Should auld acquaintance be forgot, And never brought to mind? Should auld acquaintance be forgot, And auld lang syne!
And surely ye’ll be your pint stowp! And surely I’ll be mine! And we’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet, For auld lang syne!
Johnny Brogan is a bartender at the Copper Kettle, an Irish neighborhood bar in the Irish neighborhood of Sunnyside, Queens. “Brogy” is not what you’d call a healthy-looking man, measuring well under six feet from the soles of his worn down off-brand trainers to the tip of his meticulously-parted coif and three feet from the rear of his spine to the furthest reaches of his jolly pot. But every year, from January to April, this one-man cider receptacle gets off the drink. Not a drop. And when you ask him why, he responds with a phrase he should have trademarked, “Right for the system.”
There’s something noble about Brogy’s pious dedication to this annual ritual, whether it be medically astute or not. He believes, as all who engage in any cleanse or diet or purge believe, abstaining from the sauce over this period of time will help him live longer. He’s also Irish. And Catholic. So there’s the guilt-inspired penance factor at play. Brogy sins for nine months. He apologizes for three.