A Thirst-Quenching April Fools

Happy April Fools!

Well, it’s that time of year again and we busy bees are here to facilitate public awareness of our stuffy, dignified ancestors mercilessly pranking one another. There are so many vintage-made jokes found at QBO sales that this year’s April Fool’s selection had to be selectively limited to “beverage-related”.

You say you like coffee AND you’re a golfer? How about a “Hole in One” mug? (The hole tunnels all the way through it.) Or, if you’re of Polish descent and can enjoy a good laugh at yourself, here’s a “Polish  Mug” with the handle on the inside. On to the bar…

A set of bar implements from the man caves of yore, styled after woodworking tools. (Ha.)

Or, (heh heh) how about gross plastic flies to freeze in ice cubes for unsuspecting guests?

Next we have 2 shots and a flask measuring liquor out by how soused you’ll get: 0 oz = Rabbits, 1 oz = Ladies, 2 oz = Gentlemen, 3 oz = Pigs, 4 oz = Jackasses! Or, Ladies, Gentleman and HOGS. Or, One Drink, Two Drinks, Half-Full and DAMN FOOL. (guffaw)

Moving on. One detailed, working bar-top liquor dispenser elaborately modeled in the form of an old-timey gas station pump. One martini shaker in the shape of a 1950s fire extinguisher (this ‘Thirst Quencher’ approved by Underwriters & Fire Chiefs!) And lastly, one oh-so-classy decanter based on the famous Belgian statue, the “Manneken Pis”, AKA the “Little Pissing Man”. And yes, the liquor comes out exactly where you’d think. The original bronze fountain was made in Brussels in 1619 to dispense water in the town square. Needless to say, it is a MAJOR tourist attraction, stolen so many times that now a replica stands in its place while the original Little Man pees safely in a museum.

But this, THIS is the Holy Grail of all beverage-related pranks: the legendary Dribble Glass. Long has your humble servant searched and AT LAST! Found at a QBO sale! The Dribble Glass is one of the those annoying, relatively harmless pranks: You, at a church social, innocently drinking a glass of Hawaiian punch when – “Ack!” – there’s punch all down your shirt front! How could you be so clumsy? It’s a gaslighting kind of joke; the victim assumes themselves at fault since there’s no apparent equipment malfunction… but there WAS.

The Dribble Glass’s method of mayhem also created its diabolical camouflage, allowing it to blend right in with a style of tumbler common in the 1940s, 50s & 60s: thin blown glass, holding 6 to 8 oz and adorned with cut designs of twinkly stars or florals. There are thousands of legit drinking glasses like this still with us. The designs were hand-ground into the glass surface using very hard stone cutting wheels of varying dimensions. If the artist accidentally ground too far, the wheel would penetrate right through the glass, ruining it with a nasty hole. But for a Dribble Glass, that “right through” was done ON PURPOSE, locating nearly invisible holes high enough on the glass to clear the top of the beverage when the glass is filled. Liquid only leaks out when the glass is tilted into the unlucky mark’s mouth – haw HAW! (sorry…)

Fortunately for those who care about their clothing, cut-glass tumblers were deposed by larger, sturdier drinking glasses decades ago. And, losing its essential camouflage, the Dribble Glass faded into obscurity. But, if you are the spicy kind of person who still wants one, they can be found with a bit of careful searching. Often the fatal holes are almost invisible but can be felt from the inside of the glass with a fingernail. And of course, there’s no better place to look for one than at QBO.