"No Thank You; I Don't Drink!"
By; Speaker Gerald A. Polley

As I'm writing this story the people I work with are having their Christmas party. We're not attending. We avoid gatherings where people are drinking. It always causes problems. Eery employee Christmas party I have ever attended has ended in hard feelings. The first one almost ended in jail! But here I'll mention the last one I attended some years ago.
I knew better, but the people I had been working for were really nice, and I thought that I could probably get away with attending, and not have a problem. However I was mistaken. One of the cooks brought in a case of his favorite imported beer and began to pass it around. I very cordially said no thank you. I appreciated the offer, but I was an alcoholic.
The cook went totally ballistic and began screaming, "Who in the hell do you think you are? You're too good to drink with us? I bring my beer, I offer it to you, and you won't drink with me?"
Everybody tried to calm him down, tried to explain to him that I had a problem with alcohol and couldn't drink. He simply would not listen. "No," he kept saying, "he's NOT an alcoholic, he doesn't drink. If he's an alcoholic he'd be drunk all the time!"
I decided the best thing to do was simply depart. The rest of the staff made all kinds of apologies but I told them it was no problem. I run into this strange attitude from time to time.
The cook would not speak to me for months. I was a very bad person, I would not accept his gift and have a sociable drink with him. No amount of reasoning from anyone would make him understand. And after a while everybody just gave up. Eventually, one day he just started speaking to me, and after a while got rather cordial again, but he never again offered me a beer.


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