Just a short note to anyone who might want to take me out for a drink sometime: don’t feel slighted if I fail to do the “cheers” thing.
The obligatory clinking of glasses to commence a drinking session is something that trips me up at most alcohol-guzzling get-togethers. It isn’t so much that I object to the ritual on principle (though I do), it’s more that I always forget all about it and earn the ire of co-drinkers in the process. In the latest unfortunate incident I was at the Turquoise Cottage (yea, the same that’s been made famous in the blogosphere by The Compulsive Confessor) with friends, and my cocktail was a little late in arriving (not, as I like to think, because it was an unusually complex and noble concoction but because they mixed up orders and had to go back to redo mine). So there I was waiting with Buddha-like patience, vaguely wondering why my friends hadn’t yet started on their drinks. They had the glasses in front of them, yet they were merely playing about with the little umbrella thingajigs and looking formal. A jabberwock more sensitive to these little etiquettes might have perceived that they were waiting for my drink to appear so the toast could be made. But I didn’t realise this, and so when the waiter arrived I snatched the Planter’s Punch right off his tray and half-finished it with the first gulp. Then I looked up to see stricken faces all around me.
“Jai, how could you!”
“The uncouth swine, when will he ever learn the norms of civilised behaviour?”
“Their fifth wedding anniversary and you’ve ruined it!”
Geez people, it’s just a drink, it isn’t a formal supervillains’ convention to mark the capture and destruction of James Bond or Batman or Austin Powers. So lighten up. And cheers!
P.S. For your erudition, here’s more on the toast.