Sometimes, you want something rich and creamy. A dessert drink, if you will or if you won’t, it makes no real difference to me. I am not a huge fan of this class of drinks, but I was intrigued by the smoky scotch component, so here we are. Won’t you please join me now, as we stand and make the White Knight.
It appears to be the first day of spring and the weather, clearly, got the memo. The last day of winter was overcast, misty, cold with a wind blowing out of the north that would cut right through you. A good evening for curling up next to the fire with a hot drink, which I did, before snuggling into the covers. They say things can change overnight, and they weren’t kidding. Our winter of discontent, was made glorious Spring by this sun, presumably the same as in York. It was straight up hot today driving around with the windows down and the sunroof open. So in the spirit of keeping our cool amidst the temperature swings of outrageous fortune won’t you join me as we stand and make the Penichillin.
“Brrrr! It’s cold outside, Aqua Sleep Man!” he said as they stared at him blankly. It turns out he had read the room wrong and quoting local Nashville advertisements from the 80’s was not making him any friends. Maybe they weren’t from around here, maybe they weren’t waterbed aficionados, either way, he had clearly chosen the wrong opener. “I just mean to say that it has turned unseasonably chilly”, he went on as they remained unmoved or impressed. “Perhaps, it is the damp, rather than the actual temperature, which, to be fair is only in the 40’s, unless you are from literally anywhere else in the world, in which case it is 4°, but with the winds it just feels…” he trailed off as they turned their attention elsewhere, dismissing him as a bit of a crank. That did not change the fact that he was cold or that he really felt the need for some sort of warm pick me up to make him feel better. Noting that no one was actually tending the bar, he slipped behind it and thought better of asking the crowd if they would join him now as he stood to make the Hot Penicillin.
Spring is just around the corner. I know because the buttercups are blooming right along side the flutterbups. You can’t always trust them, sometimes they pop up and hold their little heads high above the snow, but mostly, when you see them, you can start looking for your shorts. I have a particular field of buttercups that I always look for, planted on “the home place” by my great grandma Fannie Taylor, affectionately known throughout the family as “Mammy”. Every year, when that field where the old house stood turns yellow, we stop one afternoon to pick Mammy’s buttercups. There is no real need, I have some of them transplanted to my house, as does my mom and my grandma, but there is something nice about walking across that field where my grandpa played and worked as a little boy and my mom learned to ride a bike. So, in the spirit of connection and the little rituals that make us who we are, won’t you join me now as we stand and make the classic, Mamie Taylor.
There are lots of things that were not made to stand the test of time. Well, not originally, anyway. I often cringe when I look back at things I loved in the past, especially entertainment. A few days ago, I was explaining the allure of Knight Rider to the K.I.D.D. Honestly, I was trying to explain the whole vehicle as hero thing, embodied in that show, Airwolf, Battle of the Planets and even the Dukes of Hazzard. How we would sit there and watch, rapt, as we waited for the next appearance of the vehicle on screen, doing heroic stuff, often using the same clips shown over and over, repackaged each week as if they were new. I checked the current exchange rates and found that pictures are still worth 1,000 words each and that depending on the provenance, moving pictures could be incalculably more valuable in conveying messages to young, impressionable minds. After checking my account, I fired up some Knight Rider for the boy and cringed as 48 year old me was embarrassed for how much 10 year old me loved that show. To be fair, I wasn’t listening to the dialogue or trying to follow the one plot they repainted and passed off as new each week, I was just waiting for the car and the action. As bad as the show was, there were some moments of brilliance, and that Trans Am disguised as the Knight Industries Two Thousand, still rocks. So, in the spirit of the things that survived the test of time to outlast their inspiration, please join me as we stand and make, the Rob Roy.
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.
Travis McGee said, “Every day, no matter how you fight it, you learn a little more about yourself, and all most of it does is teach humility.” I remember the first time I read those words and thought to myself, “Yeah, right.” I still had the confident ignorance of youth going for me and I had no idea just how much I did not yet know. To be fair, I don’t know all that much now, but at least I am aware of just how much I have yet to learn. As Mark Twain once mused “Good judgment is the result of experience and experience is the result of bad judgement.” Well, I have a ton of experience, which has not necessarily translated into sound judgment. Call it a moral failing but there are some lessons I have not been able to learn, no matter how often life has tried to teach them to me. So in the hope that an old dog can still expand his repertoire of tricks, won’t you please join me as we stand and make the ever elusive, yet remarkably accessible, Bananakin Skywalker.
One could argue that it is a historic day, as the second impeachment trial of the former president begins in the Capitol. You’d be right, of course. While that is certainly interesting, I don’t much care. I mean, I care more than many of the Senators present do, but not enough to dig into it, when there is something much more serious happening today. This is National Pizza Day. Admittedly, I do not hold with these manufactured holidays, possibly because I have been involved in helping to craft a few of them on the state and local level and I know their value. However, pizza. Yes, that is the crux of my entire defense. A defense at least as valid and stated far more succinctly than any other I have heard today. So, in the spirit of symbolic gestures full of sound and fury ultimately meaning nothing, well, nothing more than a full tummy, I invite you, honored members of the audience to join me now as we stand and make, The Godfather.
Last night, I got a video call from a dear friend who I had not spoken with in far too long. We caught up on the events of this crazily uneventful year. We marveled at how the kids and grandkids, in her case, have grown. We laughed about past adventures around the world, and began to plan, tentatively and optimistically, for the trips to come. It was a really nice surprise and made the whole family happy to get to see each other and chat and feel kinda normal for a little while. So, in the spirit of those old friends who keep you sane, won’t you join me as we stand and make, the Wildest Redhead.
There are odd memories that percolate up from a misspent childhood and one of them involves this drink, a family friend that I did not trust and a lesson learned. It is funny the things you forget until some little trigger brings them back in full technicolor. The first sip of this drink tonight brought back an afternoon many moons ago, when I was younger than my son is now. So, with a nod to forgotten youth, won’t you pease join me now as we stand and make the Rusty Nail.