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Uncle Steve was at it again, everyone noticed. It had started early in the day, with the crappy six pack he’d brought from the liquor store on the corner and had finished before everyone had even sat down to dinner. Over the course of the meal, the bottle of Wild Turkey was as popular with Steve as the actual turkey (maybe even moreso), as he got louder, sloppier, and inadvertently funnier, although he had no grasp on why everyone started laughing as he attempted to use the white tablecloth as his napkin, trying to tuck the sides into his open collar and nearly pulling the whole meal onto the floor. Aunt Sharon, his wife, lost some of her wine in the process of adjusting the table back, and you could tell she was inches from losing her shit when Steve said, “Well, babydollllllll, sometimes, there’s no use crying over milk in your wine,” winking and tipping the bottle in her direction. She snatched it out of his hand, and ordered the family not to let him have any more booze.
He was forced to drink several cups of coffee with his pie, and finding himself between stumbling drunk and tipsy, surveyed the scene around him. His wife’s family drove him absolutely bonkers, because everyone in the family, including his wife, was absolutely bonkers. All these weird semi-liberals who couldn’t appreciate working class men like himself. Dessert talk was turning to politics while kids started whining that they wanted to open presents NOW. How do people get through the holidays without being blackout drunk? Even the teenager seemed to be secretly drinking, and he caught her eye and attempted to be a “cool uncle” by pointing at her glass, winking, and nodding in the most overt fashion possible; she just rolled her eyes and got up from the table. What a spoiled brat, thought Steve. Fine, he’d never be the young, cool uncle he thought himself to be, as he was barely 40 and still relatively in-touch with the youth… right? Dammit, he needed another drink.
In the guise of going for more coffee, he snuck into the kitchen. He knew his mother-in-law had to keep some kind of booze around here somewhere; there’s no way she stayed married to his father-in-law for this many years without SOME kind of secret stash.
After searching most of the cupboards, he got on his knees and checked under the sink: jackpot. Behind the bottles of cleaner was an old bottle of Frangelico; he’d recognize that odd, man-shaped bottle anywhere. He poured his coffee down the drain, filled the mug with tasty hazelnut liqueur, and hid the bottle behind the coffee maker (after slugging a bit straight down his throat for good measure).
Properly drunk again, he gleefully headed through the dining room to the upstairs bathroom, filled with the sudden, urgent desire to break the seal. Thus broken, he stumbled from room to room, drinking his liqueur, exploring the outdated guest bedrooms and upstairs den that hadn’t been used in years. It was there that he found the dish full of butterscotch candies. He hadn’t had one since his own grandma’s house, and quickly opened the milk glass dish to shove several in his mouth. They were quite hard, but that didn’t matter; the taste, especially combined with the Frangelico, was exquisite. He attempted to shove the rest of the jar into his pockets, but found they were stuck to the milk glass vessel, so he did the sensible thing and stuck the whole thing under his sweater, and went back downstairs for more “coffee.”
Second mug procured, he stumbled into the living room parked himself on the couch in front of the TV, where most of the younger family members were watching some holiday movie that probably had a boring moral or whatever about being kind and not stealing and that the real present is love or some shit like that. The kids were anxious to just open the presents already and were barely paying attention to the movie; even he had to admit that it was taking a rather long time to organize everyone into the living room to open the gifts. Where was everybody? Oh well; his presents for the moment were Frangelico and butterscotch, and that suited him just fine. Taking the dish out from under his sweater, he took a few sloppy licks at the stuck pile of butterscotch, took a swig from the mug, set the dish and mug down on the coffee table, leaned back, and passed out cold.
Scent notes: Frangelico, butterscotch candies, black oud, amber