I waited in line at the liquor store on Father’s Day. A young man stood in front of me. I was stocking up for the upcoming Nestucca Spit Press Outdoor Gin, Literature and Squirrel Festival and carried a green bottle of Tanqueray in my hand. I stick to the classics with gin. If Tanqueray could inspire Graham Greene to write 500 words a day as a reward and make it into an immortal Amy Winehouse song, then this dry gin was good enough for me. I don’t want botanicals, infusions and gimcrack recipes for gin. It’s like slathering salmon with sauces and glazes. Do you like the taste of salmon or not? I happen to like the taste of gin so let gin be gin.
The young man stepped up to the counter. He ordered a mini bottle of Fireball, cinnamon flavored swill whiskey. He struck up a conversation with the clerk. They knew each other. He was a regular. But this order was irregular.
“It’s Father’s Day,” he said. “I have to see my dad. He raised the bottle to his mouth and took a fake glug.
The clerk laughed.
I thought: surely one shot of Fireball wasn’t going to be enough.