My Kind of Town

by Don Chapman

Thursday, May 17, 2001

White merlot
for lunch

>> Honolulu Iron Works

Sitting at the corner of the bar with a view of the entire room, Lt. Col. Chuck Ryan was just finishing his blackened ahi when Lily and Shauny walked through the doors. Lily in a form-fitting white silk suit, Shauny in tight black slacks and a low-neck top.

Shauny sat down at the corner closest to Ryan, Lily in the second seat down.

As good as they looked, he was looking for Fawn.

"Where's your sister?"

"She'll be along!" Shauny said. "She needed to pump the bike."

"How about some lunch?" Ryan said as the waiter cleared his plate.

"Nah, I hate to eat on an empty stomach!" Shauny said and laughed. "Hey, Dave, you have that white merlot back there?"

The bartender said he did, held up a bottle of Beringer.

"You gotta try this, Lil! It's soooo good!"

The wine was a lovely pink, and Lily liked it with the first chilled sip. Sweet but not too sweet, fruity but refreshing. And Lily was thirsty after working out. She and Shauny drained their second glasses while Ryan was nursing his first Miller Lite.

"How about some lunch, ladies?"

"We will, we will," Lily said, pushing the menu aside.

As they started on their third glasses of wine, Ryan had to ask the question that had been on his mind as the girls joked throughout their workouts about getting drunk for lunch.

"If I may ask, Lily, to what do owe this midday Bacchanalia?"

He saw the anger flare again in her eyes. Lily took a long tug on her vino. Where to start.

"Well, at first I was just pissed that my father totally rejected this great proposal I'd spent months on, to reorganize now that he's talking about retirement. Then on top that, he said he's naming Laird president."

"Her younger brother," Shauny filled in.

"About to graduate from Stanford Business. A nice kid. But all he knows is book and theories. I've been running a company for years. I've proved myself. But all because I'm not the eldest son..."

"Tough one," Ryan said. The new friend, sympathetic.

"Total bull----!" said Shauny. The best friend, fiercely loyal.

"And now I'm so pissed, I'm thinking about just leaving, taking Ola with me and going independent."

"Lil, don't be making any hasty judgments today. Worry about it tomorrow when you sober up!" Shauny's laugh was infectious, and Lily had to smile.

"You're right. Hey, Dave, how about one more round. This stuff IS good."

Don Chapman is editor of MidWeek.
His serialized novel runs daily in the Star-Bulletin.
He can be emailed at

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