Knocked Off the Table

We get to the party at 8 PM – Victor, his girlfriend, and I – a nice cozy joint in Thika town. One of those barely audible Naija music is booming – the overrated BanaBoy or something, I presume.

The joint is packed with familiar and not-so-familiar faces. The chief Whiskey connoisseur, my mate Brad, fills a glass with Best Whiskey and pushes it my way. No chaser. He knows I prefer my whiskey neat. It’s the only thing we have in common besides our love for capes. Our whole friendship is actually built solely on neat Best Whiskey, and caps.

Remove those two things from the table and he will just be a guy I happen to know.

Now Best Whiskey isn’t just called Best because that’s the brand’s name. I mean, it’s the brand’s name but the drink lives up to its name. It’s the best in all the ways a drink should be, and more. Rough around the ages yet smooth at its essence. Just like everything good in this life.

It may not be as aged as Midusa, your grandmother’s cat, but you can trust it to taste as mature as you want it to be.

Which means you can sip it while wiggling on the dance floor to the latest gengeton tune. Or sitting cross-legged on one of those high stools in the club; listening to Samba Mapangala’s spring-water voice sing, “Nalinga Virunga sherry tolanga virunga.”

And when the moment demands it, you will hold your Jaber’s delicately graceful hand. You will take a sip of Best Whiskey, and stare deep into her eyes, noticing all the different colors and shades you’d never seen before because nothing offers as much clarity as a sip of Best Whiskey.

And on the day you finally go on your knees, promising to love her more than you love your liver, she will be staring at a proposal ring at the bottom of the Best Whiskey glass she just emptied.

And she will break into tears, meeting you halfway in a momentous kiss; a celebration of promise, growth, love, and truth. Because that’s what Best Whisky does. It celebrates the moments that matter.

But at this Thika joint, I’m on my 6th glass when this girl joins our table, carrying a whole unopened bottle of Best Whiskey. She takes the seat next to mine, and I notice she is almost as elegant as the bottle she is carrying.

“Marie,” she says, extending her arm for a handshake.

I hesitate for a moment. Almost scared I could break her delicate-looking hand. And when I eventually shake it, it’s soft and smooth, like Best Whiskey going down my throat.

“Wiseman,” I introduce myself. She laughs and her laughter sends butterflies down my stomach.

“Care for shots, Wiseman?”

Now, at this moment, not even a stampeding elephant could stop me from agreeing to this crazy idea of having shots with this mami even after downing six glasses already.

To cut a rather long story short, Marie and I had shots. Lots of shots. And the last thing I remember was everyone shouting “Shot! Shot! Shot!” And me wondering why clouds were hanging so low that I could touch and make shapes with them. Shapes of Best Whiskey.

And then I woke up on Victor’s coach, Sunday 3 PM. Now I should have woken with a splintering headache, sore throat, and my ancestors shaking their heads in disappointment. But no. That’s not how Best Whisky rolls.

Victor says someone recorded me blackening out and made memes out of it. Now should you happen to see such a meme of me in a compromising state, and you think it’s funny. Just remember memes are the comedy of lesser minds. Take all the offense you want, sucker!

Oh, and Marie has just texted me. I don’t remember giving her my number but apparently, I did.

She wants to meet next weekend to “apologize for knocking me out on the drinking table.” But I surmise that’s just her way of asking me for a date.

Yeah, folks, nothing brings people together like a glass (es) of Best Whisky. But don’t take my word for it, try a shot for yourself and enjoy the Best moments while your lungs still hold breathe.

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