Written by Samuel Vargo
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Sunday, 16 June 2013

image for Absinthe: a drink with so much kick it'll drill holes in your brain

"For the lips of an adulteress drip honey, and smoother than oil is her speech; but in the end she is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword. Her feet go down to death, her steps lay hold of Sheol."
-Proverbs 5:4


I'll start this in my usual stupid and inane way - If the Internet had an official bird it would most likely be a turkey vulture. If it had an official designated mammal, the most fitting would be the wolverine - the only animal in nature that will defecate on its own kill so as to save it as a future snack. If the 'Net had a favorite fish, this would undoubtedly be the piranha - a schooling pit-bull of a scaled, swimming, snapping chainsaw that will collectively devour a full-grown crocodile in a matter of seconds (and if this leftover dinosaur finds itself caught in a river where a school of a half zillion piranhas are feeding, it's lunch at midday and dinner if the sun's setting). And let's just add that if the Internet had a favorite color, it would be a sickly hot-pink tone.

Simply and purely, I've chosen all these representations because of the collectivity of vicious cowards who love to rip others apart and eat the bones and souls of poor sots in this funny place called Cyberspace. Yes, these red-eyed avengers are perennially screaming for blood in these electronic walls of the underworld. These gang-stoning, cowering, faceless enemies should be colored with this hideous, wishy-washy pastel. Hot pink is the ultimate cowardly, back-stabber's tone, after all. And if the Internet had an official drink, it might possibly be Kool*Aid; Mississippi-style, iced, sweet tea; Corona cerveza; Jack Daniels whiskey; and / or imported Czech Absinthe made of wormwood and other very weird, hazy, quasi-radioactive ingredients that no new-age scientist can completely put designations around.

These days are stark-raving serious. Anything you say on this overly glorified boob tube called the Internet will be used against you in a court of law. Outside of a court of law, there's always the chance of a lynching or shooting. Actually, the immediate previous statement is an absurd hypothesis borne of paranoia and fatigue. Nobody pays much credence to anything on this silly thing called the Internet and it's just a new national pastime, that's all. Like the black and white TVs were for the World War II generation or paintings on cave walls were for Neanderthal Man. All who know anything concerning cyberspace know that nearly everything found on the Internet comes either from some drunken deranged person's nightmarish delirium of finger clicking or a degenerate psycho killer who lives in Any-Given County, USA or Banger's Pub, England. Shit, according to sundry news reports, this 'boogie-man of a thing' lives right across the street from you! So watch out and take heed!

Rule one and only: There is no good to the Internet whatsoever. There's only evil here - and it's the kind of evil that gives evil a bad name. So let's just forget everything I've written so far and let me start again: Some people have been criticizing me for poisoning the thoughts of college-age adults by highly touting an age-old Frankenstein-like bubbly called 'Absinthe' as a 'good-time party drink.' Nothing could be further from the truth so I will scream an indignant "Misquote! Misquote!"

LET ME MAKE THIS PERFECTLY CLEAR - I DID NOT ACTUALLY MEAN TO PROMOTE THE USE OF ABSINTHE AS A BEVERAGE FOR WRITERS. IT HAS BEEN KNOWN TO BE A VERY MYSTERIOUS AND NOXIOUS DRINK THROUGHOUT HISTORY. SOME BELIEVE DEVIL-LIKE GREEN FAIRIES INHABIT THOSE PALE-GREEN LIQUIDS OF MYSTIQUE AND VOODOO TRANCES. ABSINTHE MAY INDEED CONTAIN VERY SMALL WORMS THAT DRILL HOLES THROUGH ONE'S BRAIN, HOWEVER. THIS IS NOT A VERY GOOD THING. IN FACT, HAVING UNNECESSARY HOLES IN ONE'S BRAIN - NO MATTER HOW MICROSCOPICALLY SMALL - IS ACTUALLY ONE OF THE WORST THINGS THAT YOU CAN SUBJECT YOURSELF TO - AFTER ALL, MAD COW DISEASE DOES ABOUT THE SAME THING TO THE UNSUSPECTING CATTLE THAT IT ATTACKS! THE END RESULT: COWS GET DELUSIONAL AND LATER, DELERIOUS . . . , THEN THEY WALK AROUND IN CRAZY UNSTABLE WAYS AND FINALLY, FALL TO THE BARN FLOOR AND DIE.

