D. D. Wanted

I'm trying to lay off the booze for Lent. So far so good. But today I had a problem: I was making a braised short rib ragù with red wine. There was about a glass left in the bottle, and I really couldn't add anymore to the sauce. As I worked in the kitchen, I could hear the remaining wine whispering softly, "Gene, I'm lonely over here: come keep me company, big guy."

Luckily, a friend showed up. "Joe, have a glass of wine," I pleaded. He accepted... and the danger on the rocks was surely passed.

And then I realized what I need for the next 36 days: a designated drinker! I can still go to bars. When my buddy says, "Gene, let me buy you a shot," I say, "Sure thing! Thanks." After it is poured, I hand it off to Joe (say), who slugs it down for me. I can still invite my wife out for a nice candlelit dinner with a bottle of champagne, toast to our marriage... and then hand the glass off to Joe.

In the old days, I could have even had Joe take care of any bumps I was offered: "Hey, Joe, head off to the men's room with Vinnie for a minute, OK? And after that I'll want a cigarette, so you'd better take this one."


  1. Anonymous5:08 PM

    Well, I'm glad to see that you've slowed down a bit and mellowed as you've gotten older, otherwise we might've lost ya.

    It's funny that your friend's name is Joe, because just about 12 years ago I would have been well-qualified for the job of "Joe". Don't get me wrong, I have no regrets, I had a lot (and I mean A LOT) of fun, but lots of things have happened between then and now, and that's no longer where I'm at. Funny how life goes.

    Alcohol is completely different, however. I have no proof of this, but I would imagine that alcohol is probably one of the oldest drugs known to man, and it is entirely ingrained into our culture, heritage, as well as our darker sides. There are genetic studies showing the relevance of certain markers in generations of families, but I would rather think that this genetic trait is far more widespread and has a far longer regression than is often portrayed in such studies. I'm not making any value-judgement on the rightness/wrongness or the goodness/badness of drinking, I just think that it is quite a different animal than most other drugs.

    I'll just end by stating that if I were a betting man I'd say that it's going to be a short lent this year, Dr. Callahan.

  2. Joe, did you miss the song reference? I put it in for you.


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