this duo does often you presume. It continues on for several hours. What stamina, these gentlemen!
Later in the evening, still impressed by their musical prowess and inimitable charm as conversationalists, and seeing that their hands hold no glasses, you approach them with an offer. Gentlemen, good evening. I am impressed by your musical prowess and inimitable charm as conversationalists, may I buy you each a drink?
The duo smiles as one!
Thank you, good sir, The Gentlemen reply. Your kindness and generosity are both noble and flattering. But, we must most respectfully decline. Our evening’s party is approaching its end. And we wish to avoid a rotating ceiling when we retire to our respective quarters. Perhaps we may reward your kindness with song someday in the future?
And now, friends, we present to you four possible responses offered by the drink-offerer. Each choice paraphrases an actual statement made by a sir or madam in the precise (or approximate, at least) position we have described above. (Those who doubt the veracity of the following are invited to join us Gentlemen on the road for a year. The scene will likely repeat itself many times over).
In response to The Gentlemen, you say…
1. Are you some manner of sissy? Or perhaps a lady’s private part? A man does not decline an offered libation. A curse upon you!
2. Very well then. But know this, good men! My offer stands in perpetuity! I shall arrange with the barkeep to keep two drinks of your choosing on hold for you. Redeem them at your leisure, whether it be tomorrow morning or years from tonight!
3. My word! It takes a learned and distinguished pair of minds to know the liver’s nightly limit. What spectacular self awareness! May I instead present you with a medal of Temperance & Rectitude in celebration of your temperance and rectitude?
4. Fine. Dicks. That’s the last time I offer drinks to a crappy two man band. Dicks.
We invite you to reflect upon the choices and select that which best suits your personal inclinations. We shall discuss the responses – and the approximate sources thereof – in our next posting.
‘Til then, I remain,
Andy Bean, Chief Drink Deflector
The Two Man Gentlemen Band