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Friday, August 26, 2011

White Lightening

Darling, I Love My Cosmos

            “Hmm, I will have a Bellini, no make that a watermelon Martini, no a Cosmo.”
            Growing up, Memma declared many times that you could take all of the liquor in the world and throw it in the ocean for all she cared.  Drinking was the root of all evil.  Most of the drinkers in our family were closet drinkers.  As I got older, I questioned this a little bit.   As a teenager, I was never really into alcohol.  As I got older, I tried Boone’s Farm Strawberry Hill.   The county that I lived in was dry as a bone.  I mean, to get alcohol you either had to go to a boot egger or drive to another county.  There were bootleggers all over.  I stopped at a gas station and asked the attendant to give me one of regular (that was when they filled up your car for you) and he said, “What kind did you want, M’am?”
I said, “regular”. 
 “M’am, we got all kinds.” 
I must have appeared to be dumber than Joe’s old turkey.  I hadn’t a clue as to what he was talking about.  Finally, it clicked.  He was going to bring me some booze.  I said, “Regular gasoline?
I don’t know who felt crazier, me or him.
One afternoon, when I was no bigger than a bean post, I remember coming in from the fields, all hot and sweaty and thirsty as all get out.  Mama usually kept a jug of water in the refrigerator.  I could taste the cold ice water.  I flung open the refrigerator door and grabbed a glass of ice cold water sitting on the shelf. I turned it up and took a big old swallow.   Lord, I thought I would die.  I gagged and coughed and spit like an old mad dog.  My eyes were burning and I thought I would choke to death.  It seems that a friend of my daddy’s had given him some wildcat whiskey and he had set a glass of it in the refrigerator. 
            My daddy was quite the drinker.  He made some homebrew one time.  He and an old sot buddy of his slipped off down into granddaddy’s pasture and set up a place for their brew.  Mama found out about it and raised holy hell.  Daddy and his buddy got scared that she put Epsom Salt in it so they wouldn’t drink it.
            When I was an adult and still living in Alabama, I went to a Christmas party.  I was going from table to table talking to different people.  I would just visit a spell at each table.  Well, most everyone offered me a sip of their drink.  Well, little did I know that these people were drinking pure white lightening straight from the distilleries of Alabama.  White lightening mixed with lemonade is actually not bad.  However, when I got home, and got in bed, the room was spinning around so fast, that I put one foot off the bed trying to stop it.  I had heard people say that placing one foot off the bed would solve that feeling.  Well, I was so bad that I just got off the bed and lay in the floor.  No more wildcat for me.  Unfortunately, I really did not know that I was drinking that stuff – that is my story and I am sticking to it.
            Today, of course, I have been spoiled by my husband.  He bought a bottle of Silver Oak wine and now, I can tell cheap wine from the good stuff.  Just ask my husband, Tom.  He says that he has created a monster when it comes to taking me out to dinner.  Never let me pick the wine, he would tell you.

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