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Do you think it hurts the paperboy’s feelings when he rolls up to throw the Sunday edition into my driveway and he sees that last Sunday’s paper is still resting in the same place he tossed it seven days ago?

There it is—untouched and rotting right there in the plastic bag.

I suppose the real issue at hand here is that if I don’t pick it up myself and throw it away, it will stay there through the next four seasons—kids riding over it with their bikes, drawing around it with sidewalk chalk, rolling around it on their scooters—all the while the innards of the flimsy little plastic casket are becoming a gelatinous mess of degrading newsprint soup. They certainly won’t pick it up until I mandate it. And even then, they’ll argue about it. Having become so accustomed to its presence, they might not even know what I’m talking about until I actually point it out.

“What paper?”

“The one that’s been in the driveway since last Christmas.”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“That thing, right there.”

“Wait, that doesn’t belong there?”

“Oh, no. Not that. That’s a just a cholera terrarium I thought I’d start right in the middle of the driveway. Yes, that, you squatter! Pick it up and throw it away!”

I love my kids, but when it comes to the little things—like putting dishes into the dishwasher, turning off the bathroom light, or even sparing that extra bit of energy to turn just enough to flush the toilet after doing some significant work of internal cleansing—they’re pretty useless. I suppose the only real reason we keep them around now is because we’ve already introduced them to way too many people. We’ve passed the point of no return on being able to tie up so many loose ends. Oh yeah, and we can write them off on our taxes. That’s a plus. But other than those few things, they’re pretty much freeloading.

Jen thinks I’m kidding when I say that for each of their 18th birthdays, my gift to them will be that I pay for movers to pack up their stuff. Well, maybe I am kidding a little. They don’t have that much stuff. I could probably just do it myself.

Okay, okay. I love my kids. They can live here as long as they want. As long as that means 18.

They might be able to bribe me, though. I suppose I’d be happy enough to extend their stay if they kept a steady offering of Traverse City Whiskey in my cabinet. It’s decent stuff.

The nose of this stocky dram is one of blackberries and a hint of maple syrup. There’s a slight pull of the rye, but it’s gone no sooner than it arrives.

In the mouth, this whiskey has a spicy exactitude that will make your eyebrows rise, and not because you’re surprised by an overwash of something unpleasant, but because you’re taken aback by the way the wood spice seems to chisel away at the alcohol and bring it into a balance. With this, you’re able to recognize the caramel and those darker fruits you noticed in the initial inhalation.

The finish does the whiskey no favors in that it borders on the edge of short to medium. I was hoping that the grains would finally take their place in the spotlight, but alas, I got a pasting of honey and another go with the palate’s spice.

Okay, so maybe this wouldn’t be the only whiskey I would require of my offspring for keeping residence in my home, but it certainly is one that I would expect to receive as recompense for those special moments of uselessness.



“You didn’t flush the toilet, again!”

“Okay. I’ll get a bottle to you later tonight.”

What a delightful boy. “Hey, Harrison!”


“You left your underwear on the floor in the bathroom, again!”

“Sorry about that, Dad. I’ll get over to the liquor store after class tonight.”

“Be sure to pick up a bottle for the paperboy, too. He’s still ticked.” Oh, I just don’t know if I’ll ever be able to say goodbye to these kids. (Sniff.)