The Saint and the Scoundrel: Past and Present—A Martini Talk

Truth be told, I never liked straight gin straight up—at all. For whatever reason, when the rooster crows (what else is New Year’s Eve about?), I always start my night with a whiskey neat….

The Saint and the Scoundrel: Past and Present—A Martini Talk

Truth be told, I never liked straight gin straight up—at all.

For whatever reason, when the rooster crows (what else is New Year’s Eve about?), I always start my night with a whiskey neat. When I wake up, I always have something in my stomach that tastes like an Earl Grey tea bag—because I wanted to start off as bright as can be.

It never gets old. Nor does it get sloppy. And the length of time that I’ve been doing it hasn’t once, ever, made me want to start batting those martinis around.

Because when it comes to me and drinks, I tend to just start slow. I do the walk of shame. I do the little bit, then the big one.

And then I figure I might as well try to stick with something. Something that I’ve read has been passing for years. A speech-by-text readout from Janet Malcolm, the legendary journalist and author of “The Journalist and the Murderer.”

Her cure for bad pen pals:

My AARP is so bored with long-distance pen pals these days. I recommend a kind of moral support pill—something someone could sell to men. You could call it Moral Pill for Betting Envy. It would counteract those inveterate sexual fantasies of life under the pill regime.”

I’m in: Buy a pill! And so I did. And as soon as I landed on that Google product page, there were news of a “Betty Betty WASHINGTON” group and a newsletter, and I thought: maybe I should start using some interesting synonyms for “martini” that hadn’t entered my vocabulary (“flat martini,” “sippable steel jelly”).

On two separate occasions, without actually deciding that I needed an actual letter, I posted a “best-bet martini” variation on Facebook.

I thought I was being safe. Safe. I swear, I did. But here’s what actually happened: another Betty Betty WASHINGTON—a Facebook-friend account account that had been dormant for a couple years—liked the post and commented. Before long, many others “posted comments.” By the time my post was up in the evening, it was hitting its peak (my favorite number, by the way), and by midnight, it was viral.

Many, many people commented on my fake discussion of the “Betty Betty WASHINGTON.” And before long, my first-dibs-first housemate had told me that she had been “pinched” by one of my Facebook pen pals; they had both talked in about 48 hours in which their conversations (I believe the word comes to me from them) gave me both literal and logical insights about a 14-year-old woman.

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