Monday, September 24, 2007

Monkeys in Madrid

 id=After two years of living overseas, I - or more accurately Señor Gato Gringo and I - finally received my - or more accurately our - first visitor. This is admittedly neither an impressive nor enviable track record; however, according to the mathematical inabilities of my very left-brain brain, it is possible that by the time I am in my 60's, I will have received the equivalent number of family and friends as a ringette team. But probably not.

It's also quite possible that if our guest weren't living in an Islamic country deep in the throes of Ramadan, the visit may never
have transpired at all, and my dreams of paying homage to a rubber ring-shooting all-girl sports team dashed to the ground.

Now when news came that our friend and fellow
gin & tonic poker-aficionado Mr. N. would be visiting, Señor G.G. and I - always the consummate hosts - began to formulate our plans. This included buying a weighty block of sheep's milk cheese, many bags of Mediterranean Diet-inspired fried-in-olive oil potato chips, and several floor-length gold lamé hostess dresses for us to wear. With matching shoes and handbags. Now keeping in mind Mr. N.'s two great loves in life, it was decided that we would spend our three and a half days together drinking, possibly doing a little shopping, and then drinking again. After that, if - and only if we really felt like it - we would drink some more. As it turned out, we really felt like it. If we were really fortunate, we'd be able to slip in a few hangovers.

As it turned out, we were fortunate.

Now I like to think that Madrid, if not Spain, offers something quite unique to the
Olympian recreational tippler: the Free Pour. And just by typing those words (Free Pour) the heavens just parted revealing four choirs of Angelic Hosts singing Hosannas to the highest. Free Pour! Free Pour! Now the Free Pour has tragically gone the way of all flesh in much of the Western world, and alcohol - at least in North America - is parsimoniously measured out in 1.5 ounce shots by means of a liquor dispenser or a jigger. It is why I for one seldom partake of mixed drinks in bars. I am just that cheap and that easily disappointed.

But not in
Madrid. In Madrid, the unofficial unit of measurement - and by unofficial I mean that it was just invented by the 3 of us this weekend - is the 'monkey'. Cunning in its simplicity, the barkeep need only hold the bottle over a glass and slowly count monkeys as s/he pours. One monkey, two monkey, three monkey, four monkey ... you get the picture. Even my very left-brain brain gets it.

By mid Friday evening - when the monkey revelation had been revealed to us by the angel Gabriel, we began to keep unassailable scientific 'monkey' records which to the untrained ear probably sounded like three soddened voices counting invisible simian primates and looked like three soddened individuals - elbows on the bar, head in hands - staring at the bartender in disbelief. The results? The average pour was seven monkeys. Count to seven while imagining a glass being filled with the tipple of your choice. That's a mighty stiff drink isn't it? Our
unassailable scientific 'monkey' records indicate that the highest monkey-strength drink poured was nine. Nine. That's a lot of monkeys. Just ask Jane Goodall.

Did I mention that the highest monkey-strength drink was nine? Nine? And the average was seven? Seven? Bet you all want to come now, eh? I can already hear the phone ringing. Ringing off the hook. And I didn't even talk about the tapas.

I only have one thing to say: where were you when Señor G.G. and I were in Morocco drinking overpriced crap beer?


Anonymous said...

HA! I love Madrid better already.


Mister N said...

Mr N wants to go on record that, despite the throws of Ramadan, the visit would have gone ahead.

La Gatita Gringa said...

Mr. N.: that's because you knew about the Free Pours!

Me and my camera said...

Just for the record:

Ringette is not played with a rubber disc, it's played with a rubber ring, much like the ring that - er, ahem - hemorroid sufferers sit on to relieve them of their - er, um - symptoms.

I wonder if there are special uniforms for Moslem ringette teams? Do you recall if there were ringette leagues in Morocco?

Me and my camera said...

BTW, do you still hate monkeys?

Why didn't you call this drink measuring system "clowns" instead?

La Gatita Gringa said...

Meant to say ring ... was probably still hungover.

Rebeca said...

Dear Gatita: I've found out about your blog just by chance. In fact, thanks to Technorati. Thank you so much for placing a link to my blog into yours! It's an honour to have visitors like you. I've bookmarked your blog so that I can read it daily from now on. I've got so much to read to catch up! I hope you can help me to get to love Madrid, too! See you around :-)

Di Mackey said...

It feels wrong writing here in the 'deep thought' section when I pretty much quietly smirked and smiled my way through this post. I may have even laughed out loud.

I needed a wee La Gatita pick me up, since Belgium would surely fall into the small pour category.

I adored tapas and heard the same angels in Salamanca.

Di Mackey said...

Damn, lost it in the second paragraph.