Dipso Facto Scapegoat Ink
Dipso Facto ScapeGoat Ink

Mainstreet's 2nd Annual Stout Tasting

Last Saturday I attended Mainstreet's 2nd Annual Stout Tasting, located at 5425 S. La Grange Rd., Countryside, IL. Though it was their second time hosting this event, it was my first time attending. Since a seasoned drunk prefers company when day drinking, I enlisted the help of Alcoholic Girlfriend, Drunk Mom, and Drunk Dad. The tasting took place between 2 p.m.-6 p.m. and the cost was a mere $10, which included a complimentary tasting glass. Since the price was so low I assumed that maybe half a dozen stouts would be offered and the complimentary glass would be small, undesirable, and only useful for shots thereafter.

This was not a photo from Mainstreet's Stout Tasting, I was too drunk to capture any images that day. This is a stock photo from the photo sharing site flickr by Bernt Rostad

Upon arrival I was elated to see that not only was the complimentary glass almost a full pint (not pictured above), but there were over 20 stouts lined up in a row for our tasting pleasure. To top it all off, the staff actually had a table dedicated to three piping hot pizza's on rotation, which were replenished as soon as they were devoured. For that price I felt like I was a high roller. I should also explain that the week prior to the tasting AG convinced me to partake in a three-day juice cleanse that ultimately turned into a week of eating like a gorilla—fruits, vegetables, and no carbs or dairy. So you can imagine my delight at seeing pizza waiting for my grubby little hands to be all up on it. Shockingly as it may be, I maintained my will power and warded off the pizza demons momentarily, and focused on the task at hand—stouts. Plus, I figured I had plenty of time to shovel that carb-y goodness into my wanting belly after I had laid a solid stout foundation. I may have actually eaten half a pizza myself by day's end. I'm not ashamed either. I deserved it, stupid juice cleanse.

When we approached the tasting counters, I asked one of the pourers if there was a proper starting point, to which he responded that they're all stouts so your guess is as good as mine. I managed enough sense to record some tasting notes, so that I could share my results with you, fair blog reader. We were at the tasting for an hour and a half, and although I could have stayed there until the event ended at 6 p.m. my drinking crew started to lose steam and teeter out. AG's feet started to hurt. I have no idea why, since I would have thought that boot-like heels that make your feet look like you have hooves—apparently a desired look among women—seemed like the appropriate footwear for standing around and drinking beer for an extended period of time. Drunk Mom, well, she got drunk because her breakfast consisted of a smoothie, no doubt spiked with a little whiskey, and she eventually sputtered out early too. She found a roll-y chair next to the pizza table that she was attempting to use to collect more drinks. We placed a table in front of her so that she was trapped until we were ready to leave. Drunk Dad stayed sober and continued on with the tasting, but he was drinking faster than me and noting his likes and dislikes far quicker. Eventually I succumbed to the urges of my crew to go home and drink more. Here is the entire tasting list with my notes attached, enjoy!

-McAuslan "St. Ambroise Oatmeal Stout" - Montreal, Canada ($8.99/4x12oz)
5% abv Oatmeal stout

This isn't bad, but a little light on flavor by comparison.

-Samuel Smith "Oatmeal Stout" - Tadcaster, England ($9.89/4x12oz)
5% abv Oatmeal Stout

Instead of offering you my tasting notes, I did a full review of this brew here.

-Samuel Smith "Imperial Stout" - Tadcaster, England $9.89/4x12oz
7% abv Russian Imperial Stout

To me this beer had a slight banana smell accompanied with a really nice caramel flavor. It reminded me slightly, in theory more than actual taste, of the dessert Banana's Foster. My crew did not agree.

-Guinness "Extra Stout" - Dublin, Ireland $8.99/6x12oz
6% abv Irish Dry Stout

I opted out of tasting this, since I've had it before and I do not like it. I prefer this, this, and this instead.

-North Coast "Old No. 38" - Fort Bragg, CA $8.99/6x12oz
5.6% abv Irish Dry Stout

This stout has a piney smell to it. My first sip was a little flat and light on flavor with a bitter finish. Although, after a few more sips it grew on me and had a nice creamy flavor to it.

-Victory "Storm Kind" - Downington, PA $12.59/6x12oz
9.1% abv Russian Imperial Stout

This beer smells very hoppy, which made me a little leery, but somehow it had a really nice balance between the hops and malts. Drunk Dad likes it.

-Great Divide "Yeti" - Denver, CO $14.39/4x12oz
9.5% abv Russian Imperial Stout

I liked this beer. It has a great almost burnt-chocolate flavor with a spiced finish. Drunk Dad likes it.

-Breckenridge "Oatmeal Stout" - Breckenridge, CO $8.99/6x12oz
4.95% abv Oatmeal Stout

I opted out of tasting this stout because I've had it before. It is a good beer at a decent price though. I recommend it.

