Bobby sits at his easel, waiting for the rain to stop. He has run out of blue paint and does not aspire to try impressionism or abstraction. Stick to what’s in front of you, and try to paint it, has been Bobby’s motto since taking up the new hobby. He knows he is not a very deep man. There are no grand, existential thoughts that run through his mind. His interpretation of life is simple and straight-forward to the point of banality, and he knows it. Leave the big questions for the big people, boy, cuz’ you ain’t one of ‘em, his father had told him, and he was right. But Bobby decided that he was going to continue with his “Arty Hobby Holie-Hoo,” which is what his wife calls this, until he succeeds at it. Seven months he has been sitting and looking out of the tiny window of the northwest corner of his apartment, attempting to paint as the sun set over his view of Eau Claire, Wisconsin. How close he was to succeeding after twenty-eight paintings, or if succession was even attainable in this regard, Bobby did not know. Those were “Big Questions”.
He had run out of blue paint because he had to do last week’s painting at noon instead of at sunset. He and his wife had to go to dinner at the Mr. Nelson’s, Bobby’s employer, so Bobby had to paint earlier than he liked to. The sun had not reached the window yet, and Bobby was forced to use every last drop of blue paint he had to finish the thing. It came out all wrong since the only blue paint he had was a dark, indigo-like color. “Wonky” is what his wife labeled it, and then she proceeded to berate Bobby for wasting so much money and time if he couldn’t even paint an empty sky right. Bobby just nodded his head, stacked the small painting in the corner of the room with the others, and put on his tie. “Time to do something that matters. Mr. Nelson has finally invited you over for dinner. That means you might get a raise, or even a better job.”
The dinner had been nothing but dry meatloaf a two hours of conversation about gold that Bobby didn’t understand, but Bobby’s wife insisted that they were heading for a better life. But Bobby has never wanted a better life. Bobby has never really wanted. No children. No siblings. A dead father and a mother in a nursing home. A small job with a small company crunching small numbers. No real friends, no real enemies. Bobby knew he led a boring life because he was a boring person, and he had known it since he was young. His wife was the same way (how else could he have gotten her to marry him?), but she had not come to terms with it and so she constantly yearned for more money, more things, more friends, even if none of it was real.
Bobby didn’t feel he had wasted his life not pursuing his dreams, but that he had lived a life without ever having dreams. Not even one. Not even for toys as a child. That’s why he took up painting so that even if he had no desire he could at least try and see what it might feel like to have it.
Has he felt it yet? Bobby doesn’t think so, although it’s hard to say. Another “Big Question”. So he sits and looks at a painting he can not finish without going out into the rain to buy more paint, and he’s not going to do that. The moment his wife sees him putting on a rain coat, she’s going to start making fun of him and arguing with him. He does not want to the headache. He would just like to keep painting this one scene until it is finished, whatever that might mean. He would like to know how other people he has met feel when they draw, or build a boat, or ride a horse; to know why they feel and he does not. I would like, he tells himself, to be a person who can do this – Bobby dips his brush into the bright yellow paint he uses to paint the sun and paints the side of the next door neighbor’s house (which is dark blue) on the canvas – and not feel like I’m an empty soda can. I want . . . I want . . .
But Bobby can not finish the thought. It is too big, and he does not have the tools. All he has is a rainy day and a now ruined painting, all grey and dark green, no blue, and one bright yellow wall to spoil the show.
Bobby stares at that wall. Save the color, it looks exactly like the south wall of Edith Ryan’s house. He had done the siding correctly, and even gave a little shadow from the eave. A wall the color of the sun. As if the sun had hidden there, under the eave, to keep from getting wet and became the wall. How preposterous. How utterly absurd. How interesting.
Bobby sits at his easel. He is out of blue paint and it is still raining.
Credit must be paid to my friend Time For More Cake, as the core idea came from him. A few years ago he explained a rough idea of the sketch and in the process performed the entire game for me. It was astounding and incredible. You should check out his blog, A Man Chasin’ His Hat, where he waxes poetic about metaphysics, psychology, technology and craziness.
Rosco and Phil sit in booth in a diner. They are each having coffee and Bosco is smoking a cigarette.
