It was a Friday night like many before it and the air was just right for drinking. "The W" had called me earlier in the evening to see if I would be up for some tomfoolery. I mentioned I was always down for a visit with Tom but that we did need to remember that I now worked obscenely early on Saturday morning. W, laughed and told me I would be home in plenty of time for mummy to tuck me in for my required 40 winks.
I showered, changed and fired up the F1. I arrived at W's backdoor promptly at 8:30. We drove from his house to the LQ to procure some adult beverages, thus ensuring a relaxed and tasty evening. "I feel like keeping it real and drinking 40's tonight." never more of a puzzled look had I given my friend. "Why the deuce would you want to do that old chap?" I replied. "For heaven's sake my good man, for economy's sake!" W cried. After an initial stroll through the store, we came back to the cooler where only the finest of all malt beverages were stored. On our stroll I had informed my companion that I would not be joining him in his quest, "to get hellified."
I had picked up two bottles of the finest honey dew melon wine ever made and met my partner's gaze infront of the cooler. He was cruising the most nefarious of regions, the bottom shelf. There were your regulars your Budweisers and your quarts of High Life. Then there were the nasties, the Mickey's, Private Stock, Olde English 800 and of course St. Ides. The was a new player in this game of champions, Steele Reserve High Gravity malt liquor. The W and I had tasted this fine elixer only one time previous. While it was not terrible, I wouldn't ask for it by choice.
Then low and behold, on the next shelf up, we noticed a brown bottle wrapped in plain brown paper. The label read, "liquor du malt....hand made" It was a French forty! Jumping Jehosephat! We had struck the motherlode. The angels were singing and we were rejoicing in the aisles until we spied the demon, himself, the $7.99 price tag. What in the blue blazes could this mean? Surely this was some sort of mistake, a cosmic joke perhaps. No forty ounce bottle of malt lick-ruh should cost $8.00. We shut the cooler door with such a profound sense of sadness, it felt as though it was the last night of summer vacation. The W's eyes lost some luster and though I had yet to open my melon wine, I knew it would be a little less sweet.
We hemmed and hawed and harumphed around the store several times, each time stopping to marvel at the brown behemoth in the case of beers of ill repute. "I'm not going to spend $7.99 on a forty. I will not, and I won't." W bellowed. "But what if it is the best forty ever W? What then? My question did not fall on deaf ears as the W's hands found cover in his, "thinkin' whiskers." "The whole reason I wanted to drink forties was to avoid a big ticket night!" His face was beginning to grow crimson in hue and his eyes wide in consternation. It would not be long before he left with something as ill-advised as a twelve pack of, (shudder) Icehouse.
"W, please, you're being unreasonable. We're men of the world, what is $8.00 when a fine beverage could possibly be discovered?" He looked at me as though I had several heads, some of them with forked tongues. "Well what if the fucking beer tastes like skunk teats? What then my fine friend? What say you?" For the first time in a very long time I was at a loss for words. "In that case W, I am not sure, I guess then in that case we'll have made a very costly error." Me, James, me. Let us not forget I am the one putting forth 8 of my hard-earned American dollars for something that could be less than swill derelicts on the street.
At this point one of the women behind the counter approached us and asked if she could be of any assistance. We asked if anyone had purchased this incredibly over-priced libation and what their feelings on it were. Unfortunately, no one had the temerity to try said beverage and therefore we were out of luck. The counter maiden pulled the bottle from the cooler and read it to us as though we were babes in the wilderness with only our beauty and naivete to protect us, " says here it's hand made." W scoffed and looked at me as though he could not believe she had tried to dupe us with a read of the label. As W laughed, I mentioned, "I make a lot of things with my hands, but I don't think I'd like to drink any of them." This only made W laugh even harder and though the serving girl was not a simp, the humor was wasted on her.
After such merriment had subsided, W decided to throw caution to the wind and ante up the gelt for the "golden forty" as it was so appropriately dubbed. We arrived fashionably late to Peter Seychelles comfortable study, where the lighting was just right, the chicken not to dry, and the $8.00 forty was DELICIOUS! The forty really did go well with the chicken, nice job W! After dinner there was singing and dancing and melon wine ran down my throat like fey returning to the forest after an evening full of mischief and enchantment. I got crunk as hell and woke up the next morning to brush my teeth and throw on a clean pair of drawers before running out to work.
Let me tell you, there ain't nothing like a 12 hour melon wine hangover....DAMN!!!
Peace on it,