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“Maybe we should have a garage sale,” I said and swept the dust pile into the driveway.

“But, we’re minimalists,” Jen said. “We don’t have enough junk for a garage sale.”

“Sure we do,” I answered and gave a sturdier swish which caused the larger fragments in the pile to bounce off of the grill of our minivan. “We’ve got plenty of things we could get rid of.”

“Like what?”

“Like, well, about half of the kids’ toys.”

“We can’t do that.”

“They wouldn’t even miss them.”

“Forget it.”

“Okay,” I conceded. “How about a few of the bicycles? There are six people in the family and we have, like, ninety bikes hanging on the wall in the garage, and unless we’re a family of circus performers, no one’s gonna be riding three bikes at the same time.”

“We have six bikes, Chris. There are six of us.”

“Well, you hardly ever ride yours.”

“I’m not selling my bike.”

“Well, Madeline and Evelyn have a lot of Barbie stuff, and there are plenty of other girls in the neighborhood who’d spend their allowance to get a few dolls. There are probably even a few boys who would, too.”


“The stuff under Josh’s bed?”


“Harrison’s Legos?”

“We don’t have enough stuff for a garage sale.”

“Yes, we do.”

“Okay. How about this? You have three cabinets full of whisky. How about we sell some of your bottles?”

“You know, you’re probably right,” I said and put the broom in the corner. “We really don’t have enough stuff for a garage sale. Time for lunch? Great. Time for lunch.”

Phew. That was close. Looks like Jen knows my weak spot. That means that if things go missing from the kids’ stuff, I could lose a few editions here and there. But which ones would she steal in retaliation? There are certain editions she’d never touch because she knows she’d be flirting with divorce. But some of the smaller ones—like these Jefferson’s Ridiculously Small Batch editions—whether or not I actually like them, the fact remains that they are hidden by the bigger bottles. She’s sure to swipe one of these because I’d never even know it was gone until it was too late. With that, and because I fully intend to go forward in secret to downsize the kids’ collections of useless crap, I’d better hurry up and finish reviewing the editions that comprise this little whiskey assemblage. The next in line: Wood Experiment No. 10.

The number 10 is a zesty little dram, breathing out a spicy exhale of cinnamon dusted vanilla. The palate is delightfully similar, handing over the cinnamon vanilla, but even as it is really just the first one through the door, along comes other guests of equally pleasant demeanor—almonds and peppery oak.

These upstanding gents stay for only a short while, and as they leave, they offer a kindly wave of the cinnamon that seemed so prevalent in the whole experience. And they beg to be protected from the relentless and predatory ways of my scheming spouse.

Not to worry, Number 10, I think to myself. Even as the Legos are clicking and clacking into the trash can like a multihued waterfall of plastic blocks drowning the Barbies at its plunge basin, I’ll be sure to keep my wits about me as to your location amongst the brethren. And I’ll keep an eye on the contents of the garbage cans.