Press One For a Beer

The perfect place and beverage to share some casual conversation.

If we were having a beer, you’d be upset.

“Are you buying this week?”

“Let’s see, I bought the week before Thanks….”

“A simple yes or no would suffice.”

“Geeze Louise, what’s up with you?”

“Aw, come on, you guys aren’t fighting again – are you?”

“No Cheryl, we’re not fighting. I’m just not in the mood for long drawn-out explanations. I asked a simple question. Apparently, my young friend can’t handle a simple answer.”

“Maybe you didn’t ask right. Watch me: Dan, would you like a Yuengling?”

“Yes, Cheryl, I would.”

“See Mr. Grumpypants. Now. Would you like anything?”


John Howell’s?

“Yes. I’m sorry for being grumpy. I’ve had a bad week.”

“No problem, bartenders get this all the time.”

“But friends don’t.”

“I’m sorry for snapping at you, too.”

“What got you in such a foul mood?”

“Open enrollment. I hate dealing with insurance companies.”

“I thought you were on Medicare.”

“I am, but I have to buy supplemental insurance for the stuff Medicare doesn’t cover and every sleazeball in America is trying to sell that.”

“Aren’t you with the evil empire?”

“AARP? They’re not so bad.”

“Then what’s the problem?”

“I’m trying to find better prescription coverage.”

“Here’s your beer, nice frosty mug and here’s your bourbon, just the way you like it. The prescription calls for two of these, taken in succession and you’re covered, without a co-pay, by your young friend.”

“Thanks Cheryl, that’s perfect.”

“So, did you get the plans figured out, or shouldn’t I ask?”

“Almost. A friend recommended a new carrier for Part-D. What about you?”

“As I recently told the good folks at Humana, I’m not 65. Remember, ‘young’ friend.”

“But you have health insurance.”

“I do. It looks better on paper than it does in the ER, but I have it.”

“No problems figuring it all out?”

“I have limited choices. High-deductible or POS, and then choose one of two carriers.”

“POS, that’s a great acronym for health insurance these days.”

“Ha – you’re right.”

“Everything is automated, and awful.”

“Well, I had a wonderful customer experience this week.”

“Wonderful customer service? I didn’t think that existed anymore.”

“Ahem, who gave you the extra strong pour ‘cuz you were feeling low?”

“I’m sorry Cheryl. I didn’t mean you.”

“Yeah, yeah. You boys want some food, or just another round?”

“Since we both have health insurance now, I think an order of wings with that second round is appropriate.”

“Coming right up.”

“So who provided such remarkable customer service?”


“The garbagemen?”

“Recyclers – garbagemen went out in the 70s.”

“Why are you dealing with gar… reCyclers?”

“I had to order a dumpster.”

“Aren’t you done building stuff for the winter?”

“I am, but I have to get rid of the old doors, the old shed and hopefully, an old office desk.”

“Please tell me you aren’t setting me up for a slide-show of dumpster photos.”

“Well, I did take several pictures while it was being delivered.”

“Can you limit that to one or two? I mean, don’t you have some food photos you can share, maybe a picture of Maddie?”

“OK. I wouldn’t want to make you grumpy again.”

Thanks. I’m still trying to imagine how they make dumpster-customer-service good.”

“How about this? When I called, the woman asked me if I knew what I wanted, or did I want the options explained.”

“Wait, a woman answered? A real live woman?”


“And she allowed for you to know what you want without launching into a sales spree?”


“Wow – that – is – good. I would have expected a voice mail menu with about ten options.”

“That’s not the best part.”

“OK, I’ll bite.”

“When I gave her the address, she said: ‘the instructions we have on file show that you want the dumpster in the driveway on the side with the lamp-post’ is that still correct?”

“They remembered your preferences? Nobody remembers my preferences. Nobody remembers nothing. I had to give the insurance people my Social Security number like fifteen times!”

“Nobody remembers your preferences? Seriously, Mr. I’ll-have-my-bourbon-in-a-snifter-with-a-glass-of-ice-on-the-side – nobody?”

