“I meant what I said and I said what I meant. An elephant’s faithful one-hundred percent!” That’s why he was there, enduring hardship after hardship, while Mayzie jetted off to Palm Beach, leaving him holding the bag. Horton keeps his promise, despite ridicule, being captured and carried away, because he was being 100% faithful to a lazy bird who abandoned him and the future, embodied in an egg. Tell me that is not a story for the kids to learn from. It’s got it all, that Dr. Seuss was a clever fella. So, with a nod toward the past and an eye on the present, won’t you join me now as we stand and make The Mastadon.

That’s not a misspelling, or at least it is not mine. Yep, a wooly mammoth is spelled “Mastodon” and this tiki drink is spelled “Mastadon” for reasons that are not immediately clear, beyond the obvious nautical reference. That’s not where the differences end, for example, only one of them is really welcome in my kitchen. The origin of the Mastodon is a bit murky, since there is quite a bit of debate on whether it was created by evolutionary or divine forces or some combination of both. The Mastadon, on the other hand was created by Alex Smith, of San Francisco’s wonderful Whitechapel gin bar and former fella behind the bar at Martin Cate’s Smuggler’s Cove. It is a wonderfully complex dive into the tiki world and way tastier than your standard wooly mammoth.

Like many tiki drinks this one is flash-blended so grab your cup and toss in 1 1/2 ounces of bourbon, I chose Four Roses; 1 1/2 ounces of blended aged rum, I went with El Dorado 5-year; 1/2 an ounce of Luxardo Maraschino liqueur, 1/2 an ounce of Tuaca, 1/2 an ounce of passion fruit puree, 1/2 an ounce of freshly squeezed lime juice, 3 ounces of pineapple juice and 2 stabs of Peychaud’s Bitters. Add 12 ounces of pebble ice and a couple of agitator cubes. Flash blend for 15-30 seconds to the beat of “Divinations” by yet another Mastodon, just to get some aeration in there. The original recipe calls for a dirty dump into a hollowed out pineapple, but I happened to have this exquisite tiki mug from Disneyland’s exclusive Club 33, on loan from the collection of Seth, so I just had to use it. Garnish with a charred pineapple wedge, some pineapple fronds, maybe some wildflowers from the garden and pop in a reusable glass bamboo straw from Surfside Sips before serving.

Oh my goodness, this drink is wonderful. This one really embodies what I love about tiki drinks. There is a lot going on here, but it comes together into a sweet and tropical, complex treasure of a drink. You can absolutely taste all of the elements, with the vanilla Tuaca balancing the bitter cherry as they fade into the passion fruit, riding just under that rum and bourbon combo. So very good, all the way around. This is what tiki is meant to be. Tropical and exotic, but accessible, if that makes sense.

So why did Horton stick with it? He made a promise to a bird that was lying to his face and then kept it. Maybe he felt like his promise was not to the known liar, but to the future inside of that egg. That would be a noble in its own way. Maybe he just did it cause that’s what elephants do. They keep the faith, no matter what. I’ve got to be honest, as much as I liked that sentiment growing up, in practice it is kinda problematic. Loyalty is a good and necessary thing, our relationships depend on it. But, I think it is one of those things that works on a personal level, and breaks down when it gets bigger. It is true I will stick with my friends, even when they are wrong, mostly, but is that a good thing? When it comes to personal relationships, yeah, it is. As long as it’s not something big, I can speak with them privately and help them to do the right thing. If it is a big deal, then I am bound by my faith in them to speak up. What happens though, when faithfulness and loyalty gets bigger.

