| Quote #1
There was an ice bucket on the table. The gin and tonic water kept going around, and we somehow got on the subject of love. (3)
We all know that alcohol loosens tongues, and these two couples are no exception. So is it the gin that got them on the subject of love, or were they headed there anyway?
| Quote #2
She poured the last of the gin into her glass and waggled the bottle. Mel got up and went to the cupboard. He took down another bottle. (41)
This is at the halfway point in the story. The move from the first bottle of gin to the second signals a move from Ed's story to that of the elderly couple. Plus, cracking open the second bottle reminds us readers that these characters are far from sober. So we should listen carefully to their words, and take them all with a grain or two of salt.
| Quote #3
"I'm not on call today," Mel said. "Let me remind you of that. I am not on call," he said. (61)
Mel justifies his drinking, and implies that it's not a regular thing with him, or at least that he doesn't drink on the job. The fact that he feels the need to remind anybody of anything is telling. Why's he so defensive? Maybe because he knows something's wrong.