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Saturday, December 17, 2011

The Birthday Drink: By: Christine McFarlane

By: Christine McFarlane

Ah! It was my birthday and a friend offered to take me out for a drink. I couldn’t refuse, after all, since returning from Banff and the craziness of both our schedules, we had barely any time to sit down with each other to just chill.

I had just covered the Canadian Aboriginal Festival in Toronto. I was exhausted but didn’t want to deny the one person I call my best friend. After a flurry of quick phone calls and one-line text messages, we decide to meet at the Bloor and Yonge subway station. It’s the meeting place for friends living on opposite sides of the city in the huge metropolis we call Toronto.

Upon meeting, my friend Ty says…

“Hey! Happy Birthday! How are ya?”

and leans over to give me a hug.

After quickly stifling a yawn, (its been a long day I think to myself) I reply

“Oh I’m good, how about you?”

Almost simultaneously we reach for a cigarette. Bracing against the wind, we cup our hands around our smokes, and light up. I know it’s the worst habit, but there is satisfaction when smoke hits my lungs.

Ah! I feel tension sliding off my shoulders.

“Where are we going?” I ask

It’s cold, I think 8 degrees, but it feels more like 2. I shiver, stomp my feet, bouncing on the spot to stay warm.

Ty says…

“Let’s walk for a bit, maybe we’ll find something nicer than that last place we went to.”

We laugh because the last place was called, “The Spotted Dick” It didn’t have the greatest service, spotty at best. LOL. We waited for what seemed like an hour for service, and it was cold. It’s hard to enjoy drinks, when you’re trying to keep warm, and loud, nonsensical conversation swirls randomly around as you try to catch up with a friend you hadn’t seen in awhile.

I remember sitting at the small worn out table, Ty sitting on the leather bench and me on a crickety wood chair. We had our iphones in front of us-couldn’t escape technology! Those damn iphones! A beep would go off, and we’d lean over and peer at our phones as if that one message or email just couldn’t wait.

Drinks in front of us, Ty with his white wine, and me with a Creemore lager, we settled in. I’m not much of a drinker, but Creemore is the one beer I stick with, plus it’s the one beer I can always remember! It’s a nice amber shade with just the right amount of carbonation to give it sparkle. Taste wise; it starts off with a creamy sweetness, followed by a bit of hop and finishes clean. It’s light and refreshing. The aroma is strong but I love the smoothness as it goes down.

Back to my birthday drink. It’s Saturday night, and after taking quick refuge from a sudden onslaught of rain, we dash into the Churchmouse and Firkin Pub.

Ty orders our meals and drinks. It’s another Creemore Lager for me, white wine for him.  Lightweight drinker that I am, after only half a beer, my head feels foggy, my tongue is tripping over itself, and everything makes me laugh. Dang, I feel good! Happy Birthday to me!

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