Inside the Mind of the Monkey

There are more than just bananas in there...

The Patriot

We are always in transition. It’s the nature of the game, but we don’t always realize it. Sure, we get the graduations and marriages and all of those big days, but lots of life changing moments pass us by without fanfare, only recognizable in hindsight. For most folks, you don’t know when it happen and that’s, mostly, a good thing. As a kid, how long would you hold on if you knew it was the last time your mom was going to pick you up? How tight would you hold your own child if you realized how soon they were going to grow too large for you to carry them in from the car. We wouldn’t be able to function. How would you ever be able to say goodbye and walk away if you knew that this was the last cup of coffee you were ever going to share with a friend? Sometimes, we are blessed by ignorance. We know that all of those things are going to happen, eventually, but that’s off in the future and nothing to worry about today. So, with a nod toward those little moments, the firsts and the lasts that sweep us by, won’t you please join me now as we stand and make The Patriot.

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The Brazilian Smuggler

It’s properly hot today. Seriously, searingly hot. The temp is pegged at 100° with the humidity in close pursuit. It’s a stand in the shade as you melt sort of scorcher out there. Which is why I am in here, making a drink. Something cool, refreshing, summery and full of life giving hydration, perfect for replenishing those bodily fluids when you know you should be out there mowing the lawn So, if you prefer being cool to languishing in the sun with the rest of the hotheads, won’t you join me now as we stand and make The Brazilian Smuggler.

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Count Mast

He did not want the drink I had offered him. I got that. On some level, it made sense. After all, I had been making custom shots from a multitude of ingredients for everyone else, and I simply poured him a long pull of Jägermeister. Was it a bit lazy on my part? Sure. To be fair, he had been talking about doing bombs in college, while waiting in line, just moments before in a way that seemed a fond remembrance. What to do now, as we found ourselves in a bit of a stand off. I did not want to argue, but I was making the shots, so I got to call them. I just locked eyes and waited. After a pause, he opened, “it’s just that, well, in college, umm, well…” then I got it. He’d been poorly treated by this spirit. No wanting to prolong his discomfort, I poured an apple whiskey, topped it with blueberry schnapps and pushed it across the bar to him, before slowly and deliberately picking up that Jäger shot for a silent toast, before slowly drinking it down. As he walked away, I thought, it was a shame that he wasn’t willing to give it a chance. There are lots of things that hurt when done to excess that can be heavenly, in moderation. So, with a nod to the ghosts of college parties past, won’t you join me now as we stand and make the Count Mast.

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The Afterlife

“Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to get through this thing called life. Electric word, life. It means forever and that’s a mighty long time, but I’m here to tell you there is something else…” That’s how he called us all to attention on the opening track of Purple Rain. Letting us know that what was to come after would be like nothing else and that, if we completed the journey, we would be forever changed. Then he blew our minds. So, with a nod to the purple one won’t you please join me now as we stand and make, the Afterlife.

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Tatanka

There is something so alluring about the forbidden. Doesn’t much matter what it is. If it is off limits, it intrigues us. The promise of an experience unknown to the masses always tempts us to take that road less travelled, often in spite of our best intentions or the consequences. Ever since Eve decided she wanted to know more and spent a pleasant afternoon with that serpent and the fruit plate, we have been chasing the things denied to us. So, with a nod toward a sin that hardly seems original, won’t you join me now as we stand and make the Tatanka.

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Classic Daiquiri

The time has come to break some eggs and make an omelette. This is long overdue. Had I started this with any sort of plan this would have been Drink: One, in my personal lexicon. That said, on day one, I was not ready to make this very simple drink. I had not learned the skills, more importantly, I did not have the wisdom and experience to appreciate the importance of creating balance in a glass. So, with a nod toward our never ending quest to understand things more clearly, won’t you join me now as we stand and make the Classic Daiquiri.

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Daiquiri Noir

“If you know what’s good for ya, you’ll knock it off. You don’t mess with a classic, see?” came a gruff voice from the shadows. I wasn’t worried, most of these tough guys weren’t so tough once the chips were down. “What’s it to ya, bub?” I shot back, slipping my hand in my pocket, casually, “It’s my liquor, my glass…my town.” He stepped forward into the dim glow of the streetlight, his fedora still hid his eyes but I could see the stubble on his chin when he opened his mouth to say, “Drinking can be bad for your health. A lot of guys don’t realize that…” the words just hung there, a challenge. I did not know what to do. I mean, I wasn’t scared of this two-bit character clearly imagined for an opening paragraph only to be forgotten later, but I was also in a bit off a hurry. Still, if word got out that I’d gone soft, it would be nothing but headaches from every punk with a boston shaker and a shiny new jigger. “You sure seem interested in other folks business, mister. You got any peer reviewed evidence to back up that smart mouth?” He looked me up and down. I could feel him sizing me up, trying to decide if that lump in my pocket was the proverbial banana or something more sinister. He tipped his hat back, wide-eyed, “Look, I don’t want any trouble, mister. Louie slipped me a fiver to give you that message. Honest. I’m just trying to make a living, hitting my marks and telling the truth. I didn’t mean nothing by it.” I eyed him. He looked like an honest kid, once he got over playing it the hard way. I gave him the head nod, dismissing him. As he ran away, after him, “The classics were made to be experimented with. That’s part of the charm, you fool. They are the very basis of our cocktail lexicon and if we don’t mess with them we stagnate…slowly dying…here in the fog.” But he did not hear me, he’d already moved on to the next part. Bit characters never get it, they don’t hang around long enough to learn anything. Not like us real characters, the ones with names, the kinds of guys and dolls who get mentioned in the credits as they stand and make the Daiquiri Noir.

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Cinnamon Toast Crunch

I like to argue. It’s true. It’s fun to engage in in a witty back and forth where both parties learn something, I don’t really argue to win, there is no point in that, but I love the process of examining things to make sure we have thought them through. I try my best to always be open to changing my mind, when I learn more about anything. I think that is important. Hell, sometimes, when I argue I am trying to get at what I truly believe as much as learning what you think. Most of the time I don’t even really care which side I am on as long as we are keeping the conversation going, exchanging ideas. It’s a good way to figure out what really matters to you and what just seems clever. I am a contrarian through and through when it comes to working through the process, but after we argue for fun, I have no problem telling you what I actually think, So, in the spirit of proving a point I don’t even care about, won’t you join me now as we stand and make Cinnamon Toast Crunch.

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Scotch Violets

“Sometimes, you can almost smell her perfume on the wind. Almost.” he said, to no one in particular. That faraway look told me he wasn’t really with us in that moment and I did not want to intrude, wherever he had wandered. I got it, though. It’s usually the other way around for me. A passing scent suddenly evoking a memory of a time, place or face long gone. They say that smell is more connected to memory than the other senses combined and I believe it. Still, I knew what he was feeling. It wasn’t quite pain and not quite joy, just a recognition of loss. So, in the spirit of people, places and things long gone, but still alive in our memories, won’t you join me now as we stand and make the Scotch Violets.

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That’s Hot

I am never quite sure how you measure success. I am pretty sure it is something other people achieve, it always just escapes my grasp. Call it impostor syndrome if you wish, but no matter what I do, I never quite feel like I have made enough of a difference in the world. Even with the good stuff, there is always a way we could have done it better or helped more people. It’s ok, I am used to it, even when the story runs above the fold with a headline and color picture, there has to be something we could do better. So, with a nod toward making a difference, even when it doesn’t quite feel like it, won’t you join me now as we stand and make the reader submitted, That’s Hot.

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