Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Only on a dare

Only on a Dare
I almost started this story with the words, “I don’t know when my goldfish started talking to me,” but that would have been a bald faced lie. I know exactly when it started; April 13th 2007. I know exactly what his first words to me were too. I didn’t want to get up for work so I had hit the snooze button on my alarm clock four times in a row. The fifth time the alarm went off I just laid there in bed feeling tired and sorry for myself. The buzzer was droning on, in its scratchy bi-tonal buzz like some sort of angry robotic cricket. I did not have the energy to even roll over and turn off the alarm. After 7 minutes of this I heard a splashing from the corner where my aquarium sits and an angry voice started shouting at me. “Turn off the that dig darn diddly alarm clock already would you neighbor?"
At that moment, 8:27 am I learned that I not only had a talking goldfish; but he sounded just like an angry Ned Flanders. And even worse was that I could not get him to talk again. I would stand above his tank and beg him to talk. I would reach up and flick his nose as he was eating. I would threaten to dump bleach in his water. I mentioned the 50s college fad of swallowing goldfish. Nothing worked. The little jerk refused to say another word. He’d just swim around and do fishy type things. But every once in a while right when I would give up, he would sort of look at me and smile that little smug smile that fish get and I would want to punch him in his little pisces face.
I had given up trying to talk to him and the routine was once again setting in. Get up. Go to work. Come home. Feed my fish. Watch TV. The weekends were the exact same except I wouldn’t go to work. I’d just sit at home in my underwear and eat hot pockets and play on my X-Box all day. Every once in a while a friend would call and I would go out and drink beer at some greasy pizza joint. About four months after I had given up I was watching TV at three in the morning. It was a work night but I couldn’t sleep and had already decided to call in sick the next day. There was nothing on except for infomercials, ads for Girls Gone Wild, and some show on the History Channel featuring David Carradine talking about cowboy technology. The Kung Fu bastard had even stolen the show from own brother. The jerk couldn’t even let Keith have his own showing without butting in. During the commercials I started flipping channels again, praying that in the last 8 minutes something miraculous would happen and there would be something interesting on TV. No such luck. I started idly watching an ad for a blender called the Magic Bullet. After a few moments of watching some jerk face limey presenter making breakfast for various tropes/houseguest I was ready to flip back to David Carradine explaining about how advanced prostitution was in the Wild West. As I flipped away from the infomercial I heard a voice pipe up from the corner.
“Dude, think you can switch back? I love that commercial. Cracks me up every time.” I didn’t want to jinx the moment, so I flipped back to the previous channel and turned the volume up.
And all you have to do is put the cheese in the Magic Bullet carafe and blend for four seconds…one…two…three…four. Remove the base and screw on the microwave safe lid. Microwave for 35 seconds then PRESTO, instant nachos.”
“Man I don’t even like nachos, but that looks so good right now.” The fish said.
I was astounded. All I could say was “Why don’t you like nachos? I thought everyone likes nachos?”
“Lactose intolerant. Makes me poo something fierce.”
“When the fuck did you get nachos?”
“Dude, it was before I met you.” And he left it at that. I didn’t want to press it, so my fish and I watched the TV in silence for a few more minutes. “Really what I love in this ad is the characters. You have the know-it-all brit with the non threatening yet exotic accent. His attractive yet not distracting wife. He is showing off his Magic Bullet to a hungover brother in law, his doting wife, a shrill know-it-all Aunt complete with the nasty cigarette dangling from her lips. Its like art. I do not know if the ad writers are making fun of the viewers or if this is just a really clever sell. Is this parody or is it real? All I know is that I don’t have any arms yet I really really really want a Magic Bullet now.”
“Can I ask you a question?”
“Why did you sound like Ned Flanders last time, but now you sound like some of stoned college kid?”
The fish laughed that in that gravely, phlegmatic laugh that fish have. “That was on a bet. You should have seen the look on your face. I don’t how I kept it straight the entire time.”
I let it go at that. The rest of the evening was spent watching late night infomercials, critiquing their various sales pitches. He knew quite a bit about George Foreman’s life story; surprisingly much for a fish. He also did not like the Ronco rotisserie machines. He thought the sound stage/test kitchen presentation in front of a live audience was played out. He thought Ron Popeil was a shill.

