After a long and busy Saturday during the holiday season, you take it for granted that you're going to sleep that night. Nine hours of lifting boxes, carrying wine out to the parking lot, running back and forth between buildings, emptying shopping cars full of booze onto the shelves, and talking with customers about the perfect holiday gift tends to take it out of a person. It's the type of day that usually knocks you out an hour before your regular bedtime. I killed a beer in the parking lot talking with my colleagues, ordered a pizza for delivery while driving home, and washed that down with a bottle of Champagne when I got there. I also took it for granted that the combination of high-acid bubbly wine with high-acid tomato sauce wasn't going to raise the acidity in my esophagus to intolerable levels of lava-like burning. But that's what happens when you simply erase your stress with alcohol, rather than come down naturally and deal with the day's events before passing out on the couch. That, plus the ping-pong ball bouncing around my head at two A.M. when I wake up dehydrated, my mouth like a desert, wondering if I put the right shipping address on that gift order before leaving. And what about that guy who got the wrong bottle in his delivery today? Am I going to remember to track down the right whisky tomorrow when I wake up? And what about the five bottles that the distributor forgot to drop off yesterday that I was expecting for special orders this weekend? I need to call them in the morning and make sure those get delivered Monday, otherwise we're going to go over our timetable. And now I'm wondering about the five people who asked me for a recommendation today, but at no point seemed convinced that I knew what I was talking about. That was uncomfortable, and I'm wondering if the Mortlach really was the best choice for that one dude's friend. And now I'm dwelling on the email that lady in New York sent me about finding the right Bordeaux for her husband's Christmas present. I forgot to check our inventory and send her a reply. Oh God, then there are the twenty customer service issues that got punted to my inbox because they were all whisky-related and I'm the only one who knows how to answer them. I forgot about those. Maybe I should get up now and knock those out while I'm awake. But if I get out of bed now I definitely will not be going back to sleep anytime soon. I'm supposed to get a haircut in the morning, then my nephews are coming to spend the day with my wife and me. Maybe I can sneak away for an hour to get some of this done while they're eating lunch. It's 3:34 AM right now. If I can pop a few Tums and get back to sleep I can probably make it to 8:00 and at least grab four more hours. Think about something else though. Not work, or you'll never get to sleep.

-David Driscoll

David Driscoll