Archive for March, 2024

The Worst Parties in History

From Bacchanalias to Flappers: A Look at History’s Worst Drunken Shindigs

Find a drink and then find another. We need to wander down the road of history’s most legendary, and arguably stupid, oh and drunken parties. From ancient Rome to modern times, humanity has a knack for turning festivities into fiascos, and these shindigs take the cake (or should we say, the keg).

  1. The Bacchanalias of Ancient Rome: Back in the days of togas and laurel wreaths, the Romans knew how to throw a party. But none could quite compare to the Bacchanalias – wild, wine-soaked festivals dedicated to the god of wine, Bacchus. Picture this: a drunken frenzy of dancing, singing, and debauchery that would make even the rowdiest frat party blush. Let’s just say things often got out of hand, with revelers running amok through the streets, clad in nothing but grape leaves and a whole lot of liquid courage.
  2. The Royal Masquerade Ball of 1392: In medieval Europe, masquerade balls were a popular pastime among the aristocracy. However, at the Royal Masquerade Ball of 1392, things took a turn for the chaotic. As guests donned elaborate masks and extravagant costumes, confusion reigned supreme when the king accidentally swapped masks with the court jester. What followed was a series of hilariously awkward encounters as the king found himself mistaken for the jester, and vice versa. Let’s just say it was a night of mistaken identities, royal blunders, and more than a few misplaced jests.
  3. The Whiskey Rebellion Bash of 1794: In the early days of the United States, tensions ran high over the government’s attempts to impose a whiskey tax. In protest, farmers and distillers banded together in what became known as the Whiskey Rebellion. But what started as a serious political protest quickly devolved into a rowdy party when a group of rebels decided to raid a government warehouse stocked with confiscated whiskey. As barrels were tapped and spirits flowed freely, what began as a protest turned into a raucous whiskey-fueled bash, complete with rebel yells and impromptu square dances. It was a rebellion unlike any other, where the only casualties were a few sore heads and bruised egos.
  4. The Gin Craze of 18th Century London: Fast forward a few centuries to merry old England, where the streets ran rampant with gin-soaked madness. The Gin Craze of the 1700s saw Londoners guzzling gallons of the juniper-infused spirit faster than you could say “hiccup.” Gin shops popped up on every corner, offering cheap booze to the masses – with disastrous consequences. From drunken brawls to hallucinatory visions, it was like a scene straight out of a Shakespearean tragedy, minus the poetic dialogue and with a lot more vomiting.
  5. The Roaring Twenties Prohibition Parties: Ah, the Jazz Age – a time of flappers, speakeasies, and bathtub gin. Prohibition may have outlawed alcohol, but it certainly didn’t dampen the party spirit. In secret underground clubs, bootleggers and flappers danced the Charleston ’til dawn, fueled by illegal hooch and a healthy disregard for the law. It was a time of excess and rebellion, with gangsters and socialites rubbing elbows in a boozy blur of bathtub gin cocktails and illicit jazz music.

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The Secret Lives of Inanimate Objects

It is very clear to me that the things in my house have lives of their own. My backpack ends up next to my bed all the time. He wants to be close to me. My toaster has a knack for ending up in unusual places. This is why I try to be nice to her. I take baths sometimes.

My shirts button themselves all the way from bottom to top when I’m not looking. Burke swears it’s not her and since I am a lighter sleeper than her, I can’t imagine she’s doing it without my notice. The cat doesn’t have opposable thumbs and anyway, she’s always gone for the unbuttoned look. The dog, well, the dog can’t climb all the way up there, you know. And yet, every day I take out a shirt, every single button is done.

I seem to recall that a lot of my childhood was taken up by watching movies where things come to life and have adventures while their owners are otherwise engaged. Toys, toy soldiers, a brave little toaster, Christmas gifts. All of it wreaking havoc. But the inanimate objects in my home seem to be active and very boring.

My couch is just a bit of a dick. It complains about my choice of TV shows and moans about my snack choices. I’ve been trying to pick out better snacks but it’s hard. At the store today I was struck by the sadness that I am trying to impress a couch with food. My microwave randomly changes its cooking times. I scorched my popcorn last night. The couch was unimpressed. I’m pretty sure my phone made a rude comment about a message I sent yesterday. My phone. It’s plastic and a screen and I love it more than my mother. I can’t be laughed at by my phone. Also I think it’s gossiping with my tablet and conspiring to prank call my friends and family (just in case). But the real gossip happens in my silverware drawer. And drama too. I think the spoons are staging a coup over the spatulas. The forks have formed a clique with the knives. They keep shifting over drawers when I’m not looking. I think my blender is writing poetry. It’s getting avant-garde in here. The less said about the food in my fridge the better. I think the mayonnaise is drinking the ketchup.

I have found two of my glasses’ microfiber wipes in different places in the park. They have both escaped and chose a life on the ground in a park over living in my pocket and helping me see better. This is both humiliating and depressing. And it hurts a little. Anyway, if you see any of my stuff, just send it back my way and don’t let it give you no lip.   

