Drinking Real Virtual Whisky

The brain is such an advanced problem-solving system it can decide to make things worse instead. People will spend five minutes agonizing over sandwich toppings and not one second wondering why everyone else in the queue hates them. I used to spend longer working out solutions the X-Men’s social problems than my own, which is why I came up with 5 Nerd Hacks To Make Me Less of a Jerk.

The most powerful is virtual whisky. Sometimes your idiocy ends with losing a ton of money, feeling like shit, regretting approximately everything and just wishing things colud go back to normal. The same symptoms as a terrific night out. So decide you’ve done that instead! You’ve already lost the money and time, but when you’re hungover you don’t waste time kicking yourself, spiraling your thoughts down the urinal of toxic regret. You just piss away all the poisons and get on with the painful process of making life livable again. Accepting pain, forgetting the past, and pushing through the hard work of enduring a new day. “Hungover” is the greatest self-help trick there is. Virtual whisky is a mental panacea. And last week I got to buy the real thing.

The Whisky Shop attendant in Heathrow now knows me by sight even though I only fly once a season. I don’t even buy much, one bottle being the duty-free limit, but I clearly buy that bottle with such joy and intensity that it sticks in his memory months later. Which is what a truly fine bottle of whisky should do. I bought particularly truly fine bottle last week, another Laphroaig variant, those exciting traveller exclusive beta-tests which say “Hey, Luke, we made another type of your favorite fluid just for you.”

And that’s just a bonus of long-distance flying. Which is fantastic. A flying Faraday café, an electromagnetically-shielded isolation chamber where they serve you drinks so that even “wanting beer” won’t interrupt eight hours of reading and movies. And you don’t have to get back to work afterwards! That was just the trip to take you to a fresh new land full of old friends and favorite restaurants. (Toronto turns multi-culturalism into a menu of the gods, as in “many powerful things based on thousands of years of different cultures which can still change your entire experience today.”)

And I forgot the whisky. It rolled off somewhere, and as I stood and shone to go enjoy myself in an earlier timezone – a low-key Irish accented Booster Gold – it escaped to some lucky new owner. I shouldn’t have bothered checking lost and found – that much optimism and ignorance of human nature could have reversed climate change – an an hour I was still stuck in the airport and entirely sober.

But worrying about my mistakes and loss would be anti-whisky. And if the worst that goes wrong when combining 150 cubic meters of aviation fuel, travelling at 250 meters per second, and a bottle of whisky, is that the whisky is gone, well. That was going to happen anyway. Instead I picture myself as a more honestly alcoholic Father Christmas helping someone else’s holiday, and enjoy the fact that I just created and experienced virtual whisky for real.

Especially since another item on that list was “Jetpack Sex”. I can’t wait.

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