Tipsy Santa Blog Hop 2018: Cranberry Bourbon

Tipsy Santa Blog Hop 2018: Cranberry Bourbon

The only place rowdier than the Rez was the Blue Collar Bar and Grill. And the only woman rowdy enough to run the Blue Collar was MacKenzie ‘Mack’ Cash.

This year, though, she was going to need a little holiday magic to carry off her Christmas Eve responsibilities. In addition to entertaining the usual holiday crowd, she was hosting the VFW’s party in the bar’s upstairs VIP room and co-hosting the Fever Dreams Vineyard ‘Toys For Tots – Take Two’ after a fire razed Take One.

The Fever Dreams clientele was a cut above the Blue Collar’s, but folks didn’t let that stand in the way of stopping by to trade a new toy for a free drink. And that about sized up the Knapp County community. They loved the land, the people, and whatever party was brewing.  

About nine-thirty, Mack’s bestie Norma Atwood showed up to lend a hand. She donned an apron, pinned up her hair, and took over the till. “How’s Wyatt’s toy drive coming? He close to recouping what that damn tipsy Santa burned down last night?” 

“Close enough that he’s happy. We still need another twenty or so volunteers to help distribute the toys tomorrow morning. Speaking of tipsy santas, I gotta take this tray of drinks to the patio.” 

Norma paused mid-count in a handful of dollar bills. “You have a patio now? Wyatt and Fever Dreams are rubbing off on you.”  

Mack grinned. “Not a chance. I’m strictly low brow. Patio seating is for Cigar Club members only. And if they don’t get these drinks pronto, they’re gonna drag their damn Petit Coronas in here and smoke up my bar.” 

When she got out to the patio there were only two members of the cigar club holding court at the card table. Her partner Lou and his pal Rocky. Both were wearing Santa suits with the jackets mostly unbuttoned and the hats tilted to one side. “What happened to the rest of guys? There a sale on Geritol down at the pharmacy?”  

“Less lip and more booze, woman,” Lou said, swiping the Santa hat tuft out of his eyes.  

“The two of you drink much more and I’ll have to take your keys and drive you home tonight.” 

Rocky winked at her and downed a drink. “That’s the plan.”  

Lou chuckled.  “Seems to me this is how we spent last Christmas.” 

“And New Year’s,” said Rocky, reaching into his fuzzy red pants and digging around. 

“I thought you were brewing something special for the holidays, woman,” Lou said, setting his half empty glass on the table with a thump. 

“That your way of saying you don’t like the Cranberry Bourbon?”  

“Why would you want to go and ruin a perfectly good bourbon?”  

“It’s not ruined. It’s just got an extra zing to it. Because maybe a woman likes bourbon. Enough to drink it every night. But every once in a while, she gets to craving cranberries with it. Or maybe an orange wedge. Or -” 

Rocky pulled his hand out of his pants. “I believe this is what you’re looking for, Mack.” He held out his truck keys. 

“That all you got in your pocket, pal,” Lou said, tugging down the zipper of the Santa pants.  

“Hang on, love,” Mask said, laughing and tugging his zipper back up. “Save the tipsy striptease for later, boys. Right now you have work to do. First one to get ten residents committed to delivering those toys tomorrow gets to ride shotgun on the way home.” 

Lou backed his wheelchair away from the table and grinned at Rocky. “Try not to get your cranberries in a knot when I’m riding shotgun.” 

“Long as I’m along for the ride, I don’t much care where I squeeze in,” Rocky said, pushing Lou’s chair into the bar, probably more to steady himself than to help.  

Mack put her feet up on the table and enjoyed the last of the Cranberry Bourbons. She’d managed to pull off all the extra work and save a little holiday magic for herself. It was going to be a Knapp County Wild Christmas after all.


(700 Knapp County Wild words)

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