But then again, some experts claim Absinthe is as safe as champagne. But I wonder about this drink.
Hey, some who promote this beverage actually say the wormwood deal is really psycho-slasher-silly, fallacious worm shit.

Who is there to believe?

A better question, who in the hell don't we believe?

Confused?

It's only natural to be in gray doldrums of disoriented thought - we're talking about Absinthe here, not the Crusades, not nuclear fission and we're definitely not discussing the physics of black holes and strand theory. All these pieces of the minutia are quick studies compared to Absinthe. Even after forensic science, the splitting of neutrons and Political Science as a respected part of the Arts and Sciences, we're out in the middle of the wilderness in regard to the 'BIG GREEN 'A' LIQUID.'

I'm a baby - and a diapered one at that - when it comes to pain and suffering. I would never gamble on drinking a thimbleful of a beverage if I did not think it was absolutely safe, non-poisonous and non-haunting. Even the faint suspicions and plausible theories that Absinthe is very bad for humans would keep me a mile-and-a-half away from the stuff. I like my brain cells to be close together and working right. I don't like the thought of drinking something that may create in me a hallucinogenic week from hell five years from now. Quite like Raphael Duke and his drug-addled attorney in the great classic, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, I may indeed find myself speaking in year 2020 about a detective novel I've written, at a for-a-couple-hundred-dollar gig, to the FOP of Gary, Ind., or the criminology department at Mohawk Community College in Utica, N.Y., and begin seeing lizard-like heads all over a sparsely-crowded room. And unlike Hunter S. Thompson's Duke, I doubt if I'd find much levity or deliverance in any of this kind of hallucinogenic hell. No, I'd go bat-shit berserk.

********

Some think Absinthe is like a designer drug. Yeah, just like wine coolers and I-Pods in that it's a suave new addition to this world. Actually, it's one of the oldest of alcoholic drinks. Drinks containing wormwood date back to the ancient Egyptians (and if a leftover bottle from King Tut's birthday party was found in the back corner of a pyramid tomb, it would date back nearly 4,000 years). No, it's no newfangled potion, it's a drink that packed a punch for the typical Dark Ages humanoid.

Absinthe is quite similar in harrowing egregiousness to crack cocaine and methamphetamine. Modern-day protestors of the drink scream in chiming fury that the Big A will make its imbibers insane. Its strange contents contain violent and crazy spirits that can change a gregarious little blonde cheerleader into a yellow-toothed, rotten-fleshed, wraith-like zombie wielding a whole set of sharpened chef's cutlery, yes, and put little Miss Pixie Pie inside to a gape mouthed, trembling maternity ward and you have Halloween 19 and The Newest of the Newest Texas Chainsaw Massacre all in one.

If all this sounds like 'Reefer Madness,' maybe it is. But many don't underestimate the dangers posed by drinking Absinthe. That hideous 'Green Fairy' may have the bite of a sulfuric acid bath. Most amazing and frustrating, after nearly five millenniums, this crazy species known as Homo Sapient apes has not decided whether Absinthe should be condemned by the United Nations or touted as a wondrous 'nuclear' power drink and sold by proprietors of merrily ringing ice-cream trucks.

* * * * * *

I'm not too worried about my college-age friends. I'm probably old enough to be most of your parents' age. But honestly, I worry about our young people, just like Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama oftentimes admit to doing. Just blame this demented humanity on benign, wise, old-fogyish benevolence. About the most glaring difficulty the college crowd will have in buying Absinthe is that it is not available for sale through U.S. businesses - it's illegal throughout the United States for a business to sell Absinthe on the shelf or over the counter. Hence, it has the high pricetag of other contraband drugs. Even getting a slight buzz off the stuff will most likely put you back a good fifty bucks or so. . . Back when I was at the old U, a beer run that took longer than 10 minutes was written off to borrowed time; and any drink that was less than 150 proof, and cost more than a couple bucks per five gallon garbage-bag full was way, way too out-of-reach for the poor bum, college chums that made up my dorm floor's cracked flaking halls.

