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Monday, February 28, 2011

Post Oscar Blowout

So, the Oscars were this weekend. I’d like to thank everyone who filled me in via whatever method they filled me in by, be it tweet or txt or blog or facebook note. Wifefish, Ruffstuff and I celebrated it by playing Rock Band 3 Sunday night instead, as truly not a shit was given in the Dangerboy household. The Oscars are as relevant to me as the mating habits of Peruvian Aardvarks.

Best in show went to us, as we rocked out all weekend; we also had a Rock Band party on Saturday night. A good time was had by all, and most by Little Danger. He has just graduated from swing to exersaucer (which we have decided is his own personal command cathedra*…yes, we play too much Rogue Trader).

As each song started, Little Danger bounced and giggled, made gibbery noises and actually vibrated in what we have now deemed his “baby frenzy.” He gets worked up and just can’t stop laughing, which of course makes us join in. It is the cutest thing in the universe.

As far as the Oscars themselves, I was surprised that Charlie Sheen didn’t win out against Mel Gibson in the “Batshit Insane Hollywood Train Wreck” category. He gave it a good run, though, and I suppose might be in the running again next year. We’ll see if somebody can put in a dark horse appearance in this category next time around, but they’re going to have to really hit it out of the park to overcome the “Warlock of Sober Valley”.

Speaking of weird Oscar things, what the fuck is a Gruffalo? Do they live near Peruvian Aardvarks? And was it me, or did Natalie Portman win “best girl-on-girl fap fantasy”? I’d also like to thank Melissa Leo for breaking out one of my personal favorite words in her acceptance speech. Bravissimo. Fucking Bravissimo.

*Command Cathedra: in the 40k universe, some captains end up wired into their ship, with controls all about them. It’s a cool concept, though I’m sure it does nothing for their hygiene in the 41st millennium.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Scotchy Scotch, vol 6

There are times in life when all we want is a little bit of sweetness. We want something that touches the tongue in a way we remember from youth, when we’d raid the corner drug store with a ten spot for a week’s supply of candy that never, ever lasted a full week.

For me, there’s a Scotch for every occasion, except of course for going on the wagon. When my palate begs for a taste of sweetness in the uisge beatha, I will quite often reach for the tall bottle with the single sail, Scapa.From amongst the Standing Stones of the Orkney Isles

My first taste of Scapa was shared with a friend of mine who was in a metal band at the time, but given that his last name starts with “Mc”, and we all wore kilts at his wedding, I trusted him when he said “You have to try this Scotch.” I’ve no cause to regret that trust, as Scapa has become a bottle that I keep in the bar in perpetuity.

Scapa’s distillery has been turning it out since 1885, and has a sort of hybrid flavor stuck between the Speyside sweet and the Islay salty. Recently refurbished, the distillery is currently run by 3 men, and I imagine they’ve got to be some drunk bastards on quality check day. I cannot fathom that the human spirit could resist just another taste or eight to be sure it’s really that good.

Scapa has a great flavor, and the sweetness is just part of it, not the whole of it. I taste the heather honey in it, along with a touch of salt air from the Orkney Isles, and of course the perennial malt, though the barley is surprisingly unpeated. The peat is in the water only. This makes for a very different taste from an island scotch, sweet as young love but with a little bit of a bite on the finish.

This is one of those Scotches that I just love to sip after dinner, a great replacement for cake or pie, at least according to my waistline. It’s also one of those lovely affordable Scotches, though at my upper end now that they’ve switched to the 16-year. A bottle chimes in around $70.

So the next time your palate cries for sweet but complex, by all means, remember Scapa! Let the heather honey touch your tongue, and Slainte!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Things I Hate, vol 8

Imagine, if you will, a televised competition. Thousands upon thousands try to enter such a competition, and nearly 450 are chosen to progress. But rather than show viewers that competition, they are shown an 8:1 ratio of backstage dramatics and histrionics to actual competition. Guess what? That competition exists, and millions of people tune in to it. I present to you American Idol, masters of bullshit TV.

