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Through My Window II

There was a time in my life when contact with a drunk left me feeling angry and frustrated. During the first couple of years after my husband and I separated, I had to stay away from bars or other places drunks might congregate (like parties) because the sight of a drunken person would fill we with the incredible urge to grab him or her by the throat and demand, “Does your spouse know where you are? Are your children fed? Is your rent paid?”

As you can well imagine that kind of behavior would put a serious damper on a party. Not to mention that the answer was none of my business. So, I picked my friends carefully and avoided situations where I might find it necessary to accost somebody.

Time has healed the wounds that fueled my resentments. It’s a good thing, too, because I think I am the only sober person in my neighborhood. The weather is bright and warm and unseasonably sunny even for Vegas. The neighbors have shed their houses for the cooler comfort of outside.

Today the two neighbors across the street met at the fence separating their yards. They were discussing last night’s party. They each bragged on the amount of tequila they had drunk, and how they’d “put the others under the table.” I recognized the words of that conversation as part of a young adult ritual, but — although I rarely do this — I had to get up and go look out the window to confirm what my ears reported, because they were coming from the mouths of two little old ladies.

One of the little old ladies spent the afternoon outside with her family. Her most repeated sentence was, “Boy, bring me another.” She still calls her son, “Boy.” He is elderly, too. At one point he said, “You’ve had enough.” And she responded, “You not talk back to me, Boy!” I don’t know whether she got her drink or not, but she didn’t ask again.

A little later I heard her great grand-daughter say, “Granny, where are your teeth?” The old lady was surprised and upset to hear they weren’t in her mouth. The whole family searched the yard. The teeth were found — I know not where — and Granny demanded them back. The girl suggested they be washed first. Boy said, “Give’m to her dirty, she’s got enough disinfectant in her to kill any germs.”

Then somebody called, “Dinner,” and they all went in the house. The show is over for tonight — but, as Willie Nelson would sing, tomorrow starts the same old thing again.

Quilly is the pseudonym of Charlene L. Amsden, who lives on The Big Island in Hawaii. When she is not hanging out with Amoeba, she is likely teaching or sewing. Or she could be cooking, taking photographs, or even writing. But if she's not doing any of that, she's probably on Facebook or tinkering with her blog.


  1. Sounds like they’d just come back from a celebration at the Mexican synagogue:

    Have one tequila,
    Have two tequila,
    Have three tequila,
    They are very small …

    If I have more than two drinks of an evening, I get sick. While everyone else is riding the buzz, I’m driving the bus. Keeps me out of trouble, I guess. Which is just as well. I have other vices. 😉

  2. OC — I thought it was:

    One tequila,
    Two tequila,
    Three tequila,

    I like a beer on a hot day with a barbecue or after yard work, but I rarely ever finish the bottle. I’m just not a drinker. And those sweet drinks — I get sick before I get drunk. If I must have a drink, I prefer a rum and coke, light on the rum, heavy on the coke, or a tequila driver, more orange juice then tequila, please. It has been over 25 years since I have even been close to what might legally be considered drunk. I, too, am usually the designated driver.

  3. Some how I think it might be hard to avoid alcoholics in Vegas.

    I know it’s sexist, but drunk old ladies are particularly pathetic to me.

    While I did quite a bit of partying when I was younger, I’m not much into drinking now. It mostly makes me sleepy and if we’re out, I worry about driving, so I don’t drink much.

  4. I have never understood the sense of accomplishment some people seem to feel when they have consumed a lot of alcohol. The only thing they have really accomplished is to be incredibly stupid and selfish.

  5. Nessa — not hard at all. Of course, I don’t live my life on the strip or near the casinos. I’m pretty much a school, church, gym, home, kind of person. Not a lot of drunks hang out in those places — well, outside my home — but I don’t have to associate with them.

    Mike — I whole-heartedly agree. And you’d think that by the time one reached octogenarian, one would have grown some common sense. Not so my little old lady neighbors.

  6. Hey now, let’s don’t forget that we have a scientific experiment we can perform for those folks over the fence. I’m sure you’d like to try it on a few. How sad. That didn’t sound happy at all.

  7. If I have an empty beer in front of me, it usually means I half-finished it and fell asleep in my chair, knocking the bottle over. Bless every old drunk.

  8. I am laughing my butt off here!!! I can SO picture the scene YOU are talking about! And I know what you’re getting at…. believe me… I DO!

    But then, I’m picturing my Photo Hunt this week… combined with that fact that my “pet” name for BOTH of my boys is … Boy. *shock!* Sooooo… I’m sitting here laughing and wondering WHAT people think when they here me walk in the front door and see either of my boys and say “Hey Boy!” … or “What’s up Boy?” …. even though it is obviously said LOVINGLY in these instances! And then I wonder what folks would think when they here me (in complete, though comical, exasperation ) say “Boooooooy!” … and one of them say back to me…. “Woman!” LOL! But honestly… my oldest especially, loves that I call him Boy! He once told me that he would cry if I ever quit calling him Boy. See, when I was a little teeeeeeny tiny girl, my first babydoll was named DearBoy — it was a Bi-Lo Baby – probably a girl – but in MY head, she was a boy — my Dear Boy. And I loved that babydoll to pieces …. literally! And when my first son came to me, he instantly became my Dear Boy! Which later gotten shortened to Boy. 🙂

  9. i’m not particularly tolerant towards drunkards either. and i’ve really been drunk about twice in my life and don’t see a point in doing it again.

  10. Gawpo — I think your BAC test is just a bit extreme, not to mention fatal.

    Doug — your comment just made me reconsider Gawpo’s …..

    Melli — they are out there again today and it has just come to my attention that, “Boy,” calls his momma, “Old Crone.” And, of course, it must be affection because he is there almost every day, and there is always much laughter.

    Polona — my last real drunk was at age 22. I was on the floor hugging the toliet, still wearing my snowboots, hat, and gloves. My roommate came into the bathroom wearing her night gown and robe. She was fresh from sleep and well rested. I had been out partying all night and would soon be on my way to work still drunk, sleepless and definately ill. She said, “So, was it worth it?” And I thought, “No. No, it wasn’t.” And that was that.

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