B! loves Mai Tais. Like, Loooves mai tais. Like, he’s had mai tais in at least seven states, he goes hunting for them. I don’t particularly care for mai tais – I’m really not a rum girl, except for the occasional mojito – but, things being as they are, I often drink mai tais when I’m with him and often feel compelled to order them when we’re apart. it’s not something that I’m proud of, but it’s something that happens.
Flying to Charlotte last Friday, I opened up my tray table and was greeted with an ad for Stirrings mixers, the Venerable Mai Tai as the featured cocktail. I thought of B!, thought how funny he’d find it if I drank one at 30,000 feet, and sheepishly placed my drink order. It was 8:30 in the morning, give or take. The stewardess didn’t bat an eyelash, instead taking the opportunity to slip me an extra on the sly. I imagine she thought that I needed it. I felt weird about that.
What made me feel weirder, though, was the smell that emanated from the Stirrings bottle when I cracked the seal. Limey and sweet, with an unctuous chemical undertone, it was actually even WORSE than opening the nip of Bacardi. My seatmate politely ignored my apparent debauchery and undisguised disgust as I daintily poured first the rum then the mai tai into my extra-large glass. I opened up my laptop and started working, trying hard to maintain a patina of normalcy while taking the first gentle sip of my cocktail. And,
Was it disgusting. Absolutely unspeakable! It was the oral equivalent of the BP oil explosion, a slithering slick on the skin of my throat. I restrained myself from gagging and tried again. Maybe it’s just the early hour, I thought, because NOTHING could be this bad – not even breakfast rum.
I was wrong.
It was worse.
It seemed to me like giving me that extra mai tai was like giving me mono, starting as innocent as a handshake or a kiss but ending in tears. And what do we want when we’re in tears? For other people to feel our pain, of course! I happily presented my dearest B! with my remaining cocktail upon our check in to the hotel, and absolutely lost my shit laughing when he drank down that first brave gulp. I thought he might die.
Moral of the story? Play to your enemy’s strength. Don’t order mai tais on airplanes, and don’t order martinis in dive bars. Free advice, from me to you. Cheers!