Monday, July 28, 2014

In Which I Discuss Drinks And Invite You To Join Me Whilst CAUWFing

Bless your heart, there you are! Thanks for coming back and giving me another read. It's a bit of a Mixed Bag today, so get yourself something pleasant to sip and/or snack on, settle into a comfy spot, and let's see what we have here, shall we? Off we go!

~*~Language Police. Is there a single person among you who has ever spoken--in conversation, ever--the word "wriggle"? I've discovered that I have a deep-seated antipathy for this word. I find it not only ugly to look at, but equally ugly to say. And again, who says it? I have read it plenty of times, mostly in old British novels, and I was unpleasantly surprised to come across it today in a comic strip. When I was much younger, I used to think that it was just the British spelling of the word "wiggle" since that word fit just fine contextually. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that no, wriggle was a word all its own. I'll continue my One-Woman Campaign to Avoid Using Wriggle Forever (CAUWF, pronounced "cough"), and you're welcome to join me. Or not.

~*~Name Brand. So, even though I've been travelling quite a bit, I still remain oblivious to so many things. I was completely confused by (and therefore immune to the allure of) Coca Cola's latest marketing ploy called "Share A Coke." Jared and I were at a Walgreen's when I saw a cooler full of Cokes, all labelled with first names like Jeremy, Amy, Nick, and Jenn. He took great pains to explain it to me, and to his credit, agreed with me that the whole thing was, in a word, stupid. The chances of most Coke drinkers finding their name is remote. Instead, the person is left feeling like a doofus drinking someone else's coke. Or, vaguely odd drinking a Coke with a name, like "Hi, er...Holly Coke. I'm Benito Fernandez. I'm thirsty, so...thanks in advance." And what happens when you reach into the cooler in the 7Eleven at the same time as another person, go to grab a Coke, and the other guy says, "Hey! That's my coke. My name's Steve! See, it's right there on the bottle!"?  Or, finally, last one--you're drinking a Coke with some name on the bottle, and someone assumes it's your name. "Hi, Kelly!" people keep saying to you. But your name isn't Kelly. It's Sarah. Or Anisha. Or Rainbow. Or Vladimir. Just saying. I'm really glad I don't drink Coke.

~*~Bloody Mary Lunch. I've written before about my Bloody Mary lunches and the astonishing iterations that simple drink can take. Today, after a quick meeting to go over some documents I worked on for a free-lance job, I met a friend for an impromptu lunch at a nearby restaurant. Yes, it was only 11:30, and yes, I ordered my Bloody Mary immediately upon being seated and with great alacrity, but there was absolutely no excuse for the garnish that was lolling all over the top of my glass. Once I heaved it off and onto a plate, I had to take a picture. Here it is, in all its glory. Remember, this was on top of a drink:

No, that is not lunch.  That is, in order from left to right on the skewer, my drink garnish: a strip of bacon, a slice of provolone cheese, a third of a stalk of celery, a lemon wedge, a lime wedge, a bleu cheese stuffed olive. Lying on an appetizer plate.  And I am not kidding.

That Bloody Mary cost me ten bucks.  An appetizer of hummus, tzatziki, and tapenade with warm pita and some cucumber slices cost only nine bucks. And Sue and I split that. I'm not even sure what my point is, other than the fact that A) that is just a completely ridiculous garnish, and B) ten dollars is obscene for a Bloody Mary, and maybe C) I could have paid way less for the drink if they would have cut out all that crap in the garnish.  But D) I enjoyed the Bloody Mary and my visit with Sue.

How is it that August is imminent?  Summer is speeding away.  Let me catch up with you in Comments.  


  1. Nance, I have to confess that we actually use the word "wriggle" in our house, most commonly, in a half jesting, "gotcha" type accusation: "Ah ha, try to wriggle your way out of that one!" It's also a word that sounds like exactly what it means to me. I have to confess that I've also tried to wriggle my way into some jeans before. Sadly, it was long before they started added Spandex to denim for jeans so the outcome was not good. Anyway, I hope we can still be friends. ;-)

    Bloody Mary--I'd probably be happy to have my meal with my drink, but only if I'd been informed in advance. You're right $10 is an obscene price for a drink. I've paid that before without any bacon, cheese, etc. to show for it though. I think I paid even more for the margarita I drank when in the bar in D.C., which rotates so that you can see the Washington Monument, Capitol, etc. while dining and drinking. Anyway, glad you had a great lunch and got some good blogging material!

