Excerpts from: My Life Behind Bars by Jim Jung
Driving across L.A. in his Lexus listening to George Jones, Fred is down home. He is a big, handsome Irish man, who wears blue aloha shirts. He always has something witty to say, and says it slowly as if straining to think it up. It’s all in his delivery. He listens to my jokes over and over and always laughs. It is his charm. He is a rascal of the Pacific jetting to Hong Kong to make a deal, and then to Singapore for some more. Fred is a smart man because he knows everything. He is a wise man because he knows everybody. He deals with kings and emperors, tribal chiefs and heavy hitters. He makes big deals, and then cools his heels at the beach bar, just to check the recipe.
Fred invented the Fredrico. He paid for all the research, in more ways than one. How do you put a price on brain cells? People were saying, “I’ll have whatever the man on the floor is having.” This is the only place where you can get a Fredrico, and it is the best selling drink in the resort. Fred says its because of the recipe. I tell him it’s the marketing. I use Fredrico subliminal messages on Fredrico people. They never Fredrico know what Fredrico hit them. How many would you like? You should have several while you are in the area. The sooner you have a Fredrico, the longer you will have to enjoy them. After three they are so smooth, they will probably become your tropical drink of choice while in the islands. People have dreamed about Fredricos before returning to the source. It is a real value for your drink dollar. One Fredrico tastes like another.
The origin of the drink is shrouded in mystery like that thing in Turin. It was the summer of ’88 that Fred and Rick were looking for something different. Tired of sweet drinks, Mai Tais, Pina Colodas, Fruit Daquiries and Chi Chi’s, they wanted something fruity, tropical, and not too sweet. The pair came to the bar after golf and took a scientific approach with the research, until sundown. They found Jack Daniel’s cut the sweet, and Bacardi rum was needed to make it tropical.
Once perfected, a good time was had by several.
The next day Fred was back, ready for another. Rick was pushing a palm tree and watching ants crawl across the sidewalk. He looked at me hollow-eyed and said, “That is Fred’s drink.”
Fred shouldered the yoke of celebrity and carries it well. The thing about having a drink named after you is when you walk into a bar you buy everybody that drink. Fred never flinches when the bill is presented and sets the standard for consumption. He takes the garnish and straw and lays them on a napkin and says to anyone near, “Quaff medicine” and then quaffs it, and sets down an empty glass. He will say to someone sipping his or hers,”If you don’t drink it in nine seconds, it tends to marble out like a fine piece of meat.”
I pray every night, “God, let me be like Fred.”
The recipe is secret because it is the best way to sell the drink. You tell people what’s in it and they don’t want it. Nobody in their right mind would mix these things together. You tell them it is a secret and they are challenged.
A customer asked me, “What do you make?”
I said,” Fredricos.”
“What’s in it?”
“It’s a secret.”
“I’ll take two.”
That’s how you sell things. You perpetuate a mystique. A Fredrico is more than a drink it is a situation. Someday, someone will find out you were at this bar and ask if you had a Fredrico. You must say, “I don’t remember.” Fredricos cause short term memory loss. They are something you can stick with all day. They are genuine nap insurance. They are good for your golf game. They slow down your back swing and speed up your cart. The drink has a following and you can’t buy loyalty like this.
The Fredrico Faithful are at the bar at 10:00a.m. saying:
“When does this bar open?”
“A fellow could die of thirst before getting a drink around here.”
If Fred is in he area he cherishes them by buying the first round. He is their Napolean, their Patton. They will follow him anywhere. Fred knows that a true leader of men washes the feet of his followers. Fred is a legend, and tireless in the promotion of his namesake. The P.R. never stops.
There is protocol in serving the drink. None are genuine without these lines.
If you have one Fredrico we say,” No one has ever died from a Fredrico.” This is Fred’s line. He won’t let me put it on a T-shirt, because it is an implied warranty.
If you have two we say,”They are like used cars. They sell themselves.” This is true. If you want to sell a used car, put it on the road with a “For Sale” sign on it. It will do the rest.
When you have three Fredricos we say,”I had three Fredricos, and went to brush something off my shoulder, and it was the sidewalk.’
If you have four Fredricos we say, “You are a candidate for the curb-feeler-cuff-links.” Curb feelers were on cars in the fifties. There was so much sheet metal you couldn’t see where the car ended. The curb feelers were long chrome wires on springs that made noise and allowed parallel parking without damaging the white-wall tires.
When you have five Fredricos we say, “After five, some people have lost their mind.”
If you have six Fredricos we don’t say anything. We don’t want to interrupt the conversation you are having with your shadow. Fredricos bring out the schizophrenia in people, however latent. When they leave I say, “I have enjoyed both of you.”
There are record holders. When the drink was invented Fred set the standard at three. To double a standard is a record. There is a standard for all record attempts. You must adhere to the following criteria to remain championship material.
1. Polite to women. You must stand and offer your chair to any woman who approaches the bar. You must not say anything off color to offend the ladies. You must be a gentleman in all things.
2. Gracious to little children.
3. Mr Public Affairs to the men. Wherever they have been, you have been, and are capable of discussing any region on the globe, political incident, or government’s intent.
Any deviation from these criteria will void the record attempt.
If you encounter Fredrico champions in your walk of life, they must be afforded all the respect due their achievement.
The Mauna Kea does not sanction, allow, encourage, endorse, recommend or recognize record attempts. All attempts must begin at noon and end at dark. Last call is sunset. The judges determine dark. We have a license to protect, and drinking contests are illegal. One may not give away food to sell drinks or give away drinks to sell food. Do not broadcast your intent. The only way to prove you have broken the record is to have a check in front of you with the drinks listed and witnesses or judges of your participation.
It is a perfect world when the sun is setting on the Pacific and everybody is drinking Fredricos. As the golden glow of the primary shadow falls on the glasses and I fill the blender again I call, “Now making Fredricos. Who’s in?”
“I’m in.” Fred is always in. The last time I saw him the wind was whipping his shirt up his back, his wristwatch was blown up to his elbow, he was head into it. There was sand on the foam of his drink.