Arnold Stang, Skippy & the Fruit Fly

The perfect place and beverage to share some casual conversation.

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

“She’s not here.”

“Hello to you, too. Who’s not here?”

“Cheryl, she’s not here. I saw Skippy in the lounge.”

“His name is Brad.”

“I don’t care, I don’t like him.”

“Calling him Skippy probably doesn’t help.”

“Hey there guys. What can I get for you?”

“Where’s Cheryl.”

“I remember you. You’re the guy who spreads his drink out across multiple glasses.”

“And you’re the bartender who can’t get an order straight or answer a simple question.”

“Cheryl’s just running late. As for your order, what would you like – sir?”

“I would like a glass of Meiomi. I would also like a little seltzer, in a snifter, if you don’t mind.”

“I’ll have a bottle of Yuengling.”

“Do you want a glass?”

“Did you wash them?”

“Yes, I did.”

“Just the bottle.”

“No problem.”

“I guess I’m not the only one insulting him.”

“I’m not taking chances with my health. The guy washes dishes like a five-year-old boy.”

“Yuengling, Meiomi and a snifter of seltzer. You guys want any food?”

“Thanks Brad, maybe later.”

“No problem.”

“See, I’m being nice.”

“How’s that?”

“I didn’t say anything about ‘no problem’ what does that even mean?”

“It’s what people say.”

“That doesn’t make it right. We still have a language.”

“I know, but it’s not…”

It’s the bubbles

“Ugh. Excuse me, Skippy. There’s a fly in my seltzer.”

“That’s weird, it’s December.”

“I know the date, what I don’t know is why there’s a fly in my glass.”

“OK, to be precise, it’s a Fruit Fly.”

“Can you make it gone, please.”


“He’s right, it was a Fruit Fly. They’re somewhat attracted to seltzer.”

“What are you, an etymologist? Can we just agree that it didn’t belong in my drink?”

“Here ya go, fresh seltzer, no Fruit Fly.”

“Um, is it a fresh glass?”

“No, but I dumped everything out…”

“What the…”

“…I’ll get you a new glass.”

“Thank you.”

“No problem.”

“Let it go. Cheryl will be here in a few minutes.”

“OK, fresh everything. Cheryl just came in. Would you guys mind settling up with me?”

“Here, this should cover it, Brad.”

“Why did you pay him. He should let that roll to Cheryl. How much could one beer, one glass of wine, and a fly cost? And, it’s not like we’re tipping him.”

“I’ll let him keep the change. We’re spoiled. Not every bartender is good, and very few are as good as Cheryl.”

“Here’s your change.”

“Um, Brad, that seems a little light. One beer, one wine, one seltzer.”

“Two seltzers.”


“Technically, I poured three glasses of seltzer for your buddy. Maybe I shouldn’t have, but I rang in two of them, so…”

“So; those few coins are your tip. I’m sorry, but that’s ridiculous.”

“No problem.”



“Hey guys. Having fun with Brad?”

“You mean Skippy? No, we are not having fun.”

“He hates that you call him that, in case you hadn’t guessed.”

“I would think it would be no problem – everything else is.”

“Wow, I’m only fifteen minutes late and you’re in a lather.”

“Cheryl. Let’s pretend this never happened. I’ll have a Yuengling, and give him another splash of Meiomi.”

“Deal. You boys want anything to eat?”

“Well, he already had the fruit fly appetizer, but I’d like some wings.”

“Very funny. I thought we were letting things go.”

“We are. I couldn’t resist. It just brings to mind all the ‘waiter, there’s a fly in my soup’ jokes,”

“Wait, is that that Baader Meinhof thing?”

“No, that’s when you hear about something for the first time and then you hear about it again. It’s also called frequency illusion.”

“So, what is it when something reminds you of something?”


“You’re as bad as Skippy.”

“I did have a small brush with Baader Meinhof last week.”

“How’s that?”

“A friend posted something on Facebook about Arnold Stang.”

“The comic?”

“Yes, do you remember him?”

“I do. He was in ‘It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World’ ”

“Who wasn’t?”

“Before that movie, I was only going to the theater for horror movies and cartoons.”

“Speaking of cartoons, did you know Stang was the voice of Top Cat?”

“I did not know that. Is that what you heard about him.”

“That was the second thing, and then I saw this comic strip the following Sunday.”

Zippy is one of my favorite comics. Click to visit the site.

“That is weird.”

“You know what’s weird, I went to put your wings in, and I couldn’t find a tab for you guys.”

“Skippy had us cash out with him.”


“Don’t say it, Cheryl. Don’t say ‘no problem’ ‘cuz I’m sick of that phrase.”

“I was about to say: ‘no effing way’ what a jerk.”

