by Ed Sikov
“Jack Fogg started it,” I whined.
“You sound like a 6-year-old,” Dan replied.
“But he did! It wasn’t my fault.”
“Oh yes it was,” Dan said with finality. “He held out the bait, but you’re the one who made the choice to bite.”
I hate this kind of conversation – where you begin in satisfying moral outrage and end in abject shame. This one flipped in 15 seconds. I had no time to vent before Dan terminated the discussion with his wise observation, which was a line I’d used on him about eight months ago.
There had been un petit scene at the beach house. It was mercifully short – no blood, no corpses – but only because I bit my tongue and didn’t point out to Mr. Harvard C. N. N. Aging Prepster that he was the most obnoxious ass I had ever plowed, and that he’d taken quite a different tone with me when I rammed my etc. etc. etc.
We were all lined up on loungers around the pool: Jack Fogg, Sammy, Paolo, Chipper, Dan and me. Having finished sweeping up the leaves and branches that littered the deck, we stripped down to our swimsuits, and were happily watching in lust as the shirtless, straight, but turned-on-by-gay-gawkers pool boy skimmed and vacuumed more leaves out of the pool. Each of us had un cocktail du weekend in hand, and life was beautiful.
Then Jack Fogg cleared his throat portentously. My back was up even before he said anything. “Don’t you think you’re being, uh, a little obvious?” “About what?” I snarled. “I mean, really. Hurricanes?” He snickered smugly.
“It’s a theme drink,” I said with forced merriment – “the bartender’s answer to occasional verse.”
“Every queen on this island is drinking Hurricanes this weekend,” Jack Fogg barreled on. “You made us trite.” I noted with bitter amusement that he was polishing off his second Hurricane at the time.
“I told you,” I said, irritated. “They are not Hurricanes. They are Irenes.”
“You only used guava juice instead of passion fruit because the Pantry sold out of passion fruit. Their entire stock of passion fruit juice had already been snapped up by every other cliche-prone cocktail dominatrix in the Pines.”
Dan’s hand shot over and held my arm down. He knew that I was about to throw my Irene in Jack Fogg’s face.
“Boys,” said Paolo.
“Girls,” said Chipper.
“Dudes!” said Sammy. “You’re both out of your friggin’ minds! I don’t care what they’re called or what’s in them or whether they’re named ‘Michele Bachmanns.” “Wait a minute,” Dan objected, but Sammy steamrolled through. “They’re awesome!”
“I named them,” Chipper announced.
“What? You think ‘The Irene’ is clever? That was the goddamn storm’s name!” This came not from Jack but from Paolo.
“I didn’t call them ‘ the Irene.’ They are simply, chicly named ‘Irene.’ Just one diamond-solitaire word. Like Adrian or Travilla. In fact, like Irene!” I high-fived Chipper for his command of one-named costume designers from the 1930s.
“Who?” asked Sammy.
“Never mind,” I said, winking at Chipper. “You’re too young. And that’s why we adore you.” I got up, knelt next to Sammy, kissed him squarely on his rock-like six-pack, and headed for the kitchen to make another round.
“Irene” – a Category 5 Cocktail
2 oz. dark rum
2 oz. light rum
1 oz. guava juice
.5 oz. orange juice
1 squirt lemon juice
Add all the ingredients to a tall glass, stir, add some ice, and serve. Makes one drink.