Tuesday, June 9, 2015

It has occurred

Not New York. Not London. Not Boston. Not Switzerland.

West Palm Beach.

I get to the airport, as is my wont, in plenty of time to make my flight.  I have been to West Palm Beach airport now more times than I would like to recall since April 2013.  I counted the other day. Almost twenty round trips.

Nearly always, because I have time when I arrive, I stop at a Chili's that is adjacent to the gates. Usually I have a sandwich and a beer.

Today for a reason that I would rue if I were a younger man and had a mortgage, I decided that instead of a beer I'd spring for a red wine. I have become a fan of red wine in the past few years so decided to go for a merlot.  6 or 9 inches the barmaid inquired.  I am not driving for three plus hours so I asked for the nine.  I've toiled for years. I deserve a nine ounce glass of red.

I was going to get a sandwich as well, but the barmaid said the kitchen was backed up.  I did not want to snort a meal that--in my experience at this Chili's--has ranged from Good to Why did I order this.  So I decided to just go with the wine. It arrived. I sipped.  It tasted like the wine I buy by the jug in Boston for twelve bucks. Nothing special, not bad, but not the kind of wine that makes one consider the possibility that there are wines and there are wines. I have consumed a few of these over the years, but the glass at Chili's was not of this ilk--it was just garden variety.  I had the sense that they had a jug of Gallo under the bar and poured something like nine ounces into a glass.

I finished my wine.  The flight leaves shortly--though you wouldn't think so since every other flight out of West Palm is delayed because the rain that has just come down would make Noah think he got away easy.  Still, the board reads that we will get out on time. So I tipped the glass, knocked back the last bit of what seemed to be just a notch above cheap wine, and asked for the bill.

Out it came.

Twenty one dollars and thirty cents for one glass of wine.

I figured it had to be an error.  Must have mixed me up with the guzzler sitting two seats to my left who was knocking them back as if he wanted to forget something important.  Couldn't be my bill. I've eaten at this place maybe twenty times since April 2013. The prices are ridickalus but not this ridickalus.  So I inquired.

No, I was told, that is the price for a nine ounce glass of merlot.

Not Las Vegas, Not Paris, Not Switzerland, Not Japan. West Palm Beach.  Twenty one dollars for one glass of wine.

I shall go back to a taste of the hops the next time I am here.  And will try out a competing establishment in the airport that does not charge an arm and an additional appendage for a glass of wine.

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