Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas Eve Musings

On my way home this evening I did some shopping. Yep, I did. Yep, I am one of those.

My last stop was to a local Pennsylvania State Store (what is known as a liquor store in much of the rest of the world); MBH wanted some vanilla vodka, I needed some more Maker's Mark (long-time readers and the few who know me in real life will wonder why I've seemingly abandoned my Old No. 7; I haven't, totally, but long before they started sending me gifts I found it a pleasant change of pace; so sue me). Along the way, I picked up some Southern Comfort, something I haven't sampled in nearly 18 years.... far too long. But it was a great summer, when we all thought we were all invincible, and would be happy forever. As it turned out, a few of us are still waiting on that last part, in particular.

MBH's sister (SIL) traveled this summer to Ireland, and she remarked that whenever any of the women on her tour stopped at the smaller pubs to order a Guinness, the bar tender would always add a shot of something; and it was only for the women, because it was said to cut the bitterness of Guinness for the Yanks.

She has been drinking Guinness for many a year, so bitterness was something she never was troubled with (speaking for myself, I began drinking Guinness when I was 20, which explains why brews such as Miller High Life and Coors Light are like piss to me). And while SIL could describe the flavor of the shot, she couldn't recall the name of it. After some Googling, as near as I can discern, it was blackcurrant cordial; and while it is non-alcoholic it is stocked at liquor stores. So here's hoping she can relive some of trip to the small pubs in Ireland.

And if it wasn't blackcurrant cordial, I got her a litre of Bailey's, as a backup.


At the liquor store, as I was selecting some vodka, a guy on his cell phone pushed a cart down the aisle. Dialogue is guaranteed verbatim:
HE: Yeah, I got gifts for the golf guys, the neighbors, and my brothers. And I'm getting a few extra bottles. You know; in case someone stops in. I don't know, someone. You never know. What? No, I don't know who. But if someone stops in, I want to give them something.
Not being able to resist a perfect set up, I speak up:
ME: I'll be over tomorrow night, around 8, OK?
HE: See? This guy next to me says he's coming over tomorrow. No. No, I don't know (holds phone to chest) What's your name?
ME: Charlie.
HE: Charlie. Yeah. Charlie. No. No. No, he's some guy in the liquor store, but he says he's coming over. (To me) What do you drink?
ME: Bourbon!
HE: See? I need bourbon. Look, I'll call you when I am done. No. No... look, he's a nice guy, ok? Love you too. (disconnects)
ME: I'm sorry I butted in, but I couldn't resist.
HE: That's OK; my girlfriend can be a pain, you know? Um, are you going to be in Harrisburg tomorrow?
ME: No worries, pal. I'm not coming over. Merry Christmas!
HE: Merry Christmas to you, too!
But you know, I kinda think it would be worth the 90 mile drive....



Christmas in the onthepa.turnpike house may be delayed... the little one has a nasty upper respiratory infection. He was hacking all night Sunday, so mom and I got very little sleep. He literally slept the entire day today away (when he wasn't hacking like he was a 4-pack-a-day smoker). We'll see how he is tomorrow, and we may cheat a little; older brother has agreed to hold off a day for his kid brother (and thus we know that at 12, he's officially off the Santa theory), so Christmas may come on Wednesday here. Time will tell, but older brother is showing some maturity in that he'll forgo his presents a day on behalf of his hacking brother.

Between his good looks, brains and consideration, it's amazing to think I had anything to do with him!

Time to finish this drink, and post, and maybe catch some of Ralphie... I only have 21 hours left!

Merry Christmas to all of my readers.


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