Eoin Butler: writer, journalist and Mayoman of the Year

Tripping Along The Ledge


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Norm’s opening lines…

norm and cliffy
“How’s a beer sound, Norm?”
“I dunno. I usually finish them before they get a word in.”

“Whatcha up to Norm?”
“My ideal weight if I were eleven feet tall.” “What’s shaking, Norm?”
“All four cheeks and a couple of chins.”

“What would you say to a nice beer, Normie?”
“Going Down?”

“What would you say to a beer, Normie?”
“Daddy wuvs you.”

“What would you say to a beer, Norm?”
“Hiya, sailor. New in town?”

“What’s new, Normie?”
“Terrorists, Sam. They’ve taken over my stomach and they’re demanding beer.”

“What’ll it be, Normie?”
“Just the usual Coach. I’ll have a froth of beer and a snorkel.”

“What’d you like, Normie?”
“A reason to live. Give me another beer.”

“What’ll you have, Normie?”
“Well, I’m in a gambling mood Sammy. I’ll take a glass of whatever comes out of that tap.”
“Looks like beer, Norm.”
“Call me Mister Lucky.”

“Can I draw you a beer, Norm ?”
“No, I know what they look like. Just pour me one.”

“How’s it going Mr. Peterson?”
“Poor.”
“I’m sorry to hear that.”
“No, I said pour.”

“Hey Norm, how’s the world been treating you?”
“Like a baby treats a diaper.”

“How’s life treating you Norm?”
“Like it caught me sleeping with its wife.”

“What’s going down, Normie?”
“My butt cheeks on that bar stool.”

“Pour you a beer, Mr. Peterson?”
“Alright, but stop me at one… On second thoughts, make that one-thirty.”

“What’d you say, Norm?”
“Any cheap, tawdry thing that will get me a beer.”

“Whaddya say, Norm?”
“Well, I never met a beer I didn’t drink.”

“Can I pour you a beer Mr. Peterson?”
“A little early isn’t it, Woody?”
“For a beer?”
“No, for stupid questions.”

“Hey Mr. Peterson, there’s a cold one waiting for you.”
“I know… If she calls, I’m not here.”

[When I'm working late at night, I'll occasionally watch an old Cheers episode on YouTube. What always impresses me is how much humour the writers managed to extract (eleven series, over 250 episodes) from such a narrow and formulaic show. Norm's opening lines are a case in point. It's one basic joke (maybe two at a stretch) re-hashed over and over again. But its still funny the umpteenth time. That's pretty hard to do.]

May 18th, 2010.

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