One of the Many Wonderful Things About Knowing Whitney Even Longer Than I've Known My Wife
I recently pointed out that one of the wonderful things about being married is the verbal shorthand you have for memories -- a short and simple phrase can evoke an entire scene -- but I should also point out that I have known my friend Whitney even longer than I have been married to my wife, and Whitney's memory is nearly as prodigious an an elephant's . . . but, unlike the relatively unbiased elephant, Whitney seems to remember the things you'd most like to forget . . . so he recently reminded me of another "bringing stuff back to the table episode". . . my wife was in India with some of her lady-friends, and I met up with John, Whitney, and Mose in Amsterdam; we were catching up in a cozy tavern, sitting at a little wood table in the corner, and it was my turn to buy a round; I walked up to the bar, purchased four pints of beer, turned and saw my friends deep in conversation, and decided I didn't need any help carrying the four pints -- so I nestled them into a square, put my hands on each side of the square, applied a bit of pressure, and lifted . . . and (miraculously!) the square of four pint glasses, held together firmly, and so I proceeded across the barroom floor in this manner, happy with my independence and my aptitude, until I got several feet from the table; at this point, John, Mose, and Whitney simultaneously looked at me, and their combined facial expressions conveyed so much anxiety and disbelief, such a unified and abject lack of faith in my endeavor, that I doubted myself and slightly adjusted the pressure I was placing on the four pint glasses -- despite the fact that I had applied the perfect amount of pressure for ninety percent of the walk -- and with this slight increase in pressure, the pint glasses shattered (and so did my ego, but not my ability to create zeugma) and then I had to endure much humiliation and ridicule, despite the fact that it was their facial expressions that caused the entire mess, and then, just when I had forgotten the entire incident, I had to relive it not once, but twice: when Whitney brought it up in the comments, and when I took the time to describe it here.