I'm not going to lie: There's a dearth of drinking news this week, so I'm going to the well (so to speak): Modern Drunkard Magazine.
I've often sung its praises. Its editor, Frank Rich, is a great stylist and funnier than Joe Biden's walk. He's also a believer: in the goodness of drink. And that includes its excess.
I disagree with Rich's excess, but I admit: I understand it. We've all been there and that's part of what makes Modern Drunkard Magazine so funny: the juxtaposition of man's dignity with man's inebriation. Drinking jokes are as funny as sex jokes (which are funny for the same reason, unless you're a true pervert, in which case they're funny like an inside joke: "Frank! What are you doing!? When I made that shower joke . . . . ").
I'm afraid, that despite a surge of excellent drinking videos, MDM has gone largely inactive. I don't think it ever came out regularly. I could be wrong about that, but I subscribed to it years ago, and I'm not convinced I ever received all my issues. And now, the online content appears to be dwindling.
Its "Brutal Hammer of Truth" feature of drinking news hasn't added any drinking news for over a month. Its "Today's Reason to Drink" feature has nothing for yesterday or today. I seem to be seeing more repeat essays.
Let's hope the drinking hasn't caught up with Mr. Rich and adversely affected his health. Like I said, the man is a splendid writer and, with no exaggeration, the funniest writer alive. He also appreciates history and tradition.
I also suspect he's a closet Catholic or something close. He once emailed me, thanking TDE for its support, and said something like, "Drinking is the gospel of life!" Perhaps he meant it ironically, but I don't think so. A man with humor can see grotesquery, and there's nothing more grotesque than the gospel of death.
Let's pray Frank Rich gets MDM back on board soon. For now, here are just three great pieces that I pulled at random this morning. Pulling funny features from MDM is like pulling stones from a pot: it's easy.
The brew from the bad part of town, the staple of gangstas and punk rockers, barrios and trailer parks. Strong, cheap and raw. Served up in a big bottle that hangs in your hand like a blackjack. Named after large man-killing animals and high-powered firearms. Activist groups say it causes violence, yuppies say it tastes like poison, experienced users know it dishes out mule-kick hangovers. That’s right, baby, we’re talking malt liquor.
About the Harvey Wallbanger:
Fun fact: The drink had its own cartoon mascot, a surfer dude, and tagline, which was, “Harvey Wallbanger is the name. And I can be made!” The boys at the ad agency must have worked all night on that one.
This next one might be Frank Rich at his finest (it's not attributed to him, mind you, but I strongly suspect non-attributed pieces are Rich pieces, which, to my mind, makes him even more legendary).
Are you immune to the slightest twinge of guilt when your girlfriend picks up the tab? Do you find yourself telling outrageous falsehoods, even when the truth would serve you better? Does the idea of dating one woman at a time seem a vulgar waste of your charm and talent?
If so, a career as a rake may be your calling.
Rich continues a few paragraphs later:
It is not just a matter of earning the disapproval of others, you must earn their disdain with style and panache. Years of shiftlessness and bad behavior can be squandered by a single misstep. You will watch the title rake flitter from your fingers and find yourself labeled a scoundrel, ne’er-do-well, or the lowly, half-competent heel. At which point you will have to accept your fate or move to another city to try again.