From the Stoop of PJH
It usually begins innocently enough. While surfing the internet and dialing up the “Whiskies and Booze Are Us” website, I generally fall victim to a lust-filled marketing description such as, “Great sense of balance, a wonderful body and a soft easy roll down your throat. No burn at all. Tasty hints of butterscotch, with wisps of fruit, dashes of cinnamon, some subtle tastes of almond nuts, and a light bit of sugary notes all combine along with hay.”
Hay? All right, that seems a little strange. . ..
After reading the captivating words. My eyes roll back a little in my head, I roll over my hands over each other in delight and cackle and as if I am a mad scientist with wild hair and bug eyes who is ready to bring the evil monster to life. Except that I cannot cackle very well and I do not have bug eyes or hair. Evil monsters might be a possibility. Anyway, the description of this amazing new and improved and grand Irish whiskey totally sucks me into the marketing scheme. Since it is Thursday and the writing of an enticing grand finale for my latest novel awaits me for the upcoming weekend, I wander off to the corner liquor store with cash in hand.
I require a little inspiration. . ..
Saturday evening, around six o’clock or thereabouts is the unveiling and while I don’t really detect the tasty hints of butterscotch that the marketing scheme promised, by eight o’clock at night, Homicide Detective Lyle Odell has solved the murder case and the fish have stopped swimming in the Writing Command Center and I am counting my pencils in my pencil box to make sure I have a careful inventory of them for future reference. I have a pencil box, but I do not have any fish. By nine o’clock, I am chatting with Charles Dickens about character development in novels while Charles sits next to me at my Writing Post in the Writing Command Center. I pour ole Chuck-a-roo-ski three fingers of the Irish and he enjoys it too!
By eleven o’clock ole Chuck is sound asleep in the easy chair and I have lost a pencil. The count is off by one. Since Chuck passed out and I still have some rocket fuel in my veins; I save the novel files in seventy-two different places on my trusty writing laptop, and on sixteen backup USB drives, I open up the laptop and begin to poke around the Mega-We-Sell-Control-Everything website and click on “stuff.” While clicking on “stuff” I try hard to focus on the screen and I slobber on my keyboard a little, while deep in the hazy recesses of my mind, I realize how much I love everyone and how they are so wonderful.
The next morning, Charles is off helping other drunk authors. My mouth tastes like cotton balls and the Ohio State Marching Band is doing a slow march through my head and it is primarily tuba players hitting the same notes, while accompanied by drum rolls.
My first indication that Saturday night with Charles had an interesting side adventure or two or three is a text that rolls in on the following Thursday afternoon from a woman that I sort of, kind of know and worked with a few years back, “Thanking me for the beautiful solid-gold necklace! I didn't know that you cared so much! You are such a wonderful man! I always thought you were a hottie! Call me soon!”
I stare in at the text and mumble, “Oh, no. I think I clicked on the wrong name in my address book. A year ago, she asked me to order pencils for her for the office. I really don’t know you, and I definitely don’t care so much. . ..”
While still digesting the impact and potential complications of the beautiful solid-gold necklace and the caring so much, when I really don’t text, the next text comes happily dinging in. This one is from my dear sister. Dottie is, “Thanking me for the beautiful glass teapot that she likes but really didn't need, and she adds some why did I send it type of thingy words along with, a by-the-way dear Mum says thank you for the Buddha statue, the case of toilet tissue and the frankincense incense.”
This mess is growing worse by the second now.
Another text chimes in (the Mega-We-Sell-Control-Everything website company has a very efficient delivery system!) from a guy I work with, “Thanking me for the fishing pole and tackle box,” and now I know that I am a victim. A victim of drunk internet shopping! Oh no! This is not the first time that this has happened. Although, my Uncle Ed loves the yodeling pickle that I sent him last July. My cousin says he takes it out every few months and laughs like hell at all.
I dash over to my desk. I frantically push all the buttons on my laptop and bring up the dreaded website and scroll through my orders. The evidence is there! All to the happy tune of a total of $979.92! In shame, I hang my head over my keyboard and swear off Irish whiskey forever! My cell phone dings with another text and I wearily pick it up while thinking how I could possibly explain this madness to the various gift recipients and I see that it is a text from Harry.
#35: “Thanks #27 for the sixteen copies of the Time Bomb in The Cupboard and Other Adventures of Harry and Paul. I can put them with the other ninety-two copies that I already have.”
#27: “You are welcome #35.”
#35: “How was the whiskey? Irish?”
#27: “Yes, Irish. It was good. Although, I did not taste the hay. Charles passed out early.”
#35: “Oh, yeah, Dickens came over. Again. Say, the next whiskey that sucks you in with evil marketing and generates a cool drunk shopping spree, can you send me a New Jersey Devils Martin Brodeur hockey sweater? Extra-large. Maybe put a post-it note on the bottle of Irish so that even when ya half-in-the-bag ya remember what to send me.”
#27: “Sure, #35.”
#35: “Thanks, buddy! Catch ya later. I gotta go build more bookshelves.”
Oh well, such is life. I click off the Mega-We-Sell-Control-Everything website and swear off Irish whiskey forever. Or at least until tomorrow. I have a new book idea that I could use Charles to help me with, and I was thinking of beginning to write it this Saturday.
Within a click or two of the mouse, I am on the “Whiskies and Booze Are Us” website, slowly pursuing the descriptions of Irish whiskies.
“Enticing drizzles of tasty caramel and other spices combine with the flavors of virgin oak cask barrels to provide the telltale story of our triple cask methods. . ..”
Oh my! Caramel and other spices! (insert cackles and hand rubs here and possible evil monsters.)
Reminder: I need to pick up a pack of post-it notes on my booze run.
I sure hope that the frankincense incense does not give Mum a headache or set off the smoke detectors in her bedroom. At least, the Buddha statue and the extra TP will come in handy.
BTW: This is a humorous non-fiction piece laced with a generous helping of fiction.
Cheerio for now