Archive for the ‘Alcohol’ Category

Previously: The first, well the only redeeming quality, was his ability to score the best Kazakhstan weed. It was probably its influence that made these “artistic” endeavors seem worthwhile. What the hell else could it be?

And now: What the hell else could it be? Indeed. What could make this worse? A veritable Brueggellian nightmare, that’s what.

images-1 Yeah, they did.

I always thought there was more (or less) to Zoltan than met the eye, but I couldn’t put my finger on it though there were too many times I wanted to put my finger squarely in his eye! Not out of any prescient thought on my part, but I never did and am now grateful for that bit of reserve. Ginger informed me that he was going to meet us at the next bus stop and gracefully provide us with our transportation. Probably in one of the last remaining, clapped-out racing Yugos. She also informed me that Zoltan had something else going on the side as well. Why was I not surprised?

The good news is that I would get to leave the acolytes of Amway, the insurance salespeople, and the strange cult-types behind me. The bad news is I’d be riding with Ginger, Zoltan, and who the hell knows what or who else would be joining this not so merry band of pranksters. I hope he had some of that weed. I figured I’d be needing it. If not that, some of the industrial-strength, gut-enflaming booze called Palinka. It looked like water, smelled like the after-waste of some carbon/nuclear plant experiment gone horribly wrong, and tasted, well, let’s just say the description I gave were its good traits. But, a few shots of that and everything was in the past, probably never to be remembered in their entirety.

Thankfully, the next five hours on the bus were spent in relative calm. Ginger had her iPod on listening to Polka versions of Justin Timberlake songs, the Amway folks were quizzing each other on the merits of the newly formulated SA8 soap, and the cult was just gazing out the windows, up at the ceiling, down at the floor, or each other, the floor, mindlessly humming a generic chant from the 20th century. Did I say “thankfully”?

Did you ever wonder where time went? I was thinking just that as the five hours passed way too quickly because we were now making our final bus stop to pick up with Zoltan. Looking out I was gratified to see we would not be engaging in some version of a Yugo demolition derby. No, instead we would be cruising in relative style in a 1975 Cadillac Civil. Yes, Civil. That would be the Iranian version of the American Cadillac Seville. Who knew? Who knew this to be true but it is…look it up.

1978_Cadillac_Seville

The Caddy was tarted up in Kazakhstan livery mode which meant it had every conceivable tschotske known to man including multiple air-fresheners which lent a veritable potpourri of wretched scents. It did indeed smell just like it looked. And behind the faux-fur-covered steering wheel, why Zoltan, of course in his faux-sharkskin splendor. Topping off his ensemble was an equally offensive shag felt fedora, favored by pimps in the ’70’s. Oh, this was going to be interesting… if we survived.

Zoltan signaled us all to get in the Caddy. Sitting next to him was his latest heart-throb, Pooch, a 17 year old Balkan wife-for-sale, Lindsay Lohan look-alike, complete with silver-lame shorts and a halter top that couldn’t halt anything even though it was trying. The back seat next to Ginger looked like the safest place for me.

Zoltan, turning around, hands each of us a handgun, saying these were for good luck. I have an aversion to guns of any size, with any predilection for luck of any kind. I started to protest when Zoltan made it clear in no uncertain terms that I was to start packing, and not my bags: we were going to the mall!

It’s that time of the year when the weakest among us of which I of course do not count myself, make New Year’s resolutions. It’s the same old, same old – “I’ll drink less”; “I’ll eat less”; “I’ll lose weight”. Yeah yeah, yadda, yadda. Come on. When are you going to get realistic? All of that will last a week or so before you come up with a rationalization for breaking it. I know because in the past I’ve been there.

So, the rest of you reading this probably have already started on how you will attempt to turn your lives around in 2013. My advice to you: don’t bother. You won’t keep the freakin’ things any way and will just embarrass yourselves when you finally admit your genetic weaknesses regarding commitments. Never, never make commitments around the holidays unless it’s to meet for drinks. And even then, be careful. You never know who you’ll wind up going home with.

2541584717_d7b509fc33 You never do know who you’ll wind up with.

And that’s another thing –  why is it so many people insist on making life commitments (marriage proposals, etc.) around the holidays? Isn’t there enough pressure to be falsely happy at this time of year? That’s what all the booze is for. Don’t ruin a good gin buzz for crissakes making a promise you’re almost certain to break!

4124361638_f79e6f80e3 Second thoughts already!

