How I Learned to Drink Tequila

My friend Chuck loves tequila. During trivia one year, he drank one shot per hour for the whole 50 hours, he said after a while he didn't get any more drunk, he just leveled off. I, on the other hand, don't like tequilla so much, I find the taste to be somewhat unpalatable, but I think the same thing about J├Ągermeister and drink it anyway.

Only once did I ever have a truly exceptional tequila. My friend Jeff had been in the wedding party of a college friend who married a Mexican girl whose family business was making the stuff and each of the groomsmen received a silver hip flask filled with the family's private reserve. That stuff tasted like ambrosia! It was smooth and delicious, there was no need to pollute the taste with salt and lime. If I could get a hold of some of that again I would do so gladly.

Back to Chuck. For several years in a row he would show up at my birthday party with his bottle of tequila in hand and would insist that I do a shot with him. I hated it and avoided it for as long as I could, but he would insist and he would persist until finally I would do a shot just to shut him up. Finally, after the third or fourth year of this I had had enough and when he walked through the door the next year I grabbed a shot glass and said, "Let's get this over with right now so we can both enjoy the party."

I think he marked that day as a success because he hasn't had to badger me since.

This training paid off one day at a gig at the Mendakota Golf Club, which remains my least favorite place to play. The place is full of egotistical rich bastards and their trophy wives...

I got rid of that bitch and married me a young one," said one, speaking on relationships.

They've got money, they want to show off to their friends and they treat the "hired help" like non-people. For the most part.

One guy, who was avoiding the speech section of the evening's whatever ceremony (the grand prize was a set of golf clubs, I remember that) engaged us in conversation -- in fact, I think he was the one who said that lovely thing about his ex-wife -- and finally offered to buy the band a shot. We learned long ago to accept such offers.

We all head off to the bar and he orders a bunch of shots of Cuervo 1800, the bartender pours the shots and starts gathering limes and salt shakers. I grabbed my shot, downed it, said, "Thank you," and started to walk away.

"Wait!" he says, "You have to do the salt and lime!"

"Thanks, but that won't be necessary," I replied.

Inside I was thanking Chuck for getting me out of that situation.

I still don't really like tequila, I will never order a shot for myself. Once in a great while I'll take a pull off a bottle if one happens to be near, it is, after all, the social thing to do. I'll stick with beer, if you don't mind, but at least now, thanks to Chuck, I know I can drink with the big kids.

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