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December Third

On December 3rd detective novelist Agatha Christie mysteriously disappears for 11 days so we must turn to her most famous sleuth for cocktail advice. What does Hercule Poirot drink?

Option #1:
Crème de Menthe – best to go straight to

Option #2:
Champagne – French of course but remember Poirot is Belgian!

  • Ever try Crème de Menthe? No, and no plans to.
  • Favorite line from a Poirot movie? Death on the Nile- ‘never before have I seen a cobra in a first class cabin’. Guess they are common in second and third class accommodations.
  • How many times have I watched Death on the Nile? Plenty, and it is time to watch it once again. A long movie, lots of time to try various beverages.

We just watched the new version of Murder on the Orient Express with Johnny Depp (is this going to be his last movie?). There was supposed to be a new take on Death on the Nile released in 2020 so we can enjoy yet another new Poirot.

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December Second

Now that the cleaning has been done it’s time to get going. Being Wednesday or “Hump Day” a couple of options that will get us to Friday are in order.

Option #1:
Espresso Martini – these were featured on some reality TV show we just watched and look lethal.

Option #2:
Vodka and Red Bull – simpler to make than the Espresso Martini but you still get that caffeine kick.

  • Have I tried either of these cocktails? No, and I don’t plan on adding them to my rotation.
  • Caffeine and alcohol? A strange combination if you ask me, alcohol already makes sleeping difficult and to pile caffeine on top of that?
  • Anything here that makes sense? Sure, a shot of espresso mid-morning and vodka at happy hour, just not together. Red Bull is the outlier, I would rather stick to coffee.
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December First

We need to start with a clean slate. What better way than to bring back a drink from the past? Smirnoff ran ads for this drink in the early 70’s and then it faded away. A few years ago I was riding my bike south of Tacoma near McChord Field and there was a billboard advertising the cocktail once again.

The Piledriver
Vodka and Prune Juice

Have I ever had a Piledriver? NO

Will I ever have a Piledriver? NO

What does a Piledriver pair well with? NOTHING

Why choose a Piledriver? Prune juice is the key, drink enough of it and you will have a clean slate!

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November Thirtieth – December First

This is a special edition with two birthdays to celebrate. Mark Peterson’s in on the 30th and Karen Easterday’s is on the 1st. Every year it must be a massive party in their neighborhood.

Mark’s birthday is technically out of bounds for our holiday beverage calendar but as you will find out, the December 1st calendar offering is not birthday friendly.

There is also the problem of not knowing their ages. No way could they be over 21 so the first offerings have to take that in to consideration.

Option #1 for Mark:
Roy Rodgers

Option #1 for Karen:
Shirley Temple

Should they happen to be over 21.

Option #2 for Mark:
Beer – on bike rides this seems to be his beverage of choice

Option #2 for Karen:
White Burgundy – properly chilled and served with something tasty

Option #3:
The Volcano – 2 straws please

  • Do you know what beer Mark likes best? No, but I know it isn’t Flat Tire (not sure about Fat Tire).
  • When did I last have a Roy Rodgers? A long, long time ago. Do they even make them any more?

Here is the first story of this series-

Karen (my wife) and a bunch of buddies are in a “bar” located in Sumner close to the railroad tracks. They had some deal about trains passing by and free drinks. The girls had ordered a Volcano, complete with flames. One of the crew, Tammi, had long hair and leaned over the drink catching her hair on fire. Serena, instigator of the group leaned across the table and put out the flames with her hands and said that the hair would be fine. Hopefully Serena was Tammi’s hairdresser so that the story wouldn’t have to be repeated in public.

Several years later this group would go on a birthday run for Serena and the highlight of the trip was one participant telling Karen to “wash my butt”. It seemed that someone couldn’t hold her liquor.

Birthday presents for Mark and Karen, of course! As some know, you don’t want to be on the same continent with me if I am trying to sing. It’s said my singing will make one’s ears bleed and cause many medical issues.

For all who celebrate their birthdays prior to the end of the year I promise NOT to sing Happy Birthday.

In the past people have paid good money so that I didn’t sing so this is really a priceless gift.

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The Cast

Like a Russian novel we need a cast of characters. Also like a Russian novel, some go by different names so it is important to give this list your full attention.

