DRINKING

A Lime Margarita On The Rocks

“You. Are. Drunk,” was my cool assessment.

“I am?” she replied, a look of astonishment registering on her face. 

A heartbeat.

“I am!” she acknowledged as the irrefutable truth dawned on her.

Another heartbeat.

“I am?!!” declared with indignation.   

She turned her bewildered face to me.

“How’d tha’ happen?”

“I’m thinking the margaritas may have had something to do with it.”

I patted her on the back:

“Everyone loves margaritas.”

All around us throngs of vaccinated people, ecstatic at being at relative liberty after so long, cradled salt rimmed tumblers. 

On her unsteady feet she leveled a steady gaze on me. Bouncing her index finger before my face like Columbo enumerating clues, she nodded her head in deep agreement.

“Yeah.”

She taps me on the chest twice:

“The”; tap.

“Margaritas”; tap.

“Everyone loves margaritas.”

Her husband turns to me and says,

“Hold her up; I’m going for the car.”

 I promise to do my best.

We’ve all been there.

Okay, whatever. Maybe you haven’t, but I certainly have. It doesn’t happen often and it’s never planned but, about once a decade,

I lose a morning to one helluva hangover.

These events give rise to legends. There was the time a friend passed out on the lawn and her husband left her there;

the sprinklers woke her up the next morning.

The time someone spied the Twister game and we played until the game morphed into a slip ‘n slide on the lawn. The time we had a table full of men believing we were with the women’s PGA and willing to give their sorry selves some pointers on the links. The time my fiancé had a helicopter pick us up and take us to a fancy restaurant with a guest room. Every course was accompanied by a wine selection – big mistake. We got to our beautiful room, I sat down on the beautiful bed and passed completely out. Other similar occasions haven’t ended even that well. I can manage two and a half glasses of wine in an evening. Beyond that, I’m either passing out or something is coming back up. Pretty, it ain’t.

Photo by Kobby Mendez from Unsplash

When I was first starting to date, my dad told me to order scotch as I wouldn’t like it and, thus,  various problems would be averted. Now, I grew up in a family of scotch aficionados. I was accustomed to the smell of scotch and secretly, to the taste of scotch. This was not the solution he’d anticipated. Over the years, I learned that I could simply say ‘no’ to a drink.  Actually, saying ‘no’ isn’t so simple. Unfortunately, people can get annoyed when you decline a drink. Oftentimes, it’s handy to have a workaround for this predicament. I’ve learned to tip drinks into potted palms and to garnish a highball of water with a wheel of lime. The garnish trick really throws people off your scent.  Another trick is to claim a medical requirement: I’m on antibiotics; I’m having an EEG in the morning; I’m going into space with Bezos.  The hands down winner, however, is to announce that you’re pregnant. This one, unfortunately, has a certain shelf life but use it anyway. Just pat your belly and, with eyes heavenward, whisper, “It’s a miracle.”

All of which is not to say I don’t love a gin and tonic or a nice Amarone. Champagne might be wasted on me but cider isn’t. There are some interesting sparkling reds cropping up at the liquor store; you might want to give Italy’s Lambruscos a try.  Lately, I’ve been keeping  a couple of beers – Kronenbourg 1664 Blanc, in particular – in the fridge alongside some of Portugal’s vinho verdes.

I called up my drunk friend the next day. I told her that that was the first time I’d ever seen her anywhere near drunk. In fairness, she’d had a difficult week and hadn’t eaten anything prior to the party. It was a beautiful Friday night. The drinks were strong. We were all suffering from covid cabin fever.  

And well, you know:

Everyone just loves margaritas!


This week’s question for readers:

WHAT’LL IT BE? STRAIGHT UP OR OVER ICE: ANY STORIES WHERE ‘DEMON RUM’ PLAYED A ROLE?  AND HOW DO YOU MANAGE ALCOHOL NOW THAT YOU’RE ALL GROWN UP.

Send your answers by email text, not an attachment, in 100 words or less, along with your full name to Jane at thebooklessclub@gmail.com.  We will print some next week in this space. You can leave a reply below.


We have our winners from last week’s contest. Two dozen lucky newsletter subscribers will be notified of their win, and receive a package of tea courtesy of Jane Macdougall and Domo Tea.

If you missed out on the past contests and draws, sign up for my newsletter to automatically be entered for upcoming draws!


Responses to last week’s question:

What’s your go-to hot beverage?  Has it evolved over the years?  And if so, how and why?

I read your column about coffee and tea with amused familiarity. I’ve been happily caffeinated for as long as I can remember. Any outing or walk around the office would be accompanied by one of six or eight of my daily mugs. Two months ago, I quit cold turkey. No reason other than boredom combined with a new-normal work schedule. 

I don’t miss it, which I’m shocked about, but my wife says I walk slower, talk slower and think slower. I haven’t……noticed….any…….um…….side effects.