I dunno what his beef was. Ron's okay in my book.

When I got up the morning, my fish was dead. That was a shame because he was kind of a cool guy if you like talking about late night infomercials. After he really opened up that evening I found out he was a little racist, but then no one’s perfect. I didn’t get too worked up over his death though. He might have been a talking goldfish, but he was still just a goldfish. I flushed him and went about my business. Although to this day I have no idea who dared him to talk like Ned Flanders. That’s going to bother me for a while.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Jay Johnston is a sorceror

I want to take a moment to discuss with you a topic that is of utmost importance. I think Jay Johnston is trying to subliminally control us all. You may think you don’t know who he is, but trust me; you do. Jay Johnston plays “Officer Jay McPherson” on the Sarah Silverman Program, the mustachioed American who is married to Sarah’s crazy hot nurse sister. Seriously, people go on and on about how hot Sarah Silverman is, but I don’t see it. Her sister though is quite simply crazy amounts of hot. Why has no one mentioned this yet? And bear in mind that Sarah Silverman is seriously like 53 years old. She was on SNL when Chevy Chase was a cast member, I am not freaking lying. Look it up if you have to. Oh, it was during Chris Elliot’s tenure. My bad. You know he wrote a book about a time travelling detective and was sued by the creators of Boiler Plate, the Victorian Era Supersoldier/Robot? None of that is made up.

A few weeks ago I was watching a rerun of the Sarah Silverman Program on Comedy Central, and despite the constant intake of Red Bull and amphetamines I take for legitimate medical reasons, I was feeling inordinately groggy and suggestible. The feeling lasted for approx 22 minutes, then I was back to my normal state of confused agitation and was taking apart the telephone for the fourth time that day. I had the strangest feeling of déjà vu, that for some reason JJ (my pet name for Mr Johnston) was entirely too familiar-as was my general feeling of malaise and impressionability . Then it struck me… JJ is one of the most prolific actors playing the roles of cops in comedy setting stretching back for over a decade! His influence goes back into the last freaking millennium for Christ sakes! Look at this list here:

Community ('10)
The Sarah Silverman Program ('07-'10)
Reno 911! ('09)
Last Laugh '06 ('06)
Arrested Development ('04-'05)
Hollywood Palms ('01)
Tenacious D ('00)
Desperate But Not Serious ('99)
Mr Show (’98)

We're onto you, bastard!

In all of these shows he has played a law enforcement officer of one type or another. And suspect that we are being hypnotized during each of his appearances as a cop in these shows. I do not know who is behind this… Hollywood, Freemasons, The Government, The Devotants of Mahlegeth, or Jay “Undead Sorcerer of Great Power” Johnston himself, but I need to find out. Please let me know if you have any leads, as this insidious conspiracy has to end. Jay Johnston is a menace, and I just need the “proof” and “evidence” and “motive” to prove it.

Jeez, what does he have against Oscar Bluth!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Mimosas equal happiness

Who here loves mimosas? Go on, raise your hands. That’s what I thought, everyone! You can put your hands down, you look like an idiot and I can’t really see you (or can I???) In case you don’t know, mimosas are not only a pretty flower, but its also one of my favorite drinks! You see, if society frowns on drinking before 5 pm then drinking before noon really puts it patooter in a panic. As a result high society decided to invent two drinks that you can enjoy with your brunch without being labeled a terrible disgusting lush. One is of course the invigorating bloody mary. It packs a dual punch of nutrients and liquor, and is a great way to get your morning going. It does carry a slight stigma of being the morning drink of the hung over boozehound and vicious cougars. As a result, I tend to favor mimosa’s in the morning. Basically equal parts OJ and champagne, it brings an element of class to your search for the morning fix. While your friends and family frown with concern when you crack open a Budweiser with your morning eggs, they all smile and applaud when you pop open a bottle of bubbly and spike your juice. It quirky, fun, and non threatening.

I even have a saying, “Houseguests get mimosas.” Right behind “Pants are for Suckers*” I strive to embrace this mantra as the pinnacle of hospitality. What houseguest doesn’t want to wake up to warm bacon, fresh eggs, and a nice crisp mimosa on a lazy weekend morning.

