Quite often people write to me and say that if they meet me, they would like to buy me a drink. It's a really nice thing to say, a gesture of bonhomie in an old-fashioned way.
So why is it that I always want to write back, "please can I just have the money?" What a terrible person I am.
No, but seriously, think about it, that's a lot of money if you add it up, and I'm not going to get any work done later if I have a drink now. My body chemicals will be all out of kilter, I won't be able to concentrate and I'll want to have a nap. That means I won't be able to go to sleep at bedtime and I won't be able to concentrate properly until 5 o'clock the next day, by which point I'll be so frustrated that I won't want to do anything. Do you see the problem? Plus I'll feel sort of obligated to you for the drink.
How about, if you ever meet me, you buy me a postcard from your home town and a button badge you think I might like. That's not too extravagant. It expresses gratitude and pan-continental friendship, a coming together over a rectangle and a circle.
All right, wait, I might be talking myself out of some good times here. How about, if you're a pretty lady on the go*, you buy me the postcard, and the button badge, and a drink, and I'll buy you a drink and write you a poem about orange blossom near an ornamental pond. Here's how it would work:
"Hello John it is me, the cute little doctor lady from House, here are the button badge and postcard and etc".
"Well thank you and how very interesting"
"Is it time for the poem"
"Alas no because the postcard is of a unicorn frolicing with a furry dog woman in a thong and you have a skeleton hand"
"True love dies hard on jagged rocks, Johnny"
"Goodbye House doctor girl, this was a tender and terrifying moment".
* The offer is never from a "pretty lady on the go" but stick with me, I am hitting my stride here