Roots Bistro sign stating that beer should be like violence: domestic.

I like my beer like I like my violence: nonexistent.

From Scruffy Duffies: I like my beer like I like my violence: domestic

By now, many of you may have seen this news story, from a picture posted by Courtney Joye Williams, recounting her unfortunate experience encountering this sign in a Plano, Texas bar called Scruffy Duffies, and the management’s refusal to apologize or take the sign down.

I don’t think she overreacted. I think that anything can trigger a reaction to a traumatic event, and a sign that appears to be making fun of domestic violence would certainly be a reasonable trigger to a victim of domestic violence.

The #YesAllWomen has been a powerful movement that rose quickly in response to the misogynistic rantings and actions of the new poster child for male entitlement, gunman Elliot Rodger, who killed six people and himself in what seems to be a response to constant rejection by women. No matter who educated and informed I try to be, as a man, there are aspects to being a woman that I will never have considered until they’re brought to light.

Misogyny and domestic violence may never be eliminated in our society, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t as a people strive towards reducing it as much as humanly (or manly) possible. Stop giving women the reason to hold their keys as potential weapons when they walk to their cars. Stop making women feel dirty or wrong or guilty for dressing in any way that they wish. Stop belittling our opposite gender. Women are the ones who live longer, have higher thresholds for pain tolerance, and communicate better – they should be the ones in charge anyway!

That being said:

The sign in question does not glorify domestic violence, nor does it turn it into a joke. I make that statement even ignoring the context that it was written by a female bartender, who statistically, may have been a victim at some point in her life. It is a joke, yes. It’s a joke that’s been going around for many years, but the fact that it’s a joke doesn’t mean that domestic violence is the butt of said joke.

Bar sign that says I like my beer like I like my violence: domestic

A good joke is one that starts somewhere familiar and ends up somewhere unexpected.

The original joke was “I like my coffee like I like my men: black”. The origin is unknown, though I remember it from the movie Airplane! and I’ve also heard that it was a line in an early episode of “Good Times”.

Over time, that joke has evolved (or devolved). As new generations of comedians have attempted to put a fresh take on an old joke, we’ve seen variations such as the following:

“I like my coffee like I like my women: black and bitter.”
“I like my coffee like I like my women: hot and in a large cup.”
“I like my coffee like I like my men: pale and weak.”
“I like my coffee like I like my women: covered in bees!” -Eddie Izzard
“I like my coffee like I like my men: ground up and in my freezer.”

As it’s changed, it’s turned into a simple formula:

I like my ______ (usually a noun) like I like my ______ (usually a noun): _______ (usually an adjective).

Any two words that can be described with the same adjective would be appropriate to fit in here. And in this case, a bar advertising its domestic beer specials chose to use domestic violence to make the joke.

The reason that we know that this joke doesn’t make fun of domestic violence is in the simple fact that the word “violence” is unnecessary for the joke to be funny. Anything else in our society that’s called “domestic ______” could have been used for the exact same impact. Domestic war on terror? Domestic highly dangerous Africanized killer bees? Whatever. It doesn’t matter. The use of “domestic violence” was lazy and easy, but it wasn’t misogynistic, it wasn’t hateful, and it certainly wasn’t mocking something as tragic as domestic violence.

Now, if this had been me, would I have posted it? Probably not. There had to be another way to put a twist on it that would still make the intended point, even if it required a few more words:

I like my beer like I like my women: strong, bold, independent, and domestic, but only meaning “in the US”, not like she wouldn’t have an equal partner taking care of the household.

I like my beer like I like my violence: domestic, as in there is way too much of it, and we need to eliminate it now. So drink up domestic beer and get rid of domestic violence.

And finally, since I don’t drink beer:

I like my beer like I like my violence: nonexistent and accompanied by a fruity vodka drink.

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7 Replies to “I like my beer like I like my violence: nonexistent.”

  1. emily

    I actually wish they’d used the war on terror line that you came up with. way more clever and funny. on the same token, i’m a huge proponent of free speech, even if its speech i don’t like. you don’t get to have it both ways: backing free speech until something offends you. with that said, if somebody says/writes/publishes something that offends me, I DON’T PATRONIZE THEIR BUSINESS ANYMORE (cough fox news cough). if this woman had a problem with the sign, she should choose to not go into the bar. she could even make it a point to publish the photo of it, show it to her friends and let people know that if they find the joke offensive, they should also stop going to that business. THAT IS HER FREE SPEECH RIGHT. Just as the bar has the right to make the joke and then not take it down. It’s astonishing to me that issues like this continue to be a source of public outcry. Thanks, internets.

  2. Becky

    Just because you’re offended does not mean it’s offensive. Learn the difference.
    The Constitution does not guarantee us the right to not be offended.
    Adam, years ago, you wrote a similar post about a different situation (I don’t remember what, and I’m too lazy to search your archives) but you pointed out that there is humor in every situation. At first I was all NO! There has to be a line drawn somewhere. Then I realized, there is a line drawn. We ALL have lines drawn and every line is different. The problem becomes when we expect the world to not cross our line.

  3. Grant

    The sign was too far into the realm of bad taste to be saved by the joke, and adding words / toning it down only kills the humor. The bartender should have just chuckled to herself, shook her head, realized that one was better left unsaid, and moved on. Then she should have called me for a date because she sounds as clueless as me when it comes to accidentally offending people.

    Also, my favorite (outside of Eddie Izzard) is from Robin WIlliams: “I like my wine like I like my women – ready to pass out.” Which, come to think of it, sounds like a potential date rape joke. But I think that time the funny mitigates the bad taste.

  4. Allyson

    Eddie Izzard likes his women like he likes his coffee – with a spoon in them. I don’t remember him ever saying coffee was covered in bees. 😉

  5. Dustin

    That’s what’s wrong with the fucking population now days, everyone is too literal and thinks everything is serious! What kind of life do you live to where you can’t joke about anything, no matter the context? Fuck that, fucking lighten up people!

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