A much more appropriate logo.

I have rarely watched this show, because I quickly grew weary of a singing competition that devoted so much airtime to stupid shit that wasn’t singing. And yet, this year I was sucked in because a friend of mine made it to Hollywood. I should be overjoyed, but alack, I find myself desperately wanting those hours of my life back.

Watching American Idol when you have a friend in the running is like a fucking 2 hour game of Where’s Waldo. Except there’s one problem: if your friend isn’t lucky enough to have caught a director’s eye, or isn’t batshit insane, that friend’s camera time is going to be moved to the Archive section of the hard drive, a step once known as the “cutting room floor” treatment.

I got to see my friend for 11 seconds out of 5 hours of bad TV, always in the background of another shot, and if you think that’s sour grapes, you are mistaken. Sour grapes, by comparison, would be goddamn ambrosia. It’s more sour sweaty goat ballsack, really, or so I’ve heard from the lonely goatherd high on the hill. (“Yodelady yodelady yodeohmygodthistastesnasty! Why god why? I should have never listened to that Scotsman!”)

A recent two hour episode was devoted to their Hollywood “group day”, in which the contestants had to perform as groups. The entire first hour was devoted to the drama of finding groups together. Really? An entire hour of eighth grade group dynamics and who got picked last for dodgeball? What the frisky hell?

Look, I get the concept of shining a spotlight on some people to “keep it interesting”, but concocting a narrative of diva vs underdog is just pandering to the Springer fans. In fact, as one contestant lost it on the latest episode, I likened it to a NASCAR crash…some people just don’t watch for the racin’. But seriously, Idol, why are we listening to contestants smack talk each other? What the flaming fuck does it have to do with the singing?

I realized that my friend had been cut, unnoticed and unannounced, toward the end of the most recent episode. I’d harbored that suspicion, but having to watch another whole episode of this tripe to confirm was proof that friends do things for one another that they don’t wanna do. I sat last night in front of the television, grey matter slowly converting to something resembling congealed grease, and felt my IQ dripping out of my ears. I may have suffered an aneurysm, but I wouldn't have noticed. Before I watch another episode of American Idol, I’d watch a FoxNews vs MSNBC greatest hits anthology projected onto Rosie O’Donnel’s naked ass. (Note to remaining friends, please do not audition for Idol. Rosie is expensive to book.)

What puzzles me is that the show’s producer actually has another program that features none of the stupid smack talk shit…So You Think You Can Dance. I actually enjoy that program, for all the reasons I don’t enjoy Idol. Seriously, they’ve got some true art on that show, and I’ve actually been moved to tears by one of the dances. Art, I tell you, as opposed to the silly he-said she-said backstage drama they focus on in Idol. I just don’t understand why said producer doesn’t feature the art of the music (or the slaughter thereof in some cases. Sometimes, says the occasional hypocrite me, the train wreck is fun to watch.)

And so I salute you, American Idol, but I salute you with one finger. Guess which one. May you suffer the ratings equivalent of laryngitis, and be replaced with something a little less “human drama” and a little more “art.”

I actually have a whole anti-realityTV rant bouncing around my brain as well, but the fuckery of only focusing on 20 or so contestants among 450+ that made it to Hollywood just got my goat. Pardon the pun.

Stylin' and Profilin'.

Award #2 in my blogging endeavours, I have been gifted with a Stylish Blogger Award by the lovely and funny The Onion. (Not the satire site, the blogger with more layers than a parfait.)

All of these Blog Awards have rules out the wazoo, and this one is no different. I am to tell you 7 things about me that will surprise or delight you. Then I have to tag 10 other blogs with this award...that way it spreads like the Blob in the 3rd reel. I, however, have a disdain for rules, and instead subscribe to etiquette. Here's your 7.

