Baileys Irish Cream and Coffee

Cheers, Lambert International Airport, 314-429-3400

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You are no one when you're at the airport. Nothing. You are but a speck, a body, a moving glob of fashionably victimized flesh with a reasonably distinctive face. As a result, you are a vacuum in search of substance every time you interact with another member of your species. Therefore, you can be anyone. Who are you? Where are you from? I am blah blah blah, and I do blah. The smart take advantage of the mystery. Well, kind sir, since you ask, my name is Walter, and I am a steamboat captain on the mighty Mississip, which is a very interesting occupation in this day and age. I am Corky, and I used to be the road manager for James Brown. I am Alison, and I am a pumpkin farmer; the crop this year is going to be very, very orange. I am Susan, and I am a phrenologist. Would you like me to read your head?

In this den of anonymity, you really want to be in a place where everybody knows your name. You know, Cheers, which apparently lost its liquor license in Boston, fired Sam and Carla, booted Norm and moved to the newly named Lambert Intercounty Airport. At 8 a.m. on a Thursday, wayward travelers are kicking it, pounding beers, whooping it up, laughing. They're on their way to Mongolia, or Stockholm, or Sioux City, and they've got a dead day ahead of them, one filled with sitting and unthinking, reading Danielle Steele novels and perusing In Flight magazine. So you may as well tie one on, eh?

Well, no, because starting the day with a drink is just sad. But it is vacation, so you've got our permission to enjoy something that will make you drowsy enough to doze the moment the Fasten Seat Belt sign is disengaged, even at this lame-ass hour. Make the most of it. You need your coffee, it's true, and to put a little somethin' in your java to make it milky is okay as well, something sweet and soft and distinctive that's going to make you fuzzy; a drink that, were it not alcohol-based, would be standard fare for the morning brew: Baileys Irish Cream liqueur, a beverage tailor-made for the top of the morn.

Cheers is known for its witty repartee, not its coffee, but no matter. The Baileys -- essentially, cream mixed with Irish whisky -- subsumes the bitterness and, even better, is barely discernible as an alcoholic beverage. Which is good, because at this early hour you demand subtlety in your stomach, not a fever kick. You still need to comprehend the finer points of In Flight, still need to be able to read your boarding pass, still need to make convincing eyes at the flight attendants. You'll look like a fool if you're drunk, dummy, and you won't be able to convincingly tell your neighbor that, hi, your name is Randall, and you're a performance artist who sticks yams up his ass while reciting William Faulkner's Nobel Prize acceptance speech.

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