It’s holiday time, and that means the mailbag has gotten a tad fat with questions, comments, accusations and lint with all things Holiday. The Answer Man is here to answer. It’s what he does!
Here goes nothing…
Name Withheld Upon Request, Chicago, IL
Q: Hey Answer Man, I’m stressed about going to my in-laws’ and bringing the right booze for Thanksgiving. My father-in-law’s idea of a great wine is a case of PBR, and my obscenely rich brother-in-law won’t drink anything bottled after the Eisenhower administration. Help!
A: Always a toughie, Name Withheld Upon Request! Making the right wine and spirits choice when the pressure of family, fighting, the unlikely possibility of post-dinner sex, as well as inheritance issues hanging over the decision can be muchos problemas. It’s even harder when it’s the wife’s family. You don’t want to piss off the “old man”, and you don’t want your wife having that bedroom conversation with her mom that starts off, “I told you this would happen. You should have married Michael Schwartz. He always had a thing for you, and he’s an attorney now, you know” (he’s a tax-evading pedophile too, but probably knows his way around a liquor department!).
Since you can’t please everyone, I say make the mom happy. The mom of your kids, that is. YOUR WIFE! Bring whatever SHE wants and keep that relationship tough as nails. Plus, she’ll need to be hammered early and often if it’s a standard family dinner with her getting it from all angles; like from her father (“Are you still gaining weight?”), and her mother (“I’m really worried about you, dear” as she slips her $50 in cash), and sister (“Dave wants to go Aruba in December, the kids like it better it Antigua, but the boat is in Tortola. The holidays are always so hard!”), and her brother (“Hey, sis, chance I could borrow $5,000 for a new transmission? Dad’s cut me off again, and the “life coach” thing isn’t really paying well these days”). I’m feeling bad for your wife already. I recommend a Napa Chardonnay or Pinot, many Vodka Martinis, and/or something fruity loaded up with booze that you can bring in a Thermos or two. Bring it and keep her happy. You’ll be glad you did!
The Powers That Be, Location Unspecified
Q: Answer Man, we struggle every year with gifts for the Minions. They are such good little followers doing our heinous tasks as we control the dominion of Man. But they are hard to shop for. We’re thinking alcohol. Suggestions?
A: Great question! Large groups are always hard to shop for. Candlesticks are always nice, but nothing says happy holidays to the Living Dead, Orcs, Legions of Doom, or insurance agents better than whisky. I’m thinking a smokey, peated, luscious whisky that chars and scorches the soul for all of eternity! I’d go with Balcones Brimstone, Ardbeg Uigeadail, and anything from the Octomore range. I know, Octomore is a tad pricey, but whip out that very, very black, cold AmEx and cough it up for those that work tirelessly pulling the strings for all of the puppets you control forever. You can’t take it with you, er… I mean, don’t forget the little guys!
Dave from St. Louis. First-time caller, long-time listener!
Q: Dear Answer Man, all this holiday music makes me want to barf. Any ideas to keep me sane musically?
A: Love the music questions, and I hear you Dave! If I hear Jingle Bells once more, I may impale myself with a very large, very sharp candy cane. Try this little list on for size to keep the holiday spirit rocking in the house:
- Bad Religion, “Silent Night”
- The Ramones, “Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want to Fight Tonight)”
- Metallica (sort of), “Nothing Else Matters”
- Alice Cooper, “Santa Claus is Coming to Town”
- The Vandals, “Oi to the World”
- Ok, one more Jingle Bells for the traditionalists. The Sex Pistols
Mike Banks, Pasadena, CA
Q: Hey Answerman! Thanksgiving is on Thursday this year, but I have to work on Wednesday. I have to fly to Baltimore on a red-eye late Wednesday night so I can be at my brother’s early on Thanksgiving since I’m making the best cranberry sauce. I mean The Best! Lots of sugar, a little cinnamon, and my secret is a dash of bourbon. It really is special. What’s your take on sleeping or not sleeping on overnight flights? The time change, jet lag, and general stress is going to make me cranky, and I never remember which is the right way to go. I sleep pretty soundly on planes though I like watching the movie if it’s something I haven’t seen like Iron Man 3 or The Cronks. Iron Man 2 rocked! But I could see those on Netflix eventually and get some shut eye for the 5 hour flight, though the turbulence always wakes me and then I feel really crappy the rest of the way. Sometimes I take my pillow with me and a book and go back and forth between cat naps and reading. That reminds me, I need to get someone to watch the cat. Sophie hates when I leave, and the kennel near my apartment sucks so I have to get a neighbor or my office mate, Amanda, to come over and feed Sophie and clean the litter box. Amanda can do it; she’s staying home and going to her parents in the Valley, but I hate to ask, especially since we broke up last year. It’s still kind of weird between us. Anyway, I’m using frequent flyer miles and hoping for an upgrade. First Class would totally rock! Then I’d definitely stay up, have a cocktail or two, and watch my own movie on the personal entertainment player you get in First Class. I probably won’t get the upgrade, but it would be cool. My other brother is picking me up at the airport and he’ll want to go to breakfast for pancakes and Bloody Mary’s at Mikey’s, the only place in Baltimore open on Thanksgiving. We’ve been going there forever. The best blueberry pancakes and the best coffee. Blows away Starbucks! So I gotta be awake for that or my brother, Jake, will kill me and make me drive to Virginia to pick up Uncle Chuck. I love Uncle Chuck but driving a couple of hours and then having to cook is no great thrill. So what do you think? Stay awake or sleep?
A: Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. AHHH! “Honey, you won’t believe the dream I just had.”
Turkey Problems, Grand Rapids, MI
Q: I’m looking for a new way to make a turkey aside from the usual dried out fowl I make every year. Any great recipes?
A: My aunt used to make something called a Drunken Bird. Basically she marinated a turkey in a about a gallon of Southern Comfort, and kept adding more while the poor bird was roasting. Maybe time has clouded my memory, but honestly, it was damn good. Granted, we thought SoCo was a high quality spirit back then, so what do I know! And my aunt was happy as hell since she was drinking about as much as she was pouring. I have no great ideas, but using some good liquor in the mix can’t hurt. Just stay with the lower ABV ones. A fire would mess up the turkey, dinner, AND the kitchen. Plus, the clean up! There’s a reason beer can chicken works. Don’t get crazy and spend a fortune on a bottle just to marinate a $25.00 turkey. Just remember, if you get everyone sauced ahead of time, it won’t matter what it tastes like! Good luck.
The mail bag barely got unstuffed, but that’s how it goes! Until next month, keep those cards and letters coming Kids. If we read one of your questions on the air, you might win one of these:
Categories: Booze Banter
Yo Answer Man!
Here’s a question for ya. Just secured a bottle of George T Stagg. Hoard it or share it???
I can answer that—always share! It tastes even better that way. ; )
Answer Man says the correct answer is Share (but take a bit off the top for future solo use).
Haha! You both passed the test. ‘Twas a trick question. Of course we share!
You better share. I know where you live!
You know I will!
Answer Man, what do I do if the in-laws are hoarding the turkey; load up on sides or just hit the whisky? I think I need to carbo load (to cut the alcohol) but I don’t want to put on too much winter weight.
I won’t dignify that with a long response because it’s two days late and the answer is in your hand more often than not. Drink up, young Skywalker.