“Don’t worry. We’ll give you the tip we didn’t give him.”

“Aw, you guys are sweet. Thanks.”

“No problem.”


Today’s gallery includes a few random photos from my recent trip to Washington, D.C. (two that are for Joey).

71 thoughts on “Arnold Stang, Skippy & the Fruit Fly

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  1. Oh our pets do hate suitcases. Makes Sadie nervous. The cats lie in the suitcases while we pack, but they sure do cry about it!
    Thanks for the pictures supporting the value of a good pause n’ pour! The Mister fiddled with the spring in our maker and now it pauses again, thank heavens!
    When you see a crane from a train, you think “Dan.” That’s so Dan.
    Skippy is in the wrong job. Skippy should probably spend some time in the banana stand and on dish duty before he tries to serve. The two seltzers — I think I’da read him the riot act over that fruit fly appetizer and then a second charge. Truly inept. I’m so glad Cheryl showed up!
    I call frequency illusion synchronicity, so don’t bother me with your logic, man. :)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. When I took the pot out of the coffee maker and it kept flowing into the hot plate I though “Joey”.

      I think our little cat MiMi would travel with me in a suitcase. Synchronicity works as well as anything. I will happily send Skippy to the banana stand for s few months. He’d actually back by request. Somebody thought he should be an occasionally recurring character. So, I’m just going to tag him with any bad bar experiences I have. Cheryl is perfect. Can’t mess with her.

      And yes, a crane from the train is the best.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I would have made a small scene because Skippy wouldn’t have gotten the money for the first seltzer with the fly unless the owner really wanted to hear me roar on a couple of websites. :-) Love the train, pot pie, and Maddie photos. And, DD is definitely a plus to ride the train. Stay warm this weekend. Pellet stove is roaring and hot coffee in hand because it is 17 outside right now.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Seeing the “Now Serving Dunkin Donuts Coffee” sign was the best. That put Monday in the right track (sorry). We’re about the same temp here. Maddie doesn’t even want to go out yet.

      Skippy is bearing the brunt of all bad bartender encounters. And no tip.

      The pot pie was at a place in Silver Spring where some friends took me to lunch. I couldn’t resist, and it was so good.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I don’t even know what to say … if Skippy is a composite of all bad bartenders, I shudder.

    However, now I have to admit ‘no prob’ is one of my favourite expressions. After the Bud Light exchange I feel I may now be on thin ice with 2 strikes against me 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ha ha – don’t worry Joanne. Skippy is a composite and the ‘no problem’ is more of a problem for the folks who inspired this post. If it’s my buddy talking, you’re still on solid ground with me.

      The Bud Light thing is serious, only strike-1 😏


    2. No Problem? Dan said about me ” yes, patience. Not to mention tolerance for abuses of language, word choice and grammar.” I can never understand why an exchange goes like this:
      Me: Can I have the bill please (check to you in the US)?
      Waiter: No problem.

      How could there be a problem with me finding out how much I owe?
      Unfortunately, it is one of these meaningless expressions, “No worries” that have taken over from simple English phrases like “Of course, sir”.

      Liked by 1 person

    3. Joanne, I have a “bad” (according to some people) habit of saying “No worries” and “No problem,” too.
      I think it is due to my brothers who say some of our life is filled with exactly that: problems, worries and regret. Then, we all three (Rich, Randy and I) think saying this lifts our spirits! Funny how words like this just to me mean, “Don’t worry, be happy.” 😊


  4. 😱Busy year for fly killing in restaurants eh? Dan, you know me so well. You nailed it. I loathe that new catch phrase ‘no problem’. It has such a broad range of possible meaning but the gist of it is “I’m walking away now and I don’t care about anything you say, think or feel’. I have worked for at least one company that forbade us from saying that to patients. Company policy. Chicken pot pie……😍

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I loved everything about this post! Skippy….I laughed when you wrote about him before–still cracks me up. No Problem….coworker gets in such a lather about that mindless expression. Of course, we use it every chance we get. The dreaded suitcase….I swear dogs and cats know exactly what these contraptions mean. Enjoy the weekend, Dan.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Lois. It was suggested that Skippy should appear periodically, so I’m using him whenever I collect bad bartender stories. I can’t attribute them to Cheryl.

      Maddie gets so upset when I bring up the suitcase. She knows. I don’t think the cats care, but Maddie gets sad.


  6. The only thing I hate more than “No problem,” is “No worries.” Yes, I have problems and worries that need to be addressed and just saying they don’t exist is insulting. Whew. I was glad to get that off my chest. Dealing with contractors has me a little on edge. Super post, Dan. Was that a chicken pot pie? By the way, Skippy should be fired.Charging for the first seltzer let alone its replacement should never happen. If someone ordered a scotch and soda would that be two drinks? I think not.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks John. We won’t see Skippy very often, but he is back by request, so…

      That was an amazing chicken pot pie. Oh my, that was so good.

