I DON'T like to write too many stories about alcohol.
Not because I feel any moral responsibility to steer clear of sensitive subjects.
It's just that every time I do, my wife gets angry.
Mention one little bourbon-related incident and you're in the doghouse for a week.
But the moment I saw that Friday was World Cocktail Day, I knew I had to write something to mark the occasion.
Do I write about the infamous "Mai Tai incident" at a backstreet bar in Thailand?
The Bloody Marys consumed around a pool at a Las Vegas casino?
The Harvey Wall Bangers drunk during one particularly vigorous late-night session in .... nah, let's stop there.
Then I remembered New York and I knew I had no choice.
Not the story about the Manhattan cocktail bar manager who plied us with alcohol before taking us and a Norwegian couple on a pub tour that finished in a 24-hour sports bar at 5am with a couple of Sydney school teachers who were chaperoning a group of kids on an international excursion but saw fit to lock them in their rooms at the YMCA and hit the town.
That was a good one but not my best cocktail story, although my best one did happen in New York during a later visit.
After a long day at a Yankees game, my mate and I went to pick up some laundry from a Chinese Laundry in Hell's Kitchen while the wives went back to the hotel.
We got a bit sidetracked on the way home (Manhattan has so many bars!!) and it was early evening by the time we got back to our hotel.
No problem, we have very understanding wives, we told ourselves.
But they weren't waiting for us in the hotel room, like good wives should.
A quick phone call tracked them down to the hotel's very classy cocktail bar and we headed down to join them.
"They sounded a bit cold," my mate remarked.
That's the devil-may-care sort of bloke I am after a few drinks.
We walked into the dimly-lit bar to find the wives sitting at the bar nursing a couple of Moscow Mules.
And the atmosphere was a bit cool, as my mate had suggested.
"Don't order a drink," we were told.
"Go back up to the room and we'll be up in a few minutes."
Very unusual behavior from two of the most understanding, coolest wives in the world.
They joined us soon after and everything seemed normal again.
"So, what's the deal?" we demanded.
"We thought we were in trouble."
And then the truth came out.
Apparently, sitting besides our wives in the dimly-lit var was none other than 1980's TV sex kitten Heather Lockyer (remember the blonde from Melrose Place?) who'd dropped in for a drink on her way to the theatre and was happily chatting with her two new Australian friends.
"And if you two drunken bums thought we were going to let you get anywhere near her, you're very sadly mistaken," my wife explained.
"Maybe next time you'll be a bit quicker picking up the laundry."