Wine and Cake at Bedtime

Ruminations on an ill-considered midnight snack

John Werth
Mar 4 · 3 min read
Photo by Karina Tess on Unsplash

Yesterday was an off day. Not end of the world bad, just…off. But it ended well, with pizza, wine, and good fun.

Then midnight rolled around and I decided to get stupid.

I’d baked a red velvet cake the day before and there were a few slices left, so I took one. Then I noticed there was half a glass of red wine in the bottom of the bottle. It had been pretty good and would be stale by the next day, which wouldn’t do at all. So I took that, too.

“Hey,” my…thinking?…apparently went, “after a long day and pizza — pepperoni, hot Italian sausage, Calabrian chili sauce, spiced honey drizzle — for dinner, I can handle some dolce e vino right before bed!”

Which now that I’ve written it down was obviously really, really moronic. But what can I say? It was late and I was just tidying up.

As to how well it worked out, let’s just say it’s been four hours since I turned off the lights and now I’m sitting here typing. So, not five stars. But I used to be able to do stuff like this. When did I get to be a…? What?

When I was younger, the word men used would be “pussy,” but that’s dumb: those are about the most resilient things anywhere. If somebody offered a garden hose you could push a cantaloupe through and it would still work, they’d probably call it the Super Tough Steel Force Flex Wonder Waterer or something, and he-men would be lining up to make four convenient-but-not-insubstantial payments to get one.

So scratch that, I am not now nor never was tough enough to measure up.

But that’s beside the point. I think. After this little sleep I find the point a hard thing to balance on. Whatever I might have set out to write, heaven only knows which way it’s going. Can’t be off the rails because there aren’t any in the first place.

In any event, the line I needed was “I used to be able to do stuff like this, when did I get to be a middle-aged man?” That has the advantage of being both appropriate and self-answering.

So if there is a point, it must be this: if you, like me, are a person of middle years let me suggest you not snack on wine and cake right before bedtime.

On the other hand, if you are of an age where you can pull that trick off let me suggest that you do.

As I teacher, I was in the business of toeing the official party line of warning my students away from the excesses of sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll. But I was always conflicted, because one’s ability to indulge in those excesses isn’t unlimited.

Suppose a person were able to, in a totally hypothetical example, trade tequila shots with a friend until they slid off their chair onto the floor, then hop out of bed the next day functional. By the time that’s considered legal you’re probably more than halfway to it no longer being feasible.

I guess I’m saying to get out there and eat unhealthily while you still can, just now and again. Get sick drunk once in a while, stay up all night having a little inadvisable sex, whatever. Some day your cast-iron constitution will turn to one of tin that can be KO’d by a small dessert and a few ounces of grape juice…

…though every day above ground is better than it might be. That’s important to add.

So raise a glass of your libation of choice, be it Pinot after midnight or Pepto by the dawn’s early light. Here’s to a new day better than the alternative. L’Chaim!

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John Werth

Written by

Musician and conductor, repairer of woodwinds, owner of dogs, former band director, lapsed mathematician, and scribbler of thoughts.

The Haven

The Haven

A Place to Be Funny Without Being a Jerk

John Werth

Written by

Musician and conductor, repairer of woodwinds, owner of dogs, former band director, lapsed mathematician, and scribbler of thoughts.

The Haven

The Haven

A Place to Be Funny Without Being a Jerk

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