You Mean They Drink In Retirement Homes?

In case you didn’t know, many of the good drinks on the glass shelves in the downtown bars originated in retirement homes. It was here that the late Hirschie Goldberg put together some copper piping, a kitchen strainer and a cotton-wool filter and strained the ghastly grey barley soup that came from the kitchen at his grandfather’s retirement home. He produced a drink which he named “Milk of Amnesia”, not that anyone there needed help with Amnesia. It was an immediate hit and in a matter of months all retirement homes had a small installation in the lounge. Check behind the pot plants for copper piping.

While the retirement home where I live is not a den of iniquity, a tour through the lounge will reveal glasses of beer, whiskey and other soothers hiding behind mugs of coffee. I have never ever seen anyone drunk or staggering here, but it’s difficult to tell when many of the inmates are leaning on their caregivers or walkers.

Take Saturday night. The crowd sitting around in the lounge was debating whether to go to the movie which was slated to start at 7:30 or to remain in the lounge and watch the news on the TV. The movie was billed as a ‘light-hearted romance’. Joe from the fourth floor suddenly stood up and disappeared. He was back in 3 minutes carrying a pile of plastic cups, a full ice-tray and, you guessed it, a bottle of J&B scotch whiskey. “Apologies, everyone! I didn’t bring the single malt. It’s not fit for plastic glasses…”

At that moment the women stood up as one and announced they were going to the movie. The few men who remained seated then had to attend to both their and their wives portions. So far, there have been no complaints to or from the management.


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