Another year at Siebkin’s my friend and fellow motojournalist Keith Patti were having dinner when Ski came upon us. He sat down, discussed six-piston brake calipers and how they actually didn’t work when Keith let it slip that it was actually my birthday. Ski erupted. “Waiter! Bring my friend drinks and keep them coming.” “What do you drink?”
“Well, beer I guess, Ski.”
“No, no, not beer. This is your birthday, Dean, let’s celebrate. What kind of alcohol do you like?”
Someone suggested Ouzo. Harmless and cheap Ouzo.
“Oh, sir, we don’t have Ouzo”, the waiter said solemnly. Ski then conferred with the waiter and he decided to get me something like Ouzo.
Ski brings over a bottle and said it was the closest thing they had to Ouzo.
He poured us a few glasses and we mainlined them, swallowing in one gulp. Words then had a hard time coming out as my vocal cords seemed to not be working properly. Here, two more for these boys, Ski said. We drank.
Getting down to brass tacks, Keith wanted to see what we were drinking. Looking at the bottle in hands he spelled out Jägermeister. I’d never heard of it but through the numbness I thought the font used by the Jagermeitster people looked a lot like the SS on a Nazi uniform. That was the last clear thought I had ….
Seemed like an hour later, but it had actually been four, I woke up with my face on the bar. When I picked my head up people nearby burst out laughing because I had face-planted right into a bowl of pretzels. The pretzels, along with loose coins, used bar napkins and what not, were still stuck to my face. Ski was gone.