Oh I can just taste it right now...

I have even invented a special drink for mornings in which a normal mimosa just won’t cut it. I call it the “Red Bull Mimosa.” Two parts champagne to one part Red Bull, this twist on AM indulging really delivers in both the taste and kick department. I have found that the acidic raspberry flavor of the Red Bull serves as a suitable replacement for the OJ without watering down the bubbly as the traditional mixer does.

Red Bull, not just a drink anymore...

So now, do you have any mid morning treats to share? What sort of unleaded goes in your tank to get things rolling?

*Editors Note: I was shocked to learn that I am not the only one using this phrase, "Pants are for Suckers." I googled it as writing this article, and other people have been using it exactly I have to describe the growing disdain for pants that people rightfully developing. Who knew?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Jungle Joose tastes like sin

It was 10:30 am on a Saturday morning. I was driving a stolen UHaul to help move some televisions of dubious origin. Along the way I was going to pick up a buddy to help me load the goods. “Just pull off the on-ramp and pick me up. I’ll be the guy who looks like a homeless man” he told me on the telephone. Sure enough, when I got on the ramp, there was Ed in grungy clothing, a beggard’s sign pleading for food, and several cans of malt liquor.

Well actually, most aspects of the above story is not true. Can you guess which part is 100% true? You guessed it, Ed waiting for me at a highway on-ramp with a shit-ton of malt liquor at 10:30 in the morning is completely true. I had recently bought a house, and in order to facilitate the move Ed thought it best to pick up some malt liquor to get us in the mood to spend the day lifting heavy objects. He bought a four pack of Sparks and a horrid abomination called “Jungle Joose.” Somehow I resisted the urge to partake, using the lame excuse that I had “several hours of hard lifting and UHaul driving ahead of me” and that “getting blitzed out of my gourd was the worst idea since they cancelled the Chevy Chase Show in 1993.” Despite being called a weakling and a sissy-boy I was able to maintain sobriety and only tried a sip. Even trying only enough to write a review I still have to say that I failed my saving throw, and lost a full 6 points off my sanity level.

According to label it’s a “Premium Malt Beverage” that is spiked with “natural flavors, taurine, ginseng, caffeine, and certified colors.” I just want to be upfront and tell you that the “certified color” is some sort of horrid green nightmare. This can never be packaged in a bottle, as you body will not physically let you drink anything that shade of green without vomiting (editors note: Ecto-cooler juice boxes were a similar shade. Thus proving that kids are disgustingly gross cretins with odious personal habits.) The smell is off-putting. It has a sickly sweet smell that reminds you of rot and corruption. The flavor that hits you as you tilt back the 24 oz tall boy is cheap gin and gross soda.

The one thing it does have going for it is the fact that is pack a ridonkulous 9.9% ABV and it comes in a 23.5 oz can. Let break that down a bit; that equates to 695ml and a normal bottle of wine had 750ml and the roughly the same ABV. Drinking an entire can is like guzzling most of a bottle of wine. So lets recap… For about $2.50 you can buy almost the equivalent of a bottle of wine in malt liquor form, nearly vomit from the fact it tastes like the nastiest gin you can find mixed with the most nastiest fruit soda you can find, take in enough sugar to give you diabetes, and get ripped for a week straight on caffeine and taurine. This vile concoction should be renamed “bad idea in a can.” I think the police should just arrest you the moment you walk out of the store with it, because you are obviously high on something. And the can is just a visual abortion. Who are they trying to appeal to? Hardcore drunks? Sorry, we have more class than that. Maybe they are trying to appeal to high schoolers and the mentally deficient, because that’s the only people who will be attracted by the retina searing can. It even comes pre-chilled and sold individually in the freezer case, ready to be drank in the car on the way home. I honestly have nothing good to say about this product.

Even history's greatest lush won't touch this dreck!

I suppose the real lesson to be learned in this post is to never trust Ed.

He was even a subversive baby mini-lush!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Honoring Mahlegeth

In honor of the Infernal Glutton and Glorious Omnigester Mahlegeth the Devourer, the staff of Days of Booze Magazine are hosting a contest! Post or link your idea for a drink honoring our favorite Elder God!