1) I proposed to Wifefish during a curtain call, and got a standing ovation. Go, me. ;)
2) I am the youngest of 3 siblings; we're all very similar, but also very, very different.
3) For you, Onion: I sort my M&M's by color when I eat them. I've done so since I was 5. The only time I don't is when I jam the bag up against my mouth and pour them in.
4) One of my less time consuming hobbies is reading up on world religions...I know a little bit about a lot of faiths, and have myself participated in a wide range of observances.
5) I once played Elvis in a fun and somewhat silly "You are the star" kind of show on a Carnival Cruise. Yes, I wore the jumpsuit.
6) I can answer almost any quote from The Princess Bride with the next line of dialogue.
7) I always sleep on the side of the bed closest to the door. I did it for years without realizing it, then Wifefish asked one day why I swap sides when we sleep elsewhere.

Now, for the 10 blogs I'm supposed to tag...this is where I again break the rules!!! I'm a rebel! Also, lazy. See the right hand side over there for blogs I link to, and then click my profile to see blogs I follow. They are all great. Also, don't forget to click above and give the Onion some love.
And then hurry back, I miss you when you're gone.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The other blog...

Just a quick note...I've got some new stuff up over at the fiction blog, feel free to take a look, and give feedback if you like.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

He Drank Jesus Under the Table?

Note. There’s a possibility of a seriously offensive phrase in this one. If you can’t handle blatant blasphemy used as a joke and quoted here, then click away now. Last chance. Still here? You’re going to hell with me, then.

Amongst my many, many hobbies is community theatre. I’ve been on stage many times, and actually proposed to Wifefish during a curtain call of a show we were both in. I’ve worked backstage for a lot of shows as well. There’s just something about it that I love; it’s one of the most interactive of the arts.

I’ve been in Jesus Christ Superstar twice in my years of theatre. During the first, I met Wifefish and made a lot of new friends in what I consider my home troupe. During the second, reality stood on its ear, and presented us with some cosmic irony.

One Awesome Musical.

The cast and crew of this particular production of JCS was amazingly diverse. We had a visiting Aussie in the women’s chorus, a prominent lawyer playing Pontius Pilate, and several pagans in the cast as well. There were a lot of fun conversations during the rehearsal process, to be sure.

I remember a particular night when I hosted the cast party after the show. The Aussie brought her husband, an officer in the Australian Air Force in town on an exchange program. We’d met him a few times before, and we liked him. We were about to love him.

There’d been some smack talk during the previous party about how hard some of us could drink. Me, I just smirked and listened…I prefer to be the founder of the drunk, rather than he who is passed out on the floor. And Lo! it came to pass that Bruce challenged our Jesus and the director of the show to the “shot a minute” challenge, in which every minute you down a shot of beer until you just can’t any more.

These little fuckers? More powerful than they look.

I won’t tell you not to try this at home, but I will suggest that you make sure you have a spotter if you do, especially if you have long hair and you haven’t tied it back.

There were a few side bets on who was going to win the contest, but the odds clearly favored the Aussie. At the 20 minute mark, the director was still clear eyed, the Aussie was beginning to slur, and Jesus looked a bit peaked. Our Jesus was played by a young college kid, fresh and early in his 20’s. Also, he couldn’t have grown a beard if his life had depended on it. Our director was a bit more stately, in mid-30s, and our Aussie officer was in the early 40s. It was truly a battle of the Ages, as three men fought for their pride.

At the 30 minute (and that’s 30 shots) mark, our director was having trouble. Despite being cheered on by many, he would only last 7 more shots before throwing in the towel, and thus disgracing our nation before the might of Australian livers. He went outside for a smoke, while the remaining combatants toiled on.

“You’re looking a little green” said the young star of the show.

“Fuck you, Jesus! Suck my cock!” shouted the Aussie. We all rolled with laughter.

At 53 minutes, Jesus had no miracles left. He downed his shot, said something similar to “Fuck this”, and disappeared into the bathroom. I don’t know if he blessed the porcelain or not, but he came out minutes later foggy-eyed and without balance. As for the Aussie, he continued to do a shot a minute to the 87 minute mark, and declared himself and all fortysomethings both triumphant and “fucking pissed.” (Not mad, my American friends, but drunk. Bit of a “slanguage” difference.)

