ANALOGUE 78 KÖLSCH—Once again, beer keeps me out of trouble

My Fellow Inebriates,

When WordPress let the following comment through, I thought its spam filters must be drunk.

…stop using your harsh bathroom tissue. Buy premoistened wipes or pads instead. Do you use garlic at home?…

But Holly Hayden’s message actually  made sense in response to 5 Ways to Help Your Anus Thrive. Goodness, she was actually proposing help for the ragged anuses at LBHQ.

“Stop using your harsh bathroom tissue.”

Given that throughout history people have used everything from leaves/twigs to corn husks to wipe away their nightsoil, TP doesn’t seem so harsh. But point taken. Miss V in particular dislikes the harshness of Kirkland Signature toilet tissue, a product we’ve taken to buying in bulk at Costco because she enjoys unspooling entire rolls into the toilet while nobody’s looking.

“Buy premoistened wipes or pads instead.”

Done and done. Almost no one with young kids can avoid prepackaged wipes. In just the way disposable diapers sneak into the diaper bag, especially with a second kid, premoistened wipes assert their must-have status in short order. You get to the point where, if somebody else’s kid sticks a hand down a diaper and emerges with a handful of excrement, and the parent doesn’t have a premoistened wipe, you think they’re a total asshole.

farting guyBut according to an itchy-bottom expert, wet wipes can cause rashes. Especially in body areas that transition from external to internal, “such as the lips or the anus,” or indeed the lips of the anus, sensitivity to methylchloroisothiazolinone/ methylisothiazolinone (MCI/MI) or kathon CG, the chemicals most often found in wipes, may induce mind-bendingly awful ass rashes, which then devolve into further hell as you “treat” them by wiping instead of using TP.

I did an informal poll of LBHQ to see who exactly is using these wet wipes.

Miss P: No. Miss P likes to squat and dash, using nothing, and leaving everything behind for later discovery. Hemorrhoids? No.

Miss V: Yes. Miss V feeds wet wipes to the toilet despite their obvious indigestibility, making for later surprises of the plumbing kind. Hemorrhoids? No.

My dad: Refused to be interviewed. Hemorrhoids? Not that I know of, which is to say, inconclusive.

My mum: Yes. Takes wet wipes to the park so other parents won’t think she’s an asshole. Hemorrhoids? “None of your bloody business,” but no.

Scarybear: Shits in the woods, he says, which means outside by the cedar trees. No one has ever seen him leave the house. Hemorrhoids? How could someone as ornery as Scary not have hemorrhoids?

“Do you use garlic at home?”

For what? OMG, my fellow inebriates, what is my spammer suggesting? What would one do with garlic vis-à-vis hemorrhoids? Insert them up one’s ass??

I had to know, so I clicked on Holly’s link.hemorrhoid feedback form

My WordPress spam filter might have tied one on, but gmail’s was sober. It put my “H Miracle Alternative Remedy Handbook” straight into the spam pile. And when I retrieved it, it was just a tease.

hemorrhoid miracle end of sample

Luckily I don’t have a functional anus, but I know most of you do. Should you insert garlic into it?

My new friend Holly may have been reticent to share her hemorrhoid wisdom without a credit card number, but Lainey Penninger was not. Her instructions were as follows:

Insert the garlic clove into your rectum like a suppository. Adding lubricant will make it easier to insert. Simply use your index finger and insert the clove inside the rectum approximately two inches. Leave the garlic suppository overnight… Repeat three times per week to decrease hemorrhoid symptoms. The garlic clove will naturally be expelled when you have your next bowel movement.

Holy crap, people, I’d never thought about doing this. Have any of you ever done this? Would you like to?

garlic cloveWe have garlic in the fridge, but none of the humans wanted to be a guinea pig. So I thought I’d find Scarybear and insert some garlic up his cavity while he was busy watching The Matrix for the hundredth time. But I got distracted by a bottle of PHILLIPS ANALOGUE 78 KÖLSCH. Unbeknownst to me it had arrived in a Phillips sampler pack that included DR. FUNK DUNKEL, a beer my dad found so awesome that he asked my mum to buy it again, little knowing that she would instead abide by the LBHQ beer-tasting agenda and buy a four-variety pack so we won’t run out of brews to review and have to post two weeks of cat pictures again.

Analog-78At first my dad was disgruntled at receiving only three DR. FUNK DUNKELS and nine randoms. I suspected hemorrhoids, but you can’t blame those for everything. No, my dad thought he’d tried the Phillips sampler before and hadn’t liked it. Which was a total hallucination, as the box has never been in our house before. Again, I suspected hemorrhoids—this time the hallucination-inducing kind. This he denied, so I guess I got my interview.

Fact is, when we got those Phillips beers chilled, they were damned fine. ANALOGUE 78 pours silky straw-colored with a film of white head and quick bubbles that waft bakery crust, faint citrus notes, and earthy hops. The aroma falls within typical parameters: nothing outlandish, just crisp and uncomplicated.

On the palate ANALOGUE 78 is clean and refreshing with peppy carbonation, easy bitterness and restrained malt. A quintessential summer beer, the stuff is more quaffable than its marketing materials (“our version of the long-play album”) purport. It was gone in a blink.