"'Lo,' said Mahlegeth, 'and go forth. Muliply and make plenty. For as the shepard tends his flock, I will devour you as well." --Book of the Devourer 1:1-3"

As an example, take boring old Champagne and add a candied hibiscus flower from our buddies at Think Geek and...

By the Nine Tongues, its now a drink fitting for the most devout Devotant! The possibilities are endless! So lets combine my two hobbies, drinking and worshipping Mahlegeth and lets make some thing special!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

New Belgium makes my Mudder's Milk

From the moment you lay your eyes on the three lassies frolicking on the label, you are reminded that all good things come in threes. The Trippel by the New Belgium Brewing Company out of Fort Collins Colorado is certainly no exception. According to the brewer, the label is adorned with Zeus’s daughters Aglaia, Euphrosyne, and Thalia who represent splendor, mirth, and good cheer. All three of which immediately come to mind as I taste this beer. The first thing you notice is the thick, almost fruity smell that the beer gives off. As it hits your tongue you are enveloped by the sweet clovelike flavor that is present in a lot of Belgian beers. The hop character is present but not overpowering. Made with Saaz hops, it struggles to get past the clove and citrusy flavor. Not a bad thing by any account, certainly not if you are a fan of Belgian beer and their proclivity for using coriander and sugar candies as flavoring adjuncts. One thing though that you do not immediately notice is the alcohol content. At 7.8% ABV this is actually on the weak side for a trippel, but it still makes for a fairly potent beer. It is all too easy to lose yourself in this orangey/amber liquid and wonder why you are laying on the floor after consuming three too many.

To put it simply this sweet, thick, boozey beer is my Mudder’s Milk. What is Mudder’s Milk? Segue! Hop into the way-back machine and set the dial to 2002. Turn on FOX and watch the failed Joss Whedon sci-fi series Firefly. A bold mixture of science fiction and western, it was doomed to fail from the beginning. It has enjoyed quite the popularity on DVD and even spawned a movie, Serenity. But back in 2002 it died a quick death after airing only 11 of the 14 produced episodes. Do I blame FOX for its demise? No, I blame us dammit. Right quick, all you fellow sci-fi geeks out there raise your hands. Now who loves Firefly? I see a lot of hands still up, good. It was a terrific show. Now who watched it when it was on TV? I see like one hand up, and please note that it is not even mine. None of us watched it when it was on! We all watched later in 2004 or 2005 because some overzealous drooling friend forced us to try it on DVD. All of us know that guy, and some of us BECAME that guy. We thought he was nuts, but we indulged him. Perhaps we were curious ourselves. Perhaps we were afraid he would stab us. But we relented and gave the show a try. Then like crack we had to watch the entire series in one sitting. Then when we found out there were only 14 episodes we punched holes in the walls as withdrawal set in. But is it FOX’s fault that only 14 episodes were made? NO! ITS OURS! Had we watched it when it was on TV they would still be making episodes! Hell, they even had a second shot with their movie Serenity. If the movie did well in the box office, then they had a solid shot at reviving the series (albeit maybe in film form). But NO! They only made $38MM in the theaters, and they had a budget of $39MM! Granted it has since done well on video but it cannot make up for the fact that we science fiction fans are collectively a bunch of LAZY FAT FREAKS WHO CAN’T GET OFF THEIR ASPERGERIC ASSES AND STOP PLAYING WoW FOR TWO GOD-DAMNED HOURS TO HELP REBOOT A SERIES THAT THEY DROOL OVER and instead blame everyone but themselves.

Click the ads or Jayne will shoot you in the face

Deep breath now. OK, in the series there is a planet that produces an exceptionally fine mud that is the crucial organic component to a ceramic compound, and it is mined by indentured servants. To keep them complacent they are constantly fed “Mudder’s Milk” which is basically a high calorie alcoholic drink that supplement’s their diet with carbs while keeping them nicely sloshed. New Belgium’s Trippel is my version of Mudder’s Milk. Supply me with an endless supply (and an overseer with a whip keeping me in line) and I will build you a rocking set of pyramids. Seriously, I will slave and toil for you just give me that beer. Hang it on a string and dangle it in front of me like a carrot and I will plow the entire freaking Midwest. If the Midwest is the nation’s bread basket than I am the mental patient weaving the wicker.