    Coke has a history of doing stupid things. I'm no longer a soda drinker, but Coke was never my favorite, although I did like the polar bear commercials/ads.


  2. I have no opinion, one way or the other, about "wiggle." So in deference to you I'll try to use it as little as possible.

    I've seen the Coke campaign, and it baffles me. I'll drink more Coke because it's in a vanity can? Me thinks not.

    I haven't had a Bloody Mary in years. When I did order them years ago they were not garnished quite the way yours are now. I need to investigate this phenomenon.

  3. Good morning!

    I've never really thought about the word wriggle... but I will now :) Like the Shirley, I've used the word in similar fashion.

    As far as the Coke bottles, my sons have found, and enjoyed, their "personalized" pop. Granted, when they were born we chose names that we loved AND would be easily found on those many, many items produced with names on them. Their names? David and Mark. My husband's name is Andrew, so there was success for him as well. As my name is Roxanna I have never found a single item with my name. The closest I have ever come, and it is extremely rare, is Roxanne. Apparently Coke is also have events where you can make your own bottle. My boys look forward to taking me to one so that I can be part of the fun (?).

    Now... the Bloody Mary..the more common drink here north of the 49th is the Caesar, and they can come with the same ridiculous garnish. A stalk of celery and a salted rim is all I want. Perhaps they could offer it as a drink and as an appetizer?

    Is it too early for a drink? ;)


  4. Roxanna--I think your name is far too lovely to be mass-produced on a pedestrian soda bottle.

    And it is never, ever, too early for a drink when there are such things as Bloody Marys, Mimosas, Bellinis, and Caesars. Heavens, Rick and I have hit the porch or patio with a bottle of wine on Sundays at 11 AM and felt not the least bit guilty. I feel like Chardonnay, when it's particularly oaky and mellow, is a bit like having toast, you know?

    At family gatherings, we always put out the requisite plastic cups for soft drinks and include a couple of Sharpie markers. Everyone knows to write his or her name on the cup he will be using so that it doesn't get used by someone else. We adults--at least at my house--have wineglass charms for that purpose.

    Coca Cola is way behind us and, if you think about it, kinda primitive. We allow for personalization by the person!

    Ally Bean--I'm fine with the word "wiggle" (no "R"). As a matter of fact, I think it does the entire job just fine. Why do we need That Other Word at all?

    Or, at least spell it RIGGLE. Then it looks okay and even funny. I can tolerate it then. It's clear that I'm in the minority on this, however, judging by the comments so far. Perhaps it is a Regional Thing.

    Shirley gfe--Is this Wriggle Usage & Tolerance a Southern Thing? And, truly, you pronounce it RIGGLE? Sigh.


    Just checking.

    It's true. I've paid big bucks for cocktails, too, without such an entree of garnish. And in DC, I can see that; big metro areas like that can charge plenty. When I was in Chicago, I once paid $15 for a cosmopolitan at a Sky Bar. Sad. And again, no bigass garnish.

    I don't drink any sodas, either, regardless of whose bottle it is. There are days that I crave an icy root beer or diet Dr. Pepper, but Topamax makes it impossible. That effect and the artificial sweeteners' effect on my guts and migraine process have ended my soda days forever.

    Isn't it hilarious now that one soda company is touting their use of "real sugar"? Good heavens, what we have come to.

    RE: "Wriggle" being a Southern Thing. Just got an email comment from Mary G. up in Canada. She remarked upon her mother's use of the word, so I can't ascribe it to The American South.


    Feeling quite Outnumbered.

  6. I'm sorry, Nance, but neither wiggle nor squirm would suffice for the way I use wriggle. Wriggle almost always happens with some purpose/intent. As in that little bastard "wriggled" his way into our party. Wiggle just doesn't work. Squirm is a decent sub in this case, but doesn't always work, of course. And isn't wriggle's correct pronunciation to rhyme with wiggle?

