“Help yourself, the masher’s in the top drawer,” said Toronto resident, Tom Shardy, assisting an attendee of his impeachment party in their search for something with which to muddle a bucket of mojitos. To help clarify his instructions he casually pointed towards the section of kitchen cabinetry he meant, with a hand that happened to be holding a heavy glass tumbler of scotch. And it was then that everyone in the crowded house stopped in their tracks, as the casual badassery of his gesture washed over them like a rogue wave of otherworldly cool-factor.
“It was as though he just morphed into Ryan Gosling right in front of our eyes,” says Tom’s neighbour, Jude Slaw, recapping the event later for a grocery store bagger. “I’ve lived next door to the guy for fifteen years, and until that moment I would never have been able to picture him flicking a cigarette butt into a trail of gasoline that led to a sky-high explosion from which he calmly walked away. But now I can.”
For his part, Tom says he doesn’t think his life will ever be the same again.
“It’s as though when I pointed my tumbler with my index finger extended over the inlaid stainless steel rim, I became someone else. Someone who doesn’t play by the rules, someone who has a past – which I don’t by the way, not in the way that phrase generally means. Someone capable of anything at anytime. Such as pointing at other things with my scotch glass. And now I can’t stop.”
A quick walk through Tom’s neighbourhood shows why.
“Usually I have to go all the way to the corner to cross at the light,” Shardy explained, as we headed out for more scotch. “But not anymore,” the unimposing man declared as we arrived at the street in question and he raised his tumbler towards oncoming traffic – first in the one direction, then the other, his billowing bathrobe only adding to the Moses-esque effect of his weighty gesture. Cars screeched to a halt. Some of them crashed into one another. Others flipped over, cartwheeling past us as we moved – Matrix-like – in slow motion across the busy thoroughfare.
“Wasn’t that handy?” Tom asks rhetorically when we reach the other side. “That’s two minutes saved. Each way.”
In the liquor store there was a brief disagreement between Mr. Shardy and the manager, who initially didn’t see why Tom should be allowed to carry a glass of scotch around in plain view when everyone else has to wait until they get home to drink. But then Tom started pointing.
Amber liquid swishing as he sliced, ninja-like, through the bullshit, Tom released a brutally effective kata of tumbler-pointing that struck in the following order: the manager’s forehead, the polished floor, the section of the store the scotch lives in, the check-out area, and then the very heavens above; where an impressed God was presumably taking notes.
Thirty seconds later we left the store with a complimentary crate of 16-year-old single malt and a standing ovation.
As we made our way back to his home, Tom toyed with the idea of running for prime minister, though he expressed concerns that were he elected it could limit the amount of good he could do in the world. A world to which he pointed then, with his tumbler, in an encompassing gesture that spread a rainbow across the horizon and scattered a herd of unicorns into the middle distance; where the magical beasts ran free, pointing at things with their horns in impressive fashion. But not nearly as impressive as it would have been if they’d had a tumbler full of scotch, and an index finger.