It’s funny how ideology goes back and forth: margarine is better than butter, then butter is better than margarine. Egg yolks are good, then they’re bad. Beer is better in bottles, then cans, then back to bottles. But in June of 1938, the consensus was cans were cool. Cans, you see, did not expose beer to harmful light.
These days, you can’t throw a stick without hitting a mom clutching a glass of vino to temper the hours of “social distance learning” with the reality of 2020.
I, for one, am happy to have a senior, whose studies I can entirely ignore. The days of monitoring or supervising are nearing an end. College acceptance takes precedence over anything left in this rotten semblance of a schoolyear. Any reminders for tests or homework go unheeded. So why bother? After a constant barrage of uninformative teacher emails and daily school texts, stating, “Yes, another coronavirus case has been detected on campus,” we shrug and move on. Every day is the same. It’s easily the worst time to be a high school senior since the threat of being shipped off to Vietnam, and I imagine the emotional and social repercussions will be heavy and long-lasting. God, do I need a drink!
In any event, I am not drinking wine nor spirits. Fate has deemed that all alcohol gives me a headache lately, and it could not be timed any worse. So coffee and tea it is, with my beloved Coke at interims. Yes, 2020 has been a nightmare on every level. But at least we have the luxury of Netflix and Amazon in quarantine. We can still be comfortable and feel relatively safe, even without the company of fermented grapes.
During WWII, however, moms had more at stake, fearing for their husbands overseas as well as wondering if bombs would drop on our very soil. Were they encouraged to sample pinot? Alas, no. The power of pulling it together lay in Alka-Seltzer.
Alka-Seltzer kept the “unjust words” at bay. And it had already been time-tested. Even Will Rogers had stamped his approval a decade prior.
The post-war would see the addition of Speedy. Serenity now! Pronto!
But it wasn’t just for ladies about to lose their minds. Anyone indulging in food or drink could make use of it. Instead of a daydrinking suburban mommy, your pre-diabetic uncle kept a roll of A-S in his pockets. Just in case.
As Americans continued to eat up, sales continued to soar. While my association with the product is limited to the “Plop plop, fizz fizz” of the 70s, children of the 60s would have seen a more animated endorsement.
These days, when every other commercial pimps a prescription drug, meant to feed your fears as well as line the pockets of Big Pharma (O-O-O-OZEMPIC!), you have thousands of other choices to provide comfort for what ails you. Most of you probably take a daily prescription to address the imperfections of your mortal coils. But do any of you still take Alka-Seltzer?
Let me qualify that. Male Puerto Ricans. Puertorriqueños. From his bangs to his jaunty mustache, to his feminized clunky yellow sandals, to his flesh belt matching flesh socks, to his choice of stool, everything is wrong wrong wrong. Even 41 years later, his lady friend looks stylish and composed. But Enrique, not so much. I mean, look at his jean hem! Look at the cut of it!
I know Puerto Rico wants to be able to vote, and I don’t blame them. Really, the main barrier I can see is that we’d have to add another star to our flag, and OCD people would go nuts with an odd number of states. It wouldn’t line up correctly on the flag. We’d have to adopt yet another state to make it even. Or Texas could secede! Most folks my age still think we have nine planets; we’re not going to suddenly remember 51 states. Or we’ll say it with finger quotes, as if it isn’t real yet.
But maybe Enrique’s problem was that he was lit, juiced up on the rum for which he was plugging in this ad.
The thing is, they knew they were being photographed. Ingrid should have offered spously guidance. Could they even possibly still be married, after this atrocity? Or is the rum that good?
A patron of a Viennese wine garden refills his glass from a weinheber. A fat cigar, fine wine, a plate of cured meats, perhaps some friendly company. What else could one want? The article from which this came declares this image as an example of the German word, gemutlichkeit, which we’re all going to learn today.
Behance.net defines it as, “A feeling of friendliness and coziness that comes from drinking in a beer garden.” They created this next poster, which you might find helpful, should you choose to add more words to your vocabulary. Perhaps a little humpen and hopfen is in order.
She’s not listening to a word about Ken’s board meeting. Why? Because Old Forester, that’s why. It’s not called Old Banker for a reason, Ken.
But Meg’s not the only with her eye on the prize.
Behold, Irish eyes are smiling. And why wouldn’t they be? It’s a lovely day to be outdoors in the piney woods, jaunty green hat askew, sporting a thick gold wedding band, smell of beef charring in the air. Somehow, there’s an endless tap of beer in the park. Keep it flowing.
Why? Because dextrins and maltose and B-complex vitamins, like your doctor said. It does a body good, and pairs well with burgers and horseshoes. Cheers to healthful values!
Perhaps your grocery shelves are bare of bottled water thanks to the numero 19 virus . The good news is that it flows in the pipes in your home. Is it nasty? Put a couple filters on it, like we do. We have the best-tasting agua in the neighborhood.
But should your water supply run low (perhaps you are out and about, as the CDC has scolded us not to, even though it’s Spring Break, and most breaks have now become four weeks instead of one, and no sane teenager is going to stay home for a one month vacation, so off to spread some virus they shall go), remember that Coors Light is basically the same thing. Just worse.
During WWII, the not-yet-vanquished German army occupied the north of France, including the port of Cherbourg, which they heavily fortified against seaborne assault. As the only deep water port in the region, it was particularly desirable, so American troops encircled the city in June of 1944 in the Battle of Cherbourg, and handed the Germans their asses five days later, when they surrendered. The fighting left the city in a compromised state. However, in only a month, cargo ships known as Liberty Ships began to arrive, and it became the busiest port in the entire world, with twice the traffic of New York, until the war ended. It has since merged with an adjacent city to become Cherbourg-Octeville.* In this image, we see American soldiers in Cherbourg who appear to have stumbled upon some German wine stores. I’ll drink to that.
As you can see, illustrator Morgan was a master of movement, using his sketches to adeptly convey the energy and complexity of the speakeasy. Also called a blind pig or a blind tiger, a speakeasy was an illicit establishment that sold alcoholic beverages. I was today years old when I learned of the two blind terms. Now it makes sense that I went to a bar called The Blind Tiger in Shreveport 24 years ago, where I met comedian Mario Joyner, who invited my galpal and me to Harrah’s to gamble with him. But that’s another story for another time.
Contrary to the term, it was not a place where it was “easy to speak;” in fact, the opposite was true. It was a place that necessitated one speak easily or softly, as selling and consuming the bootleg booze was illegal. You can see the quiet conversations, imagine the hushed tones, of the clients, keeping it all on the downlow until sufficient intoxication raised their voices. That’s the power of the drink. We’ve all seen a gaggle of middle-aged women drinking margaritas at a Mexican restaurant. Speech is never soft.
From the last sip to a stolen kiss to gossip and entrances, Morgan was able to make the background just as engaging as the foreground.
When the comic was published, the country still had yet three years of Prohibition remaining.
But until then, speakeasies flourished. NYC claimed over 100,000 speakeasies alone. Saloons with player pianos and swinging doors made way for password-protected jazz-playing joints. Instead of aligning with the Prohibition moral compass, American women let loose with drinking, smoking, dancing, bobbing their hair, and donning shortened skirts. Make way the flapper. Gone were basic beer and liquor, as cocktails required mixers to make hootch drinkable. And once folks tasted sugary, fruity drinks, those who had never enjoyed beer and liquor found they enjoyed this new concoction. Organized crime soared. Cops couldn’t keep up with raiding and disposing. It was a losing battle. No wonder FDR repealed the 18th Amendment as soon as he was elected. The woman in the foreground clearly isn’t playing.