FAXE STRONG BEER—Playdate antidote?

It seems some kid in Miss V’s kindergarten class is giving her trouble. Or is she?

MONDAY: “Mummy, H isn’t nice to me. She hitted me.”

TUESDAY: “Mummy, H made a mean look at me.”

WEDNESDAY: “Mummy, H didn’t share the markers.”

THURSDAY: “Mummy, H pushed me into the water fountain.”

FRIDAY: “Mummy, can I have a playdate with H?”

♦ ♦ ♦ WTF? ♦ ♦ ♦

Ahhh, yes, of course we should have that little miscreant over. (Apparently familiarity breeds contempt and then mutual admiration; the kids patched up their differences today.) Mum should stay sober for the playdate duration, of course, so she can prevent V from getting attacked. As for yours truly, I’ll hide. And when the playdate ends and we’ve ejected the psychopathic Miss H from our abode into the arms of her (evil?) parents, we’ll crack a can of FAXE STRONG BEER, a Danish brew my dad found on his weekend liquorstore wanderings.

Pale yellow with white foam, this mildly fizzy liquid emits a hefeweizen-like redolence—grainy and perfumed with fruit. On the tongue it’s slightly herbal, grassy, and mildly alcoholic, which at 8.9% it damn well should be. The carbonation is moderate, the mouthfeel a bit thin considering the horsepower. Interestingly, the fruit that wafts from FAXE dissolves on the front palate, not bothering to stay for the lingering boozy burn. This is how I like fruit if it insists on being in a beer. If a brew is going to feature weird flavors, at least they should behave themselves. Much like five-year-old punks who mess with my little friend V at school and then somehow ingratiate themselves into being invited over for a playdate.

But what the hell, they’re only 5, and V’s pretty good at dishing out abuse in her own right. We’ll see what happens when V and H are hanging out in V’s room. It’ll either work, or it’ll be like cats in a sack.

I dare you to put another cat in this bag.

Note to Dad: Buy more beer.

Liquidity support? Support these liquids, Harper

My Fellow Inebriates,

CBC reported today that during the recession Canadian banks received $114 billion in bail-out money.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper using a kitten to elicit your empathy—the way I'll get page views by tagging this post "cute pictures of kittens."

Of course we don’t call it “bail-out money” in Canada. We call it “liquidity support,” and it amounted to $3,400 for every man, woman, and child in Canada. Whereas 436 U.S. banks went under during the recession, liquidity support kept all of Canada’s lending institutions out of the shit, supplying—at times—more than 150% of those institutions’ worth.

Getting to the bottom of these numbers will take more than the efforts of a drunken bear.

Despite applications for full disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act, the Bank of Canada refuses to release its accounting. Details of today’s report came from the U.S. Federal Reserve, which publicly released data on a U.S. program into which Canadian banks had dipped (in addition to taking their Canadian handout)—Canadian banks that ultimately posted combined profits of $27 billion when all was said and done.

Gimme that beer.

Meanwhile, little knowing how far underwater Canadian banks had sunk, we all continued to pay usurious credit card interest, got bilked on monthly “service” charges at institutions where the so-called services had long since been fully automated, saw the removal of services in return for said service charges, endured who knows how many dinner-time insurance sales calls, and—for the privilege of taking out a mortgage with one of these stable lenders—ponied up $20K in insurance money to insure not our risk but the bank’s. Oh yeah.

If the kids asked what a “bank” was we’d say it was a place to save money—a place where your money is safer than it would be under the mattress. Canadians often crow about the safety of their banking, but as it turns out, we pay dearly for that security.

So to you, Stephen Harper, with your selectively socialist impulse, bite me. I want my $3,400 back. I have a bar to stock, and you’ll be getting my shopping list.

Lucky me, I have a conservative MP to whom I can address my concerns.