Today, after the lemonade incident, we headed out to The Strand. The Strand is a small neighborhood in Galveston centered around a few square blocks comprised of the old heart of town. Imagine antique looking buildings currently occupied by touristy shops and bars. It’s cute. One interesting thing I saw while parking the car (though I did not grab a picture of it) was the Carnival Triumph docked at the Cruise Port. You may recall that this ship experienced some catastrophic troubles a few months ago out in the Gulf. It was pretty gross. After shopping for a bit, my wife’s cousin, her husband, and I decided to venture off the beaten path and found ourselves in Murphy’s Pub. We enjoyed a few drinks together and the company of a wonderful bartender. Then it was back to the beach house for an evening of grilling and games!
And in the midst of all this… My wife’s aunt Lisa was feeling a bit stressed. Don’t judge, it’s her nature. Problem identified, it was up to yours truly to find a solution. You see, she’s been on this Shred diet for a little while and made the mistake of thinking she’d be able to keep up with it while also coming on vacation. Silly girl. It also seems that alcohol is not part of the diet (or at least not in the quantities some might like it to be). So, I decided after returning to the beach house and before lighting the grill that it was high time to intervene. Did I lie? Who can say. “Lisa, have some of this,” I said while handing her a large red Solo cup full of goodness. “What’s that?” she inquired. “If it’s alcohol, I can’t have it.” “Oh no,” I said, “it’s a margarita. I just made them. They’re totally Shred-compliant.” “You know that diet?!” she said in amazement. “Know it? I wrote the book. Or I read the book or something. Listen, it’s just like Atkins and you know how I did that, right?” I shot back, not sure where even I was going with this. “Listen, Leese, it’s all good. The alcohol in this is clear liquor so there are no carbs and I didn’t use a mixer because it would give me heartburn so I think you’re totally safe.” In reality, I didn’t use a mixer. Hence the whole thing was booze, save for the simple syrup. See, you knew I’d find a use for that other saucepan from the lemonade story! “Well, OK,” Lisa said nervously. Not too much time elapsed before Miss Lisa was truly enjoying herself.
The problem arose when Lisa went from enjoying herself to enjoying herself. Unbeknownst to me, Lisa had finished her first and poured a second. I knew I shouldn’t have made a whole pitcher and then left them in arm’s reach of my target. By the time she asked for another I was out of simple syrup. I started mixing another pitcher (assuming that the six other adults might want more as well). It was getting late and I didn’t feel like reducing a cup of sugar over a hot stove. Lisa turned around in time to catch me just about to dump a cup of sugar into the pitcher of drink. “Wait a minute? You know I can’t have sugar on this diet, right?” she said. “Oh no, the sugar boils off when I mix it,” I said. Of course, as soon as she turned back to the game she was playing, I dumped it in. Her sister, Jane, caught me and laughed.
All in all it was a very fun night. At some point, Lisa started singing “They call him Mellow Yellow…” repeatedly. Her daughter and son-in-law had never heard that 70’s classic rock gem so I looked it up for them on Youtube. “Mom,” said Mandy, “there’s gotta’ be more words to it.” Actually, it turns out, there really aren’t. “They call him Mellow Yel…” And as quickly as she had loosened up, Lisa drifted off to sleep. The bartender hid. And all were happy for the night.
I scheduled an appointment for confession later in the week.