Month: January 2004

I often vacation in Ossineke, Michigan at my family’s cottage on Lake Huron.

Ossineke has two major attractions. The first is a swell tavern called the Wagon Wheel, a joint consisting entirely of one big room, complete with a juke box (40% Country, 20% Western, 30% old rock-n-roll, 10% “traditional” songs like “Happy Birthday”), a small stage for bands or karaoke singers, a large dance floor, foosball table, two pool tables, and electronic darts. There’s also, of course, a lot of liquor and beer, and a full menu of greasy food. Its ambiance is polished off with local softball team and NASCAR paraphernalia. Any man who doesn’t enjoy the Wagon Wheel is a man still seeking maternal approval.

One of my favorite “up north” stories revolves around the Wagon Wheel. My brother Dean and I were drinking beer at the cottage’s beach one afternoon in preparation for an evening at the Wagon Wheel. My Mom, an excellent worrier, told Dean he should stop drinking or he wouldn’t be able to drive home. Exasperated, Dean said, “Heck, Mom, I’ve been to the Wagon Wheel so many times, I could drive home blind.” He paused then added, “And I often have.” It’s not MADD’s favorite anecdote, but even my Mom got a kick out of it.

Now that we’re more responsible adults, we make sure the driver stays sober, which is good because the increased traffic up north makes it more risky to use the center line as a guide: keep it between your wheels, and you’ll stay out of the ditch.

The second major attraction is a place called Dinosaur Gardens Prehistorical Read the rest

I have fought my fight, I have lived my life
I have drunk my share of wine;
From Trier to Koln there was never a knight
Had a merrier life than mine.
Charles Kingsley… Read the rest

The hodag was a dreadful beast that terrorized the logging camps of the nineteenth century. It had great iron teeth, a long flat tail of bone with steel-like serrated edges. It ate bears, deer, and wildcats, but its favorite food was landlookers: those men that scouted areas for suitable logging operations. Once a landlooker was pursued by a hodag, he was doomed. The hodag could run faster, and if the landlooker climbed a tree, the hodag would cut it down with his tail.

This terrifying fellow has been unjustly neglected in American folklore. We oughtta bring him back. … Read the rest

Lawyer and animal rights activist Steven Wise’s book, Drawing the Line, does three things: (1) It explains what makes a person a person; (2) It provides a person-continuum of 0.0 (mere stimulus-response machines) to 1.0 (full autonomy—which is what Wise identifies as the essence of personhood); (3) It tells us that any animal with a score above .70 should be considered a person with legal rights. Elephants score the highest on Wise’s continuum and are therefore entitled to legal rights, like people. Other animal-people are parrots, dolphins, gorillas, and bonobos, all of which score higher than .70. Further testing might show that other animals surpass the .70 mark.

It all doesn’t really matter to me. Just as long as I can still eat ’em.… Read the rest

On Equality
Let’s face it, no matter what the Declaration of Independence says, men are not equal. Sure, in the eyes of God they are, and in the eyes of the law they ought to be, but other than that? Inequality reigns more powerfully than a sadistic ante-bellum plantation owner after a few drinks.… Read the rest

My blog isn’t intended for poetry, and I am not a poet. Nonetheless, some might enjoy this hobby: rhymes for drinking times. Written under the pseudonym, WC Bardstool, they’ve been well-received in Gilbert Magazine. Here are two:

There once was a gal from Nanu,
Who used wine to create a fondoo,
When men flooded her land,
To win her deft hand,
She reverted to water and stew.

There goes that old husband of Mabel’s
Who drinks beer and then peels off the labels.
When he gathers up ten,
We’ll find him again,
Crawling ’round on his knees ‘neath the tables.… Read the rest

Alexandre Dumas once described the chains of marriage as being “so heavy that it often takes two people to carry them, and sometimes three.” That’s sinfully, even fearfully, funny stuff. … Read the rest