They may not necessarily encourage whiskey at afternoon lunch gatherings in their church hall, however. So when my extended family was having a reunion lunch at a Lutheran church, I decided to be discreet. Since I was traveling, I didn’t have a flask handy, but my bag was dark and had plenty of space, so I just brought a bottle – an entire bottle – of Buffalo Trace.
Lunch was BBQ. Perfect. I slipped into the kitchen and poured a couple of drams into some plastic cups – one for me and one for my uncle. And then a little later, one for my aunt. Just a touch of whiskey to share and toast the family properly.
The trouble began when I set my bag down on a chair to change my camera battery and somehow knocked it off the chair and underneath the table. I heard a sickening “crack” and saw liquid spreading quickly – a bottle minus three drams of whiskey – all over the church hall floor. Uff da. Or, as my uncle put it, “Busted.”
I certainly got a dose of Christian guilt, however, when during the slideshow of nice pictures of our well-behaved relatives, my great-uncle came to sit with us at our table. He was my grandma’s closest sibling out of 11 children, and he happened to be a member at the church. So there we were - my aunt, uncle, and I quietly sipping our whiskey next to him when the air conditioning went off and a sturdy smell of whiskey wafted up from the floor. I could feel the spirit of my grandma – example of social graces and least likely to knock a bottle of whiskey off a chair at church – slowly shaking her head…but maybe smiling just a little.
If god was with us, he had a bit of compassion – at least I got to pour myself a glass before I spilled the rest.
And lesson learned. Flasks were invented for a reason, and I will certainly be using one next time I need to attend lunch at a church.