-Avery "Out of Bounds" - Boulder, CO $9.89/6x12oz
6.3% abv American Stout

This stout is decent. It has all of the characteristics of a standard American stout. It's good, consistent, smooth, but alas forgettable.

-Left Hand "Wake Up Dead" - Longmont, CO $6.29/22oz
10.2% abv Double Stout

This was a delicious stout with very deep, rich flavors. It's on the heavy side, which isn't a bad thing. This was Drunk Dad's favorite. I would rank it in the top five for sure. This was one of the stouts we purchased after the event.

-Rogue "Chocolate Stout" - Newport, OR $6.75/22oz
6% abv American Stout w/Chocolate

This has an overpowering chocolate smell, but it tastes very bitter like baker's chocolate. I was not a fan.

-Allagash "Black" - Portland, ME $10.79/4x12oz
7.5% abv Belgian Stout

I feel like this brew was not a stout at all, but a black ale in disguise. It was very clove-y, which I do not like. This was one of my least favorite "stouts" available.

-Moylan's "Dragoons" - Novato, CA $4.49/22oz
5% abv Irish Dry Stout

This was definitely not one of my favorites. It's dry, as the style would have you believe, but it somehow tasted watered down. It's not bad, but comparatively it's not good either.

-Dark Horse "Reserve Special Black Ale" - Marshall, MI $9.89/6x12oz
7.5% abv American Stout

I've had this brew once before and I liked it, which was the case today as well. It has a very solid, well-rounded flavor. It's dark, but you can drink several of them without getting burned out. Drunk Dad liked it, but he didn't think there was much to it.

-Goose Island "Big John" - Chicago, IL $9.89/22oz
11.5% abv Imperial Stout w/Chocolate

This was a very interesting brew. I immediately tasted the spicy coca nibs the label boasted of. Overall it's a very sweet, heavy, and almost syrupy stout. I liked it at first, but after a few sips it almost becomes undrinkable because of the thickness and sweetness. Drunk Dad hated it. 

-Flying Dog "Pearl Necklace" - Frederick, MD $8.99/6x12oz
5.5% abv American Stout w/Oysters

I was curious, albeit weirded out slightly by the name, to try this brew since it's actually made with oysters. Drunk mom opted out of trying this because she has a slight shellfish allergy and didn't want to risk ending her tasting early. This was actually pretty gross. It was both watery and oily, two characteristics I don't want in a beer. Drunk Dad and AG both hated this brew and pointed out that not only is it light on flavor, but after a couple of sips it actually coats your mouth in a strange film.

-Founders "Breakfast Stout" - Grand Rapids, MI $10.79/4x12oz
8.3% abv Oatmeal Stout w/Coffee & Chocolate

AG and I actually had one of these for the first time a few nights before the tasting and enjoyed it. I was fascinated by this brew because it actually smelled a bit like Tabasco sauce. As indicated by the name, it actually does have a nice breakfast flavor reminiscent of burnt toast and eggs. I liked it and I would not be ashamed at all to drink this bad boy before noon. 

-Green Flash "Double Stout" - San Diego, CA $8.99/4x12oz
8.8% abv Double Stout

This double stout has a good nose on it and the flavors are a nice blend of malt, caramel, and burnt chocolate. I thought it was good and it was Drunk Dad's second favorite brew.

-Two Brothers "Northwind" - Warrenville, IL $10.79/6x12oz
9.1% abv Russian Imperial Stout

This was one of my favorites and somehow I'd never had it before, even though it's a local brew. It has a great flavor, like Dark Horse "Reserve Special Black Ale," it's flavorful, but not so heavy that drinking several of them is an impossibility. This was the one sixer that I actually liked enough to have Drunk Dad buy for me. Thanks again, Drunk Dad!

-Ska "Hibernal Vinifera" - Durango, CO $10.79/6x12oz
8% abv American Stout Aged in Malbec Barrels

I was excited to try this stout since it'd been aged in Malbec barrels, but once I tried it I wasn't too impressed. The Malbec barrels gave it an interesting, if slightly sweeter than normal, taste but overall it didn't bring enough to the table to make me a believer.

-Port "Santa's Little Helper" - San Marcos, CA $7.65/22oz
10% abv Russian Imperial Stout

This had a sweet front with a spicy finish. It reminded me of burnt pine needles, and if you've ever eaten burnt pine needles, you know that this brew was not great. I believe this is also a seasonal beer, so you may have to wait until next winter to try it.

-Finch's "Secret Stache" - Chicago, IL $10.79/4x16oz
5.3% abv American Stout w/Vanilla

Since I work part-time for Finch's Beer Co. I will leave this section blank.

-Oskar Blues "Ten Fidy" - Longmont, CO $14.39/4x12oz
10.5% abv Russian Imperial Stout

This was the first stout that we tried, so it set the bar for our tastings. Luckily the bar was not set overly high. It's got a nice sweet, burnt caramel flavor. It wasn't bad, I kind of liked it.

