Thursday, August 18, 2011

George Clooney, Lady Gaga, and Paula Abdul Walk into a Bar...

George Clooney, Lady Gaga, and Paula Abdul walk into a bar.  Sitting down, they strike up a conversation with the bartender who admits to being a budding herbalist.

"You know," he says, "it's my solemn belief that everyone can benefit from herbs.  In fact, I bet I could pick out the perfect herb for each of you, and that little botanical would improve your life."

Intrigued by the offer, George slams down his whiskey tumbler.  "By golly, I'm in!  I'm all for a bit of friendly experimentation.  Why, just the other day, I was telling one of the Cohen brothers if there's one thing this world needs more of, it's plants." says George. "What'll it be for me?  Hawthorne?  Astralagus?  A bit of pipsissewa, perhaps?"

The bartender thinks for a moment.  "George, you could use something to relax your mind.  After a long day on the set, your brain is steeped in witty banter and images of clever yet subtle facial expressions.  I think a bit of kava in the evenings would be an excellent way to help you quiet that cranium."

The bartender prepares George a tea of kava, and 20 minutes later George is seated cross-legged in the corner humming "Ohmmmmm....."

Lady Gaga grabs the bartender's wrist and says, "What about me?  You know, Tony Bennett says I'm going to be as big as Elvis.  That's an awful lot of pressure, and I think I could use some of that kava stuff too."

The bartender leans in and studies her face.  "I think what you need, missy," he says, "is some of my rosebud salve for your complexion.  All that stage makeup is going to take a toll, and I think I see a hint of contact dermatitis about the orbital region."

"What makeup?  This is my natural glow!" says Gaga, subconsciously touching the corner of a large black star painted around her left eye.

The bartender reaches under the bar and brings out a beautiful tin and sets it before her.  "Made it myself.  Even painted the hummingbirds on the container."

Lady Gaga takes a whiff of its decadent fragrance and disappears into a booth in the corner to apply the salve, carefully studying her reflection in one of her mirrored boots.

Paula Abdul, however, is more focused on nervously flicking peanut shells across the bar, seeing if she can hit a distant bottle of Bubblegum Schnapps.  Without a word, the bartender takes a small leather bag filled with dried herbs and pushes it across the bar.  She stares at it a moment, then takes the bag and walks out the door.

A month later, Paula walks into the bar a transformed woman.  She stands before the bartender and says, "I feel better than I have since 1989. The paparazzi have stopped hounding me. I gave a live interview last week and didn't close my eyes or lay my head on the table once.  So I just have to know; what did you give me?"

The bartender looks around to make sure none of the patrons are listening.  "Paula, I have to admit to you that I have no idea what those herbs are.  They were given to me by an old herbalist who refused to tell me his name.  But I can tell you this: I took those same herbs just last year, and it's totally changed my life.  Just look at me.  I've got my own fine establishment in which I serve quality beverages; I'm studying herbalism and human anatomy;  and just yesterday I finished writing a 50-page essay on the life and times of Rudyard Kipling, just for kicks."

"That's amazing!" said Paula.

"Yes," said the bartender, "and to think only last year I was Ozzy Ozbourne."

     Now only 99¢ on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.