Tales from an Empty Bar

For the love of beer
The perfect place and beverage to share some casual conversation.

If we were having a beer, we would both be enjoying the music for a change while we waited for the bartender. Tom Petty – “The Waiting” is playing. I ask you if you remember the Simpson’s episode when Homer wanted to buy a gun.

Where is she?


The bartender, where is she?”

She’s outside. She has to cover the patio, the lounge and the bar on Saturday afternoons.

But I’m thirsty now.”

So you do remember the episode.”


The Simpson’s episode, you do remember it.”

No, I don’t watch the Simpson’s

That’s weird, ‘cuz In the episode, the gun store owner told Homer that he had to wait five days to buy a gun. Homer replied ‘But I’m mad now’ and then they did this little sequence with Tom Petty playing in the background.”

Didn’t see it. Anyway, what made you think of that?

The song. That was Tom Petty. Remember?

I guess I wasn’t paying attention. Like I said, I’m thirsty.”

Sorry boys, I was outside. Pinot Noir and a Yuengling coming right up.”

You put a twenty on the bar to start our tab and then you ask the bartender why she has to cover all three areas. She explains that Saturday afternoons are slow in the summer and the owner doesn’t want to pay for a waitress.

Maybe he should spice it up a bit to attract some more customers. You could add some TV trivia. Apparently some people like that kind of stuff.” Pointing at me.

It will pick up once college football starts.” She pushes your twenty back to you. “This round’s on me. Sorry for making you wait.”

You pocket the twenty.

“Since I offered to pay, the next round is on you.”

Fine. You know it’s funny, a blogger that I follow just wrote about pub quizzes in England. It seems they have a thing for them”.

Is that where you got interested in them?

What, no. I wasn’t trying to start a quiz, I just thought you might have seen that Simpson’s episode. I’ll tell you though, my English friend David bagged me twice on triva quizzes.”

Twice? What were they?

Name the Seven Dwarfs.”

That’s easy.”

So, name them. If you can name them all, I’ll get the next round.”

“You’re already getting the next round.”


Waiting might be the hardest part, but your quiz is easy. Everybody always forgets Doc. I remember him, and Grumpy, Sleepy, Bashful, Happy, Sneezy and the guy who’s buying the next round, Dopey.”

Nicely done. People do usually forget Doc.”

So, what was the other quiz?


You said your friend bagged you on two quizzes. What was the second one, the colors in the rainbow?

What’s that supposed to mean?

Nothing, Dopey.

Sigh, the second quiz was to name the actors in The Magnificent Seven.

Oh, I can do that. Double or nothing?

Um, I’m already buying the next round, but sure. Double or nothing.”

This is easy, I love that movie. Chris, Lee, Chico, everybody forgets Chico. Chico was the young Mexican kid that tags along behind Chris. Then there’s Britt…

No! Not the characters, the actors who played the characters.”

Pffft, that’s even easier. Yul Brynner, Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson, Robert Vaughn, James Coburn, Brad Dexter, everybody forgets Brad Dexter, and Eli Wallach.”

You lose.”

What? No, that’s them. I know you thought I’d forget Brad Dexter, but he was in it, look it up if you want.”

Eli Wallach played Calvera, the leader of the Mexican outlaws. You forgot the same guy that I forgot, Horst Buchholz.”

Horst Buchholz? You’re making that up.”

Nope, he was in the movie. Do you know who he played? …Chico.”


So, not a Simpson’s fan, huh?

OK, you got me. The drinks are on me. But tell me, how does a guy from England know so much about the The Magnificent Seven? I mean, it’s a movie about seven American gunfighters fighting a bunch of Mexican bandits? And another thing, who names their kid Horst?

Note: If you like the Simpson’s, you may enjoy these two videos: Homer brings a gun to dinner. And, Waiting.