ROSCO: How can you not remember that game? It was essential in the American Childhood Experience for that day and age.
PHIL: I don’t remember the game.
ROSCO: Come on! You don’t remember –
Rosco brings his hand up like he’s holding a video game cartridge and blows. Then he mimes putting the cartridge into a video game system and turning it on.
Rosco holds his hand up as if he is holding a gun and makes the noises of the game as he pretends to play it.
ROSCO: Dadaladaduhdah. Doodooloodoodoodoodoodoo doodooloodoodoodoodoodoo doodooloodoodoodoodoodoo doodooloodoodoodoodoodoo. Ruff ruff ruff. Ttt ttt ttt ttt. Pchkchk! (whistle down) Boom. Daladadadada. Ttt ttt ttt pchkchk ttt quack ttt ttt pchkchk! (whistle down) Boom. Daladadadada. Ttt ttt ttt ttt quack ttt pchkchk pchkchk ttt pchkchk! (whistle down) Boom. Daladadadada. Ttt ttt ttt ttt quack pchkchk ttt ttt pchkchk ttt ttt quack ttt ttt pchkchk ttt ttt ttt ttt. Heee heee heee heee heee heee.
The entire time Rosco gets more and more into the game he is miming. Phil starts to get worried as others in the diner start to look around.
PHIL: Bos, maybe you should –
ROSCO: Kill the dog? Oh believe me, I’ve tried. Many many times! But no, he just sits in that grass, mocking you. Making you feel worthless. Little rot-gut bastard, fucking shit pile stack of asshole and donkeyspunk.
PHIL: It doesn’t matter –
ROSCO: Fuck it doesn’t! The prick is supposed to be on my side! There’s a world full of what I can only imagine to be flesh-eating ducks that can only be disposed of with some strange three-shot rifle, and he’s just fucking laughing at me. We’ll see who’ll be laughing when we get home with no demon ducks for dinner. I know I’ll still be hungry and, oh look, a sniveling, cowardly, lazy ass betrayal of a dog. Looks yummy to me!
PHIL: Ros, you’re scarying everyone in the diner –
ROSCO: Now shut up and let me concentrate! I want to finish this game and then do skeet shooting.
Rosco begins to play again.
ROSCO: Daladadadada. Ttt ttt ttt ttt quack pchkchk pchkchk pchkchk (whistle down) boom. Daladadadada (laughs) Take that, fuckstick!
PHIL: Check please!
Another video from my cruise vacation that started in New Orleans. This is a band my mother and I came across while walking through the French Quarter. Out of all the music and live bands that I saw while there, the ones that were playing in the street were my favorites, mostly because they had a grass roots feel. From the banjo, to the bucket bass, to washboards and stray dogs just walking around the bands, it was a lot of fun just to stand there and listen. If it hadn’t been so fucking cold during our trip I might have stood there all day watching these guys.
A very short cover I made while messing around with an audio editing software I didn’t know how to use.
If you’re a part of my loyal readership (all thirteen of you have my undying love, by the way) you have come to understand my love of hard drink. This affection comes more from a place of culinary delight rather than one of getting drunk, although I can’t say I dislike the awesomeness of a night of bar-hopping. But I like to make my nights out at the bars an adventure, a story of epic proportions, a saga if you will, allowing I have the time and the budget to do so. While sitting down and drinking shot after shot of whiskey and glass after glass of martini is most definitely cool (and a definition of manly thereof), I must admit that I find it kind of boring. There is an entire world of liquor out there to enjoy and I believe it is my god-given duty, my holy charge, to taste of every school of libation before then end of the night. Are there rules? Of course, this wouldn’t be fun if there weren’t rules. Is it dangerous? No, unless your idea of danger is to consume as many different liquors in a relative short period of time without promise of food or rest. Then yes, yes it is. Is it wise? No, not really, as the final price of the bill will be akin to a new computer. Is it worth it? That depends on if you enjoy being badass. So here it is, the game of the 9-Course Drinking Extravaganza.
Number of Players: 2 – 6
Equipment: None is required, although it is recommended that one member be in charge of keeping score on a pad of paper.
Object: To last the entire night without passing out, blacking out, throwing up or giving up.
