Slow Cooker

I was looking for my slow cooker.  I haven't used it in years, but I received a request for cocktail wieners wrapped in bacon covered with brown sugar.  (I know, I know...   But try to think of it as protein and carbohydrates as opposed to heart disease and diabetes.)

Anyway, I needed to find my slow cooker so I pulled a chair over to the cupboard, climbed up on the seat and peered into the dark recesses of the top shelf. Christmas napkins, birthday paper plates, a plethora of  old cups collected from various sporting events over the years (do we really need to keep a plastic Minnesota Wild cup from 2001 with all the writing completely rubbed off except for the L?  Well, I checked with my son and apparently we do), an assortment of vases for flowers I received decades ago (and yes, I know they're from decades ago because that's the last time I got flowers; and yes, I know it's pathetic that I bothered to keep them and move them with me every time I changed residences now that I think about it), and a bottle of wine.

What??? A bottle of wine? A BOTTLE OF WINE!  Eureka!!!  But wait. This is a bottle from two Christmases ago - could it possibly still be good?  (If you bought cheap wine, this is a question you'd have to ask yourself.)   Yes.  Yes, it's still good - the initial glass confirms it. The second glass immediately makes me more glib, clever, and entertaining than the first. (Granted, I don't actually have confirmation of this; it's simply a personal observation.)

My son comes home at 6:00pm and  asks incredulously, "Are you drinking wine?"   I instinctively go on the defensive: "Yes. Yes, it's wine. So what?" I don't drink by myself.  At least, I didn't until today. Now I understand why people do it. You feel happy - artificially, of course, but happy, nonetheless.  Is it any wonder people get drunk every night?  No, it's not.  (At this point we could delve into the reasons some sorry individuals are so miserable they find it necessary to self-medicate on a regular basis, but let's not. It would really harsh my buzz.)  Alcohol makes us feel good. Troubles melt away and we instantly become scintillating conversationalists and sages of wisdom. I have it on the finest authority.

I have a third glass. I'm on a roll.  (Hard to believe when I first opened the bottle I was fretting over how many days it would keep without being refrigerated; there's nothing worse than refrigerated red wine.  Fortunately now that wasn't going to be a problem.)

I have a fourth and fifth glass and finish off the bottle.

This is a brilliant new discovery.  I make a silent pact with myself to start drinking every night.  Hell, I'm unemployed; let's make it every day - all day!

Hold on.  I have the hiccups and my stomach doesn't feel so great. This is no good.

I want a new drug.
One that won't make me sick
One that won't make me crash my car
Or make me feel three feet thick

I want a new drug
One that won't hurt my head
One that won't make my mouth too dry
Or make my eyes too red.

I want a new drug
One that won't spill
One that don't cost too much
Or come in a pill

I want a new drug
One that won't go away
One that won't keep me up all night
One that won't make me sleep all day

I want a new drug 
One that does what it should 
One that won't make me feel too bad 
One that won't make me feel too good 

I want a new drug 

One with no doubt 

One that won't make me talk too much 

Or make my face break out 


Clearly, after having consumed a bottle of wine, I have become a Grammy-winning lyricist. The words came to me as effortlessly as if I'd heard them a thousand times before.

This, however, pales in comparison to the earth-shattering revelations which occurred under the influence of cannabis many years ago. I know this for a fact because I still have the matchbook to prove it.  At the time, I was standing in the center of a hazy room filled with people in various states of altered consciousness. It was completely quiet.  I held an imaginary baton in my hand and began directing with the dramatic, fluid, sweeping, graceful motions of Toscanini.  Those who were awake were absolutely mesmerized; staring at me in wonderment and awe (or perhaps in a confused stupor - it's hard to say).  You could have heard a pin drop. This spellbinding air ballet went on uninterrupted for at least ten minutes (or perhaps it was only thirty seconds - it's hard to say).  Recognizing a magical moment when I saw one (if I do say so myself) the incident was forever preserved on a matchbook cover upon which I scribbled the profound words: I was conducting the silence.

Sheer genius.

(Just out of curiosity, how is it that I can remember that night like it was yesterday, when I can't remember yesterday?)

Sadly, the pure joy of that idyllic evening was soon shattered by the unfortunate event which followed. We ordered a pizza and thirty minutes later when the sound of the doorbell suddenly pierced the tranquility of our bucolic bubble, I panicked and in a moment of utter paranoia flushed all the pot down the toilet.  "What?  It was just the pizza delivery guy?  Oh, geez.  Sorry."  It could happen to anyone.

Then of course there were the cocaine aficionados. They rarely came up with anything intelligent or life-altering or important to say (even though they talked incessantly) and they seemed to spend an inordinate amount of time discussing when, where, and how to get more cocaine.  They did, however, do everything fast. I guess there's something to be said for that.

P.S.  Totally forgot about the slow cooker.  Made spaghetti instead.

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