Brown liquor, 13; Maud, 0


It’s an “Oh, shit, did I really do that? — oh yes, yes, I did” kind of morning.

Most of you probably have no idea what I’m talking about, having abandoned at the reasonable age of, say, 20, the practice of drunkenly stalking off from a group of friends and plotting your future life alone as a cat lady in Oxford, Mississippi.

What can I say? I get touchy when Manhattanites imply that any excursion into the backwoods of the Magnolia State might transform into a scene from Deliverance. Fortunately, everyone was very understanding about my tantrum, although I could tell that Mr. Maud and the proprietress of Number One Hit Song wanted to stab my eyes out.

All of this threw a pall over the celebratory aftermath of Phil Campbell’s KGB Bar reading. But do get out to see him if he visits your town. Capped off with a stellar performance from Ian Williams (author of Rum: A Social and Sociable History of the Real Spirit of 1776, excerpted here) and some free rum, his reading was one of the best I’ve seen lately. And I was still reasonably sober while listening to Phil. In hindsight, knowing how I get with the brown liquor, the rum was where I went wrong.

Now back to the pile of work on my desk. If this day gets any better, I’m gonna have to hire someone to help me enjoy it.

The photo at the top of this post was taken by Mr. Maud in Miami’s Little Havana, in 2001.


You might want to subscribe to my free Substack newsletter, Ancestor Trouble, if the name makes intuitive sense to you.