1. He was expecting to be slapped. That’s the usual.

    He’s pessimistic and defeatist. But at least he has the comfort in being right.

  2. So he usually offends her somehow, so she usually slaps him; so now he treats her like their usual exchanges are just a sort of business exchange, which implies maybe she’s working in the world’s oldest business, which is certainly slap-worthy — only, by providing him with exactly what he has asked for, hasn’t he now tricked her into actually partaking in the quid pro quo of a business exchange? Meaning that they are no longer, in the Churchillian sense, in dispute as to the what, but have now moved on to the haggling-over-the-price part?

  3. Some people prefer the comfort of a routine even if their routine is not successful.

  4. What does the “swipe” of the martini signify? Who aggressively grabs their glass off of the bar?

  5. I got the idea that the bartender had sent it sliding down the bar like a beer, even though bartenders don’t really do that.

  6. It signifies that both he and the bartender are in a routine and the bartender slings the drink and he swipe catches. I don’t think it works very well and is distracting.

  7. It’s like the joke about the prisoners who have memorized a joke book by number. A guy can get a laugh just by stating the number of a favorite joke. Bung doesn’t have to actually say anything fresh. The damsel knows what he means.

  8. Our hero was expecting alcoholic service (and got it) when he asked the bartender for the usual; I think he was expecting sexual service when he asked the lady for “the usual”, and she, annoyed at being taken for granted, slapped him instead. Presumably she is a non-professional and so not in the same position as the bartender, ie offering service for remuneration.

  9. What comic strip was it (Broom-Hilda? Wizard of Id) in the seventies where the character walks into a bar and says “Gimme the usual” and the bartender says “okay” and tosses her/him out the door in a flying toss?

  10. It wouldn’t have been out-of-place to have that in Wizard of Id, but I can’t confirm that it actually was.

  11. Being both a full-time jester to a murderous psychopathic king AND also a full-time hopeless drunkard doesn’t leave Bung much free time to fool around with preliminaries. If he’s going to squeeze out enough break time for more than that one quick drink, he can’t afford to waste time making a pass that will just always end up with the traditional slap in the face, so he may as well skip the pass and just take the slap right away. Early example of medieval efficiency expert strategies.

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