Bitter Syrups


Smart but bitter cocktails:

So much better than the bitter tears of the disregarded1 and the disenfranchised. A few days ago, there was a ping from my machine, and lo, there was a decree from DWE ordering me to ignore the Wednesday evening circlers2 (“They only go round in circles, why would you want to do that?”), and to come round for smart cocktails and a cheap, light dinner instead. So I stopped running around in circles, and stopped my mind from whirling, and re-entered the world of adult conversation3.

I might just as well quickly remind myself of something I said in a previous post:

NO PUPPIES. NO PUPPIES. They become sullen and lose all semblance of being adorable when they grow up. And on this note, one must be careful of faux-puppies who are more insolent pup than adorable pup, but who pretend to be puppy-like. You can tell when this happens because it feels very forced. Much like an ageing actor typed cast forever as a child. It’s terrible to watch, and even worse to experience.

In any case, there I was in the Golden Seahorse building at horny and bitch, being greeted by my hosts, one who started forcing me to choose between alcoholic beverages with an ulterior motive, and the other herding us into a position where he could watch over us, and make sure we didn’t touch, move, or begrime anything, or worse cast shadows where shadows were not to be cast. 

I whispered to DWE, who pointed out the herding, “You go that way and I’ll go this way, and let’s see what happens”. ML heard, I think, but ignored us as is usually the case when DWE and I become asinine. 

ML and DWE started taking requests for drinks but they quickly vetoed my choice of a G and T without the G, heavy on the T with a slice of lemon. 

“No” DWE snapped, “you’ll have a glass of Proseco with a cube of sugar and bitters – much more suitable for the likes of you. Which will you have – the classic, or the Wedding bitters?”

Which brought to mind something EH use to say:

“Engagement rings, wedding rings and sufferings.”

Naturally, I requested the classic bitters. I am classical in nature - or at the very least aspire badly and baldly to being classic. In addition, the classic bitters were more bitter than the Wedding bitters – must still be a young wedding.

The glasses were brought out, the sugar cubes were not because there were none in the house. I’m sure I heard ML saying sotto voce that “I was never told there’d be call for cubes, what are these cubes anyway, what a boring shape”, so a teaspoon of sugar was used instead, and I was told to think of it as a pre-loosened (for my convenience) cube of sugar. 

The bitters were poured (“A good dribble for Hungry - bitter calls to bitter!”) over the sugar, the wine was sloshed in, much bubbling occurred and I was told to down it. Except, it was too sweet and not bitter enough, but of course DWE didn’t believe me and had to taste it for himself. But even after the first gulp, he still wasn’t sure, so a second, and then a third, and then none for the flute had been emptied – wine, sugar, bitters and all. 

ML closed his eyes, shook his head and then in a valiant attempt to change the subject, and cause us to avert our eyes from DWE, said to me that it was really time for me, being adult and all, to consider dimmer switches for my lights. Apparently even RP has been complaining that the lights were too bright in my apartment. No point my telling them that the brightness of the light corresponded to the dimness of my eyes – the lustre and the gleam that’s so often mistaken for goodness, kindness and compassion are actually deal to light refraction from the latent baby cataracts what are causing incipient turbidity in the pools of my soul. 

Anyway – dimmer switches are on the list now. I expected to be hounded on this point nor will I get any support from DWA for he caved not too long ago (“About time, and when are you going to get rid of your carpets and move to wooden floors?” was the only verbal pat on the back he got). Speaking of wooden floors, we were told that Dutch Elm (not the diseased ones) were used to lay the floor of the kitchen, the cabinets were from Norway, but the glossy doors were from Italy. Asked if there was anything Canadian in the kitchen, we were told, “Syrup – but from Quebec”).

From the sweet, bitter and syrupy to the sentient

CA spoke up, and said that he had something to confess. Well, this should be good I thought, as I settled my lean hips back against the well-appointed cushions (small people need more padding you know), but then I saw DWA’s eyes roll back with an ‘about time’ look to them. And I understood immediately. 

Sentient beings are no longer safe, and CA’s bid for canonization has gone do-lally-loop.

This of course segued into a long discourse soliloquy over the effects of this change on the personal, the physical and the philosophical. After hearing what happened upon feasting again on sentient beings, I came up with two explanations for what he was going through – I won’t repeat what CA had to say about his various conditions for it has been embargoed to prevent further embarrassment (to CA), to not disappoint (CA’s followers), nor antagonize non eaters of sentient beings (CA thinks disapproval is negative ) – In my view, CA has malaria (it would explain much) or has a psychosomatic condition that has yet to be described in the AMA’ bible of psychiatric conditions. Of course Dr. C is away so I can’t consult him to be certain. In short, CA, dear sweet thing, you either have a parasite attacking your red blood cells, or it’s all in your head. 

Shhhhhh....your secret is safe with me.

Goodness, I’m good. The hours of agonizing to us parsed into two paragraphs and two sentences. Oh. That’s where parse comes from – parsimonious!

How clever.

Much more happened, but I want to do some fact-checking first (why this sudden burst of morals and ethics I wonder?) before I slander – after all if the facts are true, then it’s not slander is it?


1Loneliness is not being alone; it is not having love reciprocated.

2There are few things more imperative than orders from the supreme council leader of the ICBs.

3When the conversation assumes the acidity of a clutch of ripe, caustic and uncaring lemons, well squeezed.