This isn’t my first Jeep Wrangler. I’ve owned two prior to this one. I sold the first one when I lived in Levittown, Pennsylvania. I had to. I lived in a crappy part of town, and with the soft top, I just couldn’t seem to keep a decent radio in it—or anything else for that matter. Eventually when Jen and I moved back to Michigan, we bought another one. Although, not too long after that, we found it necessary to sell it and buy a minivan, mainly because I was the chauffer to and from school for four children. The Wrangler only had room for three and I didn’t think Jen would be happy with me strapping one of the little ones to the roof, although I did prepare and present to her a lottery system just in case.
Anyway, I figured the day would eventually come when one of those kids would start driving his own car and I’d only need space for three. Well, that time has come.
Not only have I missed having a Wrangler during the Michigan winters, but I’ve missed the comradery that goes with it—the two-fingered wave that Wrangler pilots flash to one another from the steering wheel when they pass on the road.
Jen forgot all about the little gesture, but I didn’t. Just today we were driving and she asked me why I waved.
“We just passed a Wrangler,” I said.
“Oh, yeah,” she replied. “You guys have that little thing you do.”
“Yes, we do.”
As a side note, I should clarify that I don’t necessarily wave to the four-door Wranglers. Waving to them feels weird—like saluting an American flag with twenty-six stripes and a hundred stars.
I suppose being a whisky drinker has its Wrangler-esque moments. When you see another fellow in an establishment sipping a straight dram, well, it’s not too out of place to lift your glass slightly and give a nod. That’s the wave, and you don’t give it to folks holding a mixed drink or sipping a beer.
However, I would suggest not doing it if you notice that the whisky drinker is crying, or you notice the barkeep reaching to refill his dram with Scoresby. In either of those instances, you should probably just ignore him. He’s a four-door Wrangler. Just keep driving.
On the other hand, if you’re feeling generous, you might order him two-fingers worth of the Highland Park Magnus. Doing this, you’ll show him that no matter what has happened, it is possible for life to get a little better, or at a minimum, it’s possible to recover from poor choices.
Now, before you get your hopes up about this whisky, you need to know that at $40 a bottle in the liquor stores, there are two reasons why it’s the perfect gesture for a crying Scoresby drinker. First, it’s not top shelf, which means the markup price will be reasonable. The second is that after a sour glass of the sewage that is Scoresby, the incredibly mild character of the Magnus will serve well to wash it away—like fresh rainwater washing away a clod of muck in the gutter.
But again, don’t get your hopes up with this one. A sniff will leave you wondering if perhaps someone watered down your Scotch. There’s barely a drifting of the maltiness you might expect from Highland Park. It takes a deeper dive into the glass to find the sherry and a very distant wisp of smoke.
The palate, as I already mentioned, is exceptionally dainty. Like the nose, a sip leaves you wondering if at one time there were a few ice cubes in your glass that eventually melted away. The smoke is more noticeable, but still it remains afar off. Concentrating—and I mean really concentrating—you may discover warmed whipped cream atop cherries and dusted with chocolate.
The finish is short. In fact, it’s almost too quick to notice anything. I’d say I sensed salted butter.
I’ll admit that over the course of the years driving our minivan, I did try to start a wave between the Chrysler Town and Country owners. It didn’t work out, but not because I didn’t give it my all. It’s just that I felt that for the sake of all the soccer moms I should do something that looked a little more like jazz hands. I think I scared a lot of people. And not to mention I found myself flashing the animated pose every nineteen seconds because there are about a billion Town and Country minivans around here. By the time I arrived to my destination, I was exhausted.
In the end, I suppose I’m glad that didn’t catch on. I’m a pastor. I don’t need any more blame for anything else.