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.
LOVE this Leslie. Wicked funny and heartwarming at the same time.