Brother X sent me a cheesecake for my birthday, and my friend Catherine came over for Scrabble and to take me out to dinner. Cat and I always joke about eating dessert first, so I told her that the theme for my birthday this year was a play on the book and movie “Eat, Pray, Love.” My theme would be EAT, BEAT, TREAT. We would EAT dessert first. Then I would BEAT her at Scrabble, and then she would TREAT me to dinner. She agreed to the Eat and Treat, but the BEAT part seemed a bridge too far. I very rarely beat her at any game.
So, after eating our fill of cheesecake (with me doing most of the eating) we started playing Scrabble, and I was feeling lucky. My luck showed up on the very first word, when I started the game with HOOKERS, a 7-tile word that gave me an instant 84-point lead. It was a birthday present from the Scrabble gods. Cat tried desperately to overcome that 84-point deficit, but she never caught me, even though she did manage to make it a very close game by the end. That took care of the BEAT portion of the evening, so we then headed to the restaurant, Shot & Bottle, which I hadn’t been to since President’s Day 2020, when I went there for a special James Buchanan night. We walked to the restaurant, so that we could both drink. It was a long 5-block walk, but my arthritic hip will cowboy up when there’s a free dinner and beer waiting.
Since I got back from the wedding of Jessie and Dylan in New York, the previous week, I’ve been craving the one thing I didn’t get around to having while I was in NY, a Pastrami on Rye. Pizza, bagels, and Pastrami on rye are all on my to-do list whenever I visit NY, but I never got around to the pastrami this time.
So, when I saw that on the menu, I knew what I had to have, with a tall cold beer, of course. The Pastrami sandwich turned out to be nothing like a NY Pastrami sandwich, though. You know the one I’m talking about, the sandwich with nothing but piles of steamin’ fatty pastrami all piled high in the middle of soft rye bread so that it looks like it’s an inch thick when they cut it in half, even though there’s very little meat around the edges of the sandwich. The Shot & Bottle pastrami wasn’t like that. It was more like a pastrami Reuben on rye toast. In addition to the pastrami, it was piled high with cole slaw, lettuce, tomato, red onions, and sauce. It was a salad and a sandwich at the same time.
Cat TREATed for dinner, but the TREATing didn’t stop there. She insisted on buying me drinks on the way back to my place, and it didn’t take a lot of arm-twisting to get me to agree to that plan. We barhopped our way back to my place, which turned the long 5-block walk into a couple pleasant little walks. When we got to my place, I was feeling the buzz, but she was still sober, which was good for her, because she had to drive home to get a little sleep before he 6-hour rock-climbing class she was taking in the morning. I was a bit tired from all the walking and drinking, and I just sat down at the computer and did the NY Times Wordle. I got it in only 3 tries. Surprisingly, the Wordle word of the day was TREAT. How big a coincidence is that?
So, thanks to Brother X, the Scrabble gods, the Wordle gods, and Cat, who all contributed to giving me a birthday to remember, and a really good time. My EAT, BEAT, TREAT birthday turned out even better than I hoped it would be.
That night, I wondered how grueling Cat’s 6-hour rock climbing class would be for her the next morning. I was glad that I wasn’t signed up for that event, too. The only climbing I had to do was to climb into bed and sleep as late as I wanted. Now that I’m 74, that part of the birthday celebration was looking really SWEET.
Peace & Love, and all of the above,