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On Alcohol and Actors

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The night was warm and close, the streets of New York steaming slightly after a brief downpour that did nothing to clear the air. Patrons of restaurants and clubs swept along the sidewalks, greeting each other with the air of importance they fancied kept them on the higher rungs of the social ladder.

Amongst these patrons, a well-dressed couple made their way to a block of apartments, weaving ever so slightly as they walked. Nick Charles, 'retired' detective, supported his wife as she tugged him along, although the arm around her waist was more for his benefit than hers.

"Where, exactly, are we going?" The comment was directed to the lamppost looming in front of him, and he absently smiled and offered a hand to shake. "How are you this fine evening?"

The lamppost, of course, stayed silent, and disappeared quickly from his line of sight as Nora steered him round it. Nick tutted. "Damned rude. Won't send him a Christmas card."

Amused, Nora answered his previous question. "We, exactly, are going home."

"Home?"

"Yes. Home. You've had too many drinks and I want to sober you up before we go out again so I'm even with you."

"Ah. Good idea."

There was a pause as Nick navigated himself very carefully around an object that – to Nora – didn't actually seem to be there, and then he mused, "Sober up? I'm sober as a sudge. No, jober as a judge. Wait, I mean–"

"I know what you mean, Nicky. If you're sober, then I'm Fred Astaire."

Nick pulled up short, nearly knocking his wife off her feet, and she turned to face him, eyebrows raised. He blinked owlishly at her for a moment, then let his eyes rake over her evening gown-clad body in mild confusion.

"You mean, you're not?"