Reality is, at best, a tenuous set of consensual hallucinations that we share with one another. Our greasy faces, our fat, gibbering jowls, our swollen, offensive ocular meat-balls all nodding in agreement at the barest, most pathetic concept of reality we hew together as Man. But hey. What the fuck do you want out of me? I can’t do shit about it. #YOLO So I’m going to live my life, dimly aware that my beliefs are conjured by a primitive brain-steak based on embarrassingly limited means of perception, and also play some video games. Love my fellow man. Hold doors, say please and thank you. Read some books. And watch Brock Lesnar give people the F5. ‘Cause really there’s no reason to do otherwise.
This is Monday Morning Commute – the column where we list the various ways we’re staving off staring into the Abyss and realizing how fucking Dumb It All Is. Generally these ways take the form of arts, farts, cheap beers, and ideally – Skittles.
I’ll go first.
There’s something to be said for taking advice of the locals.
Now, I’m not enough of a daredevil to suggest that indigenous peoples are always lookin’ out for the tourists. There’re more than a few cases of an innocuous wayfarer being purposefully misdirected by the natives. Hell, I can tell you from experience that if you get lost on the way to Mos Eisley, don’t ask any Jawas for help. I hate to perpetuate stereotypes, but Threepio was right when he called them “Disgusting creatures!”
But for Pete’s sake, don’t be one of those turkeys who goes on an adventure and then searches for the stuff you have at home! That’s total bogwash! Why even leave the front door?
So if it’s your first time venturing into a land whose citizens seem trustworthy, follow their lead. Even those who’ve led mundane lives will be able to steer you towards the essentials. So park your pride and incredulity under your bottom lip, and simply go to where you’ve been told you can find the region’s best burgers, babes, and beers.
When Rome, do as the Romans (and when in Hell, do shots at the bar).
During my recent trek through the Canadian Maritimes, I posed a simple question to anyone who I thought might have the answer (for the most part, this meant winos and women of ill-repute): “What’s the best Canadian beer?”
Without failure, they’d size me up, pausing for an extra moment at my ostentatious hi-tops, and then say in a tone that belied the thought that I could be an honest-to-Vishnu beer-drinker, “You’re goin’ to want to drink Alexander Keith’s.”
Tonite, from the porch of a farmhouse in Nova Scotia, I’m drinkin’ Alexander Keith’s Dark Ale.
Voodoo-prescribin’ witch doctors once invited me to a party.
It was the summer of 1987 and I was in the middle of one of the worst hangovers of my entire life. Since April, I’d spent every waking hour thrashing to Among the Living and doing lines of gasoline-soaked blow. As far as I can recall, it wasn’t until mid-July that I even realized I’d made it all the way to Nova Scotia.
Don’t let anyone tell you that heavy metal and drugs won’t lead you anywhere. They will. Specifically, to the beautiful port-town of Yarmouth.
Anyways, I stumbled out of buck-toothed Ambellina’s bedroom, leaving behind my Walkman and cocaine in the hopes of finding something slightly more transcendent. Fortunately, I found the Tim Hortons whose manager seemed eager to keep my coffee cup filled to the brim, free of charge. (In hindsight, I think must’ve let him look at my Polaroid collection. You ever see a Yeti’s genitals? No? Well, then you haven’t seen my Polaroid collection.) After my thirteenth cup of black wonder, I saw them.
The witch doctors.
There were three of `em. They were all black dudes. They were all wearing sleeveless Wham! t-shirts tucked into blue jeans, which were in turn tucked into work boots. And their accents couldn’t’ve been more diverse. The fat one spoke with a Cajun twang, the old one spoke through a metrosexual French patois, and the tall one sounded German.
In a flash, they’d all taken the liberty of joining me in my booth. Surrounded on all sides, strung out, and shaking in an over-caffeinated stupor, I had no hope of escaping `em. Which wasn’t really a concern of mine until the old one pulled a decapitated chicken out of his backpack and started rubbing it on my face. “Ah, mon ami, you need to stop stressing out!”
“Ja! Too stressed” shouted the tall one, loud enough to turn the heads of patrons.
“C’mon,” encouraged the fat man, “un p’tit boug hain’t gotta worries! We fixxya!”
I was vexed, absolutely sure that these three were going to murder me. I finished my coffee, the best last meal I could ever hope for, and prepared for my demise. “So, you’re goin’ to kill me, huh?”
The old man put the chicken back into his bag and did me the favor of wiping the grease and blood from my face. Granted, he cleaned my visage with his bare hand and then proceeded to clean his hand with his tongue, but the sentiment was there. He then did his best to reassure me.
“Eh bien! Murder is for poets! We are witch doctors! And we’ve got a prescription for you!”
I was curious. “Okay…what is it?”
“ES IST VOODOO!” bellowed the Bavarian.
“Um…” I equivocated, “what type of voodoo?”
Toothy grins spread across the trio of shadowy faces. And then, seemingly from out of nowhere, four of the ugliest, skankiest Canadian girls I’d ever seen appeared behind the witch doctors. If I had to bet, I’d’ve put my money on at least two of `em havin’ VD.
The old man grabbed my shoulder and cackled, “The type of voodoo that starts with a bourbon-soaked orgy!”
Welcome to the Monday Morning Commute! This is the feature in which I write whatever nonsense pops into my mind and then run through the various ways I’ll be entertaining myself into the weekend. At that point, it’s your duty/honor/begrudging privilege to hit up the comments section and share your own ennui-destroyin’ elixirs.
Enough feet-draggin’, let’s rock!
Sometimes the Friday Brew Review can get a little out of control. During the process of tasting new beers, I often find myself inspired creatively. Sometimes the inspiration gets into the review’s bloodstream, transforming it into a short story. Other times, the alcohol seeps into my brain-bone and I have to comment on cinema to get it out. Yes, this place can turn into a real monkeyhouse.
If you come to the Friday Brew Review looking for beer advice, this week’s for you.