Posted on July 29, 2005 at 01:24 AM
Continuing on with yesterday's Bill W./AA theme, I thought I would share with you one of the best lines I've heard to tell someone you don't drink. This one beats saying "I'm a friend of Bill W." by a long shot.
As it happens, I am privileged to be a part of a group of people that meet approximately once a month for a traveling card game. Texas hold' em to be exact (Go figure, who isn't playing Texas hold' em these days). The game is usually hosted in someone someone's house or garage and attracts a mixture of regular players and F.O.A.F.s (friends of a friend). When playing Hold' em, the more the merrier I always say.
So one evening a few weekends ago, a few friends and myself head over to catch the 10pm game. Everyone draws cards to see what table they'll start at and I find that I'm seated with a group of people in which I'm not all that familiar with. Doesn't really matter though because everyone is usually pretty friendly.
As the game progresses, I notice that everyone at my table is having a beer except for the rather quiet fellow seated directly to my right. I had introduced myself to him earlier in the evening but hadn't really spoken to him much since. One thing I've noticed is that most poker players are too much into the game to let themselves be bothered with idle chit-chat. I, on the other hand, tend to engage in frivolous table talk with anyone who will listen, which usually facilitates my early exit from each game.
Several hands pass and not a word comes out of his mouth. I noticed he still didn't have anything to drink so I thought I would break the ice and ask if he would like one of my beers. (I seemed to have plenty to share at the time). He politely responded,
"No thanks man, I'm allergic."
Ok, that's cool I thought. Sucks to be him. I've heard of weird things in which to be allergic like milk, grass, or peanuts. But alcohol? That's a new one on me.
So, play continues and I think nothing more of it, right?
The truth is I can't stop thinking about this. I keep thinking to myself: Man, what was it like the first time he had a beer? Did he break out in hives? Did his face swell up? Was his body suddenly enveloped by an itchy rash?
I try to act as nonchalant about the whole thing as I possibly can, you know, play it cool since it really isn't my business anyway. But around 4 hands later, the cards are being shuffled and someone else says,
"Hey "Jim", do you want a beer?"
I think to myself,"Here is my chance to ask." He again politely responds the same way he did before,
"No thanks man, I'm allergic?"
Well, here goes nothing. I look over at him and ask exactly what I had been thinking for the last 40 minutes,
"So what happened the first time you had a beer? Did you break out in hives or have a bad allergic reaction?"
He turned towards me with a dead-pan, matter-of-factly kind of look and said,
"Yeah, something like that. Whenever I drink I start seeing men in blue and I break out in handcuffs."
Wow. So there you have it. What a great line. I mean really, what do you say to that? Needless to say we all got quite a chuckle out of it.