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.

LINDEMAN’S BIN 50 SHIRAZ (2010)—Good enough for me, but is it good enough for Fluffy and the devil?

My Fellow Inebriates,

Should I be comforted or worried that my parents have opened up a joint bank account? They’ve gone nine years without sharing finances, but now that my dad’s closed up his business and taken a corporate job, they’re getting busy at the bank.

Does a shared bank account imply that a shift in control over household (and more importantly, liquor) spending is in the offing? More pointedly, is some sort of financial coup taking place, and does my mum have despotic plans?

I’m worried because, of the two of them, my mum is the frugal one. And if she gets even one rein over the banking, I’m concerned that she will draw up a budget of that might be more sensible than I’d prefer. She would totally do that.

I asked her if she is planning a takeover, and what sort of empire she envisions. She did not quite laugh at that. It seems we’ve been doing what much of North America has been doing over the last decade—racking up debt, living off credit, and biting our nails worrying.

Holy crap, I had no idea! I thought my parents were just jerks about keeping my inventory supplied. I thought they just didn’t care about my happiness. I had no idea they were actually tight on funds and considered liquor a secondary expenditure—a luxury even. And even now that my dad’s joined the corporate dark side, even with more regular money on the horizon, apparently we are in “emergency mode” for the foreseeable future. That’s what my mum said, at least, and she didn’t say it with a flashlight under her chin to freak me out. She really meant it!

This doesn’t really sit well. I’ve never heard my dad talk about emergency modes or budgeting or bookkeeping or any of that stuff. My dad is awesome.

But here’s my mum, two minutes after getting her mitts on a joint bank account, talking about ratcheting back the booze spending so we can—what? Save up for the end of the Mayan calendar? OMG! My mum is definitely not my favorite parent.

If you’ve been following, you know our liquor cabinet is crying out for Southern Comfort, Kraken Black, PAMA, Jagermeister, Kahlua, Kilo Kai, Bombay Sapphire, Grand Marnier and Bacardi 151. It’s imperative that we acquire these items, which means we need creative accounting, not the practical accounting my mum is proposing. If we cut back on luxuries such as rain boots, vitamins, Q-tips, dentistry, and similar useless items, we can have a kick-ass bar within a few months.

The other thing we need ASAP is a Ouija board. I need to find out if the new bear, Fluffy, is indeed possessed by the spirit of my deceased Granny.

Have you ever used a Ouija board?

It kind of freaks me out. But Rachel, who gave me the idea, says everybody used to own a Ouija board—at least until The Exorcist came out. In fact, you can get a Hasbro glow-in-the-dark one at Toys R Us for $11.99.

Okay, so let’s say I con my dad into buying a Ouija board. He might, because he’s unafraid of paranormal activity and because he likes shopping. But then again, he might decide to use the $12 to buy another bottle of LINDEMAN’S BIN 50 SHIRAZ (2010). Which I would applaud.

But if I could get him to buy both, what things could we ask the Ouija board? And what would it say?

Are there any spirits around?


Is Granny present?


Is Granny in Fluffy?


Are we going to win the lottery?


Will Dolly stay with Fluffy?


Would Toshiko Shek ever make a handbag out of Fluffy’s head?


Should we drink the LINDEMAN’S BIN 50 SHIRAZ now?


Is it a good wine for the price point?


Are there plums and ripe blackberries on the nose?


Is it medium-bodied with mellow tannins and subtle oak?


Does it have lingering spices and a moderately long finish?


Is one bottle enough?


Is it a good idea for my parents to share a bank account?


Will they ever put me in the washing machine?



Maybe it’s not such a good idea to mess with the occult. Here’s what some consumers have to say about toy stores selling Ouija boards:

“yuck we dont want our kids having these and ruining there mental health”

First of all, even the devil won’t know what the hell you’re talking about if you don’t make yourself understandable. Feel free to use punctuation marks and differentiate between “there” and “their.”

“Only evil comes from Ouija boards. Only those ignorant of the spiritual world would expose themselves to such devices. Children are innocent and deserve our protection. This is not a toy for children! The CEOs of all retail stores need to ban such devices from their stores.”

I like the relationship between ignorance and innocence here. Only ignorance would allow you to dabble in the occult. But it’s important to preserve children’s innocence, by keeping them ignorant of Ouija boards.

“These are not toys and shouldn’t be treated as so!! Even being Pagan I wont allow a Ouija board in my house they are trouble!!”

Wow, I thought pagans were better at grammar.

“It is just card board and so are tarot cards. These things don’t not predict the future or talk to the dead. The devil just uses these things as tools.”

So are they okay then, or are they bad? The “tools” aren’t real, but the devil, who is apparently real, uses them. So confusing.

Dan Lacey: Michele Bachman eating a corndog. Tool of the devil? Michele certainly; the corndog perhaps.

“this is not appropriate! do we neeed another excorsist around? i mean really, do kids really want to talk to satan? this is a matter best left alone and i know what i’m talkin about. i had a ouija board and things terrorized my family for years. stop evil before it comes.”

Our kids totally want to talk to Satan. Especially the older one, who’s the more outgoing of the two.

“The problem is, is that it’s not a game, but the Devil’s doorway….They don’t seem to get that!”

Isn’t the devil banished to hell? He sure gets a lot of hall passes, doesn’t he?

“This game should be banned at once. These children are innocent and do not understand the lunacy of the devil and the consequences of using this board. I pray to God that This is taken care of ASAP!”

I knew the devil was bad-ass and all, but I didn’t know he was a lunatic. I just thought he used lunatics, such as Michele Bachmann, as his mouthpieces.

And finally, something intelligent. Here’s what Rachel, who used to sell Ouija boards, says about about them:

“I own one of the largest collections in the world; and the only creepy thing that has ever happened to me is my teenager.”