You need to know that my sister Wiggles is the original teetotaler. Muggins and I often agree on the fact that Wiggles barely needs an audience at times, as she is so abundantly competent at entertaining herself reciting bits of dialogue from movies and stray thoughts on the world around her, usually followed by her patented cackle or wheeze. But last night, she reached a new dimension. Why? Because of a digestif called Venice 41.
We are in Venice, yes, and had dinner last night at a famous haunt here called Da’Ivo, where we gorged ourselves on pasta with gorgonzola for the Lord & Master and steak with olive oil and rosemary for me and Muggins, among other high-caloric treats. Because Wiggs and the L&M have been coming to this place for so long (the L&M is famous for once eating 4 plates of gorgonzola pasta at one sitting, propelling the normally-shy chef out of the kitchen to get a look for herself at this crazy American), the owner goes nuts when he sees him amble through the door. So at the end of the evening, they brought over an after-dinner drink called Venice 41 for the table. Wiggles picked up her glass and swilled it down mighty impressively. Then I drank some and so help me God, I could have set the place on fire if someone had lit a match in front of my mouth. I looked over at Muggins (who has seen a wine list or two in his day), and his eyes were popping out of his head. It was like guzzling gasoline that had gone terribly, terribly bad.
Wiggles was drunk in two seconds flat and proceeded to walk back to the hotel cheerily swinging the rest of the bottle that was gifted to us by the restaurant owner (I think he was just trying to get rid of it). Muggins said to the L&M, “Wow, she gets drunk fast.” He nodded sagely. “That means she sobers up fast, too,” he commented proudly. Then he ran off to grab the back of her shirt before she took a swan dive into the nearest canal.