Christmas Cheer from Cuff’s, Teterboro Airport, New Jersey

Christmas time, 2007

Ah, the ever reliable Cuff’s! Ah Cuffie Cuff Cuffs! Cuffles!

Just back from a majestic lunch at the ever reliable Cuff’s — what a fond ginmill that joint is. The parking lot is bumper-to-bumper, you have to spillover into Manny’s lot, and fuck Manny’s while we’re at it. But Cuffs, you walk in the door and the joint is jammed to the drop ceiling with Real Men, big burly manufacturing dudes with rough hewn hands and cash galore.

Acorn dudes, talking tough on the Chinese and thinking of beautiful and ugly beaver they hope to bag before weekend’s end. Not a dame in sight unless you count the cutie on the calendar over the bar, a blond ditz with big fake tits to whet your imagination. Working Men out for holiday goodwill and peace toward their fellow toiler.

Packed the joint was, yet still an easy pass right to the bar, where Kevin Cuff (jr.), bar rag tossed casually over the shoulder, greets you with a hearty — Good Christmas cheer good sir what can I get ya?

The Bloody, dude, a Schmernoff Bloody. A Schmernoff Bloody and double that up if you would it’s Christmas.

And back it comes in seconds, served up sloshing amidst the hullabaloo of the afternoon drinking clamor. Ahhh what a concoction, spicy and tart, biting and refreshing! And the reassuring clack of the pool balls and Steve Miller and Guns ‘n Roses playing at just the right lunchtime volume. Ahhh, another drink, and chuck a cow patty on the grill, with the pommes frites on the side, yum, yum. Served up in greasy splendor with a crisp onion and stark pickle (Ed (head) eat your heart out).

And through the window, the dainty snow offering a comforting seasonal backdrop. The Gulfstreams and Falcon Jets taxi-ing on the Teterboro runways, their bright lights fuzzy through the falling snow, obscured and yet beckoning of far off places….the muffled jet-revs not quite coming through over the bar, guffaws and shouts and yips of glee and warm feeling toward the fellow man. Kevin slinging booze like a banshee paced like a fine Arab horsey, everyone’s glass is full or filled forthwith as needed.

Another one, Kev!

Glass held aloft like a Chalice, held aloft against a backdrop of blue-haze as the true collar men lift their chins and blow satisfying plumes of spent smoke towards the ceiling like raffish whale-spouts. Smoke bellowing and belching forth, wafting into the high reaches of the low drop ceiling and enrobing the bar celebrants in a palpable cloak of camaraderie. Oh god these goddamn drinks are enrapturing me, they are making me faint with ecstasy, these goddamn drinks, these horrible red Bloody badge bastards.

And yet no protest from the bar, the pool balls clacking, the juke-box spilling forth what a listener will hear, the muffled roar of jets beckoning far off places…a low rumble of a passing truck, the jukebox, the drinks, shouts and yips, the awful Bloody red tinkling bastards encompassing and alive, sliding and sliding into the afternoon, the Christmas afternoon.

— Dick Acorn

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