The Sip-Lefts

by John Alexander

They were winding down a quiet weekend evening at home, working their way through both a bottle of chardonnay and their seventh time watching “Inglorious Bastards,” when she paused the show and headed off to the bathroom.

He sat there and waited, sipping on what amounted to an empty tumbler, then reached over and poured what remained in her glass into his.

Returning to the sofa, she sat down, looked at her empty glass, and asked, “What happened to my wine?”

The knowing look on his face told her everything that she needed to know.

“But I had a sip left,” she protested quickly.

In retrospect, it must have been some combination of the accents in the movie and the quickness with which she said the words – “sip left” – that triggered something in his head, which caused him to turn to her and ask, in an almost perfect German-English accent, “You know the Sip-Lefts of Vienna? Hans und Matha? Who, but for the grace of God, would have fallen into the hands of the Nazis? Only to come to New York where, one day – when trying to get across Queens Boulevard – they were hit, and killed – KILLED! I tell you! By a drunken Guatemalan illegal, driving a stolen two-thousand-und-nine-white Silverado, with Arizona plates! You know these people? How is it that you know them?”

She took up the remote, looked over at him and laughed, before she told him, in no uncertain words – “You’re sick!” – then pressed the “PLAY” button.

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