White Rabbits

White Rabbits. That is one of those things I remember, as a child, that you were supposed to say on the first of the month, to bring good luck. I don’t think I remembered to say it, but I did spend part of the evening drinking with a white rabbit. I wonder if that counts.

The rabbit was Rinni, the lady who was recently getting into an argument with Aoibheann about free bar snacks, or possibly the lack of. I never did get to the bottom of that discussion, mostly because I got interrupted by Lalla. I came across her in the courtyard, talking to a “fresh off the boat” new arrival by the name of Nova. I could not tell where she was from, save that she commented that they don’t speak the same English in England, suggesting that she came from an English-speaking country that had somehow forgotten that English is the language spoken in England, and it is other places that have adopted it and modified it. All this because I did not understand the work “bong”, which I later learned, was another name for a water pipe. Apparently, she wanted it for smoking marijuana, which I recall is another name for cannabis. I also failed to learn her species. In form, she reminded me somewhat of my dear, much missed, Valene, except for being more canine, or possibly lupine in origin. Perhaps there is a canine equivalent of the neko, but I do not know what it might be called. I did not learn anything further because she suddenly just ran off without any further comment or a farewell.

Rinni and I retired to the bar, although she seemed to have some misgivings, thinking that Aoibheann did not like her. I had no idea one way or the other, but perhaps it was related to the disagreement over free bar snacks. In Aoibheann’s absence, presumably still babysitting the princesses, she came in anyway. I recalled that Rinni drank tequila, but deigned to drink any since I was not at all impressed with the taste last time. So, we opted for rum. I brought out one of my specials, which she liked, comparing it to something called Bacardi 151. That seemed to be a strange name for a rum, but who can fathom the reasoning behind people who come up with brand names. I had heard of Bacardi, but when she said 151, I thought she was trying to guess my age. She also seemed to think that my preference for rum had something to do with pirates, but I pointed out that such things were rare in my time.

Then, it was her turn to decide on a drink. She opted for something called, somewhat bizarrely, an ‘Irish Car Bomb’. This turned out to be a rather strange drink that involved putting a measure of Irish whiskey into a pint of Guinness and pouring a measure of Baileys into a shot glass. Then, one is supposed to drop the glass of Baileys into the pint, let it sink to the bottom and then drink it as quickly as possible. Well, let it not be said that I am unwilling to try something new. I followed her example and drank it as quickly as I could. This was probably a good thing, for while I like the individual ingredients, well, two of them anyway, the overall mixture was pretty disgusting. I managed to downplay my reaction somewhat, describing it as curious, but unlikely to become a regular part of my diet. I never really cared much for mixed drinks. I know that in my later years with the company, when going out drinking with younger colleagues, they would indulge in strange mixtures, and get very stupid on them, but it wasn’t for me. Rinni disappeared off soon after, leaving me to clean up the debris. It was a pretty revolting mix to scrape off the glasses too. The Baileys in particular, seemed to curdle and make a mess of the shot glass.

I had strange dreams that night. Perhaps it was the rum, or perhaps it was Rinni’s mention of pirates. Either way, I dreamed I was drinking rum in a nautical-looking bar, surrounded by various villainous looking characters, who looked as though they had walked out of the pages of some of the more fanciful pirate story books I remember from my youth. I have no idea where the bar might have been, though it did seem to me that it was in a warmer clime than my own. For reasons that are unlikely to become clear, the bar appeared to be alled the Tilted Kilt. Mother once told me that an ancestor of Father’s supposedly went off to the Caribbean and mixed with pirate types, and that thought did spring to mind when Rinni mistook my rum habit as being something to do with pirates. That would explain most of the dream. As yet, I cannot think of a single thing in my psyche, or, indeed, in any of my experiences, bizarre though some of them have been, over the past couple of years, that would explain the alligator playing the banjo in my dream. I cannot even begin to fathom the significance of that. And, it has to be said, I’m not sure I want to.


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