Overall the tasting was a success and I'm still impressed by how far $10 stretched. I found a few new favorite stouts, a few that I don't need to waste my money on, and I discovered why it's very uncommon to see brewers make a stout with oysters that has a name with a sexual connotation attached to it (in hindsight who would have thought this was a bad idea?). I will definitely attend another beer tasting at Mainstreet next time one rolls around. Oh, I also found out that when you put someone with an unhealthy pizza obsession in a room with beer AND pizza, fingers will be eaten. I apologize to the countless hands that I maimed during the event, but you really shouldn't be touching another man's pizza. Yes, it was MY pizza. 

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Chicago Magazine's "100 Best Bars" List

This list was compiled for Chicago Magazine by an 11-reporter team who scoured the city of Chicago in search of the 100 best watering holes the city has to offer. Since some of our fans complained about not being able to see the entire list when I posted it on our Facebook page I decided to re-post it in all its alcoholic glory.

If you've been to any of these bars and agree, or disagree, with their inclusion on this list leave us a comment and let us know. Also, since some of our blog readers haven't yet "liked" our fan page on Facebook (hint, hint), I will officially extend our challenge to you: Print out this list and see how many establishments you can hit up before December 31, 2013. Think you're up for it? Prove it. Ready, set, DRINK!

This photo is courtesy of glennharper from the photo-sharing web site Flickr.

Without further ado, here's the complete list:

The Best of the Best: The Top 10
1. Scofflaw:
Mellow gin joint in Logan Square.
Suggested drink: Swizzle #3—Death's Door gin, rum, Lillet blonde, passion fruit, lime, orgeat, bitters
3201 W. Armitage Ave., (773) 252-9700
2. Big Star: Relaxed whiskey joint in Wicker Park known for good food.
Suggested drink: The Big Star Margarita or $3 whiskey shot du jour
1531 N. Damen Ave., (773) 235-4039
3. The Aviary: An expensive dip into top-notch drink mixolgy.
Suggested drink: In the Rocks—rye, bitters, vermouth cocooned in a hollow ice cube
955 W. Fulton Market, (312) 226-0868
4. Maria's Packaged Goods & Community Bar: A South Side come-as-you-are store/tavern.
Suggested drink: Beer (there are over 450 offered)
960 W. 31st St., (773) 890-0588
5. The Whistler: Inventive cocktails at a reasonable price.
Suggested drink: The Quill—a pseudo Negroni with absinthe
2421 N. Milwaukee Ave., (773) 227-3530
6. Rootstock: A nontraditional wine bar with relatively moderate prices.
Suggested drink: Chateau Tire Pé Diem Bordeaux
954 N. California Ave., (773) 292-1616
7. Drumbar: A moody lounge-bar in the Raffaello Hotel with stellar cocktails.
Suggested drink: The Pineapple—green Chartreuse, pineapple juice, lime juice, mint
201 E. Delaware Pl., (312) 943-5000
8. Half Acre Tap Room: Adjacent to the brewery, this bar has a singular focus: Half Acre beers.
Suggested drink: Sticky Fat—a dark ale
4257 N. Lincoln Ave., (773) 248-4038
*9. Delilah's: A small, eclectic, tattooed purveyor of whiskey with more than 500 to choose from.
Suggested drink: Parker's Heritage Collection ten-year-old wheated bourbon
2771 N. Lincoln Ave., (773) 472-2771
10. Joie de Vine: A craft beer hub with an appreciation for small-batch distilleries.
Suggested drink: Name the liquor that you like and let them figure it out
1744 W. Balmoral Ave., (773) 989-6846

The 8 Best Hotel Lounges
1. Allium at the Four Seasons:
The Magnificent Mile’s clubby corner bar.
120 E. Delaware Pl., (312) 799-4900
2. The Bar at the Peninsula Chicago:
Warm red walls, a flickering fireplace, and a name that is simplicity itself.
108 E. Superior St., (312) 573-6766
3. Crimson Lounge at Hotel Sax:
A glittering bar that makes it futile to resist overindulgence.
333 N. Dearborn St., (312) 923-2473
4. The J. Parker at Hotel Lincoln: This is a rooftop bar that offers an impressive view to accompany its delicious seasonal craft cocktails.
1816 N. Clark St., (312) 254-4747
5. The Library at the Public Chicago: This Gold Coast spot is far enough removed from the scene to let you enjoy the panorama.
1301 N. State Pkwy., (312) 787-3700
6. Lockwood Bar at the Palmer House: This is a quintessential urban hotel experience.
17 E. Monroe St., (312) 917-3404
7. Rebar at Trump International Hotel & Tower: The Trump serves up chic cocktails and unparalleled visual treats: the Chicago River, the DuSable Bridge, and Lake Michigan.
401 N. Wabash Ave., (312) 588-8034
8. Roof at theWit:
In this 7,000-square-foot rooftop the drinks are simple and strong with an unobstructed view of nearly the entire Loop.
201 N. State St., (312) 239-9501

