Now that the season of good cheer is behind us, I feel I can bring up a serious and painful issue that unfortunately became a reality for me this year during Christmas. I received whiskey stones.
Whiskey stones affect a huge percentage of men and, to a lesser extent, women every year, especially around the holidays. To those unfamiliar with the painful condition, these soapstone cubes manifest in relatives and friends who do not know what to give as gifts and want to preserve their perception of being the cool gift-giver and not at all sentimental.
Contrary to popular belief and what the salespeople at Brookstone and ad copy in Skymall will tell you, nobody in history has ever used a whiskey stone. Yes, there is some truth that they will not water down your whiskey, but just the same, putting a goddamn handful of cold rocks in your glass of whiskey is insane and completely unnecessary.
Worst yet, once you have whiskey stones, you cannot get rid of them. They live in areas you cannot see, like junk drawers and the dark depths inside cabinets, and only turn up whenever the giver of the stones is around. What’s even sadder is that the giver of the stones will not recognize them as a gift they gave and oftentimes will feel bad for you for owning such nonsense.
Before I knew the results of opening the gift, I knew I had them. I could feel the lumps clear as anything beneath the paper. My wife, ironically my rock, held my hand once I got the wrapping paper off and asked all the questions I couldn’t find the strength to: Where did you get these? What do we do now? What were you thinking? All I remember was the tense quiet after the reveal, save for my naïve son, who clapped for every present being opened.
And now I have whiskey stones. At first, I couldn’t stop thinking about them. They taunted me in plain sight next to our bar. I was so self-conscious around friends who I knew just wanted to ask a million questions. But after talking with a professional, the bartender at the Irish pub across the street, he told me I could take an aggressive approach to getting rid of them that involved throwing the stones into a river and telling the friend who gave them to me that the dog got ahold of them. But that would require a dog I don’t have.
So, after weeks of conversations and prayer, my wife and I decided to just own them. We are loathed to throw away things and fear somehow we would be found out for getting rid of them, so we placed them with the other chronic items we can never seem to rid ourselves of: Allen keys from cheap furniture, extra buttons from final sale clothing, and an early 2000s laptop so heavy it gave my wife scoliosis in college.
I really don’t have much of a message to share other than this problem is curable. If you don’t buy them, they will stop making them, and this bullshit could all go away.