It has long been my view that New Year’s Eve is a bunch of hype about nothing – the date clicks over and we’re expected to drink ourselves into insensitivity so that we can join hands and sing the few words to Auld Lang Syne that anyone knows, while some ball drops in Times Square or a group of inebriates counts backwards from ten. Then we’re supposed to kiss, shake hands and wish each other a Happy New Year, before trooping out into the night, perchance to sleep and reawaken, faced with the same load of old bollocks as last year, only now with the addition of an outsized, fuck-off hangover. The only thing worse is being at home, and having to watch celebrity new year activities on TV; I can only assume that 31 December is a hot suicide date.
This year, however, we went to a party at a friend’s house and, in contrast to the picture of misery above, it was excellent. The food was outstanding and beyond plentiful, as was the liquor, with at least ten different single malts available, plus about twenty beers. In fact, there was a game where we had to guess which beer was which on a list of fifteen, by taste. The list included offerings from England, Ireland, Belgium, Italy and Mexico, as well as some decent American beers. It did not include any Bud Light, Miller Light, Coors Light or Michelob Light. In fact next year I’m planning to arrange a taste test with just American Light Beer, along with Donkey Urine as a wild card.
Unfortunately I had consumed an excessive quantity of Mrs Bison’s home-made soup at lunch, so by the time I’d loaded up with food at the party I had little room left for beer. What do you do when the space available for liquor is too small for regular beverages? Switch to something stronger of course, and not much is stronger than Stroh 80.
I picked up this 80% alcohol Austrian spirit years ago at a duty-free because I couldn’t believe anything could be that strong. It has a taste reminiscent of kerosene with a light flavoring of charred chocolate, and it will burn all the way to your genitals and back again when you drink it neat. This is, I have to say, the only safe way to consume it, because if you blend it in, say, Coke, you will have no idea how fucked up you are getting until it’s too late. Then you too might find yourself vomiting from the upper deck of an open-topped bus. (But that’s another, much older story.)
Having called it a day at about 3AM, after beer, red wine, vodka cocktails, champagne, Scotch and the aforementioned Stroh, I was ready for the traditional breakfast of champions this afternoon. Yes, I made a pilgrimage to McDonalds because, for no accountable reason, I fancied a quarter pounder with cheese and some shit fries. As I may have mentioned in the past, new year’s resolutions are for arseholes, but if pressed to make one on this first of the year I would have to choose “Never Eat At McDonalds Again”. Their motto should be “A Little Slice Of The Ghetto In Suburbia”. Not only was the food shit (even by their desperately low standards) but as the sole occupants of the establishment we were treated to a ringside seat at a staff dispute between female staff members:
“Have you clocked out?”
“Ahm just leavin'”
“Ah’ll write you up agin.”
“Ah knew you would, you just causin’ trouble.”
“Wah don’ chew just leave?”
“What you jist say to me?”
“Nuthin – I wuz jist talkin’ to mahself.”
“Well don’t you be walking by me saying that stuff.”
“I wouldna come in if ah’d known you wuz on.”
“Well ah’ll make sure ahm on every day so what you gonna do then?”
“You ain’t gonna have a job much longer’s what ah heard.”
“You ain’t comin’ behind here again. You don’t got no reason to come behind mah counter.”
And so on, until we finished out styrofoam fries and fucked off into the wintry sunshine. I’d planned to take something back home to Mrs Bison, but I was buggered if I was going to buy more crap food at the FcDonalds soap opera that was unfolding, so I went instead to the Hardees drive-through, where the service was quick, the Little Thick Burger was excellent and the fries were (according to Bison Daughter) much better. What was I thinking? I know Hardees is better than FcDonalds…
I can only assume that the Stroh killed off more brain cells last night than I’d realized, specifically those associated with good judgment. Still, it’s now 2009, and the Darwinian economic apocalypse that is in full swing should hopefully result in dismal establishments like our local FcDonalds going to the wall. Survival of the fittest, that was Darwin’s big thing. Having survived the Stroh though I’m more inclined to the wisdom of Nietzsche: what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. By that line of thinking I’m about ready for anything 2009 has to offer.
Copyright © 2009 Edward Bison