The 5 Best Game Day Bars
1. Anthem:
Casual sports watchers, this is the bar for you: Two mammoth screens are dutifully tuned to the day’s games, but Guns N’ Roses blasts from the speakers.
1725 W. Division St., (773) 697-4804
2. Lincoln Tap Room:
It has five massive TVs, a 100-inch projection screen, and an exceptional international tap selection. NOTE: Bears fans welcome—unless the Steelers are playing.
3010 N. Lincoln Ave., (773) 868-006
3. Schaller’s Pump:
This tavern plays host to die-hard Sox fans and 11th Ward Democrats (the HQ is across the street). Its age shows, but the owners keep things buzzing with cheap Old Style cans and home-cooked grub.
3714 S. Halsted St., (773) 376-6332
4. Tripoli Tap:
Boston sports followers swarm the well-worn wooden tables on weekends at this wicked awesome watering hole, although any dive lover can enjoy the $3 beer specials.
1147 W. Armitage Ave., (773) 477-4400
5. Will’s Northwoods Inn:
NOTE: This is damn, dirty Packers' bar. You've been forewarned.
3030 N. Racine St., (773) 528-4400

The 12 Best Cocktail Spots
1. Bar Deville:
Haunt this moody den for its cozy front room, DJ-fueled dance parties, and the delish classic cocktails.
Suggested drink: The Last Word—Beefeater gin, green Chartreuse, maraschino, lime
701 N. Damen Ave., (312) 929-2349
2. The Barrelhouse Flat:
An old upright piano sets the speakeasy tone, while a noteworthy beverage list and friendly patrons carry the lively melody.
Suggested drink: Purple Fizz—Sloe gin, soda, grapefruit, lemon, simple syrup
2624 N. Lincoln Ave., (773) 857-0421
3. The Drawing Room:
The carefully crafted drinks speak for themselves. If you need help, the knowledgeable staff complies without imparting guilt.
Suggested drink: The Old Man Monk and the Sea—Old Weller 107, Lustau dry oloroso, benedictine
937 N. Rush St., (312) 266-2694
4. The Grafton:
At this Celtic haven, partake in an assortment of Irish, American, and Scotch whiskeys, a rotating selection of craft beers, and a folksy Sunday sing-along.
Suggested drink: Fireside Old Fashioned with Buffalo Trace bourbon
4530 N. Lincoln Ave., (773) 271-9000
5. Longman & Eagle:
The meat-heavy menu and nearly 60 bourbons on hand qualify this restaurant, bar, and inn as the city man’s hunting lodge.
Suggested drink: 1-2 Punsch Swedish—punsch, Leather-bee gin, apricot liqueur, bitters
2657 N. Kedzie Ave., (773) 276-7110
6. The Matchbox: A claustrophobic’s nightmare and a cocktailer’s dream, this 18-seater spins out stiff, cheap, and superb drinks.
Suggested drink: Margarita with egg white and lemon-lime juice
770 N. Milwaukee Ave., (312) 666-9292
7. Maude's Liquor Bar: This sexy space approaches “refined” in eccentric ways: mismatched chandeliers, tiled walls, wood tables, a $165 shellfish tower, and Miller High Life.
Suggested drink: Maude’s Punch Smith & Cross—rum, egg white, angostura bitters
840 W. Randolph St., (312) 243-9712
8. Sable: Award-winning tipples from Violet Hour vet Mike Ryan are reason enough to go, but add in a sprawling 40-foot bar and proximity to the Loop theatres, and why go anywhere else?
Suggested drink: War of the Roses—Pimm’s, Citadelle gin, Chase elderflower, mint, lime
505 N. State St., (312) 755-9704
9. Tiny Lounge: This swanky drink haven crafts a true whiskey sour, along with myriad martinis and, as a bonus, to-die-for desserts.
Suggested drink: Goliath North—Shore Gin 11, green Chartreuse, lime
4352 N. Leavitt St., (773) 463-0396
10. The Violet Hour: Little has changed at this candlelit date spot since its fawned-over opening in 2007: consistent menu and staff, cozy quarters, and long lines.
Suggested drink: First Snow—Herbsaint, aquavit, egg white, lemon sugar, peppermint water
1520 N. Damen Ave., (773) 252-1500
11. Watershed: The drinks at this faux speakeasy include mainly Midwestern spirits, while the overstuffed leather couches add to the windowless parlor’s intimate appeal.
Suggested drink: Natty Gann—FEW gin, lemon cordial, Leopold Alpine liqueur, bitters
601 N. State St., (312) 266-4932
12. Weegee's Lounge: The low-lit space specializes in classic cocktails. Its dark corners and hushed tones are perfect for an intimate date.
Suggested drink: Aviation—City of London gin, creme de violette, maraschino
3659 W. Armitage St., (773) 384-0707

