Happy New Year + me + free grapefruit
It’s half past two and I’ve only just gotten home from grocery shopping. What a day.
Here’s some traditional German New Year’s Eve music for you that reflects how I feel.
I had an extremely convincing dream around 2 a.m. that Richard Armitage had started a blog and the first post was about how horrible 2016 had been and how he was going to blog every day until things got better. I know, totally ridiculous, but I was really convinced, in the dream, and it even woke me up. I went to the bathroom and thought, should I turn on the computer? Nah. But sooo realistic. Then I woke up itching to write — finishing my post from yesterday, getting my second NYC impressions down, two new post ideas, and it’s New Year so my “review of last year” post and my theme for 2017 … but it is New Year’s Eve.
Dad and Flower were at a party last night, the annual wildly drunken party where they met the first time. When he wasn’t home at 1 a.m. I actually called him (for historical reasons, I NEVER do this) and it turned out my brother was at the party and said he would make sure he didn’t drive. Anyway, all signs this morning suggested that Dad was not up for a reprise tonight. So I guess it’ll be me and dad — which is fine, I’m not looking for any excitement.
As always, lately, dad wanted shrimp. So I went to the grocery store, braved the tumult, and came out with shrimp, ingredients for steak tartare (which I love — remember when Armitage ate that during an interview with Coke and espresso?), a wedge of Stilton (also Armitage-relevant), a jar of olives, a tray of slightly gooey brownies, and some Chicken in a Biskit crackers (I know, I know). I guess the theme is “strong and salty” this year. I finished up with a five pound bag of grapefruit because I love grapefruit and it seems like an appropriate thing to be eating on the first day of what is likely to be a stressful year. I was looking at the checkout lines and realized that the ones in the liquor section would be much shorter, so I went there, found a bottle of Avery’s The Reverend, and put it in the cart.
So, I’m standing in the check-out line, and the woman in front of me says to the checker, “Can you look and see if you have a particular brand of beer here?” (I’m eavesdropping, as I always do, lately, and thinking she said “a particular kind of pear.”)
“Om, I guess so,” says the checker. “What kind is it?”
“Dragon’s Milk,” the woman says.
“Oh, I don’t know,” the checker says, “I normally work in produce. You should probably ask a buyer.”
“The line to talk to the buyer is five deep,” the woman says.
So I’m thinking, huh, wouldn’t someone from produce know if they had a particular kind of pear? And then it clicks. Yeah, of course. Not a pear, a beer. Dragon’s Milk is a New Holland product. A beer I like myself. Heavy alcohol, a little sweet. They definitely have it.
“Excuse me,” I say. “Did you say Dragon’s Milk?”
“Yeah,” says the woman.
“They definitely have it. I’ll show you.”
I walk the woman over to the display and she gives her little girl two bottles to carry and takes another four herself. Gosh, I guess she really wanted it. Of course, she’s halfway through checkout, so the line is building and people are buzzing impatiently.
“Thank you,” she says.
“No problem,” I say. “The brewery just announced a deal with Pabst to distribute like a week ago, so it should be easier to find now.”
The woman looks at me a little strangely. I think I’ve just outed myself as too interested in beer.
“Thank you!” the checker says to me, as I line my stuff up to be checked out.
She starts on my items when a woman comes up to us. “Do you know a good dry red wine?” she says.
“I’m sorry,” the checker says. “I normally work in produce. You should ask a buyer.”
We look over toward the buyer and the line is now seven deep.
“What do you want it for?” I say. “Cooking or to take to a party? Do you even like red wine?” (I’m thinking, most people who like red wine don’t need to be advised about it.)
“My sister wanted it,” she says.
“If you’re just cooking with it, or making a punch, you can get a bottle of Barefoot Cab Sav for $6 that should do the trick. If you’re drinking it straight with dinner, you could get Yellowtail, Turning Leaf or the Mondavi, they’re all respectable. Or Menage a Trois, if they sell a Cab Sav. I’m not sure. If you’re giving it to people who know a lot about wine, though, you should ask a buyer.”
“Cabsav?” she says.
“Cabernet Sauvignon,” I say.
“Barefoot?” she says, probably grabbing the word she recognizes. “Can you write that down for me?” She hands me a pen and a crumbled bit of paper.
“It’s on the bottom shelf,” I say. “The cheapest one.”
The checker is done. As I’m sticking my card in the reader, another woman else comes up to her and asks her what kind of whiskey is really good. By now, the checker and I are both glancing reflexively at the buyer. There are nine people in line now. The checker looks at me helplessly.
“Christian Brothers?” she says.
“That’s a brandy,” I say. “Don’t ask me. Single malt is all I know. I only remember the name of the one I don’t like.”
“Which one is that?” the checker asks, laughing.
“Lagavulin,” I say, “but I doubt you have it here.”
“You’ll have to ask the buyer,” we say at the same time to the woman, who sighs deeply and turns away.
“Thanks for being so helpful,” she says to me. “I’d love to give you something, but I don’t think I’m allowed to give customers free alcohol. I normally work in produce, though. I know I can give you the grapefruit. How about that?”
“Thanks!” I say.
“Happy New Year!” she says. “Stay warm.”
How about that?
Hopefully I’ll get more written today, but if not: I wish all readers, friends, and fans of Richard Armitage, as well as Richard Armitage himself, a “guten Rutsch” and Happy New Year 2017.