The Watermelon

By Ed Sikov

Cocktail Chatter

We were closing down the beach house for the winter. I was in a piss-poor mood and so was Dan, and neither of us was behaving with any degree of marital civility.

We'd already fought over such terribly important issues as what kind of garbage bag to buy (I favored the kind with built-in drawstrings; Dan immediately reached for Brand X to save a buck; I prevailed), whether or not it would be OK if I spiced up the day's dull tasks by puffing some herb (it would not be OK, Dan snapped, and I withdrew the suggestion), and whose iPod would reign on the sound system while we worked. Dan loves Mozart. I detest Mozart. "I won't play Twisted Sister if you won't play Mozart, " I generously offered. "It's a deal," Dan said. Poor Dan. I don't have Twisted Sister on my iPod. I put on my favorite playlist, "Fountains of Wayne's Best," and we fell into an uneasy truce.

It didn't last long. Dan opened the liquor cabinet and began emptying it out. "This is going down the drain!" he stated, and before I had a chance to screech "no!" he'd dumped half a bottle of Midori into the sink. "Stop!" I yelled. "Why?" he calmly asked with an evil smile on his face as he kept pouring. "You're wasting perfectly good liquor!" I roared as I sped around the kitchen island and grabbed the bottle out of his hands before he emptied it entirely.

"This stuff bites," he said. "Nobody drinks it." "I do." "You do not. It's been here for three years."

I couldn't argue with him. Truth be told, the violently green Japanese melon liqueur was one of those items that had sat untouched on the shelf for several seasons.

"OK, OK. I'll make you something good with it before dinner." He shot me one of those cockeyed looks of radical skepticism he produces at times like this, and I instantly knew all over again why I adored him.

I'd planned a simple meal: burgers and salad. There was a bottle of ketchup left in the refrigerator and not much more, except a half empty bottle of cranberry juice. I much prefer the 100-percent juice variety to the market leading cranberry, water and sweetener brand, but I didn't have a choice; we had to use up what a housemate had left in the fridge. Naturally, we had Absolut. We always have Absolut.

I mixed our cocktails and served them in the living room. Dan had finished his tasks and was reading The Economist. "Cheers!" I said brightly. Dan took his glass and examined it with the same wariness and vague distaste that a nurse practitioner would inspect an especially cloudy urine sample. "What's in this?" he interrogated. "Drink it," I said. "If I can taste that wretched Midori I'll spew," he threatened. "Drink it," I repeated. He took a sip, then a gulp. "This tastes just like watermelon! It's...!" Then he caught himself. "It's OK. But it's more of a summer drink."

"Put that glass down. Put it down now," I commanded. He did as he was told. Then I dove onto his welcoming belly, yanked his shirt up and began kissing his navel mercilessly. I didn't stop until he had apologized in several highly pleasurable ways.

The Watermelon

1 part Absolut premium vodka

1 part Midori

Cranberry juice to taste.

Mix the vodka and the Midori in a tall glass filled with ice. Pour in cranberry juice to taste; stir; serve.

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