Many of the perplexities and problems of one’s life (not counting living in the modern era) can be delightfully engaged in and halfway understood with a cocktail in hand.
The word itself, cocktail, came into popular use around 1810 in and about New York and Boston. Cocktail, defined, is an alcoholic drink consisting of a spirit or several spirits mixed with other ingredients, such as fruit juice, lemonade, or cream. Yes, indeed. And if one is really interested, there is a wonderfully written piece on the real history of how the cocktail got its name – it can be read here.
A true cocktail lover doesn’t imbibe until the cocktail hour, which by our definition here at the asylum begins anytime after leaving the confines of one’s work asylum and entering a different asylum, whether it be a bar, tavern, club, hotel or via entrance to one’s front door. Never before 5:00 pm and typically not after 8:00 pm, except for the occasional “nightcap”, which should only be enjoyed when the bed one will be sleeping in is within walking distance.
“If you were to ask me if I’d ever had the bad luck to miss my daily cocktail, I’d have to say that I doubt it; where certain things are concerned, I plan ahead.” ~ Luis Bunuel
There’s a certain pleasantness that invades the psyche after a cocktail or two (never more than three).
Daily annoyances are a bit more easily cast aside. Idiots at work are quickly characterized as the idiots they are and immediately forgotten. Late-arriving spouses or the non-present type of spouse, even when they are present, are graciously toasted after a few sips of one’s favorite cocktail.
The challenges of one’s own peculiarities are more easily dealt with after a cocktail or two. You’re more relaxed, more open to doing things that you might not be so willing to do without a enjoying a glass or two of the spirits.
Yoga classes attended that your significant other has harped at you to attend are more readily agreed upon. During the cocktail hour, it matters not that your biological framework takes in waves of nausea upon a sniff of a whiff of the scents of the unkept foot, armpit or other unmentionable regions of the body – you momentarily forget such affronts to your sense of smell. You smile and say, “sure, I’ll go.” Not to worry, you can always find a way to excuse yourself from such olfactory affronts when pressed with the “you promised” from your significant other tomorrow, or the next day, or the next day.
Sporting events, whether going in person to a dreadfully depressing structure for a live event, or watching the humdrum on TV with your “honey”, after a cocktail or two, you are pleasantly inclined to take the road less traveled and agree to watching organized child’s play in adult form. It can even be rather self-ennobling event where you raise that cocktail in hand to yourself for your far-sightedness and generosity of spirit.
For those of us inclined to putting words on paper, or a computer, hoping that a few strung-together sentences will provide a smile or raised eyebrow to the reader – a cocktail or two can provide inspirational wonders.
“The writer is a mysterious figure, wandering lonely as a cloud, fired by inspiration, or perhaps a cocktail or two.” ~ Sara Sheridan
After a cocktail or two, the political insanity of the day is shelved for what it is – insanity. The silly suspicions that the day produces vanish. All other life-ending problems are dispensed with until the tomorrow’s new dawn provides yet another opportunity for clear-headed thinking… and worrying.
Obviously, one never drinks and drives. But if in the confines and privacy of one’s own domain, without a docket of events to be attended to, a cocktail or two can ease the mind, drop stress levels, limber up the body just a tad and confirm in your mind that you are, for tonight, a shining beacon of reason, of affability and decorum. At least that’s what you’ll be telling yourself after a cocktail or two!
But always keep in mind the thoughts on the subject from American poet, writer, critic, and satirist, Dorothy Parker:
“I like to have a martini,
Two at the very most.
After three I’m under the table,
after four I’m under my host.”
― Dorothy Parker,
Tonight’s musical offering:
Cannonball Adderley Quintet: Cannonball Adderley (alto saxophone); Nat Adderley (cornet); Joe Zawinul (acoustic & electric pianos); Victor Gaskin (bass); Roy McCurdy (drums).
As Mr. Adderley so eloquently states at the beginning of this live performance: “You know – sometimes we’re not prepared for adversity. When it happens, sometimes we’re caught short. We don’t know exactly how to handle it when it comes up. Sometimes we don’t know, just what to do when adversity takes over. And I have advice for all of us… It sounds like what you’re suppose to say, when you have that kind of problem”…Mercy, Mercy, Mercy!
Amen! And a cocktail in hand never hurts, especially when listening to this classic. Cheers!
Cannonball Adderley Quintet ~ “Mercy, Mercy, Mercy” (1966)
Photo credit (front page): http://www.unsplash.com/@arobi
Photo credit: http://www.unsplash.com/@jenstheess