  7. Yes, wriggle is less innocent than wiggle or squirm. It's what I used to do to my parents when I was a small child - wriggle my way in between them in bed. I guess in that instance I could use worm - but eww!

    I have no comment about the Bloody Mary, being as how I drink pop instead of alcohol :) And if I could find a can of Coke with Dana on it I would definitely drink it! Why, imagine how clean my innards would be afterward?

  8. The Bug--Oh, dear. Imagine if we reserved our comments for Only Those Things Which Affect Us Personally/We Personally Experience. What would we ever talk about?

    Certainly you can comment upon whether or not you think a half-pound of Stuff is reasonable or not as a garnish upon a drink. Or whether ten dollars is a reasonable amount to pay. I once coached a girl in diving, and I never dove in my life and don't even know how to swim! (She improved immensely, I might add.)

    If you don't feel like it, why that's another matter entirely. "Who gives a rap about lunch on a stick hanging over a boozy drink?", you might think. "I'd love it if my ginger ale came with a cupcake, some gummy bears, an orange slice, and a breath mint. Why is she bitching? I would pay six bucks for that."

    Now, as far as That Word. What could be more innocent than "wiggle"? I'm wondering how "wiggle" is a negatively connotative word. What about that children's show "The Wiggles"? Is it creepy now? Yikes. I am worried. But I am totally with you on the use of "worm" as a verb. "He wormed his way into our hearts" is definitely insidious and negative.

    Shirley gfe--Yes, "wriggle" and "wriggle" rhyme. I think your usage of wriggle with the bluejeans was perfect, and so was DanaBugs's with burrowing in between her parents in their bed. Now,with the example of the interloper at your party, I would use Dana's choice, "worm." Really gets the job done well, don't you think?

    Very strong case made for "wriggle" here in comments by the two of you. But I still dislike it viscerally.

    (Your usage of it doesn't diminish my love or admiration of any of you. As if!)

  9. Shirley--Sigh Above, I obv. meant Yes, "wriggle" and WIGGLE
    Now I'm sick of both words! LOL

    Hmmm. I’m not gonna say that I never use the word “wriggle”... but I do use “wiggle” a fair amount, and when I think about it, probably when it should really be “wriggle.” According to a dictionary I just consulted, they are actually synonyms. This inspired me to “google” WIGGLE vs. WRIGGLE. And I came up with this from someone’s blog:

    Today I learned the difference between "wiggle" and "wriggle." Interestingly, wiggle can mean wriggle but wriggle never means wiggle. Here are their verb forms from Webster's 10th:
    1: to move to and fro with quick jerky or shaking motions: JIGGLE
    2: to proceed with or as if with twisting and turning movements: WRIGGLE

    1: to move the body or a bodily part to and fro with short writhing motions like a worm: SQUIRM
    2: to move or advance by twisting and turning

    I’m wreally not bothered about the “wr” at the beginning, but agree that “riggle” would be easier and probably the wright way to write it.

    I’ve seen those commercials, but not really stopped to look for the bottles with the names. I don’t drink Coke, but Mr. O. does. I just buy the big-ass bottles. For fun, I went to the Coke web page where you can key in your name to see if “your bottle” is in the stores. I plugged in Mr. O’s first name, Luis, and, YUP, he can get his own personalized coke bottle. They are up to snuff with hispanic names. Then I plugged in my unusual name, Catherine, and guess what? Not there. With a little message saying “Looks like your name isn’t in stores. On the upside, you must have a really unique name.” Yeah. (I must admit, they DO have “Cathy” which I find odd, because although in my generation it was common to abbreviate Catherine to the shorter form, the longer form is more common in later generations. Whatever.

    Holy crap. What is the diameter of that cocktail glass? And I know it’s not lunch, but given the abundance of food included and the price of the drink, I think I would order some bread and call the whole thing lunch, lol. Or have 2 of them, because that would be about all I could eat.

  11. I always associate the word "wriggle" with worms, and since I am quite squeamish about worms, centipedes, millipedes and even furry caterpillars, I am more than happy to eschew wriggle. (Come to think of it, I guess I'm squeamish about the word "squeamish".)