I know someone who is convinced they will find a new job in 2013: one that is fulfilling and financially rewarding. Really? Do they not watch or read the news? Yes, it’s true, that that practice will most likely lead to more drinking but not of the socially acceptable irresponsible holiday imbibing. But a new and good job? Maybe they’ve been dipping into the cooking sherry a little too much already. Resolutions just suck.

A few years ago, I made a resolution I’ve actually been able to keep completely. It’s simple – I resolved never to make another resolution again. And I’ve stuck to it. The good news? It hasn’t interfered with my drinking at all!

Cheers and Happy New Year!

This is the other Bruce and I’m not happy. Not happy at all. Do you hear me? Not happy!

And you wanna know why? Probably not and that’s why I’m unhappy. I’m more than unhappy. But I promised Bruce I would confine that kind of talk to the bar or behind Mrs. Crosby’s more than ample backside.

Bruce has been moping about and there doesn’t seem to be anything any of us can do about it. We’ve offered him his favorite girly drink, Club Soda, Elderberry Wine, nightshade, a slice of lime, and Rose’s Lime juice with an expresso bean thrown in, but even that can’t seem to stir him from that damned funk he’s in.

Just add the nightshade and the coffee bean and Bruce’ll be happy…maybe..

And here’s the dirty little secret behind his crappy attitude. You. That’s right, You. Or really the lack of You’s. Each day he looks at the numbers on this blog and gets more and more pissed. If Bruce is pissed, then you can only imagine how I feel. Spittin’ nails, right!

Look, I don’t want to air our dirty laundry, but I can’t stand it when Bruce is this way. He’s mean to his wife, kicks the dog (and the cat, but she deserves it), and is just generally lousy to be around. Each day he toils on this blog and feels like he’s unappreciated. (Awww, poor little Bruce!) But hey, aren’t we all?

So, Bruce is threatening to leave this endeavor of ours and go to work for Rupert Murdoch. He claims he has had it. He might even run away. Talked about arrested development! Join the circus! See if I care.

He says why should he do most of the writing, as if you couldn’t tell, right?, if no one is going to read it. I keep telling him that the market (of which he thinks of as urbane and sophisticated) isn’t really there or if it is, doesn’t care. Bruce, look, maybe you’re not that funny after all. That was probably not the right thing to say. What do you think?

I can’t see this blog going on without him. What would I call it? – The Bruce? Not on your life! Of course, I could go out and find another Bruce, but truthfully, it wouldn’t be the same. We’d have no history, we probably would be too similar and that wouldn’t work. I guess I could use my brother, but he isn’t a Bruce, he’s a Richard and that’s all that needs to said on that count. He’s not even a pale comparison. This is not how I thought I would spend my final days in the nursing home. Disregard that last remark. I am fully capable and functioning and don’t use Depends… often. I’m just really upset over this.

Last night, Bruce went to a gun show of all things. That’s usually the thing I like to do, but hey. He came back with a Kroger 90mm hand cannon complete with mother of pearl grip and elephant ivory sightings. He said it was formerly owned by Cher. At least that gave him some comfort. It’s what he may intend to do with it that has me scared. We need to talk him down off this ledge.

It made him happy for a moment until we took out the firing pin.

Please let Bruce know you love him. Tell your friends to read this too. Maybe even follow. Write him comments. Send him cookies. It will make my life much more bearable and will continue the fine writing that you’ve all come to love. Or like maybe. Tolerate? Please? Otherwise, it could mean the end of the Two Bruces blog. Unless you know of another extremely talented Bruce. It could happen. I’m open to suggestions.

Bruce and I were discussing the sorry state of the world the other night in our comfy gentlemen’s leather club chairs, complete with matching ottomans. while smoking some very fine Cuban cigars, (our houseboy Mickey gets them from his family in Cuba) and swilling some vintage Port I picked up at the duty-free shop in the local Walmart. It was ideal. All that was needed was a fire in the fireplace, snow outside, and the tender attentions of our housekeeper, the widow Mrs. Crosby, (no relation to the singing family of Bing or David).  But we had given her her notice as times have gotten a little tight around Bruce Manor. But, that aside, life at that moment was quite good.

The modest guest house at Bruce Manor. (vacationhome rentals.com)

So after having read the evening newspaper, the last remaining one we must say and we are creatures of habit after all, Bruce and I were quite distressed about what has become of contemporary journalism. We are not suggesting that every thing written be of the level of discourse as one would experience at the Algonquin Round Table, (both of us having turned them down for inclusion; they are such snobs!), but at least perhaps with some level of thought, a soupcon of wit, intelligently written, with minimal illustration, and much insight sans opinion. Is that too much to ask? Is it?

