I nearly bled out and died on Saturday. Well, maybe not, but I guess you could say that’s about how much I fear needles. Cut my arm off if you’d like. I’ll be okay. Just don’t come at me for a flu shot. I might try to perform an exorcism on you.
My wife, Jennifer, consolidated our life insurance policies recently. I guess after this past spring when I truly did come close to entering our dear Lord’s nearer presence in the glories of heaven, she thought it would be a good idea to make sure that, when I do finally pass on, I leave behind a little more than a library of nine thousand volumes and an awesome Scotch whisky collection.
So anyway, after some initial measurements of height and weight and blood pressure, a litany of questions regarding my health history, and an oppressive opportunity to go bare chested for my very own in-home EKG (which I’m pretty sure that those little sticky “connectors” had been stored in a freezer), the visiting nurse instructed me to put my shirt back on and then to set my right arm before her so that she could draw some blood. Good thing she let me put my shirt back on because, as usual, that’s when I started to sweat.
“Make a fist,” I heard her say while she tied the rubber armband. I’m sure I got a little pale. I always do. I looked away through our door wall into the back yard and scanned the horizon for something to distract me. And then, just as the needle was set to pierce and bring about my death, God intervened.
“Would you look at that?” I said to the nurse in amazement. Two of the littlest deer fawns I’ve ever seen came running into the yard. They were hopping around, bumping into one another, and quite literally frolicking. Yes, frolicking – dancing around right within view, and it appeared they were having the time of their lives, spinning and running and tackling one another. I didn’t see a mother anywhere, which afterward I thought was somewhat unusual and yet very “Disney.” The show was truly exquisite, so much so I kept urging the nurse to look.
“You gotta see this.”
“Hold on just a second.”
“Just leave the needle in and take a look. You’re going to miss it.”
“A few more seconds…”
“They sure are having a great time!”
“There you go. All done.”
“And there they go! Wow! That was really neat.” No sooner did she have the needle out and a cotton ball taped over the gaping harpoon hole did the fawns sprint off around our pond and out of site.
“God did that just for me, you know,” I turned to her and said, “I didn’t even notice you trying to kill me.” She offered a genuine smile and noted that God is good. After a bit of small talk, she packed up, and left. For God’s timely action, I was immediately moved to celebrate my deliverance, but only after I fixed myself a few eggs, over-easy with some toast. It was well into lunchtime and I hadn’t eaten since the previous evening.
Food on my plate and a glass of water nearby, I reached to add a short dram to the affair.
The Lagavulin Distiller’s Edition is precisely the kind of whisky that you drink, not only after having survived an attempt on your life, but having done so while looking out upon a moistened and gray sky hovering above a woodland dressed in the deepest of crisp Autumn hues and adorned with prancing fauna put in place by God just for you.
The nose offers a gently kindled smoke rising up from an autumnal peat fire softening the evening chill’s edge. Within is the sense that someone began the fire with a cinnamon candle. The palate isn’t so gentle, but rather crisp and diligent enough to suppress the sweet expectations that come with a sherry cask finish. The sweetness is there, but the present balance allows a more rugged heft of chocolate and spice. The finish is medium, carrying the sherry to a more prominent seat and then adding a pinch of sea salt just for fun.
While I highly recommend this whisky, I do not urge the context in which it was enjoyed. It could be that the nurse will stab that needle into your arm and instead of Disney-esque fauna, you are struck by lightning or perhaps an out-of-control semi-truck comes rolling through your living room squashing both of you. As I said, I’m pretty sure that God sent the deer just for me. But the whisky, well, He gave that to all of us.