Geoff Magnusson

Mine is coffee!  First thing in the morning while I read the Vancouver Sun – electronic edition.  Started the coffee habit in later high school in the early 60’s.  This continued until about the mid 80’s when coffee seemed to be despised by all the medical experts.  So I switched to tea only for about four years.  Then, we moved to Port Moody,  next door  to a  gregarious Vancouver City policeman who worked shifts.  I worked from home.  Many an afternoon I received a call that “coffee’s ready” which gave me a pleasant break.  Since then, tea has taken a back seat and, even though he’s passed on, coffee is my morning drink – and it’s not even decaf!

Michael R Murrell

I’m a sucker for London Fog. Thanks for sharing its origins!  I feel like this pregnant woman is a kindred spirit, because London Fogs are all I’m drinking these days (being in my 3rd trimester!) 

After university, I switched back to coffee, since it’s more accessible and requires less instruction/explanation to the barista when I’m in a rush to get to work! 

I started drinking LFs in university with my roommates, as we would log hours of studying for our pharmacy school final.

We each couldn’t tolerate too much coffee for various reasons: the taste, the fact that your heart feels like it’s gonna jump out of your chest after that 3rd cup, and knowing we’d still be cooped up in our residence.

Going to the local coffee shop to grab a cup of LF was a good excuse for us to get some fresh air and connect with humanity outside of our small bubble.

I also think LFs bonded us! To this day, more than a decade since we all lived together on campus, whenever we get together, it MUST include grabbing London Fogs – whether it’s accompanying us at brunch, or we’re walking the seawall, browsing stores, or sitting at someone’s home catching up in the living room.

Dr. Fatima Ladha

 I am a Tea Granny – gave up coffee years ago. 

I have tried many varieties of tea and am at the stage of blending two different brands to see how those taste. At present I am using Tea at the Empress tea bags and combine with Yorkshire tea leaves. Delicious! 

Try it, you may like it.

Irene Laidley

My evolution from coffee to tea was similar to your own, although I have always been a one (giant) mug in the morning coffee drinker. Since coffee is a diuretic, I found increasingly that my morning errands would be interrupted by an urgent need to find a urinal about half an hour after I left the house — inconvenient. So, I switched to Twinings Earl Grey tea. 

Why Earl Grey? For the simple reason that Captain Jean Luc Picard would order his tea from the food replicator on the Enterprise with the instruction, “Tea, Earl Grey, hot”. Why Twinings? Because you can buy a box of 200 individually sealed Twinings tea bags at Costco in a nice box for a good price. 

I drink mine with a teaspoon of blueberry honey (supplied by a local beekeeper) and a dash of 1% milk.

Glen Taylor

Mmmmm matcha is my hands down one and only true favourite. I started probably 12 years ago drinking Starbucks matcha lattes. Then one day a brilliant girlfriend, who shall remain anonymous, Laurel, showed me how to make my own. I am now a purist when it comes to matcha sipping, no milk or sweetener, just hot water and beautiful green matcha. I cart my matcha powder , whisk and bowl wherever I go when away from home. Gotta have matcha !!

Leslie Todoruk

My go-to hot beverage routine is orange pekoe tea, two large mugs with breakfast, whilst reading the Sun and doing the crosswords. After 12 noon only decaf such as lemon-ginger. After dinner peppermint tea and before bed, “Sleepytime”.  The equivalent of this in the U.K. is “Snore and Peace”.  For my elderly friend “P” I sometimes pick up “Smooth Move”!  Love these names!

Janet Cowley

My favourite hot beverage is the cup of tea my husband delivers

to me every morning during our 59 years of marriage, even  whilst travelling on the Trans Siberian Railway. Always milk in the cup first! 

Joan Knight

My favourite hot beverage is green tea, made from loose leaf. Nothing added. My preference is Gunpowder or Green Land Blend purchased from Naked Teas.

For many years, I was a coffee drinker & looked forward to it every morning. Was trying to solve an eczema problem, so I changed to decaf. I discovered there was something in regular coffee that made me feel off. Switched to green tea for its antioxidants, about 15 years ago. 

Joanne Jahner

I started seriously drinking coffee, after nursing my colicky baby during the night. Its fragrance was my incentive to wake up and greet the day. I used to buy coffee to start the office work-day and sip it for hours. Nowadays, I turn it into a latte with my little frother. I also enjoy tea, especially Earl Grey, but only when shared with friends. For me, coffee represents both a solo and social beverage. I cherish my coffee mug collection from memorable trips – moose from Cape Breton, puffins from Newfoundland, and Highland cows from Scotland. However, my most special cup now, has a smiling baby face, with the words, “World’s Best Grandma”!

Vera Lagasse

Many years ago I ventured off to visit my relatives in Denmark.  They served me coffee so strong you could stand a spoon up in it.  At that point I wasn’t sure what my go to beverage would be.  Coffee wasn’t for me.  I then turned to tea. My love of tea has evolved over the years to quite a collection of lovely loose teas.  My favourite tea is from a little tea shop in North Vancouver called Tea Time.  They have a number of wonderful blends.   Their Organic double bergamot Earl Grey is my favourite.  Just open the package and you are hooked.  But I must mention their French Blend which is flavoured with bergamot oil, lavender, jasmine, rose petals, cornflower petals and green tea.  Beautiful!

Ann Bryant

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