I celebrated a birthday yesterday, which always puts me in an odd state of mind. Nothing like that turning of the page to remind one of their own mortality. As I close in on a half century of mistreating myself on a reasonably epic scale it becomes harder and harder to deny that no matter how long the race, I am definitely on the back stretch approaching the turn for home. That’s alright of course, it’s the natural order of things, but I still have work to do and I am doing my best to hang around for the final act. So, in the spirit of unusual occurrences along the journey of indefinite length, won’t you please join me now as we stand and make the Death Flip.
It’s hard to believe we have been doing this for nearly a year now. Who would have known that when I made that first drink for my birthday in 2020, that we would still be here making daily drinks in 2021. There’s something to be said for that, foolish consistencies being what they are and whatnot. I’m gonna take a note from those early drinks and go short on the philosophizing and long on the drink making, so please won’t you join me now as we stand and make the Bywater.
Sometimes you know things aren’t going to work out. Not to be a pessimist, but I have concerns about tonight’s drink. It won’t be the drink’s fault, I am just not feeling it. I realized halfway through that I had chosen a drink from my big list of possibilities that I wasn’t particularly excited about. It is almost like I instinctively knew to not waste any effort on making something I was looking forward to. Without considering things, I chose a drink that I was less likely to enjoy thereby setting up the conditions to make my prophecy self-fulfilling. It happens. So, in the spirt of unconscious self-sabotage, won’t you join me now as we stand and make the Ce Soir.
Asimov said, “Education isn’t something you can finish.” In fact, he wrote a great deal on the subject and the ridiculous idea that formal education was a rite of passage and that once you have passed beyond it you should leave reading books, having ideas and asking questions behind with other childish things. When I found myself with a surplus of experimental smoky scotch and banana based tiki drinks, rather than laying them aside, I opted to delve a little deeper into this bit of nearly forgotten lore. So, in that spirit of continuing education, won’t you join me now as we stand and make, The Banana Stand.
It is cold enough out there today for this child of more temperate climes. They are calling for a proper ice and snow storm tonight or tomorrow or the next day or some other indeterminate time in the future. The important thing to remember is that during the challenging times to come, no matter what, you must not be caught without ample supplies of milk and bread. To avoid this fate we ventured out today for supplies. It was 26° with freezing fog and since we were already cold, we decided to hike a couple of miles in a local park and climb the highest hill we could find. Needless to say, we need something to warm us up this evening, so, won’t you join me now as we stand and make the Chartreuse Toddy.
“You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you.” Do you understand these rights? Probably not. Most of us haven’t made a close study of them. Although the rights protected are enshrined in the Constitution, they were not formalized into the “Miranda Warning” that must be issued when you are taken into custody or interrogated until 1966. Turns out things work better when people are made aware of their rights. Seems like a better focus on civics curriculum and making sure that people actually understand our founding documents and the rights protected by them would be a great place to start. I bet that if more people bothered to read the instructions for our republic, we’d have less call to have to inform them of their rights, but I could be wrong. I often am. So, in the spirit of better understanding the national EULA, won’t you please join me now, as we stand and make the 5th Amendment.
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. I am just gonna make a drink and see where that takes us. So, won’t you please 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.