IN ORDER OF APPEARANCE

  • Serena and Tammi – friends from Tacoma who Karen tended to meet in various bars. Harbor Lights was popular, strong drinks and reasonable prices in the day.
  • François-Paul Briand- next door neighbor in Tacoma and frustrated Barman. Often referred to as FP. He will be involved throughout this month.
  • François-Luc Briand- François-Paul’s father.
  • Leslie and George Patton- Live in Tacoma and we traveled to France together. George and I have also done a fair amount of bike riding together.
  • Joe and Helen Dowsett- Karen’s mother and father. Joe was my partner in Westpac after a career as a high steel painter. He painted the Space Needle a couple of times along with the transmission cables across the Narrows in Tacoma. Helen was my Mother-Outlaw, couldn’t have been an in-law since they tend to be a pain in the ass.
  • Ed Hoff- a life raft salesman for Viking Life Saving, at least at the time we were drinking in bars together.
  • Chuck Granoski- Tacoma neighbor. First time I met Chuck he was with Candace and I explained that she was my mother. Chuck was confused, but I had left out that she was my Dorm Mother in 1972. While FP wants to be a Barman, Chuck is looking to be a Pool Boy at their place in Mexico.
  • Mark Haley – Used to be part of Brown and Haley (Almond Roca) but now a great friend of François-Paul. Wife, Nancy produces amazing documentaries.
  • Werner Krampl- Canadian who has become part of our bike riding group. Werner is known for his large luggage on bike trips, probably due to the amount of booze he brings.
  • Greg Switlik- one of the three Switlik brothers who ran the Switlik Parachute company our main supplier of life rafts. Like FP, Greg had a bad influence on our daughter, taking her to fancy restaurants and introducing her to great food. Greg passed away way too young but he did arrange one last party for his friends to attend at their place in New York. I believe some drinking was done that night.
  • Ed Davis- bike riding friend who had a business down the street in Tacoma from ours. Ed introduced me to sneaking on to Ft. Lewis through a hole in the fence to ride bikes on base. Why we never were caught I don’t know.
  • Pascale Meuiner- a school friend of FP’s who has become a friend of ours. Lives in Paris and is allergic to idiots. She also knows that in most countries if she is suffering from an allergy and hides in the women’s bathroom, no guy will come looking for her. This doesn’t work in France.
  • Ryan Cummings – cyclist, wine drinker and a nurse at U of W.
  • Jim Brose- neighbor in Cle Elum who seems to have a problem with time. Happy Hour has now moved up to 16:30 and sometimes earlier.
From Mark Haley
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Holiday Beverage Calendar

Adult beverages and the holiday season go together. Kids have Advent Calendars, we have a Holiday Beverage Calendar. These are just suggestions, feel free to deviate (but not be a deviant). I have decided that for this calendar the holiday season will be from December 1st through the 31st.

Be safe out there!

Like advent calendars, each day is just a little treat. Just enough to make you look forward to tomorrow but not so much that you are over stuffed.

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Epilogue

SOME TIME LATER

Where is everyone today?

Ed Davis can be found at the Tacoma Country Club with his trusty sidekick Toro. He no longer visits the Cobra Lounge due to the back problem he developed sleeping behind the bar on the floor really acts up whenever he is close to the Cobra.

Terri Iverson has received several speeding tickets descending mountain passes on her bike. Now she is working 7 days a week to generate enough money to pay off the tickets. Somehow her “GoFundMe” page never gained any traction.

Mark Peterson is now a wanted man. It seems that after the visit by the FAA the agency discovered that the top secret Titanium Badges had been shown and that they were now public knowledge. The agents were sent to Gitmo and the badges had to be taken out of service. Other agents really became upset and they have been looking for Mark ever since.

Ralph & Carol Nussbaum ran into difficulties with the government. Ralph now spends his summers in Walla Walla, winters in Monroe. Carol is based in Purdy and they are hoping to reunite some day soon.

Betsy MacInnes also has had a run-in with the law. She has been camping at Peace Arch Park and was told camping was not allowed. Betsy took this all the way to the Supreme Court and after RBG finished with the government a high class tent platform complete with bathroom was erected for Betsy.

Howard Strickler is once again employed. Prior to the ride he discovered a problem with his mail server and was able to fix it. He is now an IT specialist at Best Buy (better known as the Geek Squad).

Werner Krampl hasn’t been heard from. He snuck back across the border and went dark. There have been rumors of sightings at Peace Arch Park but nobody is really sure.

Bill Moyers has been all around the country (virtually) on a speaking tour. It seems there is an amazing amount of interest in the 13 kinds of dog-poo. Should you wish to hire him the fee is in the $100k range for a 30 minute talk.

Greg Vlasic also has a new gig. It’s the one he has dreamed about his whole life- only better…..

He did need to change the spelling of his last name but he is now the official jingle singer for Vlasic Pickles. The contract negotiations were tough since the pickle company wanted to forbid Greg from singing all his songs referencing Mary but they finally relented. Greg is now on his way to jingle stardom.