Shake, Rattle and Roll!
At the Sayner Pub in July of 1995, Marv, in a moment of
infinite wisdom, coined the phrase “Drink Beer, Shake Dice” to describe the
second most important pastime (golf being the first) that he enjoyed on
vacation. Witnesses say that the
bar shook a little when Marv first uttered those words, but then the odor set in
and everybody realized it was just Kevin. Nonetheless,
the Boys of Summer, inspired by their elder, took his philosophy to heart and
made “Drink Beer, Shake Dice” their St. Germain anthem for all time.
Some of the group (who shall remain nameless) got a little tired of
hearing that phrase over and over and over again that week.
Almost as tired as they were of hearing the dice cup bang on the bar or
getting hit in the side of the head with flying swizzle sticks when one of the
players got caught in a lie; not to mention the sticky mess left for innocent
elbows by sloppy shot drinkers being penalized for rolling dice off the bar.
It was wearing thin. But,
there was always the hope that the phrase would die out over the winter.
After all there had been enough brain cells killed during the week to
take out half the memory bank of the South Side of Chicago (of course, that’s
not saying much).
Alas it was just that, a hope. The Boys of Summer got out of the blocks fast the summer of
1996 and couldn’t wait for that first night in the lodge so they could, you
got it… drink beer, shake dice. They
played with a frenzy that was unmatched in previous years. They went through a gross of swizzle sticks and quarts of
Schwaza. The good Doctor was also
on hand, or is that in hand. One
almost had to wonder if they weren’t intentionally rolling dice off the bar.
And so it went, night after night.
The summer of 1996 was special for the vacationers.
Not just because they were together in St. Germain, although that is
always special. But, this
particular year, two among them were getting married.
In fact, they planned their wedding around vacation so as not to miss out
on a single day of drink beer, shake dice.
Wanting to really fit in with the family, the soon-to-be groom, Kevin,
spent long hours practicing his shake, rattle and roll.
Unfortunately, he never got very good at it.
He and the Doctor grew very close. Rumor
has it that he even had a run in with a cement mixer that week.
It was not pretty! Thankfully
(for Kevin’s liver), in the blink of an eye the vacation was over and Julie,
the bride-to-be, began to think seriously about changing their honeymoon
destination. Maybe a visit to Betty
Ford would be more in order for Kevin. There
was some discussion of her idea that last night in the lodge but nothing ever
came of it. So sadly, the
vacationers bid farewell to St. Germain the next morning and the Boys of Summer
tabled their anthem for another year. …or
so everybody thought.
In August, the vacationers gathered once again in Tinley Park for Kevin and
Julie’s wedding. It was a lovely
affair. From “Velcro” bride’s
vanishing veil act in church to the groom’s rendition of “YMCA” at the
reception, the vacationers were entertained and had a marvelous time.
Flowers, a candlelit dinner, fine china, great food and an unlimited bar
kept everyone in great spirits. What
the vacationers did not know was that there was something missing from the
flowers on their table… something very special… something to shake, rattle
To incorporate the Boys of Summer anthem into the wedding, it seems that Kevin
and Julie had been searching high and low for some fuzzy dice.
You know the kind, Marv probably had them hanging from his rear view
mirror when he was dating Judy. Well,
what was popular in the ‘50s is impossible to find in the ‘90s.
They looked everywhere and finally in desperation enlisted the help of
“the mom,” queen of all shoppers (next to Bernie).
She searched and searched and finally found a pair of white fuzzy dice.
“Not good enough,” said Kevin. (Real
gutsy for somebody who wasn’t even married into the family yet, don’t you
think?) “You need five dice, to
make it authentic,” says Kevin. Like
anyone of the Boys of Summer could count by the end of the evening!
So, Julie, despite all the last minute wedding preparations and pre-marital
jitters, went island hopping until she landed another set… blue dice from Blue
Island. Still having only four and
fearing Kevin’s reprisal, she bought a set of pink as well.
Real MACHO! With great care, she delivered all the dice to her Aunt
Well, the wedding reception came and went… and no dice!
The candle lit floral centerpiece was breathtaking, especially without
the dice. Seems Aunt Sally forgot
to include them. As Aunt Sally arranged all of the flowers one has to wonder
at her forgetfulness. Did she think
perhaps the fuzzy dice might have cheapened her creation?
It’s still a mystery and one only known to Aunt Sally.
Anyway… the morning after the wedding the vacationers were invited to join the
parents of the bride and groom for brunch at their hotel.
Oh, and the bride and groom were invited, too!
Much to the vacationers surprise, lying in the middle of their table were
six dice… two white, two blue and two pink.
Big, fat, fuzzy dice with glued on felt dots and strings attached.
By default, Uncle Scum became custodian of the dice.
It seems no one else wanted the job.
Not wanting to hurt anyone’s feelings, he took them home.
He knew he couldn’t display them in his Caddie, they’d clash with his
zodiac signs and ball fringe. Not
to mention the interference they might cause on his car’s TV antenna.
He also knew better than to ask if they could be displayed in any of the
finer rooms of their home because after all, except for men, his wife had great
taste. But, no matter, Uncle Scum
had a plan.
He hung the dice safely away on the back wall of his bar and made a note in his
pocket calendar for July of 1997. He’d take those dice back to St. Germain and at the end of
the week present them to some one special, some one who met all of Uncle
Scum’s criteria for this prestigious award.
He would announce his plan at the beginning of the week, but keep his
criteria a secret. His fellow
vacationers would try in vain to figure out the criteria, but only he would
know. Not wanting to win the award
and not knowing the criteria would keep them uneasy, on edge, afraid to let
loose. It would drive his fellow
vacationers crazy, and Uncle Scum was going to enjoy every minute of it.
Uncle Scum was proud, he had a great plan and it would have worked, too… but
then she came along, and there was just something about Mary.