have to tell someone this story.
swear I am not making any of this up, and in fact, haven’t changed
the names to protect anybody. I will however admit that I didn’t
investigate my facts too closely. (Why let the truth get in the
way of a good story?)
and I had a Super Bowl party. We host one every year. And this
year, like last year… and every other year… we debated how much
beer to buy. Neither of us drinks much beer, if we drink it at
all. Same with our friends. Mostly wine drinkers this group, or
people more than satisfied with soda. (Bob and Terry’s Super Bowl
Party encourages you to drink responsibly and drive safely.) But
it always ends up that we buy a couple of cases and then have
leftover beer sitting in the house for months until we finally
reach an occasion to pack it up, bring it along, and give it away.
beer? Leftover beer?” I can hear the cries of some people I know
already… because there is no such thing as leftover beer. But
you know what? As opposed to what some people I knew believed
in high school -- that a drop of alcohol hitting the ground was
a drop of alcohol wasted in an unforgivable accident -- today
leftover beer is a reality.)
it was that this year, Tigg decided she would only buy a few bottles
of different brands. She figured that three or four six-packs
would be plenty. And there I was, several days before the game,
in the basement placing twenty-four bottles of four different
types of beer into a refrigerator.
the Monday morning after the game, I was back at that same refrigerator
in the basement, putting away twenty-seven bottles. To
be honest, I have no clue what that says about your Super Bowl
party when you actually finish with more beer than you started
with. I know what it meant in college. (Actually, such an accomplishment
would have been impossible in college.)
any event, this story I need to tell you isn’t about beer. But,
I had to establish a foundation. Let you know what I was working
against. The culprits in this story are my wife… Tigg… and our
friends… Ellen and Richard. See, they are the couple that brought
the extra beer, intending to drink it, and then switched to hard
weeks ago my wife was bringing out some things for the party.
If you don’t know my wife, understand at least this… she takes
this hostess business quite seriously. She uses real plates and
metal forks for the guests at our Super Bowl party. And, thanks
to her hard work and culinary talents, my name is associated with
some of the best food ever served at a party, because she makes
great eats and more than plenty of it. Guests may not drink the
beer, but they rave about the food... her food with me along for
the credit... for months after the event. (My mother
treats parties at her house exactly the same way. The food at
Mom’s parties is the stuff of legend. My Dad and I exchange many
knowing glances whenever my Mom’s Christmas party or my Super
Bowl party are approaching -- or should I say my wife’s party
since she really deserves the credit for it more than I do?)
any event, Tigg found an old drink mixing guide of mine during
this year’s preparations. From Margaritaville. She has been trying,
to varying degrees of success, to get rid of some of the alcohol
in our house. We just don’t drink it. (Although I do have a teenager
in the house, so perhaps we should be more aware of it, but I
suppose I should get back to the story.) She decided, while flipping
through this guide, that by buying just a couple of bottles of
different things… say triple sec, margarita mix and tequila… she
could serve a huge range of drinks at this party and get rid of
the extras from our household mini-bar.
was about halftime that I heard the fight.
not a fight so much as a spirited conversation.
Tigg, Ellen and Richard were debating how to make a Long Island
Tea. Beyond the problem of having no gin -- which as one of the
four alcoholic ingredients does create a significant problem when
missing -- they were debating the measurements.
drink guide called for half-ounce portions of rum, vodka, gin
and tequila to be mixed with lemon juice and a splash of cola.
had two shot glasses. One was your standard, heavy shot glass
that you might find, oh, in the pocket of any college student
that perhaps had just slipped it off of the bar and into his…
or her… pocket. The other was more of a measuring glass, but it
really didn’t have anything clearly marked. It was a cheap shot
glass. So they were going on and on about how much of an ounce
was in a shot, since both of these glasses held slightly different
guys,” I interrupted. “Since the recipe calls for equal portions
of every ingredient, who cares about ounces? Why not just use
the same glass and consistently add one or two shots of each alcohol?”
they turned away from me without saying anything, and made the
drink with no gin, but double-rum. A few minutes later I poured
a lot of coconut rum over ice, added a splash of pineapple juice
for color and went back to the game.
there you have it. My story. Not only can I throw a party where
the beers multiply, but also where the bartenders will spend quality
conversation time discussing how to get half-ounce portions without
being able to measure a half-ounce. I suppose there are worse
things to be concerned about.