The World As Mare Sees It...
Dead man's drink 2006-05-18










I don't know what made me think of this:

Ten, twelve years ago, for about 10 months after I graduated from high school, I worked with my father at the trattoria that he had at the time.

It catered to the businesses in the area, very much a lunch-time place. I rarely made tips because the customers knew I was the owner's daughter. It may also have been because I was a terrible waitress, but that's a whole 'nother story.

Anyway, because it was such an informal place, there was a glass-fronted refrigerator stocked full of canned and bottled drinks that the customers could just reach into. The obvious ones, like Coke and Sprite and water, we would keep in full supply, because they'd run out fast. I'd usually re-fill those shelves a couple of times a day.

There was also a small supply of Dr. Peppers in there, but I rarely had to restock that shelf. When I did, it was just to fill in the space for one can. There was a funeral home down the street, and one of the guys who worked there would come to our place for lunch, and he was the lone Dr. Pepper drinker in our clientele. Three times a week, he'd come in, order a veal sandwich with mushrooms and peppers, and take a Dr. Pepper. Three times a week, I'd reach into the case of Dr.P, to fill the single spot in the fridge.

This pattern went on for months. Then came a couple of weeks when the guy didn't show up. We were down to one can of Dr. Pepper at that point, as my father had decided to phase out that choice and stick with the popular ones. One can left, and it sat there for months. Every so often, I'd take it out and give it a wipe, but that was its only action. One day, a guy from the funeral home came in for lunch, and while I was serving him his fettuccini, I casually asked after his colleague.

Turns out the poor sod had found it all a bit too much; his wife found him hanging in the garage.

That night, I popped the tab on the Dr. Pepper and toasted the sky. What else are you going to do, right?

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