I’d like to say we made it, but there are still a few hours of 2020 left and if I have learned nothing else this year, it is to take nothing for granted. So, I am not gonna make any assumptions, but do hope that we will all make it till midnight and to see the sun rise on a new day. I have had a lot of thoughts about how to end this year and begin the next. It makes sense to look back on what was and celebrate the wins, mourn the losses, but I am not sure I can even remember who we were when this interminable year began, so I am just gonna make a drink and see where that takes us. So, please won’t you join me now as we stand and make an old Uncle Monkey original, the Dumpster Fire.
I grew up during the closing act of the Cold War. A clear idea of who the bad guys were, no doubt that we wore the white hats and had the shining armor. I remember when the Berlin Wall fell. I remember when the Soviet Union split into 15 republics, before those splintered into even more nation states. I recall people celebrating as that world ended, not with the bang we expected, but with a whimper. It wasn’t even clear that it was really over, just one day they weren’t there anymore. I remember my stoic German teacher shaking his head as he reminded me that the world had just gained 15 new nuclear powers, many with a leadership vacuum and that we lived in a much more dangerous and unsure world. That realization hit me. The previous enemy understood the simple risk and complicated peace promised by the balance of mutually assured destruction. Would the new keepers of the keys respect that balance? Do we understand it yet, nearly thirty years on? I don’t know, but it has me thinking today as the snow falls outside, so won’t you please join me as we stand and make the Nuclear Daiquiri.
“There’s nothing to it, lad. Just write down some words till you’ve said it all. Easiest thing in the world” he said as he looked out into the coming storm. “I really don’t understand what all the fuss is about. You know what happened, right?” I nodded in agreement. “Then just tell them the thing, like it happened, maybe add a bit here and there for the spice of it.” It sounded so simple. Of course, it did, things always sound easy, but the doing part was harder. He must’ve seen the doubt in my eyes. “Just start out at the beginning, anything to get them going. Look out that window”. “’Twas a dark and stormy night,” he bellowed ”that’s always a good one. Doesn’t matter if it was dark or stormy, you just need to set the tone. To let them know that a story has begun and it’s time to pay attention; and don’t let the truth of the thing get in the way of a good story. The telling, that’s what matters.” I sighed to myself, took my place behind the bar and in a voice as clear as a bell I called out. “Won’t you please join me now as we stand and make the classic Tipperary.”
It is day 4 of The Thirteen Drinks of Halloween, it is 80-something degrees outside and not feeling fall at all. So, we are going with something a little lighter and more refreshing than your typical Halloween drink. Don’t worry, it is still spooky, booze forward and lovely. So, please join me now as we stand and make The Green Ghost.
Truth is, I got so excited planning something for the coming weeks, that I forgot to actually make a drink for today. It happens, apparently. I don’t want to rush through things, but I am also tired and distracted and a poor host anyway. So, let’s skip the formalities as we stand and make the Wet Congress.
It’s fall y’all, at least that’s what the hand painted sign at the farmer’s market said. Of course, it had decorative candy corn on it, so I’m not sure it can be trusted. Still, it was chilly enough that I slipped a cardigan on over my traditional black t-shirt this morning. I like those orange, red and yellow, leaves though. That breeze pushing them along the way, yeah, I’m fond of that too. Since it will rhyme and make this poetic, please you join me now as we stand and make The Bijou.
I was thinking about the devil tonight and his gambling habit. Seemed like the right thing to do, don’t ask me why. I recalled the lyric “Now, you play a pretty mean fiddle boy…” and thought to myself, what constitutes a “mean fiddle”? Does it bite? Refuse the rosin? Whisper insults in your ear while you play? It would make more sense for the devil to be the one playing the mean fiddle, then I would understand it better. A mean fiddle is one that refuses to sound like a violin and goes with a funky bass thing. You’d be surprised just how long I went down this path, before I came up for air. It was definitely long enough to get a thirst, so won’t you join me now as we stand and make The Mean Fiddler.
We all knew it was coming. Well, a couple of thousand of my closest friends did, anyway. I should be in Rome this weekend, laughing with friends, eating at Jamwich every other meal, setting new records in their escape rooms, grabbing drink at The Forge and generally having a great time. We couldn’t get together for our long weekend of foolishness and adventure this year, but we’ve still got our memories. So, in honor of the fun we’ve had and the fun yet to come, won’t you join me now as we stand and make The Racketeer.
It’s rainy and yucky and full of ennui today with more of the same in the forecast, but that is no reason to not have a drink. It does make choosing a little more challenging. Part of me wants to go tropical or tiki, part of me wants to do something scotch heavy and autumnal and part of me wants to skip the whole thing and curl up with a good book. However, duty calls, so I am going for a riff on an old friend adapted for a dreary fall day. Won’t you please join me now as we stand and make, The Final Ward.
Starting is the hard part. That’s goes for most anything. Overcoming inertia. Once you get started things just roll right along, for the most part. Then it is sometimes hard to stop. Inertia gets you coming and going, that’s life. That’s what all the people say, anyway. That’s also why we are having this drink. Won’t you please join me now as we stand and make, the Piña Verde.