I come from a long line of teetotalers. One hundred percent, never-touched-their-lips-to-any-sort-of-alcohol, abstainers from the drink. On both sides of the family tree.
In keeping with family tradition, I, too, choose not to drink liquor. I’ve smelled beer, though, and to me it smells like fermented leaves. [Go figure.] Like a compost pit, if you will. Why would I pay to drink my compost pit when I could go outside and eat all the weeds I want for free?
(And trust me, there are a lot. If man could get drunk on weeds alone, I’d have a first-rate brewery in my own backyard! I’d make millions–but that’s only if I knew how to make beer, which I don’t. I don’t even drink it.)
At any rate, though none of us drink alcohol, we all have a lot of different vices, each to our own. I could talk about all my vices today, but I’d rather talk about my brother-in-law’s.
Flint* is a hefty sort of fellow–he’s 6’4″ if he’s an inch, and I’d say he weighs 250-ish.
And mercy me, does that Flint ever love his Mountain Dew™. Keep in mind that he is married to a dainty little thing (my older sister) who cooks with whole grains and Splenda™ and hasn’t eaten a bite of sugar in four years (except for one bite of wedding cake, which she claims to have spit out after the photo was taken). She’s running a marathon in October. In other words, she’s a healthy sort of person.
**Tangent: I am typing this in my creepy basement, and a huge spider just crawled my way. I sat up, looked around for a weapon and, finding nothing substantial enough, just watched the spider. After a few seconds he turned around and crawled away towards the T.V., perhaps seeking to get a better look at Cat Deeley, who, I must say, is lovely indeed. Hes’ coming back. I threw an empty Dasani™ bottle at him. It missed. He scampered back to Cat Deeley. I will have strange nightmares about this tonight.**
So anyway, she’s healthy and he’s not and when he comes home from work to reach into the fridge for that can of Mountain Dew™, she cringes.
“Honey,” she reminds in her sweetest voice, “remember how we’re trying to eat more healthily? Remember our challenge? Whoever loses the most this week gets $100.00?”
“Oh, yeah,” he replies coolly. “About that–”
“No!” she interrupts, her voice a bit more shrill than sweet this time. “You cannot give up! You gave up last time, and you were miserable. I won all the money, and you didn’t get to buy the bio-diesel machine you wanted, and you still hadn’t lost any weight! ” She’s very passionate about health, my sister is. That woman loves health. (I, too, love health. Only, I like the kind of health that comes from a long snooze in a hammock on a beach; not the kind of health that comes from eating tofu and running 26.7 miles…ever.)
Flint smiles and hugs her and continues drinking his soda, and as I observe the scene, it makes me wonder if this what it’s like for couples who do drink alcohol. When the husband comes home and takes out a can of ice-cold Coors™ after a long day at the office, and the wife gets annoyed because he should be playing with the children instead of feeding his alcoholism, is this what it looks like? Of course I’ll have no way of knowing because if anyone in my family ever starts nursing an alcoholic condition, it will mean that the earth has come to an end, and I won’t be around to observe because I’ll be dead–what with the earth ending and all.
But there’s a twinkle in Flint’s eye when he comes home from work and reaches into the fridge. It’s the sort of twinkle that says, “This is gonna be good,” and it’s not talking about the can of soda. I secretly believe that he only does this to get on my sister’s nerves, in the same way that Daniel Wilsford used to stomp on my sand castles at recess when I was eight–they do these things to make us mad, because making up is so much fun. He probably doesn’t even like Mountain Dew™. He probably prefers Diet.
Poor, poor Flint. He has no idea.
*Names changed because I said so.*