It turns out, not only was he pissed, but he needed to drain the lizard as well. Finding the bathroom occupied by one of the cast, he proceeded to our back yard. Once there, he terrorized our director by chasing him around the yard, using his whacker as a supersoaker. I’d never seen anyone who could piss on the run without getting a single drop on himself, and to this date I’ve not seen anyone else who can.

The party raged on into the wee hours, and fun was had by all. I had grabbed keys from the participants of the shot contest earlier, because it’s my bar and I’m like that. When the time finally came for our Jesus to depart, I gave him a field sobriety test. Twice, because I knew what he’d done to himself earlier in the night. He passed, and I dropped the keys in his hand and very seriously said “God go with you.”

“I will”, he replied with equal gravitas. We all cracked up again.

We arrived the next afternoon at the theatre, ready for our Sunday matinee. It was a safe bet that fewer than all of us had attended any kind of morning service. Our director walked in with a massive coffee and a little green gill action. Our Aussie walked in with a tale of woe, she'd had to half-drag, half-carry her absolutely sloshed husband into their apartment, and poured him into the bathtub to sleep it off. His hangover is actually spoken of in the book of Revelations.

Our young Jesus walked in with a tale of woe…it seems that he’d been pulled over on his way home for not signaling a lane change, which at 4 am on a Saturday night/Sunday morning means a cop was fishing for DUI’s. Even though he passed two sobriety checks for the cop, he still was made to do a breathalyzer, because the cop “didn’t like the look of his eyes.” Ladies and gentlemen, Jesus broke the legal limit by .01, and so had an impending court date.

And so the prominent lawyer spake unto him, and said verily “I will take this one pro bono.” And thus was centuries of history rewritten when Pontius Pilate appeared before the court with Jesus at his side; the lawyer defended him vigorously for a judge he surely golfed with. Jesus got a reduced sentence, but still had reduced driving privileges. If he was going to ride into town for anything other than class or work, he’d have to do it on an ass. And thus was history rewritten, and a legend born.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Brilliance in Advertising

Or the lack of it. Driving in to work this morning, I saw a billboard. But not just any billboard, no, this one has got to represent the end of somebody's marketing career. I present to you in all its glory, the worst marketing phrase I can think of:

So evidently in the land of teenage vampires, they now not only sparkle, but take a few runs down a Slip n Slide coated in baby oil before lounging around in front of a rampant gang of renegade airbrush artists.

But what really calls attention is the brilliance of the tagline here. "Catch VD." Or, to translate to real-people language from marketingspeak, "Please tune in to our show which we have just compared to the thing you should most avoid lest your genitalia rot. We promise it's not as bad as Herpes, nor as disgusting as the clap, and far less lethal than HIV. It is, however, every bit as entertaining as any of these."

Can you imagine the presentation for this? "Johnson, you're up. Make it good this time, Johnson. You're still on thin ice after the "TSA: friendlier than your grandmother" debacle. Well, get a move on, man!"

"Er, umm...yes sir. Well, we have vampires, right? And they write these I was thinking that we could do something that really pops! You know, like a zit! Teenieboppers can relate to zits, even though vampires never get them, even though they roll around in oil all the time."

"Johnson, get to the point."

"Uh, ok, uhm...well, the initals for the show are VD, right? So we'll try something simple...Watch VD!"

"Johnson, that sucks. Make it catchier, or you're fired!"

(Incidentally, I picture Johnson's boss like Cosmo Spacely, of Spacely's Sprockets)
Of course, Johnson goes back to his desk, stewing for hours on how to make it "Catchier."
EUREKA!!! CATCH VD!!!, he surely thought.

