Food.  Ya gotta eat it or you die.  Fun, huh?  

You take some substance that used to be living…some plant or animal or derivative of such…kill it and maybe subject it to heat for a period of time in order to break down the molecular structure, therefore making it easier for your body to extract and utilize its nutrients.  Then you put in it your mouth and mix it around with bodily fluids that contain enzymes that even further break down its molecular structure, mashing and grinding it with the bone-bits protruding from your gum tissue, eventually transforming the dead plant/animal part into a pulpy and slightly lumpy paste.  After the paste is the sufficient gross-out texture, a slimy muscle in your mouth, with weird tiny bumps all over it, maneuvers the paste to the back of the mastication zone and shoves is down a tube which in turn squeezes the paste along its entire length to a bag full of acid where it sits fermenting for a few hours before being flushed into another extremely long tube that constricts and releases in turn, moving the paste-acid concoction along its entire length of anywhere from 20 to 27 feet.  Along its journey, the convulsing tube will extract moisture and elements that the body deems necessary.  After the concoction has run the gambit, the body, via the convulsive-tube-organic-extruder-machine pushes whatever it can’t use out your ass.

Yummy, huh?

Why do we do it? I mean…yeah, yeah, ya gotta eat or you die, but we do it far more than we should.  According to the CDC, over one third of adult Americans are obese.  Obviously, some part of it the aforementioned process is enjoyable.  To quote a certain very annoying Alaskan Governor…Ya betcha! 

Pile on all that ooey-gooey cheese on a chewy-crunchy carb-filled crust and add your choice of fatty animal-based proteins chock full o’ spices and smoky goodness!  A single slice of Domino’s Pizza can have 30 gm of fat, and 47 gm of carbs…and we all know we can’t eat just one slice!  Add one single 12 oz beer to that and you’ve added another 12 to 20 gm of carbs.  Ah-haah…it’s starting to make sense.

Also ever notice how good pizza is when you’ve got a hang-over?  I swear the best hang-over food is pizza, Mexican or Chinese food.  Why?  Um…the excessive carbs, protein and fat help to repair your battered body tissue is my guess.  And thank Zeus you can get it delivered!  ‘Cause you know the last thing in the world you want to do is get dressed and go out in public with a groggy cloud of what feels like fiberglass insulation wrapped around your head and scouring your eyeball sockets.

So, kiddies…that’s where we have ended up, right next to the “Name Your Item of Thanks Here” ATM-thingy:

I am thankful for DELIVERY.  The delivery of Dominos Pizza, the delivery of Chen’s Chinese Cuisine, the delivery of Insert-Your-Favorite-Establishment-Here.  Oh yes…because HELLL no, was I gonna get my ass anywhere near any place today that anyone could see me.  Not after last night at The Mecca with Cory and Dave and Attilla and Stevo and Kirsten and Erica and Andrea and Kaitryn…and whoever else I saw there last night in my celebratory haze.

HELLL no.  Give me the dark, comfy cave of my apartment and the glow of my ‘puter and some ooey-gooey cheesy goodness…and I’m back to sleep now…

© 2008 D. Kessler

Mention the term Happy Hour to just about any American and you won’t have to explain what that means.  It conjures up visions of frosty glasses of beer, a myriad of various cocktails and cheap food, usually appetizers.  It also brings to mind the huge sigh of relief that is the end of the work-day, sometimes an early end on Fridays, and hanging out with friends, acquaintances and even your neighborhood Officer Friendly, all in varying states of soberness, or rather, drunkenness.  It gives a nice warm glow to the deep emotional center of a person, usually erroneously attributed to the pumping organ known as the heart.  And no, no one ever drives home after Happy Hour…no, no, never.

However, just 75 years and one day ago, this haven of contentment could not legally exist.  Can you imagine getting off work, harrowed and worn out, and having to go home to…a glass of milk?  Or a lemonade?  A cup of coffee or tea?  I mean, come on!  What kind of reward is that?  Milk…gas.  Lemonade…acid reflux.  Coffee or tea…case of the jitters, irritability and possibly the digestive plagues already aforementioned.  What a raw deal!

Yep.  Thanks to the 18th Amendment to the Constitution of the US of A, enacted across the land in 1920, that lovely frosty beer whetting your whistle on a hot August evening after work, that gin and tonic or whiskey coke with your buddies at a friendly neighborhood establishment, served by a cynical or friendly Joe the Bartender, were not only scarce, but worse….illegal.  You might be able to risk a speakeasy in a remote alley later in the evening, but daylight hours, at the corner cafe?  Uh-uh.  No can do.  And definitely not with Officer Friendly…unless he was on the take.

December 5th, 1933 changed all that.  Bathtub gin…bye-bye.  Mob-run speakeasy…not so many and not so profitable anymore.  ‘Cause, by Jove!  FDR says it’s OK to have a beer, says it’s OK to toast your glass of scotch!  And when Utah finally…the last of 36 states…voted on the 21st Amendment to say OK too, that was it!  Over here in Seattle, the State of Washington had already ratified the new amendment back in October, and so eager were Seattle-ites to get the ball rolling and jump off that Wagon of Woe that the City Council already had an emergency ordinance drawn up just waiting for the Mayor to sign it…which he did immediately…and voila!  The Mecca Cafe on Queen Anne Hill/Uptown is purportedly the very first bar in Seattle to legally serve up a beer on that very day, December 5th, 1933!  At least, that’s how the history on the back of the menus used to tell it…and I say bully for them! 

So, today’s trite topic of “Thanks” goes like this:

Liberty's Torch is lighted once more today_1933 - courtesty Seattle Post-IntelligencerI’m thankful…so very thankful…for the 21st Amendment to the Constitution of  the United States of America.
And for the beverages, which now so freely flow.
One nation, now drunken, be they morose or happy,
Enjoying tranquility and Sodden Debauchery for all.

And now, off to The Mecca, such a short stone’s throw from my abode, in celebration!

*holding invisible glass high*

Slainte! Salude! Cheers!


© 2008 D. Kessler