December 2, 2009
Truly one of the best things about the holidays is that they are an excellent and generally accepted excuse to enjoy a little recreational intoxication. Yes, you, Jesus, and Krissy Kringle can all make a solid case for the spirit of giving, but inevitably materialism is the road to ruin. It may look like a lot of fun when everybody gets a new car on Oprah or when Skeeter wins the lotto and buys an aboveground for his double-wide, but there is a darker, uglier side to materialism, and not just that chest-crushing moment when you find out the big box under the Christmas tree with your name on it contains a Texas Longhorns Snuggie. Ohhhhhh, you better not pout. Here’s a suggestion: If you actually do manage to nurture your white, hot rage all the way to the North Pole, make sure you’re packing a sidearm with enough caliber to drop a polar bear in less than six rounds. Rumor has it that when those bitches come up out of the water they are insane with hunger … and that Texas Longhorn Snuggie is going to stick out like a sore thumb. Santa Claus, on the other hand, should give you much less trouble … unless you’ve already emptied your clip on a polar bear. Needless to say, it would take a lot of hate to pistol-whip Santa in front of the elves, reindeer, and Mrs. Claus. To summon that kind of fury you would have to binge-drink Starbucks and listen to Gorgoroth all the way to the North Pole. A few days of that evil shit and you’d be ready to strangle the baby Jesus, so putting the beatdown on Santa would almost feel like a mercy killing. But really, if you’re going to binge-drink, why squander your money on the dark side? Why not imbibe something that warms your heart and makes you launch into I-love-you-man soliloquies for random people such as your postman, your boss, and that surly, liver-spotted old lady behind the counter at your dry cleaners? No, not ecstasy, that shit hasn’t been legal since the Eighties. What you need is Holiday cheer (aka booze!). Sure, there should be some lengthy, ponderous boilerplate here about responsible drinking, but deep in our hearts we all know that truly responsible drinking means not drinking at all. F that S. Humans have been using alcohol to get stupid at least since they could articulate the word “grog,” but very likely a few centuries before that. Even though chemically its effect lacks the subtlety and nuance of pricier and more potent drugs, alcohol is nonetheless the most epicurean because of its countless permutations and means of delivery: Jell-O shots, rum cakes, beer bongs, absinthe, ether. You could spend an entire lifetime pickling your liver with all manner of alcoholic inventions and still not exhaust the supply. Ask Michael Parker from Opal Divine’s. He’s been on an alcoholic vision quest for most of his adult life, and though his journey is far from over, Austin has benefited from his worldliness and willingness to share it. This Thursday, Opal Divine’s Penn Field location is hosting its seventh annual Whisky Festival. From 7 to 10pm you can sample more than 45 of the finest malt whiskies from all the regions of Scotland. You can also nosh on hors d’oeuvres like smoked salmon, smoked meats, and fruits and cheeses, all for the amazingly low price of $45. Even more amazing is that all of the proceeds from the event will benefit Meals on Wheels and More. What a great way to enjoy the spirit of giving and still get your spirit on.