In my imagination, that's why Johnson will be collecting unemployment next week.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

A New Project

Well, gang, I started a second blog. I figured I'd separate this one, since it's both fiction and heavily geeky, featuring fantasy, science fiction, and also superheroes. Not all at the same time, though.
If you'd like to read it, I'd very much appreciate your feedback on it. So far, I just have one offering on deck, from our superhero game.

Feel free to check it out!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Trip Down Nostalgia Street, vol 6

Greetings, and welcome to Nostalgia Street, population: me. For today’s post, we’re going to have to bounce around a bit in time. We won’t rely on multiple ghosts to take us there, but we’ll visit past me at 3 different times. The reason for these jumps is simple…the game we’re visiting had multiple incarnations, much like a good Bhuddist or bad chili.

Sega cover art just sucked.

The game is Choplifter, and it had a very interesting development cycle. In a time where most games were ported from Arcade to home system, this game went against the grain. It started as a home computer game, ported to Arcade, and was then re-ported to home game systems. And it was also an addictive sumbitch, like a rock of crack in a meth burrito with candy sprinkles made of porn.

My eyes! The goggles...they do nothing!!!

My first encounter with Choplifter was at a friend’s house on the Apple II, where it got its start in 1982. The game was very sweet for an Apple offering, and was pretty much Broderbund’s early claim to fame. Granted, it was a 16-color eyeblight, with a black starry sky over a bright fucking purple desert, with bright green tanks shooting merrily up at you.

Gameplay for Choplifter was actually fairly advanced. You flew a chopper to and fro, rescuing hostages from burning buildings while avoiding tanks and planes. You had to fly and land carefully, though, as you could squish hostages, or even accidentally slaughter them with your rotors if you landed at a tilt. You also had to get the hell out of there quickly, lest a tank blow your ass into next week while you waited on the hostages to run at zombie speed to get aboard. Touchy stuff for ’82.

A few years later, I would encounter Choplifter again. And oh, what a great encounter it was. Staying at the Pirates’ Cove Inn at Daytona Beach for vacation, the arcade/game room there had some awesome quarter-suckers…but the best by far was the Choplifter sit-in bench, complete with a flight stick style controller. Whenever Dad would send me out of the hotel room to “not come back for at least an hour”, at least 2 dollars worth of time would go into that sinister and fantastic machine, just yards away from the beach. Incidentally, it would be years before I figured out that they weren’t really taking a nap each day. Years.

Get in the choppah! Give me your hand!!

The arcade machine proved to be a massive upgrade to the game, introducing a multitude of colors and detail. It also introduced a points scoring system to the game, and I’m happy to say that Dangerboy’s initials dominated the Cove for my entire stay at the hotel. They kept the gameplay true, however, requiring you to give thought to your landings or become a hostage harvest machine, or worse, a fiery crater. The hostages still moved like they were jogging through molasses, though, and they added several more enemies to attempt to remove you from the sky.

Eventually, the Daytona-for-Christmas holiday ended, and it was time to go back home. I was saddened that I had no access to a game as groovy as Choplifter, and made do with several other games, including Chopper Command. It was like eating Manwich after having a porterhouse, though, and I reached that point of gamer fatigue in which you rack up as many extra lives as you can and then try like hell to creatively die over and over again. I think in those days I actually went outside and rode my bike more than I played any chopper-flying games, such was my disappointment.

Yee haw and Yo Joe and all that happy horseshit!

And then it happened. Something magical. 8 bit love came to call, in the form of the Sega Master System port of Choplifter. It was a very faithful port of the arcade version, as well it should have been since Sega had programmed both. My inner Wild Bill rejoiced, and I spent many hours leaned back and flyin’ high, rescuing hostages from the bad guys and racking up high scores so high that NASA must surely have invented the Hubble just to see them.

Maybe I had substituted shorts for the thermal knit underwear flightsuit, and maybe I still ate Count Chocula before flicking the power on switch. Still, I had encountered one of the first evolutions of a single game into new versions as new technology pushed the genre, and it was a sweet taste indeed, a kind of mental candy for consumption, giving my imagination a sugar high as I flew hostages back to the base on Nostalgia Street.

