November 21, 1997
I worked my way through the liquor cabinet last
Before you offer me a lifetime membership in AA,
let me explain.
We've reorganized the kitchen, and my job was to
collect up all the booze bottles from their various
hiding places and organize them on a single shelf.
My parents didn't drink at all, but kept a well
stocked bar for guests. My wife doesn't drink
much, and I'm pretty much a Martini and wine man
(not mixed together), but we try to be good hosts.
If that means keeping the ingredients on hand for a
Pumpkin Fizz, so be it.
We also have a large selection of booze given to
us at Christmas. If I find one more bottle of
hazelnut liqueur, I'll scream.
With all the sherry we have, you'd think we were
part of the Guzzlin' Grannies Motorcycle Club.
Cleaning out the old liquor cabinet I found out
an awful truth about myself. I have a teenager's
It's filled with the stuff senior proms are made
Lemon gin. Cherry brandy. Creme de Menthe.
Does this sound like anything Bogart would
drink? Can you hear James Bond walking up to a bar
and asking for a melon liqueur - shaken, not
No, this is not alcohol for anyone old enough to
drink it. Somehow I wouldn't expect any sympathy
on Monday morning if I came to the office
complaining that I had a wicked banana liqueur
And at the back of my cupboard I found a big
bottle of Southern Comfort.
I'll let you in on a secret. I have only had
two unfortunate booze experiences, the first of
which involved Southern Comfort.
I was in a college debating tournament, and I
brought along a pint of SC for inspiration.
Towards the end of the night, I was overly
inspired, and when added to my friend's own liquid
courage, and the after debate wine and cheese
reception - well, you get the picture.
I haven't been able to look at Southern Comfort
since. So you can imagine how thrilled I was one
Christmas to open my grandmother's present to find
- a huge bottle of Southern Comfort. Bless her.
My other experience involved a spirited board
game at a friend's cottage, and a steady supply of
Martinis. When olives became scarce, a bottle of
pearl onions was found hiding in the fridge.
I think they were bought when Diefenbaker was in
In any event, the explosive results gave a new
meaning to: "You sunk my battleship!"
Fortunately, I decided it wasn't the Martinis,
but the offensive onions. After all, I can live
without eating another pearl onion. I still have to
look the other way when we pass them at the grocery
But those two incidents aside, I had no other
unfortunate run-ins with the demon run (or Sambuca,
as the case may be.)
To preserve my carefully cultivated image as a
sophisticated man of the world, I really should
throw out those dribbles of orange and green liquid
in the bottles shaped like bulls, or wearing yellow
Instead, I hid them in the back of the cupboard,
behind the single malts, vodkas and cognacs.
You never know. Some day I may have teenagers
of my own.