Everyone in the Waller family has known for years. Whatever you do, you do not drink Grandpa Julian's Christmas eggnog.
It is an act of self-preservation passed down to the young. Children learn from their elders.
You pour the frothy poison into a plant or a sink as you casually walk around the room with your glass. Some sneak it with them to the bathroom. If you have to, you cautiously spit a sip into your napkin. You do not drink it.
No one escapes a glass. Julian's eggnog is a point of pride, a recipe passed down through generations of Virginians. He will keep your glass full in his spirit of beaming hospitality.
No one knows where the eggnog went wrong. Did some ancestor misread the handwriting on an amount or an ingredient? Did grandpa get "creative" or forgetful?
Into this tight-knit set of relatives landed Rob, Karen's fiancé from New York visiting for the holidays. Eager to make a good impression on his future in-laws Rob not only took a sip, but he took a huge gulp while seated at the dinner table.
His eyes sort of started to pop out of his head as they watered up and his face reddened. Sweat burst out of his forehead as he attempted to appear as if nothing were wrong. Clearly he was having trouble breathing. After heaving in some great gulps of air finally he just passed out, slumping under the table.
"I just didn't even think to warn him," Karen admitted. "It's like telling an adult not to put their hand on a hot stove. It's such a basic thing that you assume they already know not to do it."