The 10 Best Bars for Grub
1. Bavette’s Bar & Boeuf: There’s no finer way to pass a blustery evening than chasing shrimp cocktail with old fashioneds in the man-cave-esque lower-level lounge of Brendan Sodikoff’s buzzy steak joint.
218 W. Kinzie St., (312) 624-8154
2. Cortland’s Garage: Chicago Magazine voted the Cortland Street burger one of the best in Chicago, but the pulled pork sandwich and short rib chili nachos are just as mouthwatering.
1645 W. Cortland St., (773) 862-7877
3. Dancen: This Korean dive looks pretty bleak, but at 1 a.m., with fried pork skins and bek se ju rice wine warming your insides, it’s downright heroic.
5114 N. Lincoln Ave., (773) 878-2400
4. McGill’s: At this charmingly relaxed pub, the smiley guy working the grill does a yeoman’s job with fried cheese cubes and spicy chicken wings. Go on Thursday for $3 craft beers.
4453 N. Pulaski Rd., (773) 478-6096
5. Moody’s Pub: Two steps above a hole in the wall Edgewater’s legendary tavern still stuffs its patrons with scrumptious burgers, heaps of fries, and cold beers.
5910 N. Broadway, (773) 275-2696
6. Old Town Social: Though this three-year-old bi-level haunt has an identity crisis, it somehow manages to work.
455 W. North Ave., (312) 266-2277
7. Simone’s: This funky Pilsen grill may be known for its bowling alley floors and exotic craft beer selections, but its vegetarian-friendly fare is just as delightful.
960 W. 18th St., (773) 666-8601
8. SmallBar: Soccer fans frequent it. Beer aficionados appreciate it. And foodies love it.
2049 W. Division St., (773) 772-2727
9. Three Aces: Some of the most inspired food in Little Italy hails from this rock-themed hangout, where tatted-up patrons indulge in locally sourced bites that have no business being on a bar menu.
1321 W. Taylor St., (312) 243-1577
10. Tuman’s Tap & Grill: What had begun to lapse into another nostalgic corner spot now teems with microbrews and darn good seasonally rotating eats.
2159 W. Chicago Ave., (773) 782-1400

The 5 Best Bars for Music
1. Empty Bottle: The vastness of this nightly alt music venue makes for a surprisingly accommodating outing for all. The cheap beer doesn’t hurt.
1035 N. Western Ave., (773) 276-3600
2. The Green Mill: This history-laden jazz lounge (the small booth just past the bar was Al Capone’s favorite) specializes in intimacy—especially since loud conversation is a no-no.
4802 N. Broadway, (773) 878-5552
3. The Hideout: Go for the extensive beer list and stay for the show: Jack White, Billy Corgan, and Wild Belle have all played—and imbibed—in these sacred halls.
1354 W. Wabansia Ave., (773) 227-4433
4. Honky Tonk BBQ: A veritable grab bag of live sets—from a Patsy Cline cover band to a bluegrass trio—and Old Style served with a slab of candied bacon keep this joint of Food Network fame buzzing.
1800 S. Racine Ave., (312) 226-7427
5. Hungry Brain: The acoustic-set-loving regulars hear indie on the weekends and jazz on Sundays. The offbeat decor and mismatched furniture might be a bit perplexing, but that’s what gives this eclectic spot its charm.
2319 W. Belmont Ave., (773) 709-1401

The 6 Best Craft Beer Havens
1. Fischman Liquors & Tavern: A primo craft beer menu (all are available for sale at the attached liquor store), live tunes, and weekly food truck gatherings.
4780 N. Milwaukee Ave., (773) 545-0123
2. Fountainhead: Stocking 190 beers (and 420 whiskeys!), the three-year-old woodsy corner bar prides itself on its comprehensive drink menu (including gluten-free beer) and hearty nosh.
1970 W. Montrose Ave., (773) 697-8204
3. Hopleaf: The perennially packed Belgian beer haven expanded last summer, adding more draft lines for your imbibing pleasure and a kitchen five times the size of its predecessor.
5148 N. Clark St., (773) 334-9851
*4. Map Room: This international café brims with maps (no surprise) and rotating beers, including cask-conditioned and gluten-free varieties. With more than 200 brews from 36 countries on hand, you might actually need a GPS.
1949 N. Hoyne Ave., (773) 252-7636
5. Quenchers Saloon: Some come to this nearly 35-year-old watering hole for the live bands, others for the beer (250-plus ever-changing options), and still others for the kitsch (a photo booth and a collection of obscure books).
2401 N. Western Ave., (773) 276-9730
6. Sheffield’s: With its tree-shaded garden and proximity to Wrigley Field, the Lake View joint is often the spot to nab the newest seasonal brew before other bars get their taps on it.
3258 N. Sheffield Ave., (773) 281-4989