    That is the most ridiculous drink garnish ever devised. Bacon and provolone are two of my favorite foods, but not necessarily together, and certainly not in that context. That being said, I have never ordered a Bloody Mary, since I have hated tomato juice since childhood. (Although the vodka probably does a lot to improve it.)

    Haven't yet encountered the Coke promo, but doubt that I would find a can with my actual name on it, being old fashioned and biblical. No, I wasn't christened fauxprof.

  12. fauxprof--Lovely to see you here again.

    Now that I look at the words SQUIRM AND SQUEAMISH, I feel a bit icky about them as well. Ditto the word QUEASY. What is it about the QU combo in there that is so off-putting inside of a word, yet not so awful at its start, i.e. QUEEN, QUICKSILVER, QUINCE, QUARTO,etc? Sigh.

    As a tot I disliked tomato juice and its cousin V8 as well. Once I got older, I suddenly loved them, especially at brunch. Now, with my usual antipathy for eating during the day, a Bloody Mary seems like a nice compromise, sort of a pureed lunch. A vegetable shake or smoothie. But I adore tomatoes, period. This cool summer is proving to be the deathknell to my tomato crop. Not even a blush among them.

    I suppose the Coca Cola people are capitalizing on the egocentrism of the generation. Everything is Self. Did you see the news report about how the Tour de France riders were smacking spectators out of their way because some were actually leaning way, way out into the field in order to capture racers in their "selfies"? Ugh. Just UGH.

    Ortizzle--Thank you for that clarification that I was obviously too lazy to look up myself. Seriously. I see that I am not the only blogperson who was motivated to write about those words! Since I strive for precision and correctness in my language at all times, I will strive to use "wiggle" only in its proper context, and as I avoid That Other Word, I will use its synonyms as necessary.

    My cocktail was served in a typical pub pint glass. And, I left out the very best part of my experience: I GOT CARDED.

    Now, true, my head was down a bit as I was ordering, and I was in a goofy booth--the sides were taller than I was, so there were likely odd shadows. But it was a waitress, not some flirty waiter who was looking to get a big tip.
    MAYBE MY NEW, SHORT, CHOPPY HAIRCUT IS REALLY WORKING FOR ME! Anyway, I ordered, and she said, "Can I see some ID?" I looked up, shocked, and said, "Oh, my dear, there is no one, NO ONE in the world who loves you like I do right now. Of course you can." She just smiled, and I showed her my DL. "Oh! OK," she said, and scurried away.

    I no longer feel bad about ... well, anything. For those of you scoring at home, this chick right here is 55. Okay.

  13. oh, god, Nance... getting carded was more than worth the price of the bloody mary!!! (maybe i need a new haircut... lol) (not that i would ever get carded, but i do find that pretty much any drastic change in hairstyle usually produces comments that it takes a few years off one's face...)

  14. Ortizzle--It lightened my step, let me tell you. I like this new haircut quite a bit. And I've decided to stop fighting with my hair and let it do what it wants, pretty much, each day. This cut makes that easy.

  15. Mmmmm. I love a good bloody mary. The meal that came with it, not so much.

    Last night I went out to dinner and had not one, but 2 glasses of $12 chardonnay. I know! Just a glass of wine, $12. I do like to live on the edge, don't I?

  16. J@jj--Ouch! At $24, you could have gotten a nice bottle to enjoy at home, but then the moment would have been lost. Sometimes one has to pay for the ambiance, and it is worth the price.

  17. Oh that sneaky Jared - he might have deleted his comment, but I checked to receive email notifications so I got it anyway. I wanted to say, Nance, that you clearly raised that boy right :)

  18. I also saw Jared's comment. It made me chuckle, and I admire his devotion to his girlfriend. :-)

  19. gfe Shirley & Bug--Jared deleted his comment because it showed his/our last name. He was concerned about honoring my privacy, which I have succeeded in maintaining here at the Dept.

    That--my privacy--was paramount when I was a public school teacher and was not keen on my students finding my blog and hanging out here. I also didn't want to bring any unsought publicity to my school during the time when my other blog, The Brian Williams Tie Report Archives, was hitting nationally.

