As the world continues to learn more about coronavirus and its spread, it's vital to stay up-to-date on the latest developments. However, it's also important to make sure that the information being distributed is from credible sources. To that end, Between The Lines has compiled, [...]
by Ed Sikov
The puppies were in residence that weekend, which meant the rest of us gorged on calorie-free eye candy, since the boys were untouchable. The best we could do was smell them.
Robbie had a distinct personal funk that shifted a little from day to day: top notes of salt water with middle notes of two rank men – Robbie and the previous night’s trick. Kyle, on the other hand, always smelled faintly of Dr. Bronner’s peppermint soap, which blended with his naturally sweet disposition to create aromatically the ideal playmate, soulmate, best friend, husband and ultimately survivor, weeping over the grave even as he inherits the fortune. I had a major crush on him.
CNN’s prepster-geek reporter Jack Fogg showed up, too, along with his glorious boyfriend, Sammy. Dan came straight from the airport (conference in Cleveland) in a stressed, must-be-medicated state. And with the angel of cocktail creation smiling upon us, it was Craig’s weekend as well.
If you found yourself in a Tarantino-designed slaughterhouse with a large enough beam balance, you could hang Craig on one hook and the rest of us on the opposite end, and Craig would still remain on the ground. Not really, but in the Pines, Craig felt like (and frankly looked like) a mastodon. But he adored the beach and loved our house, so he braved the stares and not-even-stifled laughs of skinny, giggling twinkies who didn’t have a quarter of Craig’s wit. He dismissed them Bugs Bunny-style as “maroons.”
We were all in the living room late on Saturday afternoon when Craig, as though by instinct, launched into one of his routines: a frightfully accurate imitation of a certain glamorous 1950s song belter. He ran through bits from “It’s Always Fair Weather” and “Kismet,” and even the song she sings (uncredited) in Bette Davis’s “Mr. Skeffington.” I was, as usual, enthralled and applauded at the end; Dan grinned with joy. Craig’s Dolores Gray was phenomenal. He even claims to have coached Lypsinka.
Jack and Sammy were polite but clueless. Kyle said, with wide-eyed wonder, “Wow! You’re really good! Who was that? She’s amazing!”
At which point Robbie stood up, stretched dramatically to show off his chili-red treasure trail, and announced, “Why do bitter queens love clownish women from old movies nobody else cares about? I’m too young for this. I won’t be back for dinner.” And out the door he strolled.
“Asshole,” said Kyle. Dan seethed. Jack and Sammy kept their mouths shut; they probably agreed with Robbie but were too polite to say it. I was offended across the board – for Craig, for old movies, for the late Dolores Gray – and was paralyzed with outrage. “Robbie’s hot,” Sammy observed. Jack threw a pillow at him.
“Eureka!” Craig declared. “I have just invented a cocktail to celebrate the revelation that Robbie is an agent of Satan. I always thought there was something suspicious about that flaming red hair. Gents? Who would like a Bitter Queen?”
“What goes into a bitter queen?” Kyle asked innocently.
“Nothing! That’s the problem!” Craig batted back.
Here’s Craig’s incredibly simple and quite delicious recipe. We collectively added the descriptive details during a slightly sodden dinner:
The Bitter Queen
Take last night’s martini glass with the dregs still in it, and toss the dregs in the sink. Don’t rinse out the glass. Add a bit too much Jameson Irish Whiskey and three or four dashes of Angostura Bitters. Plunk a single, pathetic ice cube into the glass. For the full effect, drink it alone.
Variation: “The Bitter Old Queen”: use Jameson 12-year Special Reserve.