This is a story my father told me. It is about a father and son. The son lives in town, the father lives alone on a farm several miles outside of town. Every day, as is his custom, the father walks into town, purchases a pint of whiskey, and walks back to his farm. For years, the son has enjoyed this daily opportunity to at least observe his father from his office window, but recently he has noticed that time is catching up with the old man. His stride has shortened and his gait has slowed. The daily walk has become a trial for him.
The son, being a devoted son and not wanting to see his father suffer (and having failed for years to persuade his father to abandon the farm and move to town), decides there is at least one small way he can give his poor father some relief. He purchases a half-gallon bottle of his father’s favorite whiskey, drives out to the farm and gives his father the gift. The father, never a demonstrative man, accepts the gift and thanks his son, who returns to town.
The next day the son, still basking in the glow of his thoughtful deed, looks out the window to see his father once again walking into town. Moreover, his father seems to have aged ten years. His skin is pallid, his clothing is disheveled and he is walking with even move difficulty than usual. The son immediately rushes to his father’s side. “Dad,” he cries, “what are you doing? I brought you that bottle of whiskey so you wouldn’t have to make this walk every day.” The father slowly raises his head and looking directly into his sons eyes, whispers in a quiet voice, “son, whiskey don’t keep.”