In 1990 the meeting hall of the United Nations' International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna, Austria, rang with a toast. More than one hundred Atomic Energy Conference delegates from fifty nations raised their glasses high and repeated lustily after me the "Mountain Man Toast." I had been invited to Vienna as a media consultant by the IAEA for a converence on exploring ways to make atomic plants more user-friendly. At the final session I was asked to lead the toast. The Mouintain Man Toast evokes the Old West, with 1830's fur trade-period jargon.
The toast requires motions as well as words and is the sort of ritual that warms the soul and brings smiles to the faces of hearty eaters and drinkers everywhere.
It is a standing offer at The Fort that anyone who gives the Mountain Man Toast from memory has his drink on the house.Well then. Let's hear it, learn it, and get ourselves a free drink.
"Here's to the childs what's come afore (Glass in right hand, held at shoulder)
And here's to the pilgrims, what's come arter. (Glass in right hand, arm extended)
May yer trails be free of griz, (Left hand over glass, making clawing motion with fingers)
Yer packs, filled with plews, (Left and right arms extended out making a circle)
And fat buffler in yer pot! (Glass extended, left hand rubs/ points at your belly)
WAUGH!" ( (Extend hand with glass)In case you couldn't figure it out on your own.
Childs = What mountain men called one another.
Pilgrim = Lightly derisive term for "sod-busting" covered wagon emigrants coming west
Arter = After
Griz = Grizzley bear
Plews = Large beaver pelts French plus, a plus sign for large size pelt
Buffler in yer pot = Buffalo in your belly
Waugh = Sioux exclamation meaning "right on!"
There you go. Locked in. Free drink for now on.
Shinin' Times, award-winning video (we'll try not to hold that against it) documentary, Part 1. Part 2 is not available. I've seen this whole thing on PBS a couple of times, and it really is fun. This YouTube upload features at the beginning The Fort hosting the G8 summit during Clinton administration. This is a matter of great pride for Sam Arnold. In his mind it vindicates his father's poor opinion of Sam becoming a restaurateur instead of something more magnificient.
I could really have done without the "You sure have the feeling you're in the presence of a king" part. It is a warm and honest and humble feeling Sam Arnold expresses, but I do not like it. That tells me right there his political views, whatever they are and I can take a good guess, would not be worth listening to. It tells me where his loyalty is misplaced.
I would vastly prefer instead hearing Sam Arnold say something like,
"The whole restaurant? All day? Oh no, I do not thinks so. That will not do."
"Why not? This is a great opportunity. Don't you understand what you are turning down? The buzz alone is worth more than you can buy."
"And so is refusing it. We are in business for the enjoyment of honest paying customers, and not in business to serve overly self-regarding politicians, the likes of Washington types and various other heads of state."
"How rude. And what do you mean anyway? We'll certainly pay. And make it worthwhile!"
"Customers that pay with their own money, and spend it here because they value the experience we offer, not paid with money drained from a nation. You are insisting we close to our intended customers in order to serve you. Exclusively you. You and your lot."
Boom. IRS audit. multiple visits and fines by OSHA and ATF, FBI inquiries, FDA, Dept. of Interior, Commerce Dept. agents SWAT teams upholding ESA mandates. All at once. As if nothing else to do. Swoop.
And now with a wife who feels with every fiber of her being her own entitlement to queenship. Oh, how I do like seeing denied Americans who feel themselves entitled. Like John Kerry. What pleasure I felt when he lost, admittedly pleasure that feels evil, for that reason alone, although there are plenty of other reasons besides. Entitlement is intolerable, and smack downs of such are wonderful to behold and cheering. The best thing that could happen is witness tremendous waste of energy and incredibly intense focus and unbelievabe fortune followed by devastating smack down that lasts a lifetime. That would make the whole travail bearable.
I would not be pleased to see all those limousines roll up to my restaurant. Not one bit. Nothing against limousines. Nothing against wealth. Nothing against ostentatious displays of wealth. But everything against perverse self-regard and entitlement.