Daily beer aside, I’m not much of a drinker anymore.  My goals as a grownup are different; I drink ale because it tastes good, not because it makes me tipsy.  But in the past few weeks, I’ve come to appreciate (rather than, I should make clear, depend upon) its analgesic effects.

On Saturday night, I’d had an emergency shiatsu treatment at the place I affectionately call Jim Hill’s House of Hellishly Painful Poking and Pulling.  That’s exactly where I go; that’s exactly what goes on.  But the whole way home from treatment, I was thinking of booze.
I wasn’t in the mood for what usually ales me.  I wanted a Baileys and club soda.  No, I wanted a frozen mudslide.  No, I wanted gin and tonic.  I would go to The Liquor Pump, because I could also get a hug—free.  I would get Kahlua, Baileys , and a six pack.
The Liquor Pump had no power, like most of the places near Old Harford Road.  But Lou’s was open, so I picked up my liqueurs and paid the man (whose name I don’t know despite having shopped there for 19 years) through the carousel in the bullet-proof glass.  It was a hug-less, joyless purchase.
We didn’t have vodka or gin at home, so today, after another shiatsu treatment just four days later, I stopped at the Liquor Pump for more booze and that hug.  While I was picking out the vodka, there he was, arms outstretched.  Worth the price.
I took my selections—including cake vodka for my mom’s birthday—to the counter and went in search of some gin.  What do I know from gin—Tanqueray seems to be the thang.  But I saw as a sign the bottle of Martin Miller; even at $35, it had to come home with me.
When I put it on the counter, Harry seemed impressed with my taste. “That’s the best gin you can buy.  It’s the only one that doesn’t have an overwhelming flavor of juniper.  I mean, you can taste it, but it’s not overpowering.” 
“Well,” I hated to admit, “I picked this one because my husband is Martin Miller.”
“You have a husband?” Harry asked, faux dejection in his voice.

“Yeah,” I said.  “But don’t you have a wife and kids?”

“Sure,” he said, “But I can have lots of wives.”
I suppose if I could have lots of husbands (though why anyone would want lots of either is beyond my capacity for reason), I could do far worse than a handsome fellah who owns a liquor store.

But I’m better off sticking with the one I have.  Diet tonic and a squirt of lemon, please.

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