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20151019_203919I couldn’t help myself. It just slipped out.

Let me tell you what happened.

It was about two o’clock and I was on my way to visit a parishioner in a nearby hospital. I’d not eaten lunch yet, and so, as I passed a Burger King, I was enticed enough to make a quick turn into the drive thru.

I drew near to the menu board, and once the young girl on the other end of the line gave the go-ahead, I asked for an ice water and what would be my flame broiled kismet, and then prepared to roll forward to the window to take the prize. But before I could go, the attendant asked, “May I have the name to go with this order?”

I was a little surprised by this. Since when did Burger King start asking for patron’s names? Oh well, that’s cool, I guess.

“Chris,” I said. And then without hesitation, I added, “But you might know me by my outlaw name…”

There was a moment of silence.


There was an even briefer silence, and then a muffled giggle.

“That’ll be five dollars and thirty cents, Starlord. Pull forward to the first window.”

Over the course of the next fifty feet, an expanse of mere seconds, it appeared that other workers had rushed to gather in places where they could see who would be visiting at the window. When they discovered that “Starlord” was a typically-outfitted clergyman grabbing a late lunch, the smiles appeared to get a little brighter and the genuine friendliness continued.

“That was hilarious,” the girl at the window laughed. “Justin thought maybe you were Chris Pratt because you said your name was Chris and then you said you were Starlord.”

Justin, one of the cooks, waved over her shoulder.

Anyway, after another minute or so of pleasantries, one of which was a moment to answer a question about where I served as Pastor, the young girl handed my food to me through the window.

“Thanks. Blessings in the day,” I offered.

“Thanks. You, too!”

“Bye, Starlord!” Justin waved from behind her. I honked.

I tell you this story not only because it was a hiatal moment of fun worth recording, but because it reminds me just how easy it is and how good it feels to make others smile. It reminds me why I own this bottle of the Dufftown 15 Years Old in the first place. It was given to me as a gift rather recently, rendered over unexpectedly by a kindly someone who acquired it at the Dufftown Distillery visitor center in Banffshire, Scotland. Knowing I enjoy Scotch whisky, he seized an opportunity to make me smile. Very generous, and certainly a sip would have sufficed for this servant, but his intention was to be sure that the smile was perpetual – that it would have the opportunity to emerge over and over again in his absence.

As I sit and sip, I assure you, the goal is being accomplished.

The nose is incredibly sweet and exceptionally floral, just as the label describes. Even better, with the first inhalation there is the distinct sense of citrus – an orange.

The palate gives the same sweetness, except the orange is reworked slightly on the tongue to become a sweetened lemon.

The finish is short, but by no means is this whisky forgettable. It’s sweetly gentle enough to be almost thirst-quenching, but it’s sturdy enough to remind you that it’s Scotch.

And Scotch sure does make Starlord smile.

Starlord Chris