Big Mike's car broke down and he had to leave it in the shop. I got the bad news Friday night, then Mike called me back on Saturday afternoon around 3:00 - just before my afternoon snort.
Given that Monday was Washington's birthday and Mike had the day off, he suggested I drive down to Columbus. We could have dinner out and go shooting on Sunday, then I'd drive back on Monday. Attractive as the offer was, I was forced to decline. I had previous commitments for Sunday and I couldn't very well call Main Lady and tell her Sunday was off because I was half in the bag down in Columbus. I'm too old for that kind of irresponsible sort of behavior, and calling things off at the last minute gives Main Lady a major malfunction. This is a condition we older men have learned to avoid; while we're younger we're supposed to be ignorant but still learning... anyway, them as don't learn are most often divorced. I hung up the phone regretfully and finished my lunch.
Then I called Mike back. I'm becoming far and away too civilized and predictable lately. I threw my pistol and a few other necessities into a bag, promised Danté I'd be back later and pointed my nose towards the Mason-Dixon line. This was just the sort of thing I needed to get myself back on track again.
|Barley's Ale House Number Two|
I arrived at Big Mike's around 6:30, and an hour later we were at Barley's Ale House No. 2. This isn't the first time I've eaten at Barley's, and the brisket is worth every single mile I drove getting there. Saturday night being brisket night, my only fear (and it's a real fear, let me tell you) is that the place would run out of brisket before I could surround some. As it turned out, my fears were not realized.
Now for the bad news: I'm allergic to hops. I'm allergic to all manner of common flora, but up until very recently I've never noticed a food allergy. But then, up until recently I wasn't drinking beer or ale that had a lot of hops in it. A couple months ago that changed, and one memorable night I got deathly ill from over indulging in ale that was very heavy with hops. Since that time I'm so overly sensitive that Natural Light makes me nauseous (yeah, I know, but it's not like you're thinking) and I get so congested and snotty that even the dog thinks there's something wrong with me. You have any idea just how disgusting you have to be before your own dog refuses to associate with you on the grounds of personal hygiene?
So it seems there's only one thing to do. No, I'm not going to eat my gun. Don't be an idiot. I'm switching to whiskey and wine, exclusively. Until I can find a cure for my affliction, I'm going on the patent pending Diamond Dave whiskey diet. Old Dave lost 20 pounds in three or four weeks by drinking whiskey instead of beer, and he told me at the time that I should try it.
Our dinner was excellent, although in all truth and honesty the brisket was just beginning to get dry by the time we had it. Still, it was far and away better than anything that you can get in the city of Columbus. Desert was very good as well - I had the bread pudding and enjoyed it.
We headed back to Big Mike's house where we enjoyed watching an old horror film, Lord of Illusions (1995), which I had never seen before. I don't know just how I missed this one, but it's a great film. I also enjoyed Big Mike's generous hospitality.
|The Hospitality of the House|
Front (diagonal) row, left to right:
- Lagavulin 16 years old
- Glenmorangie "The Quinta Ruban" 12 years old
- Glenfiddich 12 years old
- Glenlivet "Nadurra" 16 years old natural cask strength
- Oban 14 years old
- Laphroig 10 years old
And, by the way, should any of you be wondering, you may rest assured that I got up Sunday morning, had breakfast out and drove back to Sylvania in time to fulfill my obligations on Sunday without being late for anything. Some of us do learn, eventually.