Archive for the ‘Tales of the Drinking Life’ Category

Red, White and Budweiser

July 14, 2008

Prepare for the worst.

The beloved marketing of Anheuser-Busch products will go from this:

I have a powerful thirst

to this:

You have been warned, comrade.


Mea Culpa

August 23, 2006

I haven’t been doing my part.  I know that.  I’m sorry.  Things have changed.  There’s a lot on my mind.  Sometimes it feels like there is too much on my plate.  I want to lock the doors and never leave the house.  Part of it is the financial situation.  The business is going down the tubes and taking me with it.  I need to find work. I have a new family to support.  I don’t have the time or the money or the motivation, anymore.  This is all my fault.

I’ve let you down, Nashville.  We only made it to #35 in the list of Drunkest Cities in America.  Milwaukee is number one.  I’m sorry, I just can’t do it anymore.  My liver hates me and wants to die.  No mas.

I’ve had to cut way back on imbibing.   Drunken Stepfather is a good website and all, but not a positive role model for our nation’s youth.  When we went to see the Braves play the Reds in Cincy, I didn’t drink all weekend.  Do you know how fucking boring baseball is without beer?  Do you?

We got beat in this poll by honest to god Drinking Towns like St. Louis and Pittsburgh.   But, Portland and Seattle?  Those are pussy towns.  How did a bunch of coffee-peddling smack addicts beat us at drinking?  It can’t just be me.  I think the churches must shoulder a good chunk of the blame for this.  Dicks.  If your god loved you so much that he sent his son down to die, but he doesn’t love you enough to let you have a glass of merlot with dinner on Sunday?

 I’m gonna get on that old turnpike and I’m gonna ride
I’m gonna leave this town ’til you decide
Which one you want the most them Opry stars or me
Milwaukee here I come from Nashville, Tennessee

The Night They Drove Old Dixie Beer Down

May 27, 2006

Getting worked up about slights to one’s regional pride is something that grown-ups should try to avoid.  Damn, that’s near impossible.  Even though I don’t have a dog in the hunt, I wind up defending the SEC as the best football conference whenever the subject comes up.  It comes with the territory, I guess.  My cousins got me visibly irritated recently when they snickered at the idea of the existence of Thai restaurants in Nashville.   

Southerners (both native born and naturalized residents) wind up with a sort of inferiority complex about how the rest of the country views us as backwards shit kickers.  This chip on the shoulder manifests itself in all sorts of ways.  Randy Newman even wrote a great song about it:

Last night I saw Lester Maddox on a TV show
With some smart ass New York Jew
And the Jew laughed at Lester Maddox
And the audience laughed at Lester Maddox too
Well he may be a fool but he’s our fool
If they think they’re better than him they’re wrong
So I went to the park and I took some paper along
And that’s where I made this song

We talk real funny down here
We drink too much and we laugh too loud
We’re too dumb to make it in no Northern town
And we’re keepin’ the niggers down 

For a recent example of  Randy’s point, here’s a list of the Top 50 Places to have a beer in America.  About three of them could be considered in the South–two in Virginia and one in Georgia.  That’s it.  Are you going to tell me that there isn’t a place in Texas as good as the three beer joints listed in Massachusetts?   Brooklyn, NY gets two and there isn’t a place in Tennessee, Alabama, Louisiana, Both Carolinas, or Kentucky where you can get a beer as good as the Guidos and Massholes serve.  Pardon me, but fuck you.

These fruity beer dorks wear me out.  Most of them exude a fussiness only seen on old Lost in Space episodes.  Here’s a sampler:

Let’s check out the Big River Review: 16th Avenue Pilsner — looked more like a Hefeweizen than a pilsner, very cloudy and not transparent at all. Tasted yeasty and had a thick mouthfeel, but lacked any esters or flavor to make up for it on the flavor scale. Had a bit of the grassy notes that you’d expect of a pilsner, but not anywhere close to what I was expecting.  Nothing like a thick mouthfeel to ruin your day, Tiffany.

Here’s another beer dork who probably didn’t play sports in high school, with a review of The Broadway Brewhouse.
The bar was tight and smoky. The men’s restroom had a toilet, two urinals and a sink (no partitions) in a room the size of a phone booth.  Oh, you poor little girl.  We have a rule at the Brewhouse, "If you have to take a dump, it is time for you to go home."