EDIT: Again, I have found a gift for you. Somebody did a remake of the Apple II version for DOS, it'll work in windows. CLICKY!!!!

I got tagged!

I was tagged by the very fun Jumble Mash to answer: What 5 things do you not leave home without? I'll then pretend to tag 5 other bloggers, but in reality just put the challenge out there to answer it if you want...just consider yourself tagged. Rules? Who needs 'em?

OK, the list of things I don't leave home without.

1) My keys and wallet. I keep them on my person, and it drives me a bit batshit when they're not in my pockets where they belong. I trained myself to always be aware of them on my person, especially when walking through a crowd. I vowed at an early age never to be a soft target for a pickpocket.

2) The crap piece of shit cellphone I got for free with our plan. I don't have a smartphone, mainly because I know I'll end up sucked into facespace or mybook. I keep it with me and charged in case of emergency, and have done so diligently since becoming Daddy Dangerboy.

3) A patch of the flag of the United States of America. It's in my wallet, and has been since a little bit before I joined the Air Force. It's been there for quite a while, and I keep it to remind myself of all that service means; what I did, what others did, those we lost, and what we all should do. That's a rant for another day, though.

I pack light, so the next items are more of a frequently than an all the time deal.

4) My black leather bag. It's a softside briefcase, and I have tons of things in it at any given time. Business cards, work notes, folders with info for the games I'm running or playing, a deck of cards, highlighter and pen, and quite often a book or three. Occasionally the tiny laptop.

5) Thanks to number 4, and its plentiful stock of stuff, there is no 5. I don't wear a watch, don't often wear jewelry, and have the stuff I need at my desk at work, or at the house. And there's so much stuff in the bag, that really I don't need more stuff.

OK, now for the tagging...tag, you're it. If you've got a blog, I tag you. If you don't, well, you got off easy this time!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Strippers for Odin

I spent a year working at a laser tag arena. I’d been working construction and hating it, and was offered a promotion from “dude who takes care of the packs” to “dude who manages the joint.” It was a pretty sweet deal, though the GM got canned weeks into it, and it became a wild stressfest for a while. That’s another story though.

We used codenames at the Tag, because that was part of the schtick for the customers. We hardly ever used real names. And so it came to pass that I went out to party with Odin, to celebrate my promotion.

Hit the rock...hit iiiiiit! Odin COMMANDS you to hit the rock!

Where, oh where, would two men in their early twenties go to celebrate such an occasion? If you answered “the local strip club”, you’d be right. We ventured forth to enjoy ourselves, ready to have a good time. I’m never above objectification of an appreciable bod, though I often try to be respectful about it. A good lech, if you will.

We sat at a table, rather than opting to sit in pervert’s row (the seats at the stage). It would let us do more chatting and ogling, and less having boobs bounced off of our noses. Also, you spend less money at the tables, as it is very bad form to sit at the stage and not tip each dancer. The height of rudeness, that.

We’d been there maybe a half hour when a pair of dancers we’d been watching somewhat closely asked to join us. This is a part of the strip club culture in which you buy the girls drinks, typically watered down, and the bar makes more money off of you. They seemed pretty nice, and were fairly hot. They chatted with us for a good long while, and then their rotation to dance come up, and they left us to our drinks.

Odin and I looked at each other, each raising an eyebrow…neither one had asked for a drink, nor any other monetary hustle. Were we actually just being flirted with honestly? Or set up for a bigger take? Well, we decided to roll with it, whichever way it was going. After all, we were celebrating, and nothing enhances a celebration for a young man like a barely-covered hot girl. Nothing. (Except maybe a not-covered-at-all hot girl, if I’m being honest. Or two.)

We enjoyed the show, being polite young men after all. After they were done, the two blondes came back to our table, and asked if we wanted to shoot some pool. Aha, this must be hustle time. We walked over to the tables, and one of the girls pulled money out of her own garter to buy the game. Whiskey…Tango…Foxtrot? Odin and I shared another secret look…the evening of celebration was definitely taking a turn toward “awesome.” We may have high fived.