One of the places I think it breaks down is in sports. I like sports. I like watching them. I’m a fan of my local teams, more or less, it doesn’t really matter who they are. Whether it is the high school baseball team or our NFL franchise, I believe in supporting the home crowd. I have a lot of friends who feel the same way and I kind of feel sorry for some of them, especially the ones who spend their energy on college football. Of course, most of them aren’t really supporting a local team, they are either big fans of our state school or one from a neighboring state and I have seen fist fights break out over those sort of mixed loyalties. If you think gang colors are bad, try wearing the wrong jersey on college game day in the south. Which is funny, because many of the most rabid fans, did not attend either of these universities. They just know that they have always loved (insert favorite mascot here) just like their father before them and his father before him. It doesn’t matter whether the team is great or if they haven’t had a decent team in decades. For the true believers, either you are loyal to your team or you aren’t really a fan.

Now, I am going to say something controversial, but I think you ought to make sure your team is working for your loyalty. Seriously. I understand that this sounds terrible, but it is true. If your team’s coaches and players are doing things that make it harder for you as fans, you ought to let them know that. See, if you are 100% faithful and support them, no matter what, why would they ever work harder for you? They will do things that help them keep the job. They will make deals with sponsors to make more money, but if you, the fans don’t hold them accountable for bad decisions or for putting the conference ahead of the team, well then things aren’t going to get better. Dr. Seuss had that one dialed in as well, when the Lorax said, “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.

Rivalries in sports are good as long as we all remember that none of it really matters and good natured ribbing doesn’t bleed over into insult and violence. It makes it easy for everyone to make a number of assumptions about other people, mostly based on what color they are wearing. Yeah, that is more troubling. Still I have seen Vols get along with Bama fans and Steelers share beers with Titans, so it is something we can overcome, when we see each other as real people and not just fans of the other team. It has gotten tougher lately, though. A lot of folks have decided that in the game they really care about they are either for the red team or the blue team and they don’t seem to have much use for anyone not wearing their same color, even if it is purple. That makes me sad. It really does, because the decisions those coaches are making really do matter, to all of us, everyday.

So, it is even more important to hold them accountable for their decisions and to only be loyal to the ones who have shown they care about you. If your members of Congress vote against bills that would mean millions in improvements and jobs in your state, just to make sure that the other team doesn’t get a perceived win, then there is a problem and maybe you should think about putting your support elsewhere. They were sent there to work for you and the interests of your state, so when they put party over country, especially when it harms you and your state, well maybe you should look around and see if maybe there is someone wearing a lighter blue or different shade of red jersey who might be willing to do the job. You don’t even have to swap sides, you can just trade for a better player.

The things is, like it or not, we are all on the same team. What the reds and the blues seem to have forgotten is they are supposed to be working together. They are kind of like the offense and the defense. Sure, they often have different goals and purposes, but the team can’t succeed unless they are working together. This constant bickering and refusing to even try to find resolution, upholding stubbornness as a virtue in a system that was built on compromise and placing the the enrichment of the few over the needs of the many has got to stop, and it will, if we stand together.

We have the power. We the people, the ones who can hold them all accountable, by simply withholding any vote that they do not earn. That is what they fear more than anything, That the people will start caring what they are doing, individually. Not what the party is doing or what the president or the supreme court or the border or the airlift or any other distraction they trot out whenever the questions get uncomfortable, but what each individual representative or senator from the state level all the way to DC, is doing each day for their constituents. They have been so focused on making us despise the other and grandstanding for high principles that were never really in question, that many of them are not even pretending to do the actual job of trying to govern. They are too busy running off to play national politics, posing before the cameras in other parts of the country and world, while ignoring significant problems in their own districts. That’s not right and if you are honest about it, you know that. I hear you already tuning up, getting ready to fight about what the other side is doing and how horrible they are, but is that something you truly believe? Do you really hate your neighbors or is it the scarecrows and boogie men that your leaders hold up? We deserve better and we can have it. Believe me, if we quit arguing over the things they want us to fight about and start paying attention to what is actually happening, things will change for the better. If not, well, at least seeing each other as people would make things more civil and that is worth quite a bit. You’re not an elephant, so hold them accountable, make them earn that loyalty and stay safe, stay hydrated and stay sane, my friends.