Emily got a promotion at work. Eleven people report to her now. I don't think I can name eleven human beings who would follow my instruction to eat free ice cream on a hot day, and yet I share an apartment with a woman entrusted to sign the vacation request forms for a faker's dozen fully functional adults. This massive power imbalance means I do all of the cooking, both to earn my keep and for the morale boost I get from imposing my will upon dead things and carrots.

My Sunday night plan was to make gumbo while the Sox beat the Yankees on television, but of course certain parts of that plan were beyond my control: The Sox did their part, but how the hell was I supposed to make gumbo when I didn't get up until 2:00 p.m. and then spent the balance of the afternoon whining about my hangover and trying to decide where I wanted to go for lunch? Maybe some kind of super robotic gumbo-maker from the future or the South could endure such trials on the way to a successful Sunday supper, but this mere mortal simply cowered before the fates and went out for dinner.

Emily, for all her strengths, is a gigantic pain in the ass because she is not even a little bit gluttonous. She has no concept of the basic mathematics of pleasure, i.e., that if one sausage sandwich is good, then two sausage sandwiches are better and three sausage sandwiches are exactly enough to settle the stomach and steady the nerves whilst you decide what to order for dinner. Would you believe this woman has advanced degrees in science and education? She has been to medical school, for crying out loud, yet still finds it perfectly acceptable to order one sausage sandwich when the restaurant has more than one available. Those of you wondering if she's a particularly attractive woman now have your answer: She obviously ain't being kept around for her brains.

But on this particular Sunday night her defenses were down and my ambition was up, and I was determined that we would order an appetizer and two entrees like decent people, none of this splitting a turkey sandwich nonsense she's been pulling lately. We went to an Irish place and stared at the menu for a good long while waiting for the shepherd's pie to show up, and when it didn't I told the bartender we'd like buffalo chicken tenders* and a BLT and...and the bastard turned and walked away, as if something clearly labeled "appetizer" and a condiment sandwich are enough food for two people!

*I know, I know. What can I say, princess doesn't like gnawing on bones in public.

I know what you're thinking, at least the smart ones of you: Then just get three desserts! This war's not lost! Extra hot fudge fixes everything, fatty! But I don't really like dessert, which is ridiculous and valid grounds for my immediate dismissal, but hear me out. I like to eat before dinner and I like to drink after dinner, and I've just never accounted for a traditional dessert in my overindulgence regimen. Now, if you're talking about a dessert you can eat with a straw, then maybe you're starting to talk some sense.

A few weeks ago, a liquor angel/publicist sent me a bottle of premixed Baileys Mudslide. I wasn't too fired up to try it, because mudslide is a terrible name and premixed drinks tend to be pretty disappointing, but free booze in the mail is free booze in the mail, so I took the jug down to an accommodating bar to sample the premixed against a professionally assembled version, and I'll be damned if the premixed wasn't better!

They tasted almost identical, but the bar-made one had a pronounced nasty-vodka sting lurking just beneath the cream/chocolate/coffee effect. Baileys recommends blending the premade with ice, so I did and it was good, but to be honest I'm not sure it's worth the effort. Busting out the blender kind of defeats the purpose of a premixed cocktail: why would you send me a liquor sample that I can't drink in the elevator on the way back up from the mailroom? But that quibble aside, I heartily recommend this product to anyone who likes Baileys, coffee liqueur, or dessert.


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