6pm: Spirits, food, and friends
Hearing of my experiment, my kind mustachioed bartender suggests a Sazerac (rye whiskey, bitters, absinthe). While slightly anachronistic, a Sazerac does recall a time when people would mix “bitters,” protean cocktails that had yet received the name. I’m fine with that. Thing is, the tavern is where the colonials would really start to tie one on, talking and strategizing and just straight-up drankin’.
For the most part I follow suit. Food helps matters. I have a massive pretzel, some bar-made jerky, and a pickled egg. Colonials loved pickled stuff. They pickled everything. Meats. Salads. Mutant fetuses. You name it.
A friend stops in to join me around 7pm. I’m still coherent as we drink a pilsner and I explain to him the real Secret. The talk is easy and fun. At least for me. I haven’t let him get a word in edgewise.
On the bar TV (WHAT MANNER OF WIZARDRY IS THIS?!) I notice a constant stream of beer commercials. It seems as if we, as Americans, understand that booze built the nation. That we could sense, somehow, it was necessary for progress. The ads show beach day-drinking and daytime beer-fun with friends. Implicitly the images say: “this is weekend behavior.” But it was every day for our forefathers. The difference was that their joy in drink was measured throughout the day. It was carefully applied medicine (for better or worse). It was the anti-depressant in a time that desperately needed one. How else would you deal with public hangings, an insane infant-mortality rate, unfair taxation from a foreign despot, and general lack of political freedom? Bottoms up!