The four of us continued to talk, the typical first meet conversation pattering off our tongues. “Where are you from?” “What do you do for a living?” “Married?” “What’s your favorite position?” All the while, we slowly rotated around the pool table, a waltz of pocketing balls, flirting, and bodies just a hair too close for a first meeting anywhere else. We played two games, both paid for from their tips, then went back to the table to chat and drink some more.

And that, my friends, is where the evening decided to take a sharp left turn. You know how you can just be having a good time, and then suddenly something happens that is so freaky that it jerks your grey matter to the side as if there was a sudden shift in gravity? When the Will Riker in your head yells "Shields up! RED ALERT!"? Well, it happened to us.

I don’t even know how the topic came up, but somehow we drifted from laser tag as a job to space exploration, and the girls started telling us all about how the moon landing was a complete hoax. Odin and I shared another look, this one more of shocked disbelief. The girls continued on, spouting all the tinfoil hat theories about Hollywood basements and how they didn’t think we could have gone to the moon at all.

And then it got really crazy. The bar did what is known as an “All Call” for a bachelor party. This is where all the girls go and dance on stage at the same time, with the bachelor in a chair in the center of them. They take turns, typically, humiliating said bachelor in different ways…riding him like a pony, tying him up with his belt, lipsticking his collar, that sort of thing. The two blondes at our table stayed seated.

“Won’t you get in trouble?” Odin asked.

“I’m not dancing for a black man”, the taller one said. “They’re from monkeys and I’m from Adam and Eve.”

My jaw dropped open faster than Kim Kardashian’s panties drop for a sex tape. How many racist conspiracy theorist strippers do you meet on a Thursday night? I just couldn’t believe that such an ugly statement had come out of such a pretty face. I said to her “Do you want me to refute that Biblically or scientifically? Because I have both on deck, babe.”

I proceeded to educate her on how she was a racist idiot. Needless to say, we cut our celebrations short and bid the dopey duo a somewhat less-than-fond farewell. Moral of the story? Sometimes, it is better to admire from afar. Or at least to let more boobs bounce off your nose.

Scotchy Scotch, vol 5

Welcome, belly up to the bar for another post on booze. Today, we’re going to talk about my personal favorite Scotch. So far.

I should take you back now to my first taste of Scotch. I was hanging out with the rest of the cast of the Rocky Horror Picture Show, when our RiffRaff handed me a bottle. I can’t recall what the label was, he just said “Try this, it’s Scotch.” I hated it. It was harsh, abrasive, and smacked my tastebuds around like Ike Turner on the Newlywed Game. It would be years before I’d try Scotch again.

When that day finally came, it was to a fresh bottle of Oban 14 year , bought at the distillery. My friend ‘Yote started to open the bottle and had us all gather round so we could share the first breath of Scottish air off the top of the bottle. I liked what I smelled. It had fruit and sea salt and smoke in the nose, and I decided I’d give it a try.

Where the magic happens...

My taste buds sang this time, not roughed up at all. They told a tale of fruit and salt and peat, but not too much of any of these things. They told of fine barley and pure water. The finish was a blend of oak with a pinch of salt. I decided then and there that I was a Scotch lover, and that the hideous thing I’d been given in my youth must have been an aberration, the naked Rosie O’Donnel of Scotches.

As it happens, Oban is considered one of the “six classic malts” of Scotch, and it’s not difficult to figure out how it bagged that claim. They happen to be among the presenters at this year’s Whiskyfest in Chicago, which believe me, I will attend, and hang at their booth like a teenage girl hangs onto a Twilight poster. I will not sparkle, though I may stagger from time to time.

Oh, this is the stuff!!!!

I recommend Oban both as a starter and for the serious scotch drinker. It’s truly the water of life. Oban…remember it, and Slainte!

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