The 6 Best Wine Bars
1. Ada St.: This upscale small-plate spot thrills with its craft cocktail program, but the massive wine library at the entrance is truly the most enchanting part.
1664 N. Ada St., (773) 697-7069
2. Bar Pastoral: The quintessential wine and cheese bar, with Top Chef’s Chrissy Camba in the kitchen and carefully selected wines from both near and far.
2947 N. Broadway, (773) 472-4781
3. The Bluebird: It’s true that the ambitious craft beer menu eclipses the wine list in both size and scope at this cozy wood-paneled resto-bar. But in this case, sharp editing is a good thing.
1749 N. Damen Ave., (773) 486-2473
4. RM Champagne Salon: The team behind Nellcôte brings the bubbles—more than 280 labels, ranging from $35 to $1,500—at this hidden Parisian gem. Read: expensive.
116 N. Green St., (312) 243-1199
5. Telegraph: Jeremy Quinn, picked by Food & Wine as one of its eight top sommeliers of 2012, hand selects each wine by taking seasonal scouting trips to Europe to meet producers.
2601 N. Milwaukee Ave., (773) 292-9463
6. Vera: The Spain-obsessed wine bar boasts 15 sherries in addition to its eclectic 100-bottle-deep wine list, which is quartered into “Old School Spain,” “New School Spain,” “Neighbors,” and “Americas.”
1023 W. Lake St., (312) 243-9770

The 5 Best LGBT Bars
1. Big Chicks: A’ville and B’town residents flock to this Uptown hipster dive’s dance floor on the weekends.
5024 N. Sheridan Rd., (773) 728-5511
2. Elixir: This intimate bar serves up impressive signature cocktails well worth the probable wait for a seat. The diverse clientele and helpful bartenders make non-Boystowners feel more than welcome.
3452 N. Halsted St., (773) 975-9244
3. Second Story: Be ready for (super) stiff drinks, blaring pop tunes, and a mixed crowd of middle-aged professionals and young boozers looking for a cheap highball.
157 E. Ohio St., (312) 923-9536
4. Sidetrack: A neighborhood mainstay for 30 years, sleek, multilevel Sidetrack boasts a busy summer roof deck that buzzes with drunken camaraderie every show-tunes-themed night.
3349 N. Halsted St., (773) 477-9189
5. T’s Bar & Restaurant: Above-par food and daily beer specials distinguish T’s as the go-to haunt for Andersonville’s lesbian community, but Gs, Bs, Ts, and more are welcome at this self-described “bar for everyone.”
5025 N. Clark St. , (773) 784-6000

The 10 Best Dives
1. Archie’s Iowa Rockwell Tavern: The 69-year-old family-run tavern still offers some of the best deals anywhere: $3 monthly craft beer special, $2 Hamm’s, and free pool and cheese puffs all night. Dogs welcome, too.
2600 W. Iowa St., (773) 486-2626
2. Carol’s Pub: It’s not quite Texas, but it’s certainly not Chicago. The late-night honky-tonk joint is beloved for the country crooners who take the stage in the wee hours, baskets of fried stuff, and cheap beer.
4659 N. Clark St., (773) 334-2402
3. Cole’s: The impressive bottled beer selection and chummy bartenders keep us going back. Owner Coleman Brice hosts weekly concerts and comedy sets, if you’re looking for more than just drafts.
2338 N. Milwaukee Ave., (773) 276-5802
4. Galway Bay: With comfy couches and every Nintendo game under the sun, you might swear you walked into your childhood rec room. But the free popcorn, jovial bartenders, and $2 PBRs remind you that you’re in Chicago’s homiest basement hideaway.
500 W. Diversey Pkwy., (773) 348-3750
5. Happy Village: With daily specials like $2 PBR and Old Style, an all-season beer garden, and free Ping-Pong, it’s no wonder this place draws a crunchy crowd. It’s cash only, but with those deals, you won’t need more than $20 in your pocket.
1059 N. Wolcott Ave., (773) 486-1512
6. Monk’s: Peanut shells strewn across the floor guarantee a lively scene with good burgers and brews, and Monk’s has those in spades.
205 W. Lake St., (312) 357-6665
7. The Old Town Ale House: A modestly grungy joint known for its R-rated paintings of the famous and infamous (Blago, Sarah Palin). But the real draw is the jazz-heavy jukebox, which features giants like Coltrane along with locals Josh Berman and Jason Adasiewicz.
219 W. North Ave., (312) 944-7020
8. Simon’s Tavern: Viking artifacts, Swedish flags, Pripps lager, deer-hunting murals, and the weathered mahogany bar is a tribute to the Andersonville that once was.
5210 N. Clark St., (773) 878-0894
9. Skylark: From the famous late-night Tots and the free jazz on Mondays to the 20 beers on tap, this is a neighborhood haunt better than most.
2149 S. Halsted St., (312) 948-5275
10. Woodlawn Tap: This standby, popularly known as Jimmy’s, may be a dive, but there’s nothing lowbrow about it. Tote your best academic armor: The Hyde Park watering hole is a University of Chicago favorite.
1172 E. 55th St., (773) 643-5516

