Smile Politely

The beginning of a beautiful summer relationship

Ah, that long Memorial Day weekend was like a little carnival; a sweaty, drunken little carnival where all the rides make me sort of sick at my stomach but not until the next day. You would think that a fella like me who pretends his entire life is a series of long weekends wouldn’t be all that thrilled with an extra day off, but I really was. Either way, let’s get it on and do a quick review, especially since I remember at least part of it.


Last summer was the “Summer of Vodka and Lemonade” and it was so awesome I continued it well through the winter. The winter was pretty tame, so that made it easier, but still, that drink felt like it had long worn out its welcome. What’s next? Good question … if you asked it, but you probably didn’t. Well, the answer appears to be rum. Yep, this will be the summer of rum, whether I like it or not.

I should make it very clear that good, old-fashioned beer will always be in season, so the rum will simply become my fail-safe. I’ve long since retired the idea that a person should drink brown liquor in the winter and clear liquor in the summer, sort of like that old white pants after Labor day deal. Even if I hadn’t dropped this rule, the rum thing sort of works since it can be light or dark. As an added note, I’m not a fan of white pants any time of year.

Once I settled on rum as the summer drink of choice, my task actually got much harder because I had to decide how I was going to drink it. I’d be just fine sipping shots of Brugal or Anniversario, but that seems a tad bit classy for a guy who usually has a least three or four stains on his shirt and likes to drink things from plastic cups. 

Of course, I could simply mix it with fruit juice, like say cranberry and pineapple combined, but I feel that would make me seem just a little too, um, let’s just say precious. Rum and Coke is good, but it seems a little easy. I experimented with rum and orange juice with a splash of Coke, combining both ideas. It tasted fine, but it sort of looked as if someone had crapped in my glass, and not in a good way either.

I decided to go a different way and have a sort of “anything goes” policy. I have decided that my favorite brand of Rum will be Sailor Jerry. It’s a cool looking bottle and it’s all spiced and tasty. It’s exactly the kind of thing I’m a complete sucker for. Yes, I look forward to many pleasant evenings with Sailor Jerry. I simply hope he doesn’t ruin our relationship by trying to swab my poop deck.

Is it weird to name your drink of summer? I’m betting it is weird to a lot of people but the fine folks I drink with seem to think it’s a fine idea. Plus, it makes it easier as I get older to remember things. “What year did we see Fu Manchu at the Highdive?”

“Oh, it was the summer of Midori and Sprite.” Who the hell cares about actual numbers anyway.


I bounced all over town on Saturday, probably literally, and I ended the night sitting on the Esquire patio drinking rum, of course. Anyway, there were some people that appeared to have come from a wedding sitting out there. They were, for the most part, having fun and behaving themselves. There was one guy, however, who seemed to be a few miles off the reservation. I totally knew what he was going through and almost felt a glimmer of longing as I watched him almost fall into the middle of our table.

At one point towards last call he turned down an offer of a drink. It was probably a smart move even if he appeared to be past the point of rescue. I wanted to pull him aside and explain that, at this point, he’d be much better off just going for broke. There’s really nothing like a wedding blackout and you have to play it for all it’s worth. I’ve often found that the only thing worse than a wedding blackout is actually remembering what happened. Another shot can only help with this.

On a similar note, if you would like a chair from someone else’s table, just politely ask, and I’m sure they will let you take it if someone isn’t using it. It’s probably not especially cool to just take it without asking. Something like that can really piss off people like my friend Ellen and me. I considered telling him he wouldn’t even be able to sit in the chair once I had my foot up his ass, but I figured it was best to just go back to laughing at the drunk guy.


  • I’ve decided my catchall insult of the summer will be calling someone a “fuckhole.” Please make a note of it.
  • My new temporary favorite music is anything done by this dude named Eli “Paperboy” Reed. First of all, it’s a cool sounding name. Second of all, it seems like pretty swell music to listen to in the summertime. His voice is great and he really feels like a throwback. Normally, that sort of thing gets on my nerves, you know, because I sort of feel weird when I see Civil War reenactors and the people who dress up like they are knights and damsels at those renaissance fairs. I guess I always feel weird around people who are sort of dipshitty. So, this guy is supposed to be cool because he decided to be a replicator of a much hipper era? Still, it’s pretty great and I’m willing to overlook it this time … and probably several times after this.

Buona Sera, senorina, kiss me goodnight.

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