Needless to say, any thoughts of garlic were also gone. Not that stuffing garlic up Scary’s ass was one of my better ideas…


CAMERON HUGHES LOT 313—A yummy way to get your resveratrol

My Fellow Inebriates,

Even with full-on exploding-out-both-ends stomach flu, the kids don’t want to sleep. They want endless games of Uno, Sequence, Sorry…hours of Power Rangers Samurai episodes (accompanied by a parent and some bears, of course)…as many books as can be read between vomiting spells…but not bed. Not at all.

A hundred years ago, everybody’s grandma would have given those kids some Scotch. Or in our case, Malibu, because that’s all we have. But in their predictably boring way, our parents are toeing the line when it comes to alcohol and children, which means they’re passing up twin benefits—health and peace.

Sure, alcohol depresses the immune system. None of my hobo friends is going to be on the cover of Men’s Health anytime soon. But a small sip of wine would confer some heart protection and lower the odds of developing Alzheimer’s disease and other age-related dementia (“which we’re not concerned about just yet for the kids,” my mum said).


But what about my parents? Just a couple of weeks ago my dad locked his keys in the trunk of the car. My mum sent Miss V off to school without her lunchbox. And somebody consistently forgets to flush the toilet…a somebody under 7 years old. Surely Miss P could use red wine’s memory-boosting resveratrol?

“You are really reaching,” said my dad. “This is a good opportunity for you to dry out.”

But why? The bears aren’t affected by the LBHQ stomach bug. We bears have nasty-ass enzymes that allow our digestive systems to process anything. There’s nothing my mother could cook that would kill us, and that’s saying something.

It’s really hard to watch Power Rangers Samurai while sober. It is a totally stupid show. IMDB rates it 4.8/10, which is the lowest rating I’ve ever seen. If we are going to sit on the couch letting it melt our brains, we must have some resveratrol.

A good source would be CAMERON HUGHES LOT 313 CALIFORNIA FIELD BLEND (2010), a captivating mixture of Zinfandel (71%), Petite Sirah (10%), Syrah (10%), and Carignane (9%). We sampled it about two weeks ago while watching Fringe, which made the show less scary and less comprehensible. As with lots of J.J. Abrams programs, if you miss a couple of episodes you’re really f*cked, especially if you don’t have enough resveratrol. At 14.5% alcohol, the wine didn’t do J.J. Abrams any favors, but who cares? This is the last season for Fringe, he is probably totally bored with it, and he will probably end it in a totally unsatisfactory way.

Cameron Hughes is not a vineyard or a vintner. Describing itself as an “international négociant,” the company sources and finances small lots of high-quality wine from the world’s best regions. By partnering with high-end producers it creates 100 unique wines per year and sells them at a fraction of the price of bottles bearing the source wineries’ official labels.

If this seems crafty, consider the term “Field Blend.” A field blend is produced from a bunch of different varietals all grown in the same field and harvested at the same time (but since they don’t reach maturity at the same time, a best-guess average picking time is chosen and the vintner hopes it works out). This is kind of like trying to guess when everyone in the house will stop barfing so you can disinfect the sheets, and apparently very few winemakers use this old-school method any longer because of the risk that many of the harvested grapes won’t be optimal. But with Zinfandel comprising more than two-thirds of CAMERON HUGHES LOT 313, the method is somewhat less risky than with a more evenly distributed blend.

The hue is deep, ripe cherry. Wood smoke and lush fruit exude from the glass along with spice and berries. Oak aging provides tannic weight; the wine parches just slightly past mid-palate after enveloping the tongue with a burst of berry and smoky, rich, balanced Zin fruit. The finish lingers and lingers.

CAMERON HUGHES LOT 313 is one of those fabulously concentrated wines with enough structure to make it a conversation piece. Given CH’s approach to wine production, it would probably compete with a wine twice its $20 pricetag. Moreover, this particular blend will never exist again.

All of which recommends it highly as a post-flu restorative, if not a kiddie sedative. Of course I proposed it to the family, but my dad said he was still grossed out by toast. I said, “Oh, well, I’ll have some CAMERON HUGHES without you.”

My mum said, “If you mention wine one more time, I’m going to read you The Velveteen Rabbit and substitute “bear” for every occurrence of “rabbit.”

Does vodka soften your poo?

My Fellow Inebriates,

I don’t fancy myself an advice columnist, but I get the occasional intriguing question. In my search terms this week:

“Does vodka soften your poo?”

I could just embarrass myself trying to answer this question, but let’s face it, I don’t eat solids so I don’t produce solids. I’d be a hypocrite to take on such a roughage-laden question. For more credible answers, I turn to Anish Sheth, Yale-based gastroenterologist and author of What’s Your Poo Telling You?

“With DADS (Day-After-Drinking Stool), it’s liquid in, liquid out. Alcohol is a gastrointestinal stimulant, a direct irritant to the lining of the intestine that speeds up passage and causes diarrhea. Some drinks are worse than others (malt liquor being particularly potent). Stool comes out in liquid form, usually normal in color/smell and occasionally with excess mucus.”

Sounds pretty soft, my vodka-drinking friends.

It’s an app!

It’s a calendar!

“Log” your poo!