The 18 Best Neighborhood Spots
1. Aberdeen Tap (West Town): Head over any night for the ample bottled beer selection and delicious fried macaroni and cheese squares. Cap your weekend by testing your smarts at Sunday night trivia.
440 N. Aberdeen St., (312) 929-3845
2. Bernice’s Tavern (Bridgeport): This 48-year-old institution has a museum-like collection of city knickknacks so thick it threatens to engulf the trusty old jukebox. The beer menu is broad, but the jovial staff can help you out—just carry cash.
3238 S. Halsted St., (312) 813-3215
3. California Clipper (Humboldt Park): This gorgeous 1940s art deco tavern fuses dimly lit red walls with a country-western theme. Conflicting aesthetics aside, the Clipper keeps ’em coming back with cheap drinks and live country music on weekends.
1002 N. California Ave., (773) 384-2547
4. Charleston (Bucktown): The perky corner bar has finally grown up. Gone are the board games and kitschy decor of old, where Saturdays tended toward raucousness. Now candlelight and cocktails are the MO. But fret not: Charleston 2.0 can still party.
2076 N. Hoyne Ave., (773) 489-4757
5. City Tavern (South Loop): The team behind Chicago Firehouse modeled this eight-month-old spot on an 18th-century New England tavern. The roaring fire in the front lounge, a long wooden bar backed by lofty mirrors, and a 14-page roster of drinks would make Sam Adams proud.
1416 S. Michigan Ave., (312) 663-1278
6. Cork and Kerry (Beverly): The quintessential pub stands apart in decidedly Irish Beverly. How? Maybe the decked beer garden and Emerald Isle brews like Smithwick’s and Kilkenny on tap have something to do with it.
10614 S. Western Ave., (773) 445-2675
7. Danny’s Tavern (Bucktown): The red neon Schlitz sign lures in so many passersby that you may have to stand in line, but the house-party vibe and esteemed roster of DJs make it worth the wait. Hit up the ATM first.
1951 W. Dickens Ave., (773) 489-6457
8. Edgewater Lounge (Edgewater): An unassuming exterior and out-of-the-way location conceal funky decor and an admirable microbrew list. Tuesdays in winter find a healthy local contingent nestling close to the fireplace for live bluegrass music.
5600 N. Ashland Ave., (773) 878-3343
9. Emmit’s (River West): This storied tavern may be one of the city’s most famed (see its cameos in Backdraft and Ocean’s Eleven), but it’s still an Irish saloon at heart: cheap beer, good grub, and shamrocks galore.
495 N. Milwaukee Ave., (312) 563-9631
10. Floyd’s Pub (Bucktown): Bears games play on all the screens, but it’s the drinks that will keep you coming back: 40 varieties of seasonal suds. Making all the grub—down to the salad dressing—from scratch is impressive, too.
1944 N. Oakley Ave., (773) 276-6060
11. Gingerman Tavern (Wrigleyville): Don’t let the neighborhood fool you—the crowd is more Metro buffs than Cubs fans. But even non-concertgoers can enjoy the beer-heavy bar and respectable poolroom in the back.
3740 N. Clark St., (773) 549-2050
12. Glascott’s (Lincoln Park): While the South Side Irish sling Jameson at Cork and Kerry, North Siders head to Glascott’s, the family-owned pub (four generations!) with one of the best St. Patty’s Days in the city.
2158 N. Halsted St., (773) 281-1205
13. Green Door Tavern (River North): This heavily tchotchke’d groggery—erected immediately following the Chicago Fire—has weathered a later blaze, Prohibition, and even a car crash. With a friendly staff and tasty grub, it still makes for a fine spot to unwind after work.
678 N. Orleans St., (312) 664-5496
14. Hüettenbar (Lincoln Square): In the winter, ales, lagers, and Glühwein keep the friendly barflies strapped to their stools at this cozy German lodge. In the summer, seats by the street-facing picture windows—where almost all of Lincoln Square strolls by—are prime real estate.
4721 N. Lincoln Ave., (773) 561-2507
15. Marty’s (Andersonville): In these changing times, it’s comforting to know that, at least in this Toulouse-Lautrec-themed gay-friendly spot, the drinks are always stiff, the server always wears a tie, and the menu always adheres to the classics (martinis, Negroni).
1511 W. Balmoral Ave., (773) 454-0161
16. Ñ—click here—(Andersonville): The clandestine Argentine bar’s lethal mojitos roll in five flavors: mango, pineapple, coconut, passion fruit, and blackberry. Snag a patio seat, order an empanada sampler, and try them all—just don’t blame us for what happens next.
2977 N. Elston Ave., (773) 866-9898
17. Twisted Spoke (West Town): It’s fashioned as a biker bar—the revolving life-size skeleton on a motorcycle outside is your first hint—but you’re as likely to find a hardcore cyclist as you are a motley crew. Apparently, whiskey and bourbon bring together all walks of life.
501 N. Ogden Ave, (312) 666-1500
18. Wabash Tap (South Loop): The local hang has somehow resisted the rest of the South Loop’s revamping—it’s still serving beer and Tots for under $6, and the pool sharks at the back tables give a welcoming nod to every visitor.
1233 S. Wabash Ave., (312) 360-9488

