1 part Jack Daniel's Old No. 7
1 part triple sec
1 part sweet-and-sour mix
4 parts Sprite or 7-Up

Serve over ice in tall glasses. Garnish with lemon slices and cherries.

We called her Lynch, because that's what she insisted on being called. I've looked up old college yearbooks and photos, but "Lynch" is all her name was ever recorded as. If she ever had a first name, it's lost to me forever.

Lynch was a big girl. I do not mean to say she was fat, but neither was she thin. She was hefty, and she did not mind being hefty. She didn't obsess over weight. She exercised hard -- I seem to remember hearing that she'd been her high school's champion shot putter -- and she ate hard, too. She didn't obsess over weight.

Lynch was a big girl, and we all dearly loved her.

Most of us loved her because she was a great laugher and a great joke-teller, because she had a low tolerance for our bullshit, and because she was a loyal friend. Big Cal loved her because he loved her, and that was all there was to it. The rest of us didn't love her that way (in my defense, I was in the midst of being strung along by the first seriously gorgeous blonde who'd ever given me the time of day), but I think all of us would've killed or died if Lynch gave the word, 'cause she was important to us.

Unsurprisingly, Lynch's signature drink was Lynchburg Lemonades.

There are two relevant stories about Lynch and Lynchburg Lemonade. The first happened during the early fall of my senior year, when the Usual Gang of Idiots all went out to the local saloon one night to whet our whistles, play pool, and bellow abuse at the band (we knew the drummer). Lynch had been drinking her lemonades all night and getting progressively mellower. It was a typical and very pleasant weekend night for us.

One of the groups sharing the pool table area of the bar with us was a group of four fraternity brothers. Three of them were nice enough guys, but the fourth looked to be a belligerent drunk. We'd been ignoring him all night, until he walks up to Lynch and tells her, for no reason we could ever figure out, "Ya know, you're a fat bitch." (Big Cal had gone to drain the lizard, or this story would've been much shorter and much less entertaining)

Surprised, Lynch says, "Excuse me, baby?"

The fratster replies, "You heard me. I said you're a fat bitch. I wouldn't put my dick in you if you paid me." Then he knocked her lemonade out of her hand.

Lynch hit him. She leaned back, cocked her arm back like she was about to throw the shot, and swung at him, putting all her weight into it. The fratster, clearly thinking this "fat bitch" couldn't hit, didn't even try to dodge. Her fist caught him square on the cheekbone and actually lifted him off the floor. He crashed into the wall behind him and fell onto the floor. He wasn't exactly unconscious, but he wasn't exactly able to move his arms or legs either. The other three fratsters apologized profusely and carried their freshly-crosseyed colleague out, berating him the whole time. The bouncers let the incident slide, mainly, we suspected, because it'd been so fun to watch.

The second story: About seven months after I'd graduated, I learned that Lynch had enjoyed one lemonade too many one night, driven herself home, and wrapped her car around a tree.

From what I've heard from the remnants of the Usual Gang of Idiots since then, none of us have been able to drink Lynchburg Lemonades since then.

fiction. nothing more.

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