Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Juice-Wine is Fine

This morning, my boyfriend said, "Hey, what do you want to drink for breakfast? Juice? Milk? Wine?" And I said, "How about some wine, but with juice in it...because it's breakfast?" Two minutes later, he brought me the juice-wine concoction I had requested, even though I was joking, and I drank it right down. And I can safely say that juice-wine is awesome and put me in such a good mood that not even the most annoying subway commute could bring me down today. And then I wrote this story about drinking at odd hours.

Harold, the Town Sober

"Once upon a time" is the best way for any story to start. It makes you go, "Oh, boy! A story that will surely take place in a kingdom far away. And it will have a beautiful princess and an evil queen and something sharp, pointed, and deadly." And then you want to read on to hear more about their hilarious shenanigans in which someone (the queen) eventually gets impaled upon the sharp, pointed, and deadly object and dies because she lives in a time and place where stitches weren't invented.

Unfortunately, this story does not start with "Once upon a time." Nor does it start "On a dark and stormy night." Or even with "It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife." Instead, it starts with "Drunken buffoonery was not only tolerated in the village of Beerington, it was required." And then it goes on from there. You'll see if you read on.

Drunken buffoonery was not only tolerated in the village of Beerington, it was required. If you were born there, when you sprang from your mother's womb, you were not brought to her to suckle; instead, you were handed a bottle of tequila, a shaker of salt, several limes, and a very sharp knife with which to cut them. Then, the doctor who delivered you left for the pub. You learned very quickly how to mix your own cocktails, change your own diapers, and prepare your own hot wings, as that was the only food substance consumed by the people of Beerington.

Of course, because it was a functioning hamlet, the people of Beerington actually had to have town meetings. And because they were all drunk, they never got a thing resolved. Most of the time, the meetings would turn into brawls and the town's officers would have to arrest everyone, including themselves, and the entire population of Beerington would have to spend the night in lockup. In the morning, they would all bail themselves out just in time to head to head home for a breakfast of mimosas and hot wings.

There was one person who found this whole situation very stupid. And that was Harold, the town sober. Harold had never really liked the taste of alcohol. So when everyone else in town got up to drunken buffoonery, he would sip on a glass of non-alcoholic cranberry juice and say nonsensical things in a manner that convinced everyone that he was at the required levels of drunkenness.

Harold found it all very stupid because on the nights of town meetings, he would find himself just as locked up as all the drunks. But rather than passing out like everyone else did, he would have to sit awake in the dark and endure an entire town's bad breath and vomit puddles. Of course, he put this time to good use by going around and picking everyone's pockets. But before you think he did this out of villainy, it was actually to ensure that everyone paid their taxes. Thanks to Harold, there were perfectly paved roads going in and out of town (even though no one was allowed to drive on them), good schools for students to black out in, and a wonderful town square with a statue of Colonel Beerington, for whom the town was named. (He was a colonel who bravely founded the town's first saloon.) Long story short, Harold, the town sober, was the only reason the town hadn't fallen into a deep pit of disrepair years and years before. (And also just a regular old deep pit as the town was unwisely built on at the edge of an abandoned mine shaft, and Harold had wisely filled it in.)

During Harold's 27th year of living, he decided that he was tired of being the only responsible person in Beerington and never getting a bit of credit for it. So, he decided to run for political office.

To be continued...

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