      A glass of seltzer should compliment a healthy drink. Cheryl would never treat us like that. We won’t see Skippy for a while.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Next you will have me wondering who is the voice of Casper the Friendly Ghost. I will have to look for Arnold Stang next time I watch It’s A Mad Mad World. I know there are more Mads in the title. Lately I have been all about letting go of anger. So let’s just drift into a Chunky commercial and exclaim de ja vu ! On the bright side it was a fruit fly and not a sea gull or anything larger in the seltzer. And there was a replacement glass. Otherwise who knows how long it could have taken Skippy to replace the seltzer and how many additional charges it would have incurred. The really good news is Skippy does not have the billing skills of an air travel or financial institution. Now to answer the rhetorical question that begs to be skipped… the whole Monty Python gang including the potential seltzer diving renowned Norwegian Blue. Is this enough to get us into the apology round of drinks ?


  8. I wouldn’t have been so nice to Skippy. Like Joey, he would have been read the riot act from me and I would have paid for one seltzer and only one seltzer. I’m usually pretty quiet and don’t make scenes, but that would have put a hair across my….

    Anyhow, I’m glad you made it back safely from your trip and that Maddie’s world is back to normal.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks. All is well. Cheryl is back at the bar and we’re back to being treated like kings.

      Skippy takes the heat for every bad bartender, and they do usually get a piece of my mind


  9. This made me laugh! Especially the fly and the possibly unwashed glasses… the latter of which made me think of someone I know…

    Love that first photo of Maddie on the blanket. Love the other pics too, but particularly that one.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Val. I’m glad you enjoyed it

      Isn’t that a sad face? She makes it so hard to leave. I want to wait and pack at the last minute because when she sees that, she starts to pout.


  10. Is that my evil twin Skippy? That’s what we like to say, but it it’s not, no problem, no worries, and no fruit flies! :-) Dude, I’m just kidding. Chill! And then we have LOL, ROTFL, and…well, you get the idea.

    Cheers! Raising my dark beer to you.


    Liked by 1 person

  11. I was in the bar business for a while. And this one thing I do know that Skippy SHOULD have learned but some perhaps are um slow learners. The nicer you are to the customer, the BIGGER the tip. Or at least that is how it works out most of the time, not all. Skippy brings his problems on himself … ;). As for that overused phrase … I’m right there with you. 😬

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Got the wink :)

        This is why we like Cheryl, she’s the best!

        We tip well, because bartenders (at least in CT) are paid less than minimum wage. If they make an effort to make my time at the bar interesting, I tip them nicely.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. This conversation is based on things that actually happened, but not at the same bar and not at the same sitting. That probably makes it seem like I spend a lot of time in a bar…not really, but, you know, research.

      Skippy’s debut was based on an actual event, and my “buddy” was based on a friend who really had the exchange I wrote. He (my friend) is the one who thought Skippy should have a periodic reoccurring role in this series. It’s weird, he did not like the bartender, but he likes the character. So, I look for events like the fruit fly and set them aside for Skippy.

      I keep meaning to have a post where I explain the nature of these stories, but I keep forgetting. Maybe during the holidays.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Aww, there’s the good girls! MiMi and Maddie. 💗💗 I was back at work showing your little video of Maddie not trying to yank your arm off at the sight of Sammy so close. My friend, Karen, guffawed loudly and someday when I figure out how, I will share her video of her golden retriever, Cooper, carrying in plastic bags of groceries. So cute, too.
    I love great chicken or any kind of pot pie with flaky crust!
    The fruit fly in the seltzer was something I didn’t know about their attraction, even though for years from age 15 onward to 2004, I was a server to fill in gaps in my financial budget. Thanks for this info. Your friend would be surprised at how many servers just use hot water to rinse a glass out in a bar. We felt the alcohol was a germ killer, as well as my abhorrent nature to have bubbles of soap in my glasses. Yuck!
    This was definitely another award given to Cheryl, making her my favorite server who dishes sass as well as “good choices” out. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Robin. Cheryl is the best bartender, by far. I once had a friend who bought a backpack for his dog. When he would go hiking, the dog carried dog food, cat food and the cat. It was pretty funny to see.

      Pot pies are just pure comfort food :)

      Thanks for the comment.


    1. Thanks! Maddie gets upset as soon as she sees me bring up a suitcase.

      Skippy has become a periodically recurring character. He gets all the bad stories cuz I can’t give them to Cheryl :-)

      Starting my day on a train is such a good feeling.

      Liked by 1 person

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