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The Guest Who Wouldn’t Leave

by John Rodat on March 16, 2011 · 1 comment

Honey, I know you’re about out of patience, and I know you’re having a hard time being polite to our house guest. It’s true that he’s been here longer than I expected, and that he’s been a bit disruptive. I appreciate the effort that you’ve made, so far. I really do. But, for my sake, can you try to be a little bit more understanding and a little bit friendlier to A Whole Lot of Booze?

Look, I’m not saying that your anger is totally out of place: There’s been some, well, high spirits, heh. No, honey, I’m not making light of it, but I just don’t think you get how good a friend A Whole Lot of Booze is to me. We go way back. Sure, we got really close in college, but it began before that. We met in grade school, for crying out loud!

Well, yeah, sure, then it was just a box of after-dinner liquor encased in miniature chocolate bottles that someone had given my parents. But I think I knew, instinctively, even then, that there was something special about A Whole Lot of Booze. My folks couldn’t see it. They just left the box on the dining-room hutch. Honestly, even I might have passed it by, but for the misleading promise of candy.

I still remember my shock as the first bite of dark chocolate gave way to the smoky, choking rush of cognac. I’ll tell you, sweetie, I learned then not to judge a book by its cover. That’s just one of the very valuable life lessons A Whole Lot of Booze has taught. One of many.

Sure, it gets loud with A Whole Lot of Booze around, and there are, I agree, some impulse-control issues. But, if you’re being fair, sweetheart, I think you’ll have to admit that, when it’s really necessary, A Whole Lot of Booze can really help you pull your act together.

Like, in high school we had a really crazy party at Bear McGillis’ house. At one point, someone was trying to get Megyn Merrit’s seeing-eye dog to fight a parrot with forks twist-tied to its feet in the conversation pit. The neighbors called the cops, of course. I took off through the basement window, in the pouring rain, in my sock feet. Somehow I got turned around and ended up back on the McGillis’ porch, with my drenched socks trailing like weird tentacles. Seriously, I looked like something out of a Sid & Marty Croft special. Did I lose my cool? I did not. Why? A Whole Lot of Booze. I just pretended to be a concerned neighbor. “What seems to be the problem, officers?” Calm as could be. If I had been hysterical—as I’m sure I would have been without A Whole Lot of Booze—I bet I would have been in that cell twice as long.

Do you think that without that early experience I’d have been able to talk to the cops tonight so confidently? Heaven knows what the neighbors told them was going on in here, but without A Whole Lot of Booze’s help I really don’t think they were going to believe that I fell down the basement stairs, twice.

But I understand how you’d have mixed feelings, babe. You’re probably a little bit jealous. It’s not strange that there would be a little bit of rivalry between you two. It’s not that I love A Whole Lot of Booze more than I love you. It’s two totally different things. And just think, if not for the friendship and counsel of A Whole Lot of Booze, I’d probably just be some 9-to-5 workaday grind, selling himself to some corporate master, you know? I wouldn’t be able to stay home and work on my scale model of Middle Earth, which after last night needs a lot more work. I’d probably be working more than 25 or 30 hours a week. And with the amount you work, we’d hardly see each other, at all.

When you think of it like that, wouldn’t you say that we both owe a debt to A Whole Lot of Booze?

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