Friday, November 22, 2013

Drinking Buckley’s with a Smile on my Face.
Written by: Attila Farkas



I have decided to drink my portion of Buckley’s without making a face. My son, Peter was standing in front of me with a big smile on his face, ready to enjoy my misery after I drink down the liquid and turn my face into a fist. You are allowed to make any kind of facial expression when you drink liquid Buckley’s. It tastes awful and it shows. OK, the exact advertisement says: It tastes awful and it works. I've had the flu or the man-cold for two weeks now and I still haven’t missed a day of work. I am a computer instructor and I teach twelve adult ladies who are extremely satisfied with the progress we are making and I can’t disappoint them. I can’t take a day or two off and allow substitute instructors to take over my class and break the cycle of awesomeness. I am taking my vitamins, drinking hot tea with honey and Buckley’s from a shot-glass. My son is standing in front of me grinning from ear to ear because he has permission from Buckley’s to laugh in my face. I consider myself a tough guy. I have practiced Kyokushin karate for over a decade and developed a high tolerance for pain. He is thirteen and he used to ask me if I would cry if a mountain lion would bite me, or someone punched me in the face or stepped into broken glass, stabbed with a knife and other imaginary misfortunes. He just wants to know if it’s OK for a real man to cry from pain. My answer is always the same. No, I wouldn't cry. When you cry, you have tears in your eyes, they blur your vision and you lose the fight. I remember two recent episodes when I was tested by two accidents to see if I am a real tough guy or not and he witnessed both. The first one was in North Carolina on the first day of our family vacation. We were enjoying the shallow waters of the low tide behind our cottage that we rented for the week. Our kids were running after small fish in the knee deep water, I was looking for signs of clams that I wanted to collect for clam chowder. It was around noon when my wife yelled out with her outside voice letting us know that we should get inside for lunch. Everyone heard and we made our way in from the water when something unexpected happened...
As I was walking in the water and reached the wooden steps that lead up to the pier a crab has attacked my toes on my left leg. Just from pure reflex and without thinking I jumped away, right into a bed of dried-up oysters. They were sticking out from the bottom of the peaceful lagoon, like a dozen razor sharp knives. My right foot landed in the middle of them and bottom of my foot was stabbed in a half a dozen places. As I jumped away again I didn't even make a sound. I carefully hopped up on the wooden steps and examined my wounds. Blood was pouring out from several of the deepest wounds and yet I remained silent. I had washed out the wounds in the ocean water, and then carefully hopped into the house; put a large band-aid on it and a few hours later went fishing from shore.
The second time I demonstrated how to handle pain was during pike fishing when a spinner bait treble hook got stuck in my leg and I was able to rip it out without any damage to my leg and also without a sound. In my son’s eyes I had proved to be a tough guy and yet drinking a dose of Buckley’s gives me the shivers, makes my face into a cartoon of Grinch and start moving like a two-year-old just before a full blown hissy fit. It was time to show off again. As I drank the next dose of Buckley’s I decided to play a joke on my son. I was not sure if I am going to able to pull it off but it was worth a try. As soon as I drank it, I started smiling and said that it tastes really good now; maybe it changes after a couple of days.
“Really?” Peter has asked with wide eyes. He kept checking my face for any sign of trauma. I kept smiling and was really proud of my new invention.
“It really doesn't taste that bad anymore?” he asked again, probing for any revealing signs of conflict in body language.
“No it tastes the same,” I said.
“Then how come you are not shaking and dancing and making faces. You are smiling.” He observed.
“I decided,” I said and the newest lesson was over. I hope he’ll remember it when he needs to...

Just in case you are wondering, I am not sponsored by Buckley’s. Not yet.