Seriously, feed me this beer and you will have one of these in your backyard. One week. Maybe two, tops.

Another item of note? The New Belgium Brewing Co is run by hippies. That’s a plus if you into that sort of thing. I guess.

Actual portrait of head brewer. I swear.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Columbia MO SantaCon 2009 After Action Review

OK all you drunks out there in InterNets land, if you haven’t yet please go out to a SantaCon before you die. If you enjoy drinking, carousing, and dressing like Santa then it should be right up your alley. If you hate those things, then I suppose you are up poo poo creek.

Before we get started, you can see a lot of pics from the two photographers who followed us here:
Great photos from Notley Hawkins here on his Flickr site (Notley Hawkins is my new favorite person)
Weak Sauce pictures here on the Columbia Tribune.

On Friday 12/18/2009 in Columbia MO we kicked off the evening at McNalley’s. We walked in at 9 pm expecting a large crowd of Santas… But alas we were the only ones! At that point the five of us started wondering if we were stood up by flaky Santas. It would not have been that surprising. But luck be on our side, by 9:15 more Santa’s started pouring in. At 10 pm after many beers and a nip of scotch from my new girly birthday present/pink leopard skin flask (thanks Kara! That was some mighty fine scotch!), we moved onto our next stop.

Flatbranch! Now Flatbranch is one of my favorite places to eat in Columbia. It is a microbrewery that serves its own version of Americana Pub Food. It for sure one of the treasures of Columbia. Is it a place for drunk Santas to make fools of themselves? Not really. I felt out of place there and was itching to move on. (And a creepy Columbia Tribune photographer took my picture while I was peeing. Seriously, what's up with that peervy creep?)

Next up was Addison’s. Addison’s is also one of my favorite eateries in town (see a trend here? I love the dining options in downtown Columbia) I cannot say enough good things about their American fusion menu other than that you have to have a New Belgium beer there while you try their Nachos Bianca. Go ahead, go now. I’ll wait. Back now? Good, wasn't it? Back to the story: At that point in the night your boozey blogger had to switch to club soda, even though we were just 1 ½ hours in. I know, I’m a weak Santa.

At 11 pm we made out way to Back Alley Bar. That made Santa feel old. I do not do particularly care for poorly lit dance clubs with loud music. I like comfy chairs with a glass of nice booze and conversation with friends. So I was pleased when we moved on. 11:30 we attacked Tellers. They seemed happy to see us there, and someone tagged the bathroom with graffiti. That was not cool. Santa does not condone such hooliganism. Is there no help for a widows son?

Midnight found us wandering to our next drinking hole. On the way I ran into the bassist for Common Era (The coolest Joy Division cover band ever). I was ready to stay and drink with them, but an attractive reindeer pushed me towards our next stop instead. Rag Tag Cinecafe’ has a new location nearish to Eastsides Tavern and they put a big bar in front of it. I know, makes sense right? Huge bar in a movie theater? But it was perhaps the most fun of all the locations so far. Perhaps that had something to do with the fact I had been drinking for three hours…

Finally at 12:30 I got to meet up with my non-Santa (read slightly lame) friends at Eastsides. Sadly, they had stopped serving beer when we arrived. Happily they were stills serving shots! Whiskey and Jaeger for this Santa! Sal Nuccio, the owner of the bar, also slipped BOGO drink coupons into our pockets at one point in the night! Go Sal! He has my vote in the 2010 vote for the mayor of Columbia. Seriously go to his facebook event page and check it out!
(**Editor's note: The reporter of this peice was apparently in no condition to tell time. He apparently got to Eastsides after 1 am! He has been written up for sloppy reporting. OOOPS***)

At 1 AM the night finally ended and we tried to get in line at El Ranchos. Only some of our party got in. Oh well. We retired to my new Columbia residence with El Ranchos and quickly fell asleep with dreams of sugar plums dancing in our heads. The first SantaCon in Columbia was a rousing success! Thanks Liz for organizing.

This man will be our next president one day.

Postscript: What do hung over Santas do the next day? Champagne and Red Bull. It’s the mimosas of the future.