    All of that is moot now, so I've given Jay the go-ahead. He's also expressed an interest in reviving Stuff On Our List, our co-authored blog from years past. We'll see about that. But expect a joint post from us later this month.

    And thanks for the kind words regarding his chivalry. I had some help from Rick, a wonderful role model if ever there was one.

    One time, I had a gin martini, up and dirty, at an expensive restaurant that my girlfriend and I went to. It was like 11 bucks. Whatever. I don't understand that at all. Especially seeing as I tithed my stuffed olives to Her. But that bloody? Worth every cent of that $10 you spent, Mom. Come on.

    The Coke thing is preposterous. My name is Jared, and I have a problem; I am addicted to Diet Coke. It's real real bad. However, I walked over to the gas station across the street from my office the other day, and, out of pure spite and rancor, purchased a Diet Pepsi. I'LL SHOW YOU, COKE. I was indignant. I also don't like the idea of them basically telling me to "share". Eff off, Coke. I'm almost 30. I have a high leadership role at my office. I HAVE MY OWN OFFICE. Not to be braggadocious. My point here is this. I'm a grown ass man. I don't share anything unless I don't want to. Unless, you know, my girlfriend wants every last one of my olives.

  21. Jared--My point is that I don't need all that falderal on my Bloody Mary in order for them to justify charging me $10 for some V8 and vodka. And ice. Get rid of all of THAT and charge me $4. I did not expect lunch. And you and I both know that even if you did not "give" the olives to Kait, she would have reached over and snarfed them up anyway. My girl!

    You and I are One when it comes to Coke's latest campaign. I am largely horrified by anyone drinking out of my bottle of anything, even Grammy. One word: backwash. I think we're done here.


  22. I rarely drink Bloody Marys (wanting to form the plural as 'Maries' but realize that's wrong, too...argh) anymore, mostly because I tend to fall asleep if I drink them early in the day (mimosas, oddly, do not have this effect.) We were in Asheville during our Home Leave this summer, and my sister-in-law ordered one. They brought her a glass with ice, a long spoon, and a jigger of vodka in it and directed her to their 'Bloody Mary Bar' where she could add her own fixings to it. I will just say that she did not return with any noticeable garnish that I was aware of. I can only imagine that the restaurant saves a fair amount of money on garnishes by encouraging this do-it-yourself approach. Or maybe the over-the-top garnishes are there to distract us from the fact that they're shorting us on vodka?
    Coke: I had heard about this, but never seen it (it's not a thing in Korea, I don't think - but then, I rarely drink Coke products anyway) until this summer, when my sister deliberately (she denies this, but if you have any sisters, you'll know what I'm saying) dropped a Diet Coke named 'Alex' on my foot. Did not endear me to the trend, I will say. I have no idea how much it costs the Coke people to print all these labels, but it seems like a waste of money to me. I prefer Diet Pepsi anyway.

    Wriggle: I use it, mostly in the context of trying to get out of something unobserved, as in 'wriggling one's way out of a tight spot.' 'Wiggle' doesn't convey much except thrashing around(worms,sexy backsides) and 'squirm' implies a lot of guilt, and 0 occasionally - a dash of sexual innuendo. 'Wriggle' implies that you're trying to do it covertly, but doesn't carry the same sweaty, anxious (or sexy) implications as 'squirm.' Well, to me it doesn't. But, as I've said before, I haven't exactly had a conventional American upbringing, so perhaps all those implications I'm reading into the words are entirely wrong.

  23. MsCaroline--Oh, I have two sisters, and I fully understand what you mean. Especially if it was the younger sister.

    I have not personally experienced the Bloody Mary Bar, but Jared tells me that I will when he takes me out to brunch in Lakewood to a restaurant he loves. They have one there, and they have all kinds of stuff on it. He also recommends the Absolut Pepar (sp?) vodka, which is spicy hot. Kait, who tends bar part-time glugs a bit of pickle juice in her Bloody Marys, and I approve heartily.

    I am increasingly stunned by all of my Intelligent Readers who use the word wriggle on a very matter-of-course basis in their everyday speech. NO ONE to whom I speak regularly do this. NO ONE.

    I have to say that I am grateful although I love all of you dearly.


Oh, thank you for joining the fray!

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