Of Bars, Booze, and Bartending - Proving "Coughlin's Law" Invalid Since Feb '05

Friday, November 10, 2006

Un Fiasco

We had a minor disaster in the kitchen tonight that developed into a major fiasco, something involving the server entering the wrong order. It amounted to nothing in the end, of course, but the back of the house can be dramatic, and it makes for an interesting shift when they're feeling a little irritable.

Later in the evening, I asked Chef about the word, "fiasco." During my past life as a music student, Italian music vocabulary was crucial, and I always understood a "fiasco" to mean "disaster." You only whip that word out if some opera singer hits the wrong note, and everybody notices, for example.

Chef explained that in Italy, a fiasco in that sense refers to the kind of Chianti that comes in a straw-wrapped bottle. He then said it might mean any bottle.

"So how did that come to define 'fiasco' as we know it?"

"I don't know. Maybe because it's just bad," he said, referring to the quality of wine that fills a straw-wrapped jug of Chianti.

I like to think that all Chianti is good, straw-wrapped or Riserva, but nonetheless, word origins are fascinating, aren't they?

Maybe we should just empty those bottles and use them for candles, once and for all. I'll help with the fiasco.