    • Thanks Don. Everybody forgets Brad :) – David (comment below) got me with both of these sitting at The Molly Wee Pub in NYC. It was before smart phones, so no cheating. I had seen that movie so many times, I was sure I could get that right.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. When I was a money broker in the City of London, one of my colleagues used to talk to a guy from Bankers Trust (remember Bankers Trust and all the other names that have gone?). The Bankers Trust dealer was a real movie fan and, once when he was at lunch in our office – sometime around 1975 – he asked this same question – name the Magnificent 7 actors. We knew them all except Brad Dexter. For some reason that stuck in my mind. Nowadays, I have trouble remembering James Coburn – but then I am having trouble remembering lots of things – thank goodness for Google and Wikipedia! As for the Seven Dwarves, I seem to remember Dan ringing his wife! (I may be mis-remembering that, of course – unless Wikipedia has a page about that lunch in the Mollie Wee!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, before smart phones, I would call my wife and ask her to look stuff up :) I couldn’t remember if it was Brad Dexter or Horst that I messed up, but I know it was one of them, and I know it was Doc. If you recall, we also talked about tipping the barman. You were against that practice, but he did give us a round on the house, so American custom prevailed.


      • Oh Shoot *wink* I watched all 3 Homer links. Stop that! You’re gonna get me hooked. They are hilarious.

        My brother-in-law is a ‘Rain Man’ of trivia in almost any topic except pop culture (and he doesn’t have a clue how to make a PBJ or change a light bulb). We affectionately tolerate him at family gatherings and have all figured out ways to tune him out.

        Look forward to more david 😊


  2. This is great Dan! I have to get the hubs to read it. He loved that movie. Those guys. He is a trivia freak. Well…he’s just a freak. Lol for inForMaTion. Have you ever watched The Prisoner? Speaking of British trivia…..

    Liked by 1 person

  3. For a second I was afraid you would ask what color was Dopey’s white horse. I think I have forsaken most other trivia for daylily trivia. though there are occasional rounds of Jeopardy that I can make a fair showing. Now the Simpsons are something I kept my kids to not watch. I think one of them is still watching it to no discernible detriment. Any discussion that takes place at a bar cannot be all bad. I promise not resort to too much daylily trivia unless you start asking who won the first and last superbowl. however what kind of salad and dressing were on the first and last superbowl are completely fair questions. Especially if we are using the Calvin Rule Book or Trivia answers. And yes it is edited by Mr. Hobbs.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I could be pretty good at Calvin trivia as long as it’s not Calvinism as in the religion. As for daylily trivia, all I know is what I’ve learned at your blog and I’m afraid I’d likely get that mixed up. Thanks for the visit and comment.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. I SO would’ve not been able to play . . . No Simpsons, No Magnificient Seven. I have other qualities. Trivia always stumps me even if I know the subject because I can’t bring to mind words like that. I am contextual and visual. But I can play that damn drawing game; what-its-name?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Charming lil story. I don’t watch The Simpsons. I did in high school, but I think because it was necessary to my social survival, lol! Tom Petty and I are still on from time to time, though. I like trivia :D

    Liked by 1 person

  6. There is no better tool to study the human mind than a bar quiz. It is not just left and right brain, it is front and back. The people who ace you on sports usually fall flat on Art and History and the people who can run the board on literature, rarely get a hit on sports. Though there are those eclectic minds who do well in all categories. Stay away from them.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. My partner and I were once on a crowded elevator and for reasons I can’t even begin to remember everybody broke the ignore-strangers-on-the-elevator rule and started trying to name all of Santa’s reindeer. From there, we went to the seven dwarves. Then, sadly, the doors opened.

    I don’t remember if how many of either we got right.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I love your dialogues. You probably don’t sleep the night before you write them. LOL I love the Magnificent Seven and have seen it numerous times. However, I am hanging my head because I am probably the only one on the plant who has never seen an entire Simpson’s episode. I know, I know – no hope for me. (Notice the ‘however,’ it was intended to be a ‘but. I held myself back because I knew who might be reading this.) :-) You and the editor have a glorious weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Judy. It’s a great movie. If I had to choose between the two, I see the movie over the Simpsons (but I do really like that show too). I struggle with dialog but once I can picture it, it goes pretty fast.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Dan, what a riot this was! My younger son (in his 30’s!) is still such a Simpson fan. Last year I bought him this Homer Simpson watch for Christmas as a joke for like $2 at a yard sale. It didn’t work but I knew he’d get a kick out of it. He cracked up when he opened the present b/c a buddy at work had given him the exact same watch he’d bought at some snobby estate sale and the darn thing still worked! He’d have a beer with you and knew exactly what episode you were talking about!