So, it came to us after the second or third bottle of that heavenly Port, that we realized that almost everything written today is a cliche or a pale avatar of a cliche. That does however, beg the question: when does something become a cliche? In our younger years we would have replied, “Why, when we say it is so.” But truth be known, we have mellowed quite a bit since our halcyon days and reserve our rapier-like wit for those who are genuinely deserving. Or perhaps it’s the effect of the last bottle of that divine Port. Does it really matter when one’s thoughts are so pithy and insightful? An emphatic “No”.

But always say “Yes” to a glass of Port. (portwine.com)

So what, gentle reader, we’re sure you’re asking, has gotten us into such a tizzy? Why it’s the self aggrandizement people, places, or companies practice in describing themselves. This is what we mean.

Can a company or an individual describe themselves as “World Class”? How do you know how you stack up against some of the most formidable competitors when you’re doing business in Claymont, DE? Isn’t that up to the world to decide? And just what is “World Class”? Is it a level in elementary school? Is it like detention for dictators? It’s been our experience that anyone declaring themselves, their company, or an acquaintance “World Class” generally isn’t. If you are, the world knows it. If you’re not, the world is probably trying to tell you something. Listen to it!

Another one that really hacks Bruce off is “State of the Art”. He likes to jest, “Which state?” or another of his favorites, “Whose art?” Or after copious amounts of Port, “I don’t know much about art, but…”  He loves the duality of that last one. He can be so esoteric sometimes. What does “state of the art” really mean? We contend there is no such thing as “state of the art”. Oh, at one time, we might have admitted to that. But now? Hardly. “State of the Art” used to mean the latest of a specific thing, process, or service. Which today would give it a life-span of approximately three nano-seconds. As our uncle, Bruce from New York would say, “I’ve got your state of the art right here! Now get away from me with that!”

No, we advise it best to stay away from cliches. We’re so over that.

Alcohol can make you do things you would never consider when sober or at least not under the influence of some mid-altering substance and that includes love.

However, and this is a very big however, is that when under the influence (UTI for this discussion, although in looking at it, that is the same acronym for urinary tract infection – an equally uncomfortable state of being) country music starts to make sense. All the heartbreak, the missing dogs,  stolen guns, and blown-up pickup trucks are real. The wife/girlfriend/lover/best friend/partner, whatever are all real as well.

This is what heartbreak looks like.

This is something with which we can all identify. C’mon – you know you agree. The music even sounds good and meaningful. Ehh, maybe there was too much to drink after all.

The truth, however distorted by alcohol (or love for that matter) is there. Through the substance induced haze, one can find real meaning in this music. We’re on the road to hell now! All that remains now is to start using chewing tobacco (“just a little pinch between the cheek and the gums” the ad says)… a thought that at this stage is not without some charms, but none that be explained without any amount of lucidity.

Heartbreak, deceit, perfidy, (Class, today is being brought to you by the word perfidy), all have meaning and truth at this time. If a child were to be born tonight, it undoubtedly would be named Garth or Shania.

What then when sober, is the attraction of country music? Twanging steel guitars (perfected when young on back porches and pickup truck beds ); nasally singers (not from the Bronx); and rampant testosterone, flowing from amplifiers pleading, begging for some sort of low-rent salvation, and finally the love of a good “NASCAR” woman are just a few of the many the elements of this “art-form.” And don’t forget, there is also a don’t-get-in-my-face attitude as well. Independence is important here.

Don’t get in my face, y’hear? (Courtesy Guanabee)

“In vino veritas.” In Drambuie veritas! In beer veritas, we say! Drink enough and the truth shall appear. And it will set you free. Or some such semblance thereof. But, is this behavior true? Only to the extent it removes whatever moral boundaries we set to prevent us from acting like total fools. Karaoke is an example of this. Do not drink and think you sound like Billy Joel. Oh, you’ll drive like him alright, but you will not sound like him. Ever. And Christie Brinkley will never, ever go out with you. Hell, the Dixie Chicks won’t go out with you either!

So, sober up and be grateful that you couldn’t order anything from Amazon while in this state. The last thing you need is the Greatest Hits of the Oak Ridge Boys. Because quite frankly, they won’t go out with you either!

They really won’t go out with you. (Courtesy The Boot)