Oct 152019

As regular readers of this Web log know, I’m an Italian-American – my full name is Tom Collins Martini, and my father, now long retired, was a bartender at a Manhattan society hotel. In the 1960’s and 1970’s, he invented a number of modern martini cocktails and named his children after the ones of which he was particularly proud. All of this explains why my brother, Rob Roy Martini, brought his wife and son over to my home in Great Falls, Virginia on Monday, October 14 for dinner – to celebrate Columbus Day, an American holiday celebrated by Italian-Americans since 1792 and made an official federal holiday in 1971. Now, I would be the first to admit that we Italian-Americans […]

Sep 222019

The biggest single problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place. – George Bernard Shaw It was another working Saturday which found me at the Round Robin Bar after my final consultation ended at seven thirty in the evening. There, I saw Farquhar, a DC staffer for the Biden campaign and McLoon, who works at the Executive Office of the President. As might be expected, both of them were drinking scotch and engaged in a heated discussion. McLoon hailed me as I walked by with my Botanist and tonic. “Collins!” he brayed. “Come over here and talk some sense into this jackass!” “He’s a Democrat,” I reminded McLoon as I joined them at their table. “Being a […]

Aug 192019

The attendee at my regular consultation with the International Finance and Foreign Exchange Attaché of the Embassy of Denmark on Friday was replaced with a last-minute substitute – Dr. Arnapalaaq Iteq Ikiaqutit, the Cultural, Legal and Political Affairs Deputy at the embassy’s Greenland Section. She was visibly upset as she situated herself on the chair directly to the right of my desk and leaned in. “Mr. Collins,” she confided, “I don’t mind telling you I’m very, very concerned about your President Trump.” “Well, don’t let that bother you,” I replied. “There are at least one hundred and fifty million Americans who feel precisely the same way.” “Has he gone mad?” she implored. “Gone mad?” I responded. “Why no, he hasn’t […]

Jul 282019

I had consultations running right up to seven o’clock on Friday, so I stopped by the Round Robin Bar after work. There, at a table by himself, sat Hymen Steinstien, one of several principal staffers to Representative Jerrold Nadler, Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. Despite the fact that Steinstien’s usual annual alcohol intake typically comprises three thimbles of strictly kosher Mogen David ceremonial wine during Passover, on that table stood two empty martini glasses. That in itself was extraordinary at the Round Robin, where the waitstaff are famous for quickly gathering empty drink glasses from tables, routinely within minutes of when they are finished. So all the signs were there – poor Steinstien was working so hard on getting […]

Jun 292019

Someone calling herself “Alexa,” and claiming to represent “a major Democratic presidential candidate” started calling the office starting in the middle of last week, asking for one of my free initial consultations. I’ve been extremely busy lately, and there really weren’t any openings in my schedule, so I kept putting them off. I have to admit, however, that their persistence finally triumphed, as Gretchen got tired of this person calling three or four times a day and told me, “Either you stop giving free initial consultations, accept requests within three days of the first call, accept requests after ten attempts to get one, or find yourself another private secretary.” I’m sure she wasn’t serious about that last part, but nobody […]