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My Pick of the Week: Whiskey

Nov 28, 2011

This post isn't about what you think it is about.

Sure, I like drinking whiskey to make me feel like I'm Joanie hangin' with the guys on "Mad Men."

Whoa, who's that fox?

It's just lil' ole' me, Mary El. Oh whoops, wait!
That's not me, it's Christina Hendricks! Weird!

And it's empowering to sing "Right now he's probably buyin' her some fruity lil' drink 'cause she can't shoot whiskey," knowing full well that I can. (And when I do, I totally sound like Carrie Underwood! Weird again!) 

And, yeah, I feel super cool when ordering it at a bar and thus knocking the socks off the cute bartender and then getting drinks free all night (true story, for realz).

But that's not what this post is about.

You see when I get around a group of people, especially if food is involved, and even more especially if my parents are around, I become a ham. When I was little I'd just start singing show tunes and make up a dance on the spot. As a teenager I'd talk about boys a lot and made people listen to me recite my poetry about them. ("Boys, Boys Everywhere" was published my high school's literary magazine!)

So with a captive audience at Thanksgiving, it was the perfect opportunity to embarrass myself in front of my parents. After eating dinner, I stood up, holding my food-baby belly, and tapped on my glass.

"Excuse me, everyone, I have an announcement to make." My dad looked up at me and rolled his eyes. "I'm pregnant, and I wanted you all to be the first to know."

"Guess you won't be drinking this with me, then," my cousin told me, shaking a tiny bottle of Maker's Mark (yes, bourbon is technically whiskey, look it up on Wikipedia).

I'd forgotten that my aunt made bourbon whipped cream for the pumpkin pie, and my cousin and I had argued earlier over who got to finish off the bottle.

"HA! Nice try," I said as he poured half of it in a glass and handed the bottle over to me. I yelled "WOO!" before shooting it, and as I did my dad reminded me, "Don't you have a sinus infection? You should gargle it."

My eyes got big and I nodded enthusiastically. I threw my head back and gargled loudly. It burned, bad. Really bad. I gargled as long as I could before it felt like it was draining out of my eyeballs, then I stood up normally again, ready to swallow it. But before I could, my dad said, "Fifteen seconds or it won't be effective. One...two..." I didn't make it to fifteen.

Touche, Father, touche.

He was right. Whiskey is awesome for killing sinus infections. And I now know for sure that I do not look like Christina Hendricks when I'm gargling it.