For the sake of argument and utter confusion, let's just look at a few things that may be considered factual, but since we're talking about the 'Big A,' nothing's set in stone, so here goes - It's legal to own Absinthe in the United States, but quite like the age-old statute still in the rules and regs of some little Florida towns that "walking your pet alligator downtown without the animal being secured on a leash is a Third Degree Felony;" so it's okay to buy a kit and make your own gook but it's illegal to manufacture the stuff for commercial use. You'd probably get into quite a bit of trouble, too, if you had a large operative fabricating this messy green elixir and you gave it out to friends, neighbors, and possibly, even your enemies. The Green Fairy (hey, I didn't dub it that, Napoleon and even ancient Aztec and Mayan peoples called it that) has some pretty stiff regulations. I'm sorry if I am too terse and I've simplified this a bit too much. I'm no lawyer or doctor, just a writer.

From what I understand, it's also legal to purchase the stuff over the Internet from what the legalists call 'international companies.' All of these companies, by the way, seem to be located in the former Czech Republic, or in Slovakia, Hungary and even in some little bayou towns in Transylvania's Black Forest. To further confuse matters, it's perfectly legal to drink Absinthe in any state in the U.S.A., that is, if it is sought and purchased through the legal means just described above. So for simplicity's sake, make sure you pay for the snot with a credit card charged to some seemingly Russian-Mafia / Czar-run enterprise with a website that looks like it was put together by a flock of drunken flamingos.

For most college students, Absinthe would be a very expensive oddity to have lying around. For the faint-at-heart and cowardly frat rat, try the Czechoslovakian 'Absinthe, King of Spirits' brand, at a mere $98.50 per 0.7 liter bottle. Yes, at the College of William & Mary or Kent State University, most undergrads undoubtedly buy their booze based on price, but Absinthe may be the ultimate, good-to-the-last-drop crowd pleaser. Also keep in mind 'Absinthe, King of Spirits' is a brand that was cheered by both Picasso and Hemingway (two documented self-destructives who have been accused in some well-respected circles of academe as actually being criminally insane). By the way, 'Absinthe, King of Spirits' is a diluted variety, made up of 70 percent alcohol and only 10 percent of the psychoactive Thujone content (Thujone is stuff that will allegedly make you and your date want to catch the nearest 2 a.m. train and murder everyone inside with an ice pick and a sledge hammer).

For ornery Absinthe with a lot of wormwood and a definite kick, try another Czechoslovakian brand, Lisse (meaning "smooth" - in French), which contains 30 percent alcohol, 20 mg of thujone per kilogram and a definite hint of mint flavoring in every pseudo-fatal sip. It's the original Swiss recipe that folks like Don Quixote's hallucinating, crazy mule; Chairman Mao's rabid chow-chow; the Virgin Queen's deranged first lover; and the condemned victims of the Mayan Sun God's henchmen all used to drink like sweet mountain spring H2O. Lisse is also the original 'Mad Dog 20 /20' of 'wormwood' - type drinks. What's most attractive is that Lisse sells for a mere $72 per liter.

In closing, if you start drinking tons of this junk and you begin seeing a man-sized grasshopper riding a silver and gray quarter horse on the New Jersey Turnpike, don't say that The Spoof and Sam Vargo didn't warn you about the possible consequences of imbibing. Just remember: if you come to after a six-month blackout/time lapse and find yourself in the middle of a pride of lions in the Toledo zoo with your pants pulled down and strange liquids all over your clothing - don't blame us! We didn't buy that puke green gunk and pour it down your throat! And we're far too cheap to buy you a drink of the green juice on our dime.

The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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