So, I’m gluten free. Have been for a year and a few months now. And it appears to be a larger issue to two people I barely even know than it really is or has ever been for me. It seemed to seriously upset these people. Everyone else I know is either mildly curious at the very most or could NOT care less, and these people rock because….exactly. Who cares what I’m eating unless I’m forcing you to change the way you eat. There is one person that I see once every five months or so who always throws me off-guard because, before we can even exchange pleasantries, the VERY first thing she does – each of the three times I’ve seen her since I’ve been gluten free – is to ask with a pitying look on her face how I’m managing to survive each minute of the day living with this nightmarishly horrible burden of being unable to eat gluten. And I think she’s surreptitiously checking for slash marks on my wrists because she’s convinced that suicide is a more attractive option than being gluten free. I immediately forget that she’s pretty straightforward and serious and assume that she’s employing my favorite friend: hyperbole. So I begin to launch into an enthusiastic and hyperbolic commentary about food until I stop myself at the very last minute remembering that she’s not familiar with hyperbole at all. She’s just genuinely horrified at having to put a limit of any kind on what can be consumed. And just to be clear, I’m not trying to portray her as a horrible person; she just doesn’t know how to talk to someone who, in her view, is choosing to adopt a way of eating that is unnecessary and far too limiting to be anything but soul-killing. She knows I went gluten free to help minimize my migraine suffering, but she doesn’t really believe that I needed to take such drastic measures. So she believes me to be overdramatic and attention-seeking. (Which I feel I should mention here is far from the case because, unless someone wants to talk about gluten-free eating because they are considering adopting it, I’d rather never discuss it at all. I’m shy, people. Please — no spotlight on me!!). What she doesn’t seem to understand, despite my explaining it to her every time she asks again why I’m eating this way, is that the reason that I went gluten free is because gluten consumption has sidelined me with migraines lasting weeks — and I won’t even discuss the other issues that plagued me before I eschewed gluten.
So, maybe I should get to the reason for my post, right? GEEZ I’m wordy!!! The point of my VERY long post is that GF folks have to make a lot of changes, yes. And it can be pretty surprising to discover some of the things that can cause issues: deli meat? salad dressing? sauces? Yep, all of those things and many more have to be checked to make sure they don’t contain any stray ingredients that’ll cause a GF person trouble. But we can drink!! Check out this bad boy below!!
Now, what you might not know is the story of Tito’s Handmade Vodka. I also do not know the story of Tito’s Handmade Vodka, but it hasn’t stopped me from making up one of my own. (Yes, I could research it, but where’s the fun in that?)
The Story of Tito’s Handmade Vodka
(Ed. Note: This story is absolutely, totally, and completely fictionalized. But people, the website is called exaggeratedforeffect.com. This should not be a surprise. Hmmm, perhaps the website should be called completelyfabricatedforeffect.com)
One day a young man named Otis woke up and realized that his job of knitting mittens for kittens was not working out like he had hoped it would. The mittens never seemed to fit quite right; they refused to stay put on the kittens’ paws because the kittens were so rambunctious and would just rip them off completely when presented with a scratching post; and, finally, the kittens appeared to be completely unimpressed and unappreciative of all the work he had put into knitting the darn things in the first place! So, he was already feeling grouchy and his morale was low. But it was the grey tabby that finally pushed him over the edge. The grey tabby was his favorite. He had a little marking around his left eye that made him look like a pirate, and Otis loved him and was certain that ol’ “One Eye” Dread Pirate Roberts loved him at least as much. But he found the fancy mittens he had just crafted for ol’ “One Eye” Dread laying on the floor in tatters with a very suspicious wetness present and a distinct smell that could only be described as eau d’urine. So, Otis was officially done! Stupid, adorable, lovable grey tabby!! He snatched up ol’ “One Eye” while being sure to give the cat an immediate, if lukewarm (stupid cute cat!), stink eye and stormed out of his kitten mitten crafting studio for the last time. He had to find a new career, so he sat on the couch for a few months and watched every episode of the “Real Housewives” franchise he could find as he was pretty certain that the answer was sure to be found if he paid close attention. He also made a point to watch every episode of “Mad Men” as he’d heard that show was great. He figured the answer might be there, and, if not, at least the show should be enjoyable. But the answer was there in both shows!! The answer was: ALCOHOL!!
He quickly landed on vodka because of that clear liquor thing, and he didn’t want to make ol’ “One Eye” suffer killer hangovers from sucking down shot after shot of a dark liquor. The gluten free piece was an equally easy choice as “One Eye” Dread had a wicked sensitivity to gluten discovered after multiple experiences with croutons that had made suicide dismounts from the counter onto the floor only to be quickly consumed by the cat. “One Eye” would suffer the ill effects for days, and the gluten sensitivity diagnosis was eventually made. Initially by the cat. It took Otis a little longer, but he figured it out eventually. So, Otis began making vodka. It took him a good long while before he came up with a batch that “One Eye” considered worthy of consumption, but when he finally made that first batch of cat-approved vodka, he knew he was on his way. So, it was time to name the vodka. He was vain enough that he wanted to name it after himself, but he knew that Otis’ Vodka was problematic at best. That “s” at the end of his name was just all kinds of pronunciation trouble when coupled with that darn possessive, and he couldn’t have that. He remembered how much he liked alliteration and that vodka is often ordered with tonic, so he started to concentrate on names that began with a “t.” He also decided that “Handmade” needed to be in the title because, well, it just did. As he was trying out names, he remembered that teetotalers are people that enjoy drinking alcohol so maybe he could do something with that. After all, that sounded like an alliteration home run! He shortened teetotalers to Teetotal and then to Teeto and realized that Tito looked far cooler. And the name was born. It wasn’t until his first giant order of labels had been printed that his cousin Garvin (self-nicknamed The Garvinator) informed him that teetotalers are actually people that DO NOT drink alcohol. The Garvinator was preparing to enjoy his self-served helping of schadenfreude when Otis reminded him that nobody would ever guess that Tito had originated from the word teetotaler anyway. And Garvin stomped away to sulk and drink a bottle of Tito’s that he had swiped from Otis’ garage and grumble about his “highness and mightiness” Cousin Otis AKA Tito.
(Ed. Note: Again, this tale is all kinds of fiction. But then, duh.)