“You need to stop calling people kids,” Andy Battaglia told me the other night while we had dinner at Monkey Bar.
I have taken to doing that. You might have seen me do it on this blog from time to time — I say things like "the bright kids at Eater.”
I mean it as a compliment. Kids are energetic and enthusiastic.
But Andy, who is my cultural guru, says it makes me sound old.
“I am old,” I told him.
“No you’re not,” said Andy, who just turned 33.
I’ll be 41 in April, which isn’t, you know, old old, but it means I have a little perspective. And I realized last night that it has made me slightly less stupid — my internal “you’ve had too much to drink! Stop, stop now!” alarm goes off much earlier than it used to.
Back when I was truly young, and living in Bangkok, that alarm went off when it was time to find a taxi to fall into rather than pass out on the street.
I am happy to report that I have never passed out on a Bangkok street.
Last night, it went off while I was talking to beverage writers and such at a rum party at the Brandy Library.
The party was in the bar's basement, down a spiral staircase that required some level of sobriety to navigate.
I had a mini-burger or two while chatting — mostly about world travel if I remember correctly — with assorted people from the drink world. But I didn't eat much because I'd had a meatball hero for lunch, and a meatball hero's a lot of food.
High-end VSOP rum, and an orange-flavored cordial made from rum, were being dispensed from cute little casks, and I sampled them with enthusiasm while talking about the benefits of flying business class with Jack Robertiello, what to do in Argentina with a caterer whose name I have forgotten, places to drink in New Zealand with Naren Young, while also catching up with the regular gang.
I was having a perfectly nice time when, after refilling my little snifter and taking a sip, my better self, watching me from the relative safety and objectivity of my brain, said "THIS IS YOUR LAST DRINK!"
I finished my conversations, put my glass down, said my good-byes and was able to take my gift bag, climb the stairs, get my coat and engage in what seemed like perfectly reasonable parting words with Shawn Kelley and Allen Katz, who were chatting outside the Brandy Library, and made it to my subway. I don't think my speech was even slurred.
This morning, no hangover.