Gin Mishap

Or, An Open Letter to My Wife, Traveling For Work

Dear my love,

Please come home from England.

I tried a fairly simple culinary maneuver tonight: mash the cucumber in my gin and tonic about a bit to make it more cucumbery.

I couldn’t find the cocktail stirry thing because I don’t know where it is. As it happens, I don’t know where anything is (literally, anything – I washed my spinach using a vegetable steamer. Here I’d like to emphasize that I (a) had some leaves of spinach and (b) cleaned them. That deserves, I feel, a substantive husband-point. In the absence of adverse comment I’ll chalk it up as such).

Anyhoo, as the Yanks say, to mash the old cuce I used a desert spoon. Apparently I mashed a bit too enthusiastically.


Might be the ice settling, I thought. Yes, it’s probably ice settli…

The G & T started to piss very gently (as Roald Dahl said) out of the glass’s side. I looked at it. It got on my leg. “Motherfu…”

There was a tiny hole. “How could that *possibly* have happened?” I pondered. I don’t know. Neither does physics. (Although, in fairness, what physics knows and what I know haven’t functionally intersected since a dubious C+ in year 9.)

Then the glass started to self-destruct in my hand. I did the only sensible thing open to a fellow – I looked at it like that alien that came out of that chap’s tummy on that film I should have seen but haven’t and said “GAH!” and dropped it in the bin.

Well! That’s that, I thought, and brushed my hands in a business-like fashio… Ow. OW. What the merry hell

It was as if I’d chosen to be extra-specially cleanly and sopped off some sandpaper that’d inconveniently fallen into a vat of lemon juice just before I happened to use it to scrub my hands (the metaphor, I’ll admit breaks down).

Anyway, I winced a bit, mixed another G & T (with some difficulty), and put my glass down on the counter in a meditative fashion. It crunched. Salt, I thought. Probs salt. I’ll taste it to … WHHHOOOOOOAAAA Tonto! That’s broken glass. A near miss. I paused, breathed in a few times, breathed out. I leaned against the counter. I sprang up quite quickly when my elbow got shards in it.

I felt the liquid on my toes first – as if a pipe had burst. I looked down, going, absent-mindedly to suck my stinging fingers, then hauling them away from my as-yet-unglassed lips. I’d emptied the bin circa 10 minutes before all this, as fate would have it (incredible, I know). So when I dropped the glass dans la poubelle, it was empty.

When I looked at the floor, what I saw was something like this:

Imagine that you and I, like almost all our friends, had a gamboling toddler – in the sense of a squat thing unexpectedly (yet, with the benefit of hindsight, probably expectedly) pissing itself all over the kitchen floor. Except instead of toddler pee, imagine there’s an (astonishingly large) puddle of gin.

I couldn’t find the paper towels so I used toilet paper.

I’ve got some news for homemakers and househusbands: when it comes to ground glass and hard liquor, toilet paper doesn’t cut the mustard. As it happens, the floor cuts the mustard. Which, in this analogy, are my bloody fingers. In short, the toilet paper sees hazard and gently falls to pieces, a bit like the French Army circa May 1940.

To summarize and conclude, my love, I’ve got glass in my fingers and I smell like an 18th century courtesan. Please come home from England.


Always your,


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