Writers Workshop: Six Of One, A Half-Dozen Of The Other

A dozen, as we all know, is 12 of an item. A lot of things come in dozens, including eggs and donuts. A baker’s dozen is 13, which is one more, probably stemming from the fact that bakers, when selling rolls, cookies, or donuts, will give you one extra to enjoy on the way home.

Which reminds me of an old joke: a guy goes into a bar and tells the bartender he wants a 13. The bartender says "what’s a 13?" The guy says "A 7 & 7."

The 7 & 7 was traditionally a highball made with Seagram’s 7 Crown blended whiskey and 7up, but it’s called that whether the person uses the traditional ingredients or they do some substitution, like replacing the 7up with Sprite or some other type of lemon-lime soda or using a different blended whiskey instead of 7 Crown. Most people can’t tell the difference, especially after three or four of them.

My mother’s aunt would come to our house for dinner on occasion, usually on a Sunday. Her favorite drink, the only thing I ever saw her drink, was a short bourbon and ginger ale with a twist of lemon. More often than not, it was noon (i.e. 12:00) before Mom would realize that we didn’t have ginger ale and/or a lemon and would send me out in search of them. Remember, this was in the ’60’s when stores either didn’t open on Sunday or were only open in the morning, and I’d end up running all over the North Side of Chicago looking for a bottle of ginger ale and a lemon. On foot. By the time I found both and got home, the aunt had been at our house for over an hour and she’d be sitting on the couch, happily sipping a bourbon and water, sans lemon.

The thing that really got me? Mom had sent me to the store (which had both lemons and ginger ale) the day before, and never asked me to buy lemon and ginger ale. The next time this aunt came to our house for Sunday dinner, I bought lemon and ginger ale on Saturday without being asked, and Mom asked me why…

Okay, we’ve gotten a little far afield, I realize. Anyway, carbonated drinks and mixers come in cans, available in boxes of 12 12-ounce cans, or in large bottles. Typically, so does beer. Sometimes the beer comes in larger cans, like 16-ounce or, in the case of Foster’s Lager, 25.4 ounce cans (I think it works out to 750 ml).

It’s been a while since I did any stream-of-consciousness writing for WW. It feels good, you know?

6 thoughts on “Writers Workshop: Six Of One, A Half-Dozen Of The Other

  1. All that walking for the ginger ale and lemons and she was fine without them the whole time anyway. lol! Yeah, I think I’d always keep a stock on hand for aunty’s visit after that too! 😉


  2. I visualized your happy Aunt, enjoying her frosty beverage. Nice look-back to simpler times and likewise cocktails like Gin & Tonic, Rum & Coke…drinks that didn’t have a damned paper umbrella and half of a pineapple sticking out of them.

    For me, the simplest yet….Jack on the Rocks, gently poured.

    Stay safe!


  3. Yeah, I loved going to the store for my mom and dad. It was two miles to town and an excuse to take the car. Used to be able to go in without shirts and shoes in those days. I always wore a shirt since I was a girl and didn’t want to be arrested. Funny stuff. 7 and 7 huh. I mostly drink wine, petit sirah sometimes, chardonnay but occasionally a mojito or margarita, an after dinner liquer sometimes. Nice.


    1. I stopped smoking and drinking when I found out I had high blood pressure over 20 years ago. I generally drank beer, occasionally bourbon and Scotch. I was never much of a wine drinker…

      I loved the grocery store. I used to see all the commercials for different cleaning products and go check them out, how they were similar and how they were different. I was weird that way….


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