One of my favorite linguistic indulgences as a reader and a writer is what I think of as “found Beckett”—Beckettismes trouvés, even better—those little commonplaces that, under the very slightest hermeneutical pressure, collapse into whirlpools of comically, despairingly elusive meaning. Take that old favorite, “thanks but no thanks.” I mean, even at face value, it’s like some sort of ill-formed Boolean algebra:
—an unsettled judgement, yanking the rug out from under any possibility of an objectivist conception of language. Or maybe it’s a reminder that, suitably intensified, gratitude can tip over into micro-aggression:
thanks, but no, THANKS
Push it further, and it becomes pure self-negation, a matter-antimatter collision leaving only meaninglessness in its wake:
—and suddenly the abyss is staring back at you, and returning your submitted materials under separate cover.
At any rate, in celebration of the bumper crop of thanks-but-no-thanks that has been the last eighteen months of my professional life, here’s a deceptively dangerous little tiki-drink riff. It’s rather good (WARNING: Beckettisme trouvé approaching) if I do say so myself.
F’ing the Merciless
1.75 oz amber rum
1 oz lime juice
0.5 oz peach liqueur
0.5 oz orgeat
0.25 oz dry gin
Shake with ice and strain into a chilled glass. (Or, alternately, strain into a tall glass filled with ice and top off with seltzer.)