Tuesday, September 7, 2010
The Proust Questionnaire: Floyd White III
Ice cubes jingled in the glasses of Oban 14 year old scotch whisky as the bartender sat them onto the table. Floyd took an eager sip and I made some joke about whisky being an "amber restorative". He barely let out a chortle before another server called for his managerial assistance. Our conversation was stitched together in a series of these interruptions, but it's to be expected. Managers in this industry seldomly (dare I say - never) enjoy a warm meal.
Floyd manages the bar in Tonic at Quigley's Pharmacy and provides the saloon's cult of personality. Graduated from The Univeristy of Louisiana at Monroe with a degree in pre-law History, Floyd envisioned a future as a professional golfer. This ambition seems understandable when one recognizes that his father was once drafted as a tight end for the Kansas City Chiefs. Chance ensured injury would keep his father's tenure brief. But Floyd's namesake altered his profession and became a Federal Marshall. His mother became a judge.
Despite the legacy in law enforcement and justice Floyd found professional calling in hospitality and service. And so, with only a few sips left in our glasses, Floyd graciously provided answers to my Proust Questionnaire.
The Proust Questionnaire: Floyd White III
What’s your favorite virtue?
"Selflessness. Nothing more admirable than giving - in any capacity"
What do you believe is your chief characteristic as a person?
What’s your main fault/shortcoming?
"Patience. Many times I forget that the rest of the world doesn't view things the way I do"
What do you appreciate the most in your friends?
What’s your favorite qualities in the same sex?
"A strong communicator, wit, dependability"
What’s your favorite qualities in the opposite sex?
"Selflessness, a nurturing attitude, humor, and rationale"
What’s a natural talent you'd like to be gifted with?
For what fault do you have the most toleration?
"Ignorance. If you don't know you simply don't know"
For what fault do you have the least toleration?
"Stupidity. No excuses"
What’s your idea of happiness?
"Family and food"
What’s your idea of misery?
"Incompatibility. You can't force it"
How would you wish to die?
"Playing golf or having 'sexy time'"
What is your football/baseball/basketball/college/hockey/soccer team?
What’s your favorite occupation (besides bartending)?
Teaching golf. Teaching women. There's also something about being a mentor to kids.
Where would you most like to live?
Who’s your favorite actor/actress?
Samuel L Jackson.
Who’s your favorite comedian?
Who’s your favorite band/musician?
Sam Cooke or Maxwell.
Who’s your favorite art (painting, poem, sculpture, song)?
An unknown painting by T Mutombo.
What’s your favorite book?
The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin.
Name your favorite hero/heroine in fiction?
The main character from The Invisible Man.
What was your favorite subject in high school?
What was your least favorite subject in high school?
Name your favorite American president?
Name your favorite non-American historical figure?
Ernesto "Che" Guevara.
Name your favorite hero/heroine in real life?
The Beatles or The Rolling Stones?
Coke or Pepsi?
Cats or dogs?
What do you believe is your greatest characteristic as a bartender?
Personality and being personable.
What is your main fault/shortcoming as a bartender?
Not being immersed in the systems and dimensions of the bar.
What is your shot of choice?
Who is your Obi Wan Kenobi (i.e. Who taught you the most as a bartender)?
A bartender named Don at a bar at Frenchman's Bend golf course in Louisiana.
At which bar did you grow the most?
Who was your favorite customer?
A family who use to come into Frenchman's Bend. Sometimes they all came in together and sometimes they came in separately. Either way, each member of the family was a complete joy to serve.
Who was your worst customer?
Aside from the typical drunken jerks... a student at Tonic who leaves insulting tips (e.g. 11 cents).
AM or PM bar shifts?
What’s your favorite beer?
What’s your favorite wine?
Any red wine blend.
What’s your favorite spirit?
Jameson Irish Whisky.
What’s your favorite cocktail?
Long Island Ice Tea.
- 1 part vodka
- 1 part rum
- 1 part tequila
- 1 part triple sec
- sour mix
- splash of cola
What is the stupidest cocktail?
The Sour Apple Martini.
- 2 parts vodka
- 1 part sour apple liqueur
- splash of sour mix
What is your favorite cocktail name?
What bar has the most unique/funny name?
The Full Circle.
If you had to choose only one, would it be beer, wine, cocktail, or spirit?
Who’s your favorite bartender?
Bruck Gurma. He use to work at Dream Night Club.
What’s your favorite bar/restaurant (in DC)?
Sidebar in Silver Spring, Maryland (basically in DC).
What’s your favorite bar/restaurant (outside of DC)?
Waterfront Grill. It sits on the bayou in Monroe, Louisiana.
What side-work do you have the most toleration?
What side-work do you have the least toleration?
Have you ever been fired from a bar job?