“I’ve done it again. I am so sorry Cheryl.”

“I’m sure. Here are your wings, Parm-pep AND Blue Cheese dipping sauces, your beer and your second dose of Willet’s.”

“I got the food and drinks, but I think you should leave her a nice tip.”

“Great, just like my insurance, the meal is covered, but there’s a co-pay!”

“I’ll apply it to your deductible.”

The photos are as my buddy requested, and please remember to check out Cheryl’s work.


  1. I’m pressing #1 for a nice Belgian Wheat please. :-) How did you know? I spent 2 hours 15 minutes (I counted every one) on the phone with an insurance advisor regarding supplemental insurance this week. You might as well get out a ouija board because that’s all you’re doing – guessing what types of problems you’ll have in the next 12 months versus what type of coverage is provided. Moving on to more positive things – thanks for the Maddie photos and that great looking food. Of course, if I ate all that I might need more coverage. :-)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh man, I am so pleased I live in Canada! Even having a chronic illness I don’t think about doctors and tests or even the hospital, I just go when I need to. Oh and thank you Dan, now I’m hungry! It all looks so good!

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Insurance sucks. I haven’t had good insurance since 2012. And that was mediocre. Now everyone uses HSA and there is no drug coverage. We do ALL the work having to pay first, send in paperwork for pennies on the dollar reimbursement. Hubs does okay with Medicare and Humana but his plan dictates what doctors he can see-of course.
    Now that is some yummy looking food fare. Except for the clam chowder. It looks like a great rendition though. Now I’m hungry.
    Why did you need the dumpster? Just to get rid of the furniture? Here we just put it to the curb and it magically disappears. Best kind of recycling.
    Maddie doesn’t chase the squirrels? That’s awesome! Hello Faith!
    Oh, and thanks for making my bartending dream come true, at least in cyber world. 😀

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’m glad you liked this post, albeit not the topic. Health insurance is generally awful.

      We could have put much of this at the curb, but it’s an awkward process, and I was worried about how much would be there, and things like exposed nails and sharp edges are a worry. Also, almost everything would have had to be cut in half. Also, people would come and pick out the metal, leaving a mess behind. The dumpster just works, and it’s toss and forget.

      Maddie doesn’t chase the squirrels unless they run. Then it’s game-on. They seem to know that, and they get very close. I don’t have a close in picture because I’m always holding the leash with both hands at that point, and tossing a peanut to move the squirrels.

      You’re the best bartender! I’m glad you like the job.

      Liked by 2 people

      • That certainly makes sense. That’s a lot of hand/eye coordination yiu have going on there Dan, sure you aren’t juggling a glass or coffee mug too? 😉 Thank God squirrels are trainable. The veterans limely understand Maddie’s MO. “Okay, guys, we got the human’s attention. Now just back away from the big red furry creature. S.L.O.W.L.Y……..”

        Liked by 1 person

  4. My only concern with the current insurance for state employees is that we keep paying more and more for services and deductibles. The rich insurance companies keep getting richer and I keep paying more.

    But never mind that or the dumpster, I’m focusing on your photos of food. Heading out for coffee and breakfast soon and I can hear the burrito in a bowl and a cafe au lait calling my name. Mmmmmm…

    Liked by 2 people

  5. It’s too early for a beer, Dan, but dealing with insurance could drive anyone to drink! I have a couple years…well, a bit over a year, before I have to start dealing with Medicare. Maybe I should start stocking up on beer now. It was bad enough trying to help our younger daughter through the “affordable” care choices but now she has a job with benefits, so we got to help with those choices. Nary a good choice among them, but so it goes. We would really have liked to have kept the insurance we had, but… I did have a delicious dark beer last night, so I’ll just think about that one and those dumplings you showed us. Yum!! Guess I’d best have some breakfast and thanks for the morning chuckle (sort of.)


    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Janet. I am about two years away from Medicare, or what’s left of it after the folks in Washington get to it. When I add up what I paid for health insurance and what they paid for my healthcare, I lost in 2017, even though I racked up some very “healthy” fees.