I need a beer.  Preferably a Shiner, Abita, or Sweetwater.  Time to head to the Brewhouse.

Noble Rot

May 19, 2006

noble rot, n.
A parasitic fungus that attacks ripe grapes and causes an increase in their sugar content.

So tonight I went to a "wine tasting".  It was ostensibly for charity.  One of the things I noticed is that the wines were all from the same outfit.  I don’t have a lot of experience at these deals, but the other ones I’ve been to had different wines from different wineries.  These were all the same.

Come to find out, the tasting was sponsored by the pharmaceutical company Novartis.  That by itself isn’t so remarkable.  What was intriguing was that it turns out that Novartis owns the winery.  Different sources list their investment in this wine making business between 12 and 20 million dollars.

Why does a pharmaceutical company need a winery/vinyard?  I’m guessin’ so they have free wine to pour down the gullets of medical professionals.   But, that’s just a guess.

I don’t presume to tell other people or corporations how they should spend their money.  Novartis has annual revenues of about 25 billion dollars.  If they want to own a vinyard, that is their business.  However, next time the drug companies start squealing like a pig about how they need to charge outlandish prices for their snake oils and questionably safe remedies,  so they can "fund research and development" for new cures for diseases no one has heard of yet, remember, they also make a very nice Pinot Grigio.



Taking a Break From Sobriety

April 25, 2006

This year’s Spring Purification has been suspended for today.

I was invited to dinner at Bosco’s tonight.   It turned out to be the Brewmaster’s Beer Dinner.   It seemed pointless to just drink water.  The end of the Purification period is close to an end, and as with all rationalizations, this seemed to be as good a time as any to break my booze fast.

Beer is good.  I have missed it in all its hoppy and malt goodness.  The food was good as well.  It was as good as could be expected given the number of people who attended.  Quality sometimes drops off when the kitchen has to crank out twenty five of the same entree simultaneously.  But, the beer was better.  After eight beers the liver seems to be still working at full strength.  Barely a buzz to be detected.  All that damn food most likely played a role, as well.

I hung out with a cool group, which eventually included a Nashville blogger who may or may not have been shocked to have been identified.  Richard from Aimless Wandering proved to be a good sport nonetheless.   Turns out, from a link at either Nit or VolVoters, I had stumbled upon his site just prior to going to the dinner. So, I knew him on sight.   That’s what you get for posting a picture of yourself tapping a keg at Bosco’s, Rich.

My partner-in-crime, who invited me to this shindig, and I however didn’t make friends with the Brewmaster.   His credentials as a German were questioned.  Well, there isn’t much doubt that he is German.  But his story of being from Munich didn’t hold any water.  Upon direct questioning, he could not answer some basic questions about Munich, and stormed off in a huff.  My theory is he was from either East Germany and didn’t want to cop to it.  Much the same way someone will say they are from Nashville, rather than admit they hail from Antioch or Greenbrier.  Or, he was brought up in Argentina or Paraguay after his family fled moved there circa 1945.

Or maybe it was just the beer talking. 


2006 Spring Purification Week 1

March 27, 2006

Last Monday was the kick-off for this year’s Spring Purification.  It started out four years ago as a bet between a few friends to see who could NOT drink for a pre-determined six week period.  I lost the first year when I absent-mindedly ordered a beer at the West Nashville driving range because they were out of sports drinks. 

Every year since, we have spent the period between St. Paddy’s and Mexican St. Paddy’s more or less booze free.  It works for overall health reasons, willpower confirmation, getting stuff done around the house and keeping the booze gut down.  Well, temporarily keeping the booze gut down.

This year’s edition is going pretty well.  I also try to quit smoking during Spring Purification.  Let’s just say the no booze is going better than no smokes.  Despite the cravings for a cold, frosty adult beverages I haven’t slipped yet.  The no smoking bit lasted little more than 48 hours before work related stress made me run like my hair was on fire for the nearest nicotine emporium for a pack of blessed cancer sticks.

We’ll give that another try later.  Like maybe when I win the lottery and no longer have work related stress as an excuse.

