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20160612_173459The door of the walk-in cooler latched behind me, and with that, I began to do what I almost always do when I go in there.

I emptied a milk crate of a few stray cartons and then turned it over so that I could sit. The difference this time around – the cooler’s light had burned out and it was pitch black. No problem. The light from my phone provided enough lucence for me to get situated in my usual spot where I would scroll through emails and articles and take a quiet moment to cool down. I do this more so in the summer mainly because I always wear black, and as I go about a day of visitations, I get very warm in the sun.

It couldn’t have been more than a minute or so after I was in and stationed when I heard the kitchen door open and saw beneath the door the shadow of someone else milling around outside the cooler.

I waited and listened, expecting them to either take what they needed and depart or open the cooler door and discover me in the dark. Neither occurred.

Now, something for the reader to keep in mind…

If I’d have exited the cooler a moment or two after the person had entered, all would be well. The visitor would most likely have figured I went in there just before and was looking for something. But if they stayed in the kitchen and attended to lengthy business, the longer I was in there, the weirder it would be when I came out.

Somewhat fearful that I’d already conceded to the “point of no return,” I decided to wait.

Fifteen minutes passed. The visitor remained just beyond the cooler door. I was more than ventilated, was starting to get uncomfortably chilly, and was up against a scheduled appointment. It was time to exit.

“This is definitely going to be weird,” I thought.

Nevertheless, I plopped my phone into my back pocket and pushed the lever to open the door.

The person beyond the gate was the mother of one of the newer students in our school, and I’m pretty sure by her expression that when the latch of the door clicked and I emerged unexpectedly from the blackness of the cooler, her heart was carried a little closer to death than she would have preferred.

With that, there was only one solution to the uncomfortable situation that I could see.

“So,” I said looking around the room. “This is where the wardrobe goes? I certainly expected Narnia to be a little more interesting. Oh! Hi, Kathy! How’s it going?”

And then I split through the gymnasium door to my immediate left and went back to my office.

As far as I know, this dear woman has already re-enrolled her children for next year, but I figure I’d better give it a week or so and then check to see if the status of her registration has changed.

In the meantime, while I wait, I’ll celebrate having a small hand in shaking the monotony from the corridors of this place, and the perfect dram for my private merriment this time around is the Compass Box Great King Street Artist’s Blend.

I really like this stuff, although I didn’t expect to. And why is that? Because for Compass Box, it was relatively cheap. Compass Box editions don’t normally hover around the $35 mark, and so in my mind, the forecast was gray. And yet, as it compares to others of its class, it’s a surprisingly good whisky. In fact, having already referenced Narnia in the account, the entirety of the edition is very much an uninvolving wardrobe that opens up into a Narnia-like experience so much grander than that of the kitchen in my school.

The nose is a prairie expanse of sweet grains stretching well into the distance, and as the flatland winds pick up, not only are you gifted with the malty sugars, but you find yourself bathed in citrus notes from what you suspect may be an orange farm just beyond the property.

The palate is a stranger, but still highly enticing concoction of rice pudding with a sweet vanilla and butter glazing. You may even sense a little bit of the citric sour typically left in the back of the throat by a quaff of freshly squeezed orange juice.

While the medium finish retains that citrus, the malt from the nosing emerges warmly with a little more muscle and nudges it from the center of your attention.

As I said, I didn’t expect what emerged from this edition. By the way, I know someone else experiencing a similar sentiment regarding the walk-in cooler at her kid’s school.