My morning started on Tuesday with a cup of coffee and the offer of a piece of chocolate cake. The coffee I accepted; the cake I denied. It was not that I didn't want the cake, after all, it was chocolate. Before reaching for the telephone and making me an appointment with the doctor, with a possible follow up with the psych ward, Dana asked why I didn't want the cake. There were two reasons. One was chocolate, the other was rum. The center of the cake was filled with a ganache, a lovely light, rich, chocolate cream that can only be tasted to be fully appreciated. The rum is an added extra that could, in this particular case, only lead to trouble. When it comes to alcohol, I am what apparently is known as, a lightweight.
If I had eaten the chocolate cake, with the smidgen of rum, I would have been wide eyed, and slightly loopy, for about half an hour.
My relationship with alcohol is, at best, volatile. I do not particularly enjoy the taste, but every so often, I will crave a glass of wine. Perhaps a glass is a little adventurous as by the third sip I have satisfied my craving. Of course, there are times when I do enjoy a few more sips.
Moving to Texas, it was virtually impossible to enter a restaurant without being offered a margarita. Although tequilla has never been on my 'must try' list, margaritas had a strange appeal. Dana does not drink, at all, ever, but whenever I am offered a margarita, he nudges me and says, 'go on', knowing that if I accept, my alter ego will appear.
Perhaps I should set the scene. When we were in Jamaica, the cream rum was very readily available. As the resort was an 'all inclusive', it was virtually 'on tap'. Once tasted, it was quite impossible not to have another. I was on holiday and having a drink was not a problem. What becomes a problem is that my brain stops. The bigger problem is that my mouth continues to go at full speed. Once the stop key has been found, and turned in my ignition, my brain coughs and splutters into action, but it takes a time to warm up and whilst attempting to get into gear, has to deal with the embarrassment of the voice piece.
For some reason, in this particular case whilst in Jamaica, I was reminiscing about a little Australian bush kangeroo. For those too young to have enjoyed the programme, Skippy was the most amazing marsupial, who could smell danger at fifty paces, and saved lives of thousands. In my recalling his outstanding record of saving every life that was ever at risk, I decided to reinact the series, and hopped around the swimming pool, with my arms bent and hands curled making clicking noises. 'What's up, Skip?', I asked, and then replied in kangeroo. 'Click, click, click'. Still hopping I became the questioner again. 'Someone is stuck in a burning house? Let's go!', and off I skipped.
As I said, my mouth had no problem emitting complete rubbish. My brain was chasing behind, screaming as loud as possible, but not being heard. It was only when my audience grew bored, that I left the pool to find a sun lounger, and then promptly fell asleep. Thus was born my alter ego, Skippy.
Skippy did not appear again until a couple of years later. We had decided to go to a new Mexican restaurant. It had been open for a couple of weeks and they were still offering a complimentary margaritas to all new customers. We entered the restaurant and were shown to a table. The waitress took our order and offered us the complimentary beverage. Dana declined but it was my opportunity to sample a Texan special. After some sign language with a colleague, she returned to our table and explained that they had run out of glasses, and the only flavour left for the drink was lime. I like lime. It is in these situations that I wish I was bilingual. Spanish is such a colourful language, and the language used was, I am sure, very colourful. After lots of arm waving and feet stamping, the two women disappeared behind the bar, and one reappeared with a goldfish bowl on a stem, filled to the brim with a pale green liquid over ice. 'We ran out of glasses', she reiterated, 'enjoy!'
I did enjoy. As I took the first sip, my eyes opened wide and I could not close them. I couldn't, however, quite see where the pump was attached; the pump that was attached to the pipe under the table, that pumped the excess margarita mix into the bucket that held my drink. No matter how much I sipped, the glass did not seem to empty, and the more I sipped, the quicker I felt my brain dozing and my mouth getting excited at being let out on it's own! Suddenly a rotund gentleman rounded the corner and made his way towards our table. I knew this was not going to end well, should my voice be given free will. I warned Dana that I could not be held responsible for what I was about to say, and apologised, in advance, for any embarrassment that he may suffer. Upon reaching our table, the male introduced himself as the owner of the restaurant, and thanked us for coming in. He told us that the restaurant was a family restaurant, and that we were now members of his family. I resisted the giggle but was about to voice an opinion. Fortunately, my limbs were on the side of my brain, and my arm extended, forcing my hand over my mouth to prevent me from voicing an opinion on the matter that Dana would regret. My hand acted as a dam to stop the flow of words that were now running freely from the back of my throat.
A young woman with a small baby appeared and the proprietor called her over. 'No!', I managed to squeal as I grabbed Dana's arm, but it was too late. 'This is my daughter and my granddaughter', he proudly announced. 'The newest member of our family, meet the other newest members of our family'. A very naughty word came to the tip of my tongue, to gather with the army that had already formed. Family? No, I didnt buy it. I would point out at this time that, I have no objection to a friendly relationship between manager and patron. However, I would be rather insulted if my family charged me for food! I felt the ghost of Barnes Wallace rising with the metophorical bouncing bombs, in the form of hysterical laughter, about to burst the dam, hurtling towards my hand. As luck would have it, the baby became agitated, and the family party left our table.
We finished our meal, with my warning to Dana that I could still not be held responsible for anything I said from this point forward. Leaving the restaurant, two ladies approached me and commented that it was 'some bad ass margarita' that I had been given, and they were only given a small glass. I started to laugh, and did not stop until we reached Blockbusters, as we had every intention of hiring a film to complete our evening entertainment. Bad idea! I had just enjoyed a 'naughty bottom' margarita and Dana was already experiencing his evening's entertainment. The employees at our local video store were all experts on their inventory. There was not a film they had not seen and, furthermore, give a detailed analysis, without giving away the plot. Whilst this is usually helpful (annoying, but helpful) there are times when one just wishes to be left alone to browse the titles stacked on the wall.
We were pounced upon as soon as our gaze became fixed for more than five seconds on one title. I am not completely sure why I did what I did next. I sat down on the floor and told Dana I was ready to go home. I then started to giggle again. I have rather a loud giggle. It starts low and rises to a blast, and as I take a breath the cycle starts again. The salesman did not seem to be perturbed and continued to recommend films that were suitable for the inebriatedly insane, and we left the shop with his suggestion.
I watched part of the film, fell into a deep sleep only to wake at 3am, bright and sparkling.
The experience was enough, and I have not been tempted to order a margarita again, although I am often asked to 'try this' to see if my eyes will light up, and they do. I much prefer for my brain to be in charge of my mouth, and as entertaining as it may be for onlookers, I am very rarely 'top of the bill'. Perhaps one day I will try a different flavour. Now that would be...another story,