Wednesday, February 23, 2022

THE BUTTERFLY COLLECTION

Because of possible adverse interactions of my medicine with alcohol I abstain from booze. But before that became an issue, I would occasionally have a Scotch and water, or an Irish whisky (or two) once a week where a friend and I would observe the owner becoming progressively more insane over the years. We still go there, but I'll have a glass of hot water.

There was also a period when I went to a place around the corner to utilize the building portico as a pipe smoking haunt in the evening. My drink, which I barely touched, would wait upstairs at the bar while I would be downstairs puffing on a bent Peterson and dreaming. After I stopped going there because they started catering to a younger more insane crowd, I switched to another bar which had tables in front, where I haven't been since early 2019.

If you have to be outside to enjoy your pipe, there is really no point in patronizing any drinking establishment.


But I approve of booze. It gives many people with nothing on their minds something to do.
And there is no evidence that even suggests that it further damages the braindead.


There are three cocktails which I occasionally (meaning: hardly ever) indulge in any more: The Manhattan, the Grasshopper, and the Henry Darger.

The Manhattan is two ounces rye whiskey, one ounce sweet vermouth, two dashes bitters. Shaken over ice, poured into a Martini glass, and garnished with a cherry. This is a drink popularized by a Simpson episode in which Bart ends up bartending for the 'Legitimate Businessman's Club' where Fat Tony and his pals hang out.
Which is what introduced me to it.

Grasshopper Cocktail: One ounce Crème de Menthe, one ounce clear Crème de Cacao, one ounce half&half. Shake well over ice and pour into a large cocktail glass. For a perverse touch, add a cherry. I intellectually like this because it's absolutely degenerate, and very much a drink from the day and age of rock and roll, polyester, and American middle class alcoholism.

The Henry Darger: Two ounces bourbon, a maraschino cherry, and a dash of grenadine. Squirt of ginger ale. Two or three drops of bitters. Poured over ice in a highball (long drink) glass. No cherry.

Henry Darger was the "genius" who wrote "The Story of the Vivian Girls, in What is known as the Realms of the Unreal, of the Glandeco-Angelinnian War Storm, Caused by the Child Slave Rebellion". A magnum opus of over fifteen thousand pages, with hundreds of illustrations, about pubescent heroines making daring escapes, fighting fiercely, being tortured, along with supernatural elements, general cruelty, and decadent spookiness.
Fifteen thousand pages, plus. About pubescent girls.
I invented this drink to torture bartenders.


Intellectually I also favour sherry. It seems both innocent and sweetly wicked at the same time. Something a librarian would drink, or a teenage boy would hide in the chemistry lab at school. A suitable drink for girl scouts, or neurotic old ladies solving crimes in a picturesque village near Dartmoor. What the doctor has in the locked cabinet that patients never see. Or gouty Uncle Mortimer keeps near his favourite chair in the darkened room at the top of the house, where the servants never go and his relatives all know not to bother him while he writes spidery annotations to his butterfly collection. "Got this one in the Amazon Basin in '97 while fleeing from the Yakayapu and their spears." "Sungei Galap, Borneo, on a prolonged quinine jag." "Escaping with the heathen idol's eye, I spotted this beaut."

Unce Mortimer gets sidetracked rather easily.

There is no sherry on the premises.

Which is tragic.



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