- nudity in front of strangers,
- and let’s not forget the fasting that is required to precede having blood drawn.
That last was the part that is always most alarming to me.
I cannot understate how much I hate needles. This time, I calmly informed the Labtech people (because somewhere along the line, sticking needles in people’s arms has become a successful free-standing business model) that I had a “mordid fear of needles” and that they were under no circumstances to allow a needle to cross into my line of sight. I did my part by staring in the complete opposite direction the entire time.
Afterwards, feeling the need for some sort of reward (boyond the mesmerizing concept of breakfast), I stopped in to the Kroger Wine & Spirits store in Beaumont. It’s a new concept for Kroger — and they now have three of these freestanding booze shops in town. The decor was plush, the store empty (it was 9:30am, it should be noted), and the selection was passable, if somewhat unremarkable.
A notable exception was the presence of one bottle each of the celebrated Van Winkle whiskies. Especially eye-opening was the presence of one bottle of Van Winkle Special Reserve “Lot B,” which I think is, for $44, maybe the best bourbon money can buy — No offense to the Pappy 20 year, but at $100 on a bottle it’s not twice as good as the Special Reserve, though it is fabulous. But out of my current pay grade and that probaby won’t change. Anyway, the Special may be harder to find than the Pappy, I think due to transition intricacies of Buffalo Trace having acquired Van Winkle a few years back. So it was a surprise to see, even this one bottle. They’re just not around much anymore.
I hinted to the manager that “you don’t see this too often,” and he immediately agreed, adding that he had a distributor who would, occasionally provide him with no more than one or two bottles “that she gets from some secret stash or something. I don’t know where she gets them.” This bottle he had put on the shelf 15 minutes prior to my arrival.
He didn’t have to sell me. I already worry that I’ll never see the stuff again, and snapped that bottle right up, as a reward for enduring a full physical. Who knows when it will get opened, though. I just feel better having an extra bottle stashed away.