I'll bet there are a lot of us out here who would like to participate in the weekly get-togethers sponsored by our local Drinking Liberally chapters, but who for a variety of reasons are unable to take part.
In my case, I cannot attend for two reasons. Reason One: After smoking a pack and a half a day for 14 years, I quit smoking 20 years ago this October. Altho I have never had even a single puff off a cigarette in the years since, still not a day goes by that I don't find myself in a situation where I would kill for a cigarette just to help me mentally survive the next five minutes.
And the number one cigarette craving situation is...? Yes, that's right: a social gathering. And what kind of social gathering makes me crave cigarettes the most? You got it: a social gathering in a bar. And what kind of social gathering in a bar? Uh huh, the kind where I've never met any of the other people there. I would light up my first Marlboro within seconds of entering Liquor Lyle's, and after that I'd never quit. I'd smoke everything in sight and I wouldn't stop until I was reduced to a wizened dry husk of a creature who finally fell down dead in a cloud of bilious yellow-gray smoke and the paramedics would have to pry the last cig out of my grotesquely gnarled nicotine-stained fingers.
Reason Two: if I had a cigarette in one hand then I'd have to have a drink in the other, and I Can't. Hold. My. Liquor. Ever since the onset of menopause I haven't been able to handle even tiny amounts of alcohol. The last time I had a drink was on New Year's Eve, when we went out to dinner at a local steak house and I drank half of a very small glass of white zinfandel; no more than 3 oz., tops. By the time we left the restaurant my skin had started to glow bright red and my body temperature had risen to over 350 degrees Fahrenheit. When we got home, I went down to the basement, turned off the furnace and stood in a corner radiating warmth in the direction of the airducts, thus keeping our entire house heated all night long. Ultimately, that 3 oz. sip of wine helped us reduce our January fuel costs by over 50%. By Grapthar's Hammer, what a savings!
So, since I can't show solidarity with my fellow local liberals by Drinking Liberally, what can I do instead? As usual, a bit of the old AgitProp will have to do. I think it does pretty nicely, too.
Posted simultaneously-- What multi-tasking skills!-- here and here.