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The Moron

At the monthly meeting of the Central Europeans Morons Club held later this month at a swim club to be decided, I will be named Moron of the Month. For I am a moron.

I am in no way allowed to shop after having a beer. Something happens to me, a lowering of not only inhibitions, but also a complete buying into the concept of the thing. Sometimes before going to the store, I decide that a beer is in order. And in my experience, a beer is almost always followed by like three of his friends. On one particular day, I decided to go shopping in a Kaufland and stopped for a drink on the way.

Let’s fast forward to the store. I bought coffee and something for dinner. I got fruit and successfully avoided the bread aisle, which I was rather proud of myself about since I was about four beers deep and would have thrown an old person under a bus for a ham sandwich. But no. I resisted temptation. I stuck to my list: fruit, veggies, coffee, hummus. I was a rock. But while looking for a light bulb (E-14 warm) I stumbled into the kitchen utensil aisle. And this is where I made my first mistake of looking around.

Kitchen appliances look so sleek in the store. They look unused and useful and yellow and space age. Me-Pre-Four-Beers knows that spending money on a utensil in a supermarket is like making out with Lucifer. But Me-Post-Four-Beers seemed to think it was a good idea. I picked up an onion chopper and, in a moment I turn over in my head every night before bed, I put it in my cart and sashayed myself towards the checkout. I picked up an onion on the way.

To say that this onion chopper is the most useless thing in my house does a disservice to useless things. It’s doing more damage taking up space on my counter and has instead of reducing the time it takes to cut onions, it has added to it significantly. First of all, picking it up is akin to picking up the spinal column of a mummy you find one day in the desert. Its parts break apart and there is no clear mechanism to keep them together. Then, Dog forbid you want to actually ‘cut apart’ onions with this piece of wet pasta, then you are not in luck. To cut an onion with this requires taking it apart after it keeps getting stuck and then punctuating all of these actions with several robust curses to the Dogs of the kitchen.

Here is a list of things more useful than the onion chopper pictures above

An Aramaic to Bengali dictionary on a trip to Jupiter

A toaster in combat

A logical conversation with Donald Trump

A dildo made out of poached eggs

A bag of dildoes when you just want some poached eggs

You get the drift. My advice to you is, never ever buy a kitchen utensil from Kaufland. Ever. If you do, you are a moron like me and there’s only enough poached eggs for one winner of this month’s award.

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Shuffles with Shihtzus

I’ve been watching a lot of frontier movies lately as I’ve been a little depressed and watching people die in the open planes with arrows sticking out of them seems to bring me some joy and comfort. Last week was Dances with Wolves. Where did you think I’d gotten the imagery of the previous sentence?

There’s a scene in this movie wherein soldier John Dunbar finds a degree of solace and freedom on the open plains and frontier. He befriends a wolf with whom he becomes a dance partner. The two are seen doing the Four Foot two-step and his moniker is born with the local indigenous peoples. Then everyone dies.

It’s when imbibing frontier movies that I embark upon a little fantasy. In this fantasy I am John Dunbar. I am laconic, stoic, and at turmoil over inner peace. I am driven towards solace. Not one of these things represents my actual reality in any way. Further, I have moved west. I have been noted by local indigenous populations. I smell like a ferret. Of course in my fantasy, I quietly toil through the day fixing horseshoes and drinking in the open air and nothing things down in my leather journal. My legs are much longer. None of it makes much sense.

I don’t really want to spend any time with wolves. I am fairly certain I’d decide to go visit some after having too much to drink and become a headline in the morning paper and a winner of a Darwin Award. I think I am much more comfortable with my current animalistic situation. I share a small flat with a woman and two four-legged animals – a 17-year-old cat and a 2.5-year-old shihtzu. These animals – wonky-eyed, needy, soft – are much more my speed.

It is not just my opinion; it is theirs. My cat and dog treat me as though I am one of them, only slightly shorter and with a genetic defect that allows me to turn the knobs on the stove and open up the door. They spend all of their time on or very near me. I sleep with a Shihtzu resting comfily in the arc of my legs and with a cat sleeping snugly on my chest. Burke was irritated by this at first, seeing it as a slight. But after 400 + straight days of sleeping unencumbered by a furry animal, she has changed her tune.

It doesn’t stop at bed. A trip to the bathroom involves me, a book, and two animals who sit beneath me and just hang out. An afternoon or evening of cooking is done in the presence of a cat Sphinxing on a shelf and a dog lying on a low box. Both wait for scraps. They are surprised when they are offered. Every single morning I work on the couch from about 5:30-7:30 flanked by two little sleeping animals.

So it is with some minor regret that I am not Dances with Wolves, but rather Shuffles with Shihtzus. But a person must be true to their nature. If you need me, I will be in the living room shuffling with a Shihtzu and with a cat on my chest.

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