“Yeah, you sound sober!” I pointed out. “Weren’t you drunk just a moment ago?”
Dan looked back at us, blinking a couple of times. “I am!” he insisted. But then, a moment later, he shook his head in wonderment. “I mean, I was…”
For a moment, we just all looked at each other. Ari, perhaps because he’d been sober from the beginning, was a little quicker on the uptake. “No way,” he said, and he grabbed his own cup of coffee.
Dan and I both watched as he lowered the cup from his lips – and screamed.
The scream went on for quite a while, until Dan slapped a hand over his mouth. “He’s gone too far the other way!” he cried out at me, as Ari battered at the bigger man with flailing arms.
I stared back, wide-eyed. “What do I do?”
“I dunno, find something with alcohol!”
I spun around, staring at my kitchen. We had (well, Dan had) finished off most of my beers. In desperation, I grabbed the jar of vanilla – distilled in alcohol.
We shoved the bottle into Ari’s mouth and forced a couple gulps down his throat. As we watched, holding our breaths, the man finally calmed down a bit. “Holy crap,” he gasped, staring at us. “That stuff is strong!”
“What happened to you?” I had to ask.
Ari shook his head back and forth, searching for words. “Okay, you know when you take a shot on an empty stomach, and you just feel the world lurch as the alcohol hits you?” he finally stammered out after a minute.
We both nodded.
“Well,” the man concluded, “it was just like that, but the opposite. And way worse.”
After that ordeal, we all needed a drink. And not of my brewed coffee concoction. Dan scrounged up some more beers, and we sat around, staring at the still mostly full jug of black liquid.
“Could make a fortune outside bars at last call,” Ari finally offered. “Sobers people up with a sip, that stuff does.”
“Yeah, but one wrong sale and you’ve got somebody screaming,” I retorted.
After a minute, Dan just shook his head. “Damn, man,” he finally said. “You definitely brewed something, that’s for sure…”