Martinis last night.

Why martinis? Could it be Mad Men fever? Actually, it was because of Julie and Julia. They were drinking Martinis in just about every scene. So after the movie, Julie and I (the real Julie) went to CostPlus to obtain the paraphrenelia. Then we went to Safeway to obtain the hooch. Then we came home. I looked up the recipe for Martinis. It’s not too hard, as it turns out. Couple cubes of ice, a bunch of dry gin, a splish of dry vermouth, and shake. I was unable to achieve the full on sexy shake, but nevertheless. Soon we were drinking home-shaken, dry Martinis.

They were OK. I prefer beer.

The only other time I ever drank a Martini? Saudi Arabia, 1989. Things were just peachy in the Gulf before the Gulf War, let me tell you. I was teaching English to Saudi naval cadets. Saudi is as dry a country as they come, hoochwise, as everybody knows. But at the Dharan airbase the U.S. military maintains a tiny bit of sovereignty, sort of a diplomatic briefcase but bigger. And inside that briefcase, you can drink. If you can get in. We got in. To the Officer’s club. So we’re in this semi-swanky space, drinking real drinks (not the homemade beer we drank back in our teacher’s quarters). Everyone was having Martinis, so what the heck, sure, I’d have a Martini. So guess who else was there having Martinis? Norm Schwartzkopf. The US had recently invaded Panama, so my buddy James, who was bold about this sort of thing, talking to generals about classified military operations and such, engaged Mr. Schwartzkopf about it. Norm, I’ll call him Norm from now on since it’s easier to spell, Norm’s a pretty intense character. Especially armed with a Martini. Norm and James went at it a bit, not arguing, but Norm obviously proud and conscious of his power to impress, inhibited by the classified aspects of the story, James trying to get him to spill. Since none of you know James, unless you do, go ahead and picture James Woods, circa Salvador. All politics aside, if you’re going to have a Gulf War, I guess Norm was the guy you’d want to be your general. And if you want someone to needle him about it, James was your man.

Anyhoo, that’s my Martini story. I hope not to have very many more like it.

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