The Slice

Medicinal drinking on the job

I was second in a checkout line at Rosauers.

An older woman ahead of me was talking to the cashier, Sharon. It seems Sharon has been under the weather. The shopper ahead of me recommended a hot toddy. Or two.

When it was my turn to be rung up, I told Sharon maybe a hot toddy would be just the thing. Too bad she couldn't have one there at the store.

This reminded me of a reporter I worked with at my first newspaper job.

I don't know how old George was back then. He seemed ancient. So I suppose he was probably about the age I am now.

Anyway, he had back problems. But he also had a solution.

He presented this to Art, the managing editor.

George said that he had discovered that sipping wine took the edge off his discomfort. So, he asked Art, would it be OK for him to have some wine there at his desk at the paper? You know, for medicinal reasons.

I'd guess that Art was in his early 40s at that time. But I suspect he looked much older in that moment.

Referring to a local grocery market and our volatile publisher, he answered.

"George, if Burl hears that I let you drink wine at your desk, we'll both be working at Food Land before the end of the week."

As it happens, George did not live much longer. But, as I recall, a lack of on-the-job merlot was not the cause.




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