Anybody ever tell you how much caffeine Patrick drinks? Told me on a usual Tuesday, it’s a whole mug of espresso. What the hell? Guy must have the system of an ox.

In the booth this year, Paddy requested both Starbucks DoubleShot and sugar-free Red Bull, a combination hellbent on scatology, if you ask me. He also brought a lovely tin of Mejdool dates, which happen to look like cockroaches, but taste like candy. They’re also dates, cousin of the Sunsweet prune, so I’ll let you add up the damage.

Brian is no saint, either, when it comes to the big bad bean. He called for something like canned espresso with a dash of cream, which we couldn’t find at Target, so we saddled him with some inscrutable triple shot ordeal, the name of which escapes me (or choose not to remember). I admire the brass on these two. A coupla stern stomachs.

Brooks, now Brooks. Only cappuccino. Takes a packet of sugar-in-the-raw and twinkles some over the top of the froth. Then, he’ll take out the butane and torch it, crème brulee style, beside his actual crème brulee. A double ding to the arteries, and some ingenious symmetry. Wouldn’t trade ole babbling Brooks for the world.

Another fact of the family. This year, despite my addiction to giving everyone face-paint, proceeded calm as a custard. The whole operation ran smooth, Charlie even said we got better at a few things, which in Charlie parlance basically means we’ve earned an Ivy League degree. The crate was packed to perfection in under an hour, I haven’t heard a peep about my copyediting (though don’t hold your breath), and everyone, I presume, made it back to their state with their drawstring in-tact.

Charlie asked me to marry him. Look out for the invitation.

The two best restaurants this year both made good use of the titular critter: Sparrow and Wolf, and Black Sheep. Check em out. I want somebody to bleat into a mic and send Charlie the audio file, as a gesture of solidary. What did we eat at these establishments? Hm, let me think: food.

The waiter at Wolf had a sweet man bun and an uncanny ability to parry Brook’s bellowing insouciance. A few times he even left the big man chuckling. Hard to do, trust me. Brooks told me, though, that he appreciates when I laugh at his stuff. Says he’d boot the wife for somebody who would respond to his comedy. I said I’m all in, Charlie won’t hire me, when do I start. We’ll see if he comes through.

As for the waiter a Black Sheep, she told us the poached pear salad was unavailable, and we proceeded to inundate her with orders of PPS, over and over, until she said with her eyes to cut out the good cheer. My drink at this place also had a lovely little piece of prosciutto wound around a toofpick, which, being a greaser, made my night.

I think the real lesson this year was that I shouldn’t smoke cigars. I’ll hang with the guys, drink my Hendrick’s martinis, and make conversation, but my feeble system can’t handle the vapors. Ever since I returned from Vegas, I’ve had a sore throat, and you know what, go ahead and mock me, but I’m not pleased. I’m not pleased at all.

Terence Reilly, this one’s for you.

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Kyle Ferrer

A recent graduate of Wake Forest University, I came to halfwheel via a previous WFU editorial assistant, Heather Haertel. In the fall, I am returning to Wake Forest to pursue a masters in English literature. As you might have guessed, I am a reader—mostly of British and American Romanticism, which means the works of Wordsworth, Emerson, Whitman and others. I also watch a boatload of 70s movies, some men's tennis, and have an aspiring blog called, where I write about whatever cultural notion pops into my head. I value highly the maxim that art is long and life is short.