Just a Drop

Whenever offered a drink of whiskey, my father’s uncle had his classic, polite Irishman’s response: “Just the fill o’ me tooth” – meaning a very little, enough only to fill the size of his tooth. Well, it was readily apparent he meant the opposite of that – pour him a shot and a good one, at that. But for the Irish, man or woman, who likes a bit of the “water of life” – the name comes from the Gaelic “uisce beatha” (ish’keh ba’ha) – saying yes to the offer also meant exercising the manners of feigned indifference, pretending to only desire the smallest amount.

Just a drop. I’ll have a wee bit. A taste. A short one. The fill of me tooth.

These were the phrases that ran through my head when I saw the shot glasses and bottle of Jameson loaded in with the rest of the equipment by Cleveland Celtic rockers Marys Lane for a photo shoot at Cleveland’s long-shuttered Variety Theatre.

The glass was tiny by most standards, yet it rested perfectly in the palm or on the fingertips. A pleasing vessel. Deceiving, as well. For like the indulgence in a drop, a taste, a wee bit, it appears slight while slyly cradling a good deal more “uisce” than a standard shot glass.

It deserved it’s own portrait.

To your health.

— TMulloy