Parading O’ the Stereotypes

March 20, 2006

Exador came up for Paddy’s Day.  We use this excuse for bacchanalia annually before the beginning of Spring Purification.  Due to legal considerations, I can’t get too in depth as to what transpired over the weekend.  But there are some questions that my attorneys have allowed me to answer.

Were you asked to leave the Broadway Brewhouse? 

Not at all.  We left on our own accord and in fact, returned to the scene of that crime both Saturday and Sunday. 

Did Exador hit on the  Jim Beam girls? 

No, not really.  Unless  by "hit on", you mean "drunkenly leer" then, by all means, yes.

Did Exador puke on cars in rush hour traffic?

I am not aware of any vehicles that were vomited on, other than my own.  Although it wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility that any vehicles that were at Broadway and I-40  stopped at the light in front of White Castle, wound up with some expectorant on their windshield.

How bad was it?

Let me put it this way, have you ever seen Monty Python’s Meaning of Life?   I kept waiting for John Cleese to appear and order "another bucket for monsieur".

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When did the fighting begin?

Again, there are legal considerations at work here.  I can’t recall.  Somewhere around the time that Aunt B called.  Although, I think before. 

Who won?

We are calling it a draw.  My smashing of Exador’s head into the dashboard (twice) brought the match to a halt, although he was ahead on points as I was the only one bleeding.  He had the upper hand due to my operating a motor vehicle at the time and secondary focus of keeping us out of jail.  In a fair fight he would murder me.   If there is ever a rematch, expect me to cheat.

Then what happened? 

Thankfully, Exador passed out on the couch to power nap before dinner with Ex-Mrs. Sarcastro and our assorted significant others.

Did he sober up?

Sort of.  He has Wolverine’s healing powers.  Just ask him.  He will tell you about it ad infinitum.   We were sober enough that we didn’t have to worry about Ex-Mrs. Sarcastro killing us.  She  was a government assassin and warned us of the consequences of us being out of hand.

Where did you go for dinner? 

F. Scotts.  It was an excellent meal and excellent company with which to have an excellent meal.

Were there any complaints  about your behavior there?

Perhaps.  I’m not really at liberty to say.  The neighboring tables full of senior citizens and lecherous old men wooing scantily-clad young women didn’t seem to be amused.  We were shooshed a few times by ex-Mrs. Sarcastro after getting the stink-eye from the other tables.

But there were no other incidents, right? 

Look, what do you want from me?  We are upstanding citizens.  This line of questioning leads me to believe you are trying to encourage this sort of inappropriate behavior or get me to exaggerate the level of tomfoolery that went on.  No, we didn’t lean over to the next table and ask, "How much for the little girl?".  If that is what you are getting at.

But you thought about it. 

Can we move on?

Where else did you go? 

We were going to go to the Greenhouse, but they wanted fifteen damn dollars to get in the door to listen to some wretched cover band.  So we walked down to the Box Seat had some beers and left for Brewhouse West.  We had a round there then went home.

Any brushes with the law? 

Not as of yet, no.

What about the rest of the weekend?

It was fairly sedate.  We moved some stuff out of my office and into my new home office on Saturday.  Then we went to the gun show. 

How was that and why did you go?

Seven bucks for the crappiest gun show I’ve ever been to, other  than that it was fine.  Not a big selection.  One reason to go is our firm support of the Bill of Rights which includes the Second Amendment for those of you who went to government schools.  The other is that my neighbor told me that his step-son who lives at home with him is out on bail for home invasion and the other step-son who lives at home is wearing an ankle monitor so his every white trash move can be tracked.  This is important safety information to have.  The neighbor wants me to call the cops if the Springer generation under his roof gets out of hand while he is at work.

Anything else worth reporting?

No.  I told you it was fairly sedate and low-key other than the unfortunate incidents of Paddy’s Day.  Exador did leave his shoes, hairbrush, toothbrush and part of his liver here.  He was in a hurry to get home to see his sick dog and lovely wife. 

Any regrets? 

Yes, I’m sorry I spent the last hour ripping off Rex L. Camino with this Q&A format.   He does it so much better. 



