by Ed Sikov
Oh, Lord – give me the strength to change that which I cannot accept. Like closing the beach house while my hottest housemates screw their brains out upstairs.
Dan was in St. Bart’s on a junket, bought by a big pharma behemoth and paid for by you and me. I couldn’t go because I found it morally objectionable, I had to close the beach house, and I wasn’t invited.
So while Dan sunned at some gorgeous resort, I washed out bottles of chutneys from the refrigerator and felt sorry for myself.
Then the “Porn’s Greatest Hits” playlist started blasting on the audio system. Kyle and Robbie spent the weekend with me, in a manner of speaking. Until they showed up groping each other I had no idea that they’d changed the middle word in BFFs. It was excruciating. And hot, in a tragic, out-in-the-cold kind of way. They were trying out new material while I emptied out the refrigerator.
Me (in the kitchen, thinking): “Nam pla sauce – out.”
Robbie (in an upstairs bedroom, shouting): “Yeah, man, there!”
Me (heading for the liquor cabinet, thinking): “It’s 5 o’clock in Greenland.”
Kyle (from his core): “Oh God give it to me baby unh unh unh unh yeah yeah unh unh unh….”
Life Lesson #26: swigging straight from the bottle never affirms one’s self-image. I held a magnum of Jack Daniels high and started gulping.
Robbie: “Aaaaaaahhhhhhhnnnnnnnnn! Aaahhnnn! Ahn!”
Kyle: “Here it comes! Unnnhhhhhhhh! Yeah!”
This was more than a man should be asked to hear unless also he’s in the cast. I stomped out of the house and around the deck, but as I passed under the guest bathroom windows I heard running water, slapping noises and giggles. “So soon?” Kyle said with surprise. “Unh! Hey, you’re getting shampoo all over my… Oh? Yeah, sure, why not? Unh!” Was there no sanctuary?
A straggly patch of mint inspired me to make myself a vast mint julep to get me through this ordeal. The traditional mint julep consists of a small handful of mint leaves and a little sugar or syrup, which somebody (see below) bruises with crushed ice and a fork to release the mint oil before adding bourbon. This is just plain dumb – another Southern discomfort masquerading as antebellum swank. Traditional mint juleps are easy to make if you have slaves. Bruising mint leaves with a fork to make six separate drinks? Hello, carpal tunnel syndrome. And it’s a dental comedy, since everybody ends up with bits of green leaves stuck to their teeth.
My version is cleaner, easier and tastes just as good; you get the mint flavor without the interdental leaves or the arm brace. I drank them to the rank, arousing sounds of puppy love – puppies in heat. They came down for dinner at some point, but by then I was shut tight in my bedroom with headphones on, the iPod bringing Jay Brannan’s beautiful voice directly into my brain. “F*** this, this can’t be my life….”
The Yankee Mint Julep
Put fresh, washed mint leaves into a shaker with ice. Add a few drops of simple syrup, then dump in as much bourbon or Jack Daniels as possible. If anybody complains that Jack is sour mash, not bourbon, tell him to shove his snob traditions where the sun don’t shine, then shake, strain into a cocktail glass, and serve. Or throw it in his face.