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I first knew author Amanda Orr was cool because she didn’t hold it against me after my kid became a dropout from the book club she kindly invited him to join with her son and some other buddies. (It was too much reading and not enough Nerf violence for my spawn, apparently.) She’s confirmed that with her latest book drink., a slim volume of cocktail recipes, comic relief, and short-form commentary about the harlequin in the White House. Orr, also the author of thesatirical Spoonful of Sugar, aims to get us through the Trump era with booze and humor, and she was kind enough to entertain some questions about the project.
Was drink. conceived on election night, kind of like a blackout pregnancy?
I wish we could say we were at the top of our game on election night, but honestly we were in complete shock, rocking back-and-forth in a stupor. Over the next few months, westared down the five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and when we reached the acceptance stage, we revolted! That’s when we slapped each other, mixed a few drinks, and began our own form of liquid resistance. After months of marching, we realized we needed some major comic relief to go along with all the resisting, and drink. was born.
How much has your unit-per-week imbibing increased since we seated a megalomaniac authoritarian? Have you missed any school drop-offs? Do the kids ask why you’re so “tired”?
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My kids’ new math has me all confused, so I’m not quite sure how to calculate that, but let’s just say I’ve been pestering Calvert Woodley about developing a frequent boozer program. I haven’t missed any drop-offs, but why isn’t protesting a legitimate absence excuse for DCPS?
Did you name your cocktails sober or tipsy? If there were a Pulitzer for drink names, you’d be a finalist. I’m particularly partial to “We Are So Screw(ed) Driver” and “White Russian Puppet.”
Wow, I’m honored. Can I put that on my LinkedIn profile? But are you serious? We haven’t been sober since the night of the election! We consider the book sort of like a wellness plan for those about to lose their health insurance. A drink a day keeps the insanity at bay.
What’s your favorite, by the way?
Since the Trump circus has come to town, I’ve become a two-fisted drinker. Most nights I’m alternating between a Mai Tai Too Long—I mean, really, why can’t a billionaire living in New York get an appropriately fitting tie and suit. He has his own tie company, for God sakes! And since I do have two children, I’m a fan of the Small Hands Shirley Temple so the kids can drown their sorrows in mocktails.
Tell me a bit about your collaborator? Is she also a District resident? Is she passed out on your couch?
Couch? Passed out? Wait, let me check. Nope, not there. Oh how I wish she were, but she must be back home in San Francisco. She’s a native Californian, and when she isn’t surfing or harvesting kale from her backyard, she’s in a fetal position. Only the sound of ice cubes hitting glass gets her vertical.
The past week’s news cycle is perhaps the most sobering in our lifetimes, at least in the political sense. In which case, what drink would you recommend I mix tonight? And how many would it take for me to forget?
That’s easy. Start with one Treason with a Twist, follow that up with Nepotism Fizz, then a Conwaypolitan. And finally, take one aspirin before bed and call me in the morning. If I don’t hear from you by 10 a.m., I’ll bring over a Sean Spicey Bloody Mary.