BAVARIA 8.6 RED—Strong enough for apocalyptic thirst

My Fellow Inebriates,

Our new (old) house is full of silverfish! They scurry across the bathroom and kitchen floors and counters. OMG, they are so gross, people. Do you have silverfish? What the hell is the deal with these little suckers?

My mum didn’t want to talk about them. It takes her 15 minutes to stop shuddering after killing one. So I asked my friend Scarybear.

Scary says silverfish are harbingers of the End of Days. “They and all their fellow Darker Animals are in charge of Priming the World for the post-Apocalypse after all Good Animals such as Bears have lost their Lives in an All-Out Battle with the Dark Forces of Evil.”

“And how long do we have left?” I asked.

“Thirty-six days.”

If this sounds mighty theological, Scary insists it’s not. He’s far too big a Gene Roddenberry fan for that. But he feels just as entitled as Billy Graham to cherry-pick the best (most dramatic) scriptural snippets as apocalyptic fuel. He believes, for instance, that where the silverfish are most numerous there must be a Hell Mouth—probably in one of the bathrooms. Maybe both.

My dad says silverfish like eating cardboard, and that if we ever finish unpacking and get rid of our boxes they’ll go away.

Wikipedia says silverfish actually like the adhesives in cardboard packaging. They’ll also chow down on photos, paper, sugar, coffee, hair, carpet, clothing, and dandruff. If they’re hard up for food they’ll attack furniture, leather, and synthetics, or even eat their own moulted exoskeletons. (According to Scary, “only a Dark Creature would do that.”)

All that starchy food must drive them into wet areas. We all know how thirsty junk food makes people and bears, and presumably these disgusting bugs are no different.

Scary shrugs at this observation; he thinks a Hell Mouth makes the most sense.

One thing is certain. We can’t even discuss thirst without mentioning BAVARIA 8.6 RED. An import from Holland, this marvelous strong red lager is rich and deep—and 7.9% alcohol. The aroma is malty-caramelly with a subtle touch of fruit. Brisk carbonation meets malty sweetness on the palate—not super-complex, just big and satisfying: a boozy belt with a lingering toffee aftertaste.

Our camera charger is still MIA, so I went scoping for a photo of this lager and found one on Beer Advocate, which advised me not to use it (so I didn’t), but while I was there I noticed BAVARIA 8.6 RED had taken a shit-kicking from the good reviewers at BA. It’s probably the lowest-rated beer I’ve ever seen there. This was a big shock. It was like being told there might be a Hell Mouth in the bathroom. One minute you think you live in a normal house whose paranormal activity rates about a 3 or 4 on the freaky scale. Next thing there’s an effing Gateway to Hell spewing out silverfish and other servants of Satan so they can devour hair-dye and sanitary-napkin boxes.

Regardless of Beer Advocate’s damning of BAVARIA 8.6 RED, I stand by this Dutch brew. It’s super-friendly and easy-drinking without being thin or sour or macro-like. Whatever the BA beer geeks are getting from it, I’m not. I LOVE it, people. And not just because one can is enough to get wasted with. I love it for its own sake.

Spare the rod…and spare the mindlessness too

My Fellow Inebriates,

Where parenting issues arise at LBHQ, my place is on the sidelines. Being a mere bear and not a biological child means I don’t quite represent the same hope for tomorrow that Misses P and V do in our parents’ eyes. (Would they even rescue me if the house caught fire? OMG! I don’t know.) Not to mention the disappointment of my drinking—my parents aren’t investing too much parenting in yours truly.

But the bio-kids pose all the typical dilemmas that parents encounter. How to build their confidence…how to instill life skills…how to engender empathy…how to provide guidance and discipline? Even if my parents are total screw-ups in myriad ways, they are genuinely anxious about raising the girls properly.

So we all read Unhappy Mommy’s thought-provoking article I don’t spank, and you shouldn’t!

Child abuse at LBHQ 😉

Even though spanking is a non-issue at LBHQ, where the only physical punishment that occurs is administered by children to a certain bear, we live in a demographic that reads Proverbs (although perhaps not Deuteronomy’s more choice bits)—i.e., spare the rod, spoil the child. While you don’t see parents whacking their kids at the playground too often, you frequently hear earnest conversations in which one parent defends to another the place of spanking in the God-fearing dad or mum’s parental toolkit. And even more often you hear these parents threatening their kids with a spanking.

At LBHQ there are no “spanking offenses” on the books. The kids do not live in fear of a hiding. They don’t quake fearfully in remembrance of past spankings. They only even know the word “spank” because it gets used teasingly (and they may have overheard the term “spank the monkey”).

Determined to be nekkid

This is not to say they’ve never received a swat on the bum. My mum recalls (guiltily) the day P refused to have her crappy diaper changed, kicking and screaming her resistance even as excrement leaked from her pants to the floor. She escaped the change mat while still covered in crap and darted across the room, flinging the feces off her body on the way to her clean bedsheets—at which point Mum seized her and gave her bum a smack. She hadn’t managed to persuade P to cooperate, and her frustration got the better of her. This happens to plenty of parents. But parents like mine don’t feel good about it. They rehash the scene for days after, wondering how they could have defused the situation without resorting to physical means.

It’s one thing to lose your cool and feel terrible afterwards. It’s another thing to make a calculated choice to hit your child because you believe a higher authority endorses the action as a disciplinary method.

Checking the stereo out: not a spanking offense but, rather, the early days of supervised audiophilia

Unhappy Mommy does a much better job than I can do outlining the arguments against spanking, going so far as to provide citations to support her position. She writes a balanced, nonjudgmental, and thoughtful piece on the subject. Is it ever a hot-button topic! The comments rolled in, and one commenter particularly caught my attention; she was so inanely self-righteous that I decided to rebut each of her points one by one. I know, I come across as a total asshole, but it bothered me so much that someone could mindlessly take a verse from Proverbs as license to hit a child. Whether you’re an atheist, an agnostic, or a believer, it should be obvious that much of the bible shouldn’t be taken literally (child sacrifice in Judges 11:30-39 for example, or God-sent bears mauling children in 2 Kings 2:23-24). And if some of it shouldn’t be taken literally, why should any of it be taken literally—especially as it applies to modern-day parenting?

I don’t think it’s disrespectful to anyone’s faith to say that as a society we should be able to devise good guidelines about child rearing that consider the optimal well-being of children and utilize any and all science at hand to steer us in the right direction. We are all learning and making mistakes every day—but the biggest mistake is to turn our brains off and dumbly accept one cherry-picked piece of scripture as an edifice on which to base our parental discipline.

Thump! That was me falling off the soapbox. Tomorrow we’ll be back to the usual drunkenness and debauchery. Promise.