Holiday Cheers

Mrs. Rizzo called the other day to ask if it was all right if she had half a glass of wine with dinner around the Holidays.

This time I knew enough to say no. A year ago I didn’t know her very well and made the mistake of leaving a vague answer via Autumn, my nurse, amounting to ‘Probably’.

Did I ever live to regret that! Just a few days after that initial query, the reports started coming in: Mrs. Rizzo was causing a ruckus at her seniors’ apartment complex; Mrs. Rizzo was verbally abusive with her husband; Mrs. Rizzo was making annoying phone calls to former acquaintances, who no longer wanted anything to do with her.

Last year’s binge lasted several weeks and took a great deal off effort and diplomacy to untangle myself from.

This year I returned the call myself. I made very sure to politely point out to Mrs. Rizzo that things didn’t go so well last year and that the half glass of wine had turned into far too many. I reminded her that she had said and done things back then that she later regretted. The fact that she now didn’t remember some of them also suggested that her brain was sensitive enough to alcohol that she seemed to have had some blackouts.

Hopefully this year’s firmer stand will help prevent another Holiday disaster at the Rizzo home.

My old friend Dr. David Duggans told me about a patient of his, who never used to touch alcohol at all until Dr. Duggans put the idea in his mind.

Old Sumner Tardif was a quiet man, who for two years had been grieving his wife. One day last winter Dr. Duggans suggested that Sumner do something about his “cabin fever” and get out of the house more, perhaps with the “boys” in his neighborhood.

Soon afterward, there were reports of Sumner buying drinks around the house at the Sports Bar several nights a week.

One snowy night last March Sumner skidded off the road on his way home from the Sports Bar. He hit his head badly enough to end up with twelve stitches and a concussion. The legal ramification of his episode of driving under the influence was a lengthy driving suspension.

Fortunately his neighbor up the road, Glenda Maas, took pity on him and offered to chauffeur him anywhere he needed to go. Widowed herself, she seemed to enjoy the company.

Soon, you saw the two of them not only at the grocery store and Wal-Mart, but occasionally also at Olga’s Restaurant and the Sports Bar.

Wouldn’t you know it – Sumner asked Glenda to marry him and they had a small wedding ceremony over Thanksgiving with Dr. Duggans as one of the guests of honor!

1 Response to “Holiday Cheers”


  1. 1 mina mass December 7, 2010 at 11:54 am

    looks like the duties of a doc on a small island include a lot more than medicine….good to see that inadvertent matchmaking had such a great outcome.


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