If people were booze, my father would be a scotch. Unlike domestic dads, my father has a cool sipability to him. He is not a vodka, wanting to please everyone, or a gin, wanting to please no one, he is a scotch. You might mistake him for wine, as everyone gets along with him, but scotch has an edge that fits John Morrison best. Of all the alcohols, scotch cannot be rushed, and of all the dads, neither can my father. Scotch is patient, calm, and reliable, and you will only appreciate it if you are wise enough to do so. Just like him.
Like eggplant and expresso, Scotch was one of the things I didn’t understand until I was older. Having waited until college to start drinking at all, scotch tasted like an ashtray and I was doing just fine on 40‘s and hangovers. Sneaking a drink when home was frustrating though as my father would only stock the dreaded scotch and cheap swill was hard to find. “It’s brown liquor time!” he’d declare, pulling out a bottle and examining it like a surgeon. He’d then get out his triple-decker-shot-glass-with-a-handle and fill it to the brim in a single pour. These moments I remember.
It was also around that time that my father and I began to butt-heads about my future. Like any good parent he wanted stability for me and like any good comedian I knew stability wasn’t funny. I was enjoying drinking and doing whatever and whomever I wanted, and growing up was not something I ever planned on doing. My trips home soon became tense as heated conversations about my lack of future would boil over when both my parents were present. But when my mother was done fretting and retired to bed, generally with the sun, my father always made sure to sit with me when the house was dark. And as all sat quiet in my kitchen, the light a soft yellow, my father would twist the cork and he and I would finally talk. And in our raised glasses I began to understand the man that raised me. I began to see myself in his eyes, and I wanted to be him.
For he is a scotch.
Required to sit in silent contemplation for no less than three years, scotch tastes, if anything, wise. The oaky bite and peaty undertone has an ancient taste that makes the drinker feel like they’re kicking ass in slow-motion. To appreciate a scotch is to demonstrate maturity, and that is why you will never see a glenmorangie keg-stand at a frat-party. While all other liquors go out of their way to please everyone, scotch pleases only itself. It takes time to make a good scotch, and the best things take time and planning. It was this he wanted me to understand.
So now whenever I drink scotch, I feel like my dad. I feel like him calmly sipping a drink while reading a book and I feel a deep and abiding calmness come over me.