Because most philosophies that frown on reproduction don't survive.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

In Which Things Are Not Nearly As Amusing As We Thought

Last night, as I was loading the dishwasher (and drinking a beer) I picked up a plastic pitcher and its lid, then paused. Even after several hours in the dish pile, the pitcher smelled very distinctly of margarita. In a flash, I recalled that when some good friends visited on Saturday, there had been left-over margaritas, which they had kindly poured into a pitcher and left for us. Not margarita mix, mind you, that poor wan creature waiting for its infusion of tequila and cointreau to achieve its full purpose in life. No, these were fully mixed margaritas.

"Mrs. Darwin?" I called. "Did you drink the left-over margaritas today?"

"No."

"Because someone did."

"Oh..."

"Did any of the kids seem odd today?"

"Oh my gosh, the neighbor kids!"

At this point, it is necessary that the reader understand that we have acquired neighbor kids. The family had actually lived in the neighborhood for some time, for for whatever reason the three youngest children (not counting the baby) have suddenly begun to spend an hour or two of every day in our back yard. On days when the house is clean, they play with the young Darwins inside as well. On most days when the two-year-old has stood astride the table throwing food to the four corners of the earth, they're advised to remain outside. However, even on these latter and more frequent sort of days, there is, it seems, an unavoidable magnetism to The Stranger's House, and so they let themselves in every few minutes to get drinks of water or go to the bathroom. This particular afternoon, MrsDarwin had several times had to expel these young foragers from the fridge. And here we were with a mysteriously empty margarita pitcher. Readers of children's literature will know what we thought first:
"Mrs. Lynde was up to see Mrs. Barry today and Mrs. Barry was in an awful state," she wailed. "She says that I set Diana DRUNK Saturday and sent her home in a disgraceful condition. And she says I must be a thoroughly bad, wicked little girl and she's never, never going to let Diana play with me again. Oh, Marilla, I'm just overcome with woe."

Marilla stared in blank amazement.

"Set Diana drunk!" she said when she found her voice. "Anne are you or Mrs. Barry crazy? What on earth did you give her?"

"Not a thing but raspberry cordial," sobbed Anne. "I never thought raspberry cordial would set people drunk, Marilla--not even if they drank three big tumblerfuls as Diana did. Oh, it sounds so--so--like Mrs. Thomas's husband! But I didn't mean to set her drunk."

"Drunk fiddlesticks!" said Marilla, marching to the sitting room pantry. There on the shelf was a bottle which she at once recognized as one containing some of her three-year-old homemade currant wine for which she was celebrated in Avonlea, although certain of the stricter sort, Mrs. Barry among them, disapproved strongly of it. And at the same time Marilla recollected that she had put the bottle of raspberry cordial down in the cellar instead of in the pantry as she had told Anne.

She went back to the kitchen with the wine bottle in her hand. Her face was twitching in spite of herself.

"Anne, you certainly have a genius for getting into trouble. You went and gave Diana currant wine instead of raspberry cordial. Didn't you know the difference yourself?"

"I never tasted it," said Anne. "I thought it was the cordial. I meant to be so--so--hospitable. Diana got awfully sick and had to go home. Mrs. Barry told Mrs. Lynde she was simply dead drunk. She just laughed silly-like when her mother asked her what was the matter and went to sleep and slept for hours. Her mother smelled her breath and knew she was drunk. She had a fearful headache all day yesterday. Mrs. Barry is so indignant. She will never believe but what I did it on purpose."
Anne of Green Gables, CH16

Sad to say, interviews this morning revealed a rather less exciting story. Our own three-year-old had poured herself a cup of "lemonaid" from the fridge, but on tasting it concluded that "it tasted like wine" and so for the general welfare she had poured the cup and indeed all the rest of the pitcher down the sink.

I must admit that, while I'm glad no one was made sick, I am a little disappointed at the true story.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm a little disappointed that you were able to forget for most of a week that you had fully mixed margarita in the fridge. Would a gearhead forget that there's a Ferrari in his garage? I'll have to take your future drink reviews with a grain of salt.

Joel

Darwin said...

What can I say... It's been a straight-up Scotch kind of week.

Jennifer @ Conversion Diary said...

I almost had a heart attack when I read the beginning of this post. I could only imagine our next meeting starting with, "Hey, man, we're really sorry about the whole 'inadvertently doing something that led to CPS showing up at your house' thing. I hope Mrs. Darwin didn't find that jail cell too uncomfortable."

Glad it worked out!

DMinor said...

Your story brought to mind a story from our past:

Once, when we were new to Germany, we needed change quickly for the subway. So, we innocently bought the kids some "Mon Cheri" candies. Unbeknownst to us at the time, in Europe these candies have an extra ingredient, cherry schnapps. One of the kids said that the candy tasted funny, just as the 15-month old was popping one in his mouth . . . .

Anna said...

How does your three-year-old know what Wine tastes like?...

;)

mrsdarwin said...

If I recall correctly, she said that it SMELLED like wine, not tasted like it. Also, she said, "Daddy, when you drink beer, you smell like alcohol!" That's fine, dear; why don't you say that loudly in public sometime?