by Tim in Toronto

The scene: A party.

Our cast of characters:

Larry: Somebody who used to drink too much
Alvin: Somebody who enjoys the occasional snifter of brandy

And now, Larry and Alvin discuss drinking…

9:00 PM

Alvin: Care for a drink?

Larry: No, thanks.

Alvin: You don’t drink?

Larry: Nope.

Alvin: Why not?

Larry: I don’t like the taste.

Alvin: I’ll mix in some orange juice and you won’t taste the alcohol.

Larry: Then what’s the point?

Alvin: Uhh…

9:10 PM

Alvin: Here, I made you a Bloody Mary. Lots of tomato juice and only a

little bit of vodka.

Larry: I told you, I don’t drink.

Alvin: But it’s hardly got any vodka in it at all!

Larry: I told you, I don’t drink.

Alvin: Don’t you like to party?

Larry: I’m here, aren’t I?

Alvin: Well, here, I’ll just leave it on the table for you.

Larry: Somebody might knock it over.  Can you take it into the kitchen?

Alvin: But I made it for you!

Larry: I told you, I don’t drink.

Alvin: All right, all right.

b

Alvin: I’m having a Manhattan.  You know what’s in a Manhattan?

Larry: No.

Alvin: Taste it and see if you can guess.

Larry: Do you have any cola left?

Alvin: Oh, I can make you a rum and cola!

Larry: No, I just want a cola.

Alvin: Don’t you want a drink?

Larry: I don’t drink.

Alvin: Not even water? Heh.

Larry: Do you have any mineral water?

Alvin: How about a beer?  That’s not really like drinking.

Larry: Thanks, but no.  I don’t drink alcohol.

Alvin: Gotta go freshen my Manhattan.  Speak to you in a bit.

9:30 PM

Alvin: So … you don’t drink, eh?

Larry: Nope.

Alvin: What’s up with that?

Larry: I don’t eat veal either.

Alvin: Huh?

Larry: Well, if I didn’t eat meat, would you keep trying to give me

a steak?

Alvin: Ha ha.  This is different.

Larry: In what way?

Alvin: This is a party!  You gotta drink at a party!

Larry: Hey, I’m having a good time!  Good crowd here, tonight.

We were just discussing last night’s —

Alvin: So you don’t want a drink, then?

Larry: No, it’s okay.

Alvin: Why?

Larry: I don’t like the way it makes me feel.

Alvin: Oh, you mean the hangovers!  So just have one little drink!

Larry: I’m fine, thanks.

Alvin: Okay, okay, I can take a hint. Geez.

9:40 PM

Alvin: So, why is it, I mean, why is it you don’t drink?

Larry: I partied hearty when I was younger.  I’ve turned over

a new leaf.

Alvin: So now you’re a monk, is that it?

Larry: No, it’s just a personal decision.

Alvin: Why not have a drink and relax a little?

Larry: Nah, that would take the edge off.

Alvin: That’s the whole point!  Take the edge off.  Relax.

Larry: I like to keep sharp.  Got any coffee?

Alvin: Irish coffee!  Now there’s a good idea!

Larry: No, just plain coffee.

Alvin: I’ll go have a look.

9:50 PM

Alvin: Here’s your coffee.

Larry: [sniffs cautiously]  Is this just coffee?

Alvin: Well, no.  I mean … yes!

Larry: Really?

Alvin: Well, just about.

Larry: What’s in it?

Alvin: A bit of whisky.  Just a few drops for flavor.  The

heat of the coffee probably evacor— evaporated

all the alcohol anyway.

Larry: Alvin, I really don’t want any alcohol.

Alvin: Oh, I see.  So you’re better than everybody else.

Larry: Hardly.  I just choose not to drink.

Alvin: I don’t get people like you.

10:00 PM

Alvin: Hey, Larry, you gotta check out this 25-year-old Scotch!

Larry: Good, is it?

Alvin: Itsh amazing!  Smooooth as silk!

Larry: Three cheers for Scotland, then!

Alvin: Here, I’ll pour you a bit so you can see for yourself.

Larry: I’ll take your word for it.

Alvin: Oh, yeah, you’re the guy who won’t take a drink.

Larry: I guess so!

Alvin: So what’s with that? You an alkie or something?

Larry: People who don’t drink are alcoholics?

Alvin: Well, why else wouldn’t you drink?

Larry: Just a personal decision.  Good health and all that.

Alvin: I read somewhere that wine is good for you.  It clears

up the blood or something like that. Want some wine?

Larry: No, thanks.

Alvin: Back in a sec.

10:15 PM

Alvin: Dang, they’re outta that great Scotch.  Gotta make do with

this crap cheap stuff.

Larry: We were just discussing last night’s —

Alvin: This stuff’s okay, I guess.  I can’t really taste the

diff’rence.

Larry: That’s good.

Alvin: I’ll bet you couldn’t tell the difference.

Larry: Probably not.

Alvin: I’ll bet you ten dollars you can’t.

Larry: You’d win that bet.

Alvin: Umm. Bet you ten dollars you can tell the diff’rence!

Larry: I guess we’ll never know, since they’re out of the good stuff.

Alvin: What?  Oh.  You’re messing with my mind.

Larry: Sorry.

Alvin: Whatsh with you holy rollers, anyhow?  I tell ya, itsh

people like this who make us normal people … [wanders off]

10:45 PM

Alvin: What’re you looking at?

Larry: Excuse me?

Alvin: Sorry, man.  I mean, whatsh on the TV?

Larry: We’re watching the game.

Alvin: Letsh toasht team!

Larry: I beg your pardon?

Alvin: I said … let’s … toast … the … team.

Larry: [raises glass of cola]  To the team!

Alvin: Why’s the TV all blurry?

11:00 PM

Larry: Well, Alvin, it’s been an enjoyable evening. I’ve got to

get going, now.

Alvin: Wha’?

Larry: I’m heading out.  Thanks for everything.

Alvin: One for the road?

Larry: That wouldn’t be a good idea.

Alvin: You can take a buszh.  A buff.  A taxi!

Larry: I’d rather take my car.

Alvin: Let me getcher coat.

Larry: I’m wearing it.

Alvin: Stand shtill and lemmee get your hat.  Gotta have a hat.

Larry: I’ve got to go now.  Bye, Alvin.

Alvin: Don’t wear a hat?  Whatsh with people like you?

Larry: I didn’t bring a hat.

Alvin: You think I’m an alco’lic, dontcha?

Larry: An alcoholic?  That’s not for me to say.

Alvin: I notchyanno.

Larry: Excuse me?

Alvin: I’m … not … you … know.

Larry: Good to hear that.  See you at the office tomorrow.

Alvin: You mean this isn’t Friday?