      At least beer remains affordable and I can find plenty of comfort food like dumplings and chowder. I worry most about our daughter, your daughter and that whole generation. I think we’re failing them in so many ways.


  6. I am a vegetarian but that pumpernickel bagel sandwich looks delicious! Maddie is so darn cute. I have purposely stayed off Medicare b/c my employer’s health insurance is great. Given my state of health, I am not about to go into the unknown (not just yet, anyhow) and see what Medicare will/will not pay. The day will come but I am putting it off as long as I can.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Darn good foodie photos this morning! YUMMA!
    Paine’s IS impressive! That’s good note taking and wonderful to get a live person from the get-go.
    I will refrain from commenting on the diabolical state of health insurance and just say I’m fortunate. ANGRY, but fortunate.
    Maddie and Faith <3 Aw!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks. My buddy had to vent a little but I needed to stop short of a whole health insurance post. I am lucky to have what I have. The food photos had been piling up. I need to use them faster. Maddie? What can I say, give the people what they want.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Your bar chats are hysterical! Health insurance costs……it’s enough to make you sick! 😛

    Not sure who looks happier, Faith or Maddie, but I think Maddie wins with her big grin.

    By the looks of your food photos you treat your stomach well Dan. Not necessarily healthy, but well. Lol.

    Good call getting dumpster. Easy peasy, neat, clean.

    Great post. —-Ginger—-

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Ginger. My wife gets credit for the easy peasy part. I was going to get a smaller one.

      Maddie just loves Faith so much. She’s so happy when Faith visits.

      The food photos are mostly from traveling for business. I could seek out healthier places, but…


      • Hey, the food that tastes good is bad for us and the food that tastes bad is good for us. I don’t know who thought this was a good idea, but somebody should take them behind the barn and shoot them!

        We only go around once, as far as I know, so enjoy your meals. A few glasses of water here and there will help to balance it out. Lol. —-Ginger—-

        Liked by 1 person

  9. I could complain about my health insurance if I wanted to be picky. But I’m just glad that I have it. It’s for active and retired military members and their families and, fortunately, it doesn’t cost us anything.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I love Faith and dear Maddie! Sisters with a different mother and species. ❤❤
    I do think your lunch of steak, cheese and bacon on pumpernickel looks extra delicious. I like all of your food choices. I looked at each one to check out which location, home, New York. . . it came from. Maddie’s pastrami, egg and cheese sandwich looks yummy, as well as the pancakes. . . I think I need to make a bedtime snack, Dan.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I could hear the BOOM! of the dumpster hitting the driveway in my head. :) The food looks really, really good. ALL OF IT! It’s dinner time here and now my tummy is rumbling.

    It’s amazing how calm Maddie is with that squirrel right there! She looks alert, but not chomping on the leash to get at it. Diva Dog would be chasing it out of the yard.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Great analogy of the “you leave the tip” is like the copay – ha! very clever.
    and side note – I hate when we do this arrangement and the person tipping is a cheapskate – I have ran back into the place and added money – well only once or twice – but back to this post….
    the dumpster seemed to be the way to go – along with that steak sandwich – is that on pumpernickel – oh my is that good looking

    Liked by 1 person

    • I share your thoughts on tipping. Especially for bar tabs, which often tend to be lower than meals, but the bartender works harder. In our state, bartenders and waitstaff are allowed to be paid less than minimum wage, so the tips are important.

      The dumpster was the best idea. It wasn’t mine, but I gave credit to the editor in Monday’s post.

      Liked by 1 person

      • ah – you are a sweet customer – well I already assumed that – but know it even more.
        and if people only knew how the tip comes back our way.
        I am not criticizing anyone here – but we have an older family member – cheapest ‘son-a-beyotch” I know – and recently his second hair stylist gave him all these perks and extras he left her three dollars. The other stylist could not get him in for a long time and we wondered – “message here” – but it just is how he is….
        and I will check out Monday’s post –

        Liked by 1 person

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