Monday, November 2, 2009

Assorted Boozewaters

Listen to some people talk. Go on! Give it a try. You will be amazed at how stupid some of them are.

(Conscience: Was that necessary?)

Beyond that, however, you may notice that among a certain demographic, any talk of the weekend inevitably includes discussion of alcoholic beverages.

"The lads and I got right skonkered last night! It was a blitz."
"Dude, I was so drunk I couldn't find my house! I spent the night draped over the rafters in some stranger's garage."
"Bluuuughhh. I'm still recovering, man. Don't even get me started."
"Who are you?"
"Me? Stan. Wait. Who are you?"
"Mike. You must be new here."
"Isn't this LemurSponge Industries?"
"Um... No."
"Shit." (Vomits and runs unsteadily away)

We human-types put these little files of experience in a folder labeled "Fun" and so it has been for as long as I can remember. Or at least as long as I was allowed to know that booze existed. I was raised rather conservatively, you see. I was twelve before I found out about "ideas".

Mom's on Facebook with me now, and every mention I make of alcohol is met with a comment warning me not to become a drunken hobo. True, at least 90% of the impetus behind these comments is sheer jocularity, but she IS my mom, after all. Nobody wants their kids to turn into drunken hobos. Or even sober ones.

(A side note: If I am ever to become a hobo, I want to be the grizzled kind that carries around an empty Krispy Kreme box and yells at moths and has epic battles with invisible panthers. I think that could be a rewarding life in its own way.)

She needn't worry herself, though. I don't like the taste, and alcohol's effect on my mood is to turn me into a morose slug. Not exactly the party fuel it is to a lot of folks. If I find myself around these people in one of those places where it's dark and loud and smoky and drinky, I always draw a blank when the waitress asks me what I'll have. Partly this is due to my wasting a good ten minutes trying to figure out why everyone seems to be so happy. Also, the drink menu is as thick as a Tolkien novel.

There are tons of them! And everybody else always seems to know exactly which one they want.

"I'll have a striped nun, heavy on the Jack."
"Minty badger, and could you go easy on the Scope®? Last time it was so minty I couldn't taste the orange peels."
"You got any Stumpy Walrus lager on tap? Bottles? That'll be fine."

Mixed drinks get all the funniest names, but even their components, should the menu name them, are a mystery to me.

"I can't deal with this paucity of information!" I hoot, slapping the menu with the back of my hand. "Do you have anything that doesn't taste like it could fuel a snowmobile? I am a weenie man, if you follow, and I live entirely on various flavors of dew and the prettiest salads imaginable. My delicate, sequin-studded digestive tract cannot handle such caustic fluids. Take this menu from my limp little hands and go burn it, please!"

Well, at least that's how it feels when you're the one ordering coffee or Dr. Pepper at a bar. By the way, don't ever order coffee at a bar. If you like coffee, bar coffee tastes so awful it will make you sad enough to fall down.

All is not lost, though. I've found that hard cider and certain types of beer are not only tolerable, but actually pleasant. They still don't make me confident, witty and attractive to women, but I'm hoping that will develop later. The best part of all is that they have funny names. Woodchuck Cider. Honker's Ale.

Honker's Ale! A friend of mine discovered it in the supermarket refrigerator, sitting there like it was a serious beverage, surrounded by other real drinks. Preposterous bottles of ridiculous beer with pictures of a goose on them! And the silly swine didn't buy any. Didn't want to take the chance on it tasting like farty old wooden park benches. Pah! You don't buy stuff like that because of the taste. You buy it because it says "Honker's Ale" on the bottle! You giggle and snort when you pay for it.

"Can I see your ID, sir?"
"What, for this? This is Honker's Ale, for crying out loud. It comes from Chicago."
"It's beer, so I'm going to have to check your ID."
"Seriously? Some outfit that had the balls to call itself Goose Island made it. It's even got a picture of a goose right on the label! See? Goose."

Well, after I showed them my ID and snickered my way out of the store, my friends and I actually drank it. And it was surprisingly palatable.

In closing, I am becoming more sociable when it comes to alcohol. I'm still not a fan of the way most of it tastes, and how it makes people miss doorways and bonk into walls, but I'm learning.

I do have one rule, though. I will only drink it if it has a funny name. Any suggestions?


  1. I only drink comical booze in the presence of the animal depicted. In other words, only drink Honker's Ale whilst surrounded by a hunk of happy honkers.

  2. I'll do pretty much anything if surrounded by happy honkers. BWAHAHA!!

    No, seriously, I will.

    And I'm suitably ashamed for not immediately purchasing the ale. I have learned my lesson and if I see any Stumpy Walrus I will grab it up on sight.

  3. There is a local out of Holland called Mad Hatter that has, oddly enough, a Mad Hatter on the label--it is my favorite Michigan Micro--an IPA so very hoppy.

    I have a friend shipping me a bottle of Ill-Tempered Gnome, but that is an Oregon brew, so you will need to fly out there to have some.

    I worked for a Microbrewery in Oregon that specialized in Terminator Stout, Hammerhead, and Ruby (a raspberry ale)--you would have been pleased.

    What you want to do, is go to a 'party store' (NOT a grocery--near a college campus is most promising) and look in their micro-brew section. MANY micros have good names and microbrews are fresher (therefore lacking the chemicals that make a lot of the national brands nasty).


  4. Whoa! There's actually a boozwater called Ill-Tempered Gnome? Time to Google that mess!

  5. Thought you'd be pleased with Ill-Tempered Gnome. I think it's brewed out of Eugene (where I did my undergrad and where my friend who swore he could get me a bottle lives). The whole Pacific Northwest though, is all about microbrews. There is some fun stuff.


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