  10. Ha! This made me chortle. This so reminds me of long car journeys. My husband and I love trivia so we quiz each other all the time while our kids are watching DVDs in the back seats. We love trying to catch each other out. Your refrain of “the one everyone thinks you will forget” is familiar territory for is too. Our kids have the bug now too but they quiz me on comic books and contemporary music and thinks I am clueless about.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I do not like trivia. I loose all the time. Every time I played Trivia Pursuit I was grinding my teeth and had a fist in my stomach from tension. My brain seems to blip when it comes to trivia. *sighs* If I had been on the barstool next to you, I would have been buying ALL the rounds, being the biggest looser. Great post again, Dan!!! Next round is on me. LOL (not really … I don’t drink anymore!) *sorry* (((HUGS))) Amy <3

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m not great at trivia Amy. I do OK with science and history. Less great with geography since so many names have changed since I learned it, and downright poor at arts and entertainment. I’m somewhat OK with sports, but I pale by comparison to most “sports guys” you might find in a bar. Thanks for stopping by.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Great post Dan and good work on the dialogue. Those were some tough trivia questions, or maybe it’s just me who’s not good with long lists of names, especially from old movies. Give me some music, sports, or geography trivia and I’m in though.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I could do the dwarfs (why isn’t that dwarves) but couldn’t get beyond Yul Bryner (the personal favorite of my mother and her sisters) and Steve McQueen (the personal favorite of my young self). But I got every bit of your skillfully written dialogue. You have a knack I envy for writing believable conversation.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! I started this series to work on dialog. Yule Bryner and Steve McQueen were person favs of a lot of women. Charles Bronson was young at the time but easy for me to remember. I got six dwarfs (I forgot Doc) when that conversation happened.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. I like old and dear friends whose conversations run the gamut, Dan. From television trivia about episodes of the Simpsons to the seven dwarves, you had me cracking up. I am often a subject wanderer. . .
    I like watching the Simpsons and have equated them in a blog to dhows my parents let me watch. I allowed my kids to watch them because I felt each episode had a moral or lesson inserted in the plot. I felt there was fun pop culture (Mick Jagger, Michael Jackson and other celebrities who walked in and were welcome “guests” of the show.) I felt it was a modern “Dennis the Menace” or “Leave it to Beaver,” Dan.
    My daughter and my good gay friend both allow their kids to watch “Bob’s Burgers.” I caught an episode and it was funny, animated but had a few lessons in it. I would ask for a drink and like to listen to your conversations “Live and in person,” Dan. :)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Robin. I think the Simpsons do give us something to think about in most episodes. I’ve watched Bob’s Burgers a few times. I like it but I don’t find it as satisfying as the Simpsons. I’m surprised they’ve kept the show going for so long. I don like the episodes with celebrity guest shots and I’m amazed at how they have gotten them into self-depreciating plot sequences.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Definitely, “Bob’s Burgers” is not in the same league as The Simpsons. I should have not mentioned it since it sounds like I am comparing the two, Dan.
        I will have to say I have not always appreciated the way famous people became part of the episodes. I will agree I did not think every episode was as good as others. My youngest daughter used to say about Bart that my son, Jamie, was not as big of a “doofus” nor lied like Bart. The time Lisa talked about Heaven and the alternative became quite a lively dinner conversation, Dan.


  15. Big fan of Tom Petty, Dan. And trivia — you already know I have a head for quotes and facts. Though I’d be bit useless if “The Simpsons” came up; I’ve seen only about half a dozen episodes out of, what, the 1729 they’ve produced so far?

    Anyway, set ’em up, by all means. Especially if it’s on you. Or the waitress. Poor thing …

    Liked by 1 person

    • My luck Paul we would get sucked into MLB trivia. I’m a fan, but not the kind of fan that has a head for stats. Still, I like trivia. I figure if I don’t know it, I’m gonna learn something for the price of a beer. That’s a good deal in my book.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. As I told you before, I’m not a fan of beer, but I saw a commercial on TV about a beer that tastes more like ice tea. I’ll try that one. As for the Simpsons, I turn the TV off, off, off. Now then, South Park on the other hand… Well I don’t watch it often but when I do, it’s funny.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I should change this to “if I were having a beer with you” you can have whatever you like :) I don’t watch South Park often but it is funny. I do like Mike’s Hard Lemonade but I tend to drink it too fast.


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