Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Alone in the dark with Absinthe

The power going out the other day put me in a rather rustic state of mind.  I grabbed a stack of bills and used them to blast my face with hot air as I lacked a proper fan, and then proceeded to be a wuss and cheat myself out of the true old school experience by using my laptop as a source of light and music, and my cell phone in a vain attempt to harass the power company.  

The first thing I noticed was that it was dark.  Really dark...  Candles ain't gonna do anything for you in this darkness.  After creating light by pressing the power button, the next revelation that was impossible to ignore was the heat.  I read the weather report that morning--which is rare for anyone to do in my part of the world as the expectation of heat is ever present.  The weather woman noted it was going to be, 'abnormally hot.'  For all I know that is a meteorological term but in practice is means that it was 75 degrees at 9:30 pm when the power went out.  Really Hot.  

How is it old people can say with such ease that the world was a better place xx years ago?  And they always do.  Find a old person.  Ask them.  Be prepared as they may prattle on this topic for hours, whether or not you are attentive doesn't matter.  The dark is temporary and altogether manageable but the heat makes people crazy...  I can't begin to imagine--nor do I want to--the wide host of other 'setbacks' that made things better back in the day.  

"So grandpa, did you actually enjoy walking in the snow to and from school, three miles, both ways, with the wind in your face at all times?  No?  Really?  Well, why don't you tell me of the glories of using an outhouse..."  

I'll grant them ten points and a badge of courage for putting up with the innovations of the time, but it's not like the people who live through this were part of an elite club: the whole planet was affected.  I equate the old people who like to talk about how much better things were back in the day to Europeans living in America who do nothing but bitch and moan about how much better things are back in Bulgaria: take the same person out of their present circumstance and put in in the time or place they want to be in.  Then lets see what they have to say.   

The ice machine may well be the single greatest innovation of all time.  When the AC goes out and it's 75 degrees and raising, Apocalypse or not, you're going to want a cold, tasty, beverage.  I can state with absolute consternation that the separate processes of crafting and creating liquor have been much improved from generation to generation.  I firmly believe the Saint George Distillery of Alamede, California to be one of the premier distilleries today.  That said, despite their best efforts, somethings are universally bad and no amount of time can help: haggis, venereal disease, kimchi, military dictators, absinthe.

It taste horrible… absinthe that is, well, haggis too I should think.  Not to mention that the color is rather disconcerting.  You'll want a cold drink to distract you from the fact that you're alone in the dark, sweating like a slave, but inexplicably not in Hell when your AC shuts down.  Make sure your stash has some better tasting hooch than this because romantic inclinations, nostalgia of that trip to Europe where you'd swear you got 'high' on absinthe (and no, you didn't) or whatever other novel ideas you have of 19th century literary people talking about how much better their work is than everyone else's won't help.  Room temperature, on ice, in the light, or all kinds of dark; this stuff is awful.  

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