Being the daring souls that we are, the wife (let’s call her Sherry Butts) and I decided to take our 8 week old son (let’s call him Quarter Cask…though at the rate he’s growing, half-cask or three-quarter cask might be more appropriate) on a plane trip across the country to Washington DC for a wedding. As you might imagine with the potential crying and the hauling of approximately 836lbs. of luggage (how can a 13 pound human require twice as much stuff than I’d need for a 5 day trip?) whisky was alternately the furthest thing from my mind and the only thing I could think of. We had no cause for concern, though, as he once again proved that he is the most awesome baby on the planet by sleeping through a 1.5hr flight delay, sleeping through take off, smiling and charming the pants of the flight attendants, shrugging off the descent and landing like it was a walk down a hill, and basically being a lot less needy and emotional than the senior citizen across the aisle (the guy was practically weeping as he chair-danced to tracks from “Wicked”). Nearly perfect the boy was…I say nearly because there was one incident, about halfway through, that took years off my life and could well be the cause of some post-traumatic stress down the road. After being particularly charming for a while, he made it fairly obvious that a routine diaper change was needed (if you’re squeamish, this is where you’ll want to go read about celebrities or something) so I gathered up the tools of that particular trade and trundled him off to the bathroom.
Oh, the humanity…
In that cramped space, I made a discovery so massive and so harrowing in its devastation that tears welled up in my eyes, my lips quivered in fear and I stammered and mumbled the desperate prayers and curses of a man who knows he is up against the great challenge of his life. Without being too graphic, let me just say that it was everywhere. I feared for the special onesie he was wearing, it’s crisp whiteness threatened by the horror within, but somehow the diaper held. A hull breach was imminent, and despite my urge to flee, I strode in and began the duty usually reserved for trained haz-mat teams. It was right about this time that the seatbelt light came on, along with the captain’s voice alerting us all to some upcoming turbulence. I barked a hollow laugh and pointed out to no one that there already had been a lot of turbulence, but really, this was no laughing matter. I heard flight attendants telling passengers to return their seats, but I harkened not to their pleas. I grimly pressed on, resigned to the knowledge that, while my son may make it out to see the light of day, there was a strong likelihood that I would not. The boy, to his credit, smiled throughout the proceedings despite sliding around on the changing “table” and even clunking his head on the fuselage once or twice. He smiled…I wept.
Eventually, with frayed nerves and a numbness that only comes with this kind of trauma, We made our way back to our seats. After a brief period of reflection, I realized there was just thing that could aid in my recovery at this altitude. My hand shot up, the help was summoned and the only malted relief available to me was ordered, Glenlivet 12 Year Old, six bucks, tiny bottle, plastic cup, notes taken on an air sickness bag…well deserved.
The Nose: Banana bread, fresh-baked banana bread, very fruity with lots of sticky honeyed malt.
The Palate: Started less sweet that the nose implied it would be. Bright, crisp, almost green grain grows quickly spicy with a twinge of bitter-ish woodsmoke.
The Finish: Slightly drying with that bitter smoke lingering.
Thoughts: Well considering I was 35,000′ in the air, drinking it in a plastic glass from a coldish mini bottle that had been kicking around for who knows how long not to mention basking in the glory of surviving what was perhaps the most difficult diaper change in the history of man…this tasted pretty damn good.
Glenlivet 12 Year Old, Speyside (thank you)