It was nice and warm inside so we took off our layers of clothing, and as we got comfortable we began talking about the trip to London. When we finished our first round Larry went to the bar to order another. I lost track of him, talking to Gwen and Audrey.
After a bit I looked up to see Larry talking to two guys at the bar. They reminded me of Ian, my son, about 23 or 24, out for a night on the town. A Jamaican bartender with dreadlocks had joined them in conversation. Then, I saw Larry with a shot in his hand.
Down the hatch! He turned to me and looked like he was on fire. But he turned back to the lads as if nothing had happened. No big deal.
When he returned to the table, I asked, “What was that all about?”
“Southern Comfort, Gin, Vodka, Rum… and the hottest damn pepper I’ve ever tasted. You eat the pepper, then wash it down with the shot.”
Larry soon returned to the bar to order another round. I looked up and he was waving me over.
“Uh Oh,” I thought.
“You’ve got to try one of these pepper shots.”
“Okay.” Did I sound less than confident?
One of the boys called the Jamaican bartender over. “One more of the pepper shots,” he slurred.
I was handed the concoction. “Cheer.”
I bit the pepper and downed the shot. It was hot, very hot… But I wasn’t going to let anyone know it.
“That was good,” I said casually putting down my glass.
Our two hosts looked astounded. “Fuckin’ Yanks!”
Larry had a hard time keeping a straight face. We had kept up America’s honor.