You call THAT a drink?

2b

March 23, 2007|By LAURA VOZZELLA

Talk about humiliating! Tommy Bromwell was caught on an FBI wire ordering his whiskey with, well, cherry juice. Sound like kind of a sissy mixer for such a guy's guy? I mean, how do you talk football, hookers, male genitalia, more football and - if the feds have it right - influence-peddling while sucking back something that's halfway to a Shirley Temple?

At least Bromwell didn't order it with the sparkling water and mint leaf that Crown Royal calls for in its version of the drink, named "Royal Stretch."

"It's not an overly common drink," said Dave Nanovic, a Ruth's Chris bartender in Baltimore.

Since we all know bartenders are amateur psychologists, I asked Nanovic for his take on a guy who orders, according to the FBI transcript, "a Crown Royal Manhattan Reserve on the rocks with a splash of cherry juice." (There is no such thing as Crown Royal Manhattan Reserve, just Crown Royal Special Reserve, which the steakhouse doesn't stock. Bromwell had to settle for plain old Crown Royal with his cherry juice. But I digress.)

The drinker, Nanovic said, "probably likes to cover up the fact that he's drinking whiskey. So he's looking for the real fix without the real taste."

Sounds like somebody in denial. Like somebody who, as the dinner winds down, says: "I'm not looking for white envelopes either. But the bottom line is going to be we're all going to make some [BLEEPing] money here."

And he orders THAT wine with dinner?

Bromwell's reputation as a discriminating drinker suffers even more when the one-time bar owner and his two wired-for-sound companions order wine with dinner.

They order Merlot. "Merlot's great," Bromwell says.

Hasn't he seen Sideways? Miles Raymond might be a wine snob, but he disses the varietal in language that should resonate with the potty-mouthed state senator.

"If anyone orders Merlot, I'm leaving," Raymond says. "I am NOT drinking any [BLEEPing] Merlot!

D.C.: Get out of it

The Live Baltimore Home Center turns again to humor in its quest to turn Washingtonians into Baltimoreans. The new ads, which will be unveiled today and are headed for D.C. billboards, play off the city's "Get In On It" slogan.

One version pairs a photo of a cookie-cutter suburban development next to a shot of Charles Village painted ladies. On the McMansion side, it reads: "Generica. Get out of it." On the other: "America. Get in on it."

The campaign, developed with Round 2 Communications and Tracy Gosson, the recently departed Live Baltimore executive director, also comes with a "What's In, What's Out" list.

"In: MARC train camaraderie. Out: Beltway nightmare."

"In: Taxation with representation. Out: Just the tax,ma'am."

News to politics to news -- it looks like a rut

Maryland's ex-Gov-turned-radio-host isn't the only politician who has found work in the media after his election loss. Andy Barth is back on the beat.

The veteran WMAR-TV reporter, who left the station to run for the 3rd District congressional seat, seemed to drop out of sight after losing September's Democratic primary.

But he has popped up in Fort Lauderdale, of all places, where he is covering spring training for the Website of Patuxent Publishing, a Sun subsidiary that publishes community newspapers.

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"It's wonderful to have credentials around my neck again," he said. "I didn't want to be retired."

Barth's dispatches range from "the news of the day" to "feature-y, human-interest kinds of things," such as his profile of Jeremy Guthrie, an aspiring O's pitcher who took two years off from baseball to work as a Mormon missionary in Spain.

After the team breaks camp, Barth, 61, hopes to return to TV reporting. He does not think his time spent taking political positions as a candidate will be a hindrance.

"I honestly know a lot more about politics than I did before I ran," he said. "I think that would give me some insight I didn't have before."

Connect the dots

If the Barth bit rings a bell, there's a reason. It was cut from Wednesday's print edition because space was tight and I was blabbing on too much, but was mistakenly posted on the Sun's Web site. ... Eli Kahn, the Pikesville teen who turns old printer cartridges into money for cancer research, has made yet another cut in the Volvo For Life Awards. Now he's one of three finalists. As such, the founder of Cartridges for A Cure will receive $50,000 for pediatric cancer research at Hopkins, where he was treated for leukemia as a 3-year-old. He's still in the running for the grand prize: a lease on a new Volvo every three years for the rest of his life. The winner will be announced April 5. ... Wonkette's take on Bob Ehrlich's endorsement yesterday of Rudy Giuliani: "Giuliani will be gaining the backing of the only incumbent governor to lose his seat in the 2006 election cycle, while Ehrlich will be hitching his toupeed star to a pro-choice, pro-gay rights, pro-gun control candidate for the Republican presidential nomination." For the record, Ehrlich's long-time barber has told The Sun that the ex-gov's hair is real.

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