The Ghosts of Paddy’s Day

March 17, 2006

Slate has an article about the world-wide Irish pub conspiracy.  Much like Starbucks, the Irish Pub Company is putting an "authentic" Irish pub on every corner.  Then, I guess, they will move into the sinister Phase 2 of their scheme.  Overall, they do a good job faking the authenticity of an Irish Pub.  Fado in Atlanta is one of their creations.   It is on my top ten list of bars/pubs worldwide. 

The other end of the spectrum is the fake pub who isn’t even trying for a dram of authenticity.  In Monterey, JDS and I used to attempt to go to O’Kane’s Irish Pub.  I cannot confirm if this place is even still in existence.  I hope it went the way of the Dodo and Potato Famine.   Sadly, the same can’t be said of Doc Rickett’s Lab.  That abomination is a story for another time.  Maybe when Doc Ricketts rises from the dead and turns the patron’s of the club named after him into mindless zombies… oh, wait, they already are mindless zombies.  I digress.

O’Kanes had all the Irish verisimilitude of a Denny’s outside of Boston.  JDS used to exclusively refer to it as O’Kane’s Non-Irish Pub.  Somehow, and in a complete defiance of all logic, it only got funnier the more he said it.

The first Paddy’s Day I spent in Monterey, however, was spent in some fake-English brewpub.  I couldn’t remember what is was called if you blew up a bus outside my window.  In the great tradition of great Irish drinkers, me and the Ex-Mrs. Sarcastro, (at that time the future Ex-Mrs. Sarcastro) were out hoisting as many as we could keep down.  Late in the evening she had moved into what the scientific community termed "Mrs. Sarcastro-Stage Five" .  As a general rule, you want nothing to do with her around stage five.  To be fair, I was at about Stage Four-Point-Nine, myself. Out of the blue, she turns and punches me in the face.  Not hard, but hard enough to hurt.  I pivoted in my seat and gave her a crack in the mouth right back.  We drunkenly laughed at the expression of our love through booze and violence.

It doesn’t get more authentically Irish than that. 

Paddy’s Day Haiku

March 17, 2006

Courtesy of Albert Einstein (hat tip to KC for the link):



Skanks For The Memories

September 16, 2005

Thanks to all the Nashville bloggers for not making it to Coyote Ugly last night.  You chose wisely.  About ten people were there when I walked in about 5:30.  It may have grown to two dozen over the course of the evening. The manager said that was busy for them during happy hour.  Evidently the place is packed later in the evening.  You wouldn’t know it from the size of the happy hour crowd.   So you have twenty-thirty people, all trying to have conversations in small groups, being interrupted by the bar chicks "spontaneously" getting up and shaking their asses in your face.  Not that I’m complaining, but it was sort of like when a little kid wants your attention when you are talking on the phone.  "Hey, look at me!  Lookit!  Lookit!"  I was confused as to the protocol for the bar dancing.  In my experience, one normally shoves dollar bills into the dancer’s garter belt after a dance performance such as that.  I was urged by those around me that it would be inappropriate.  Sorry,  I didn’t realize how high up the brass totem pole of ass shakin’ you girls were.  The disturbing part of the evening came later, when drunk Grandma, vacationing here from East Jockstrap, Wisconsin, got up and shook that ass.  Check please.

Last night I got to be the arm jewelry for the ex-Mrs. Sarcastro.  We haven’t had that nice of an evening together in this century.  It was like old times.  Robert Earl Keen was part of the soundtrack for our married life, so that made the night perfect and brought back memories of good times past.  We were backstage in the VIP area prior to the show.  I shook Mr. Keen’s hand and was photographed with him.  Amusingly, Ex-Mrs. Sarcastro missed out on that bit. 

The show itself was great, despite a low attendance due to the weather.  We moved to the other VIP section in Frontierland Fort Nashborough.  I chatted up the Coyote Ugly management.   They were so nice, I had to stop myself from telling them that the Nashville blog community has a unfavorable view of their establishment.  My problem with their joint boils down to this:  I don’t want to go to a bar that is based on a movie that is based on a bar;  I just want a drink.  The rest is parsley.

At the end of the evening I walked ex-Mrs. Sarcastro to her car, gave her a peck on the cheek and parted as friends.  Just like old times.