Play: The game begins when you step into the bar. You must sit directly at the bar and be able to do so for the duration of the game. You must order at least two drinks per hour, but no more than four an hour. Every drink must be of a different class than the two that were consumed previously, although you do not have to cycle through all of the classes before returning. You must finish each drink and wait 10-15 minutes before ordering the next. Every five rounds all players can decide to do a group shot, where all players drink the same shot. You do not have to drink at the same pace. If a player is disqualified at any point they must drink water for the remaining duration of the game.
- You may not drink anything without an alcohol content other than water. You may consume as much water as you like.
- You may not mimic your friend’s order (copycatting) in a given round, although you can order what they ordered once a new round has begun (piggybacking), but you can only piggy back twice in the entire game. This does not include group-shots.
- You may not repeat an order you have made earlier in the game. This does not include group shots.
- You may not order a drink that is made with more than three liquors.
The Malts – Malted-grain drinks, e.g. – beer. You may order the same beer twice in a row, once. This is called Barreling.
The Fruits – Fermented fruit juices, e.g. – wine, cider. You may order the same glass of wine twice in a row. This is called Mothering.
The Classics – Simple cocktails containing one liquor and one mixer, e.g. Gin & Tonic, Jack & Coke, Martini, Screwdriver.
The Mixies – Cocktails with no less than three ingredients, but no more than six. E.g. – Appletinis, anything that comes with a slice of pineapple and an umbrella.
The Scorchers – Any drink that involves fire.
The Bombers – Any drink that involves dropping a shot into another drink.
The Regals – Straight liquor, in a tumbler.
The Blasters – Shots.
A player that does a bomber, a blaster and a scorcher in a row wins the Purple Stomach award and gets to be called by the rank of their choosing for the rest of the night. A player that has three or more classics during the game wins the Golden Age award, and gets to be called any entertainer from the 40’s and 50’s for the rest of the game. A player that drinks three or more regals during the game wins the Tortured Heart award, and gets to be called by the author of their choice for the rest of the game. Three or more malts consumed in the game, and a player will be called “Homer”. These awards can be compiled to create names such as Admiral Twain Sinatra or Captain Homer Bogart Hemingway.
Game End – The game ends when all remaining qualified players decide to stop the game, or when there is only one qualified player left.
Now I’ve never actually played this game since not a whole lot of my friends want to attempt it. With the few that have been interested, we often are having too much fun to keep track of the rules. Here is one example of the 9-Course Drinking Extravaganza that I once played (with myself, but not by myself, at a bar):
1. Gin & Tonic (my favorite, and often first, drink) – Classic
2. Shot of Jack – Blaster
3. Black and Tan (half pale ale, half porter or stout) – Malt
4. Tequila on the Rocks (a double) – Regal
5. White Russian – Mixie
6. Irish Carbomb – Bomber
7. Rum & Coke – Classic
8. Stella Artois (2) – Beer
9. Flaming Dr. Pepper – Scorcher
10. Irish Coffee – Classic
11. Gin & Tonic
12. Shot of Tequila
Now this seems like a lot of liquor, and it is, but I was drinking at least one glass of water with every drink, I ate before I started drinking and during the two Stellas, and I consumed it all at a leisurely pace in a space of seven hours. I can not claim I wasn’t dead-ass drunk by the end, nor that I followed all the rules I have listed above, but I definitely wasn’t sick, I remember the entire evening, and I did not experience a hang over.
I must caution you readers though. This game is not for the faint of heart, nor is it for the completely foolish. The point of the game is not to beat the other players but to experience a variety of alcohol and never lose control so you remember each one, so the entire night is like sitting down to a huge, coursed meal. The selection of drinks must take you on a journey to exotic places (tastewise), not a one-way trip to the sewer. Excluding blasters, bombers and scorchers, a player must take their time with each round to fully savor the drink. If you look up at that list and get scared, this is not the game for you. Likewise, if you see that list and think, “I never want to drink any other way,” this game is not for you.
Actually, on closer inspection and regaining my senses, this game isn’t really suitable for anyone. But if done right it’s a lot of fun. Like sky-diving. Naked. Into a forest fire. Full of snakes.