The 5 Best Drink-Time Diversions
1. Alice’s Lounge: For the Rihanna Wannabe: This endearingly trashy karaoke joint ditches the private singing rooms for a public stage where a karaoke jockey takes tune requests. It’s a birthday and bachelorette party bonanza, but you knew that as soon as you saw the word “karaoke.”
3556 W. Belmont Ave., (773) 279-9382
2. The Globe Pub: For the Jeopardy! Junkie: On Tuesday nights, a crowd of brainiacs with clever team names convenes in a back room at this soccer-loving spot. If you enjoy a challenge, brush up on explorers’ names and obscure films.
1934 W. Irving Park Rd., (773) 871-3757
3. Guthries Tavern: For the Monopoly Maven: With a rotating list of craft beer specials for about $5 and more than 50 board games on hand, Guthries is perfect for midweek unwinding. Order from your favorite delivery place and listen to full albums of CSNY and the like.
1300 W. Addison St., (773) 477-2900
4. Headquarters: For the 80s-at-Heart Kid: Craft beer, classic arcade games, and outgoing staff make for good vibes at this roomy beercade. And perhaps to ward off hipster takeover, the sign above the bar reads: “No Miller, No Bombs, No Bud, No Energy Drinks, No PBR, No Attitude.”
950 W. Wolfram St., (773) 665-5660
5. Mary’s Attic: For the Dancing Diva: Cheap drink specials and sassy tunes flow freely at this A’ville spot. On Wednesdays, friends without hang-ups can show off their best frontman moves on a raised stage, complete with a glittering disco ball and encouragement from salacious host CeeCee LaRouge.
5400 N. Clark St., (773) 784-6969

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Whiskey Saves Blind Drunk Man

Here at ScapeGoat Ink, we don't merely drink, we also preach the healing properties of alcohol as evidenced by this article review "Top 10 Alcohol Health Benefits." In addition, we talk about the healing properties of specific drinks, such as The Hot Toddy. We've even attempted to help you navigate the morning after with hangover Cures & Causes, as well as debunking useless suggestions as found in My Rebuttal to "10 Hangover Remedies: What Works?". You see, we're more than shameless drunks, we're shameless drunks who feel like every swig of the growler, every pour from the tapper and pull from the glass, each glug, chug, and swig of alcohol isn't just an escape into a world where we're smarter, more interesting, and better looking, but it's also protection against a slew of diseases and ailments that teetotalers are missing out on from atop their high horses.

We believe that we take far more out of alcohol than alcohol takes out of us. Besides, one night of drinking may lessen the weight of your wallet and make the morning after slightly more challenging than if you had skipped the fun, gone right to bed, and missed out on everything, especially when it pays you back in full: in health benefits, good times, memories to last a lifetime, and sometimes, it may even save your life, as evidenced by this article found on Stuff, New Zealand's award-winning news and information site: Whisky Used to Save Blind Drunk Man by John Anthony.

Ah, I see I've captured your attention, drinkers and non-drinkers alike. I should mention that this is a real article from a reputable online publication. The events reported are a true account of one man's life-, and eye-, saving treatment that brought his health and vision back with the use of the very thing that took it (allegedly) in the first place—booze. According to the article, "In July this year [2012] Mr Duthie, a diabetic of 20 years, was admitted to the hospital's intensive care unit after he went blind while drinking at a 50th wedding anniversary party."

I have had my fair share of "I drank too much" moments, but I can honestly say that I have never drunk myself blind. I was both in awe and perplexed at this man's dedication to getting so obliterated that he actually lost one of his five senses. The article continues, "[Duthie] said he had been drinking Red Square Russian vodka on ice—a gift from his cooking students." At first I thought that perhaps his vision loss was due to the fact that he was a diabetic and the combination of alcohol with his diabetes medication had an adverse effect on him. Now I know it was the "drain cleaner" vodka on the rocks that was the real culprit. I think a healthy man with no health conditions would probably lose one, if not three, of his senses just from smelling Red Square.

This photo is courtesy of Andydr from the photo-sharing web site Flickr.

Duthie explains that he then chased the vodka with a few whiskies. Well, at least he upgraded his drink of choice. The article states, "After about four hours of drinking he went to the bathroom and suddenly couldn't see a thing." That has got to be freaky as hell. To go from enjoying a few drinks while doing the Chicken Dance at an anniversary party to blinder than Mr. Magoo has got to mess you up on a major level. First of all, how do you explain that to the people at the party that doesn't immediately make you sound like a liar and make them laugh directly in your now blind face?

The article explains that after Duthie discovered that he was completely blind he was then put to bed and the next morning when he awoke his vision was still gone. This is where things get a little dicey, in my opinion. OK, I'm not a doctor, but since when is sleep considered a cure for blindness? I think I would be quite upset if I drank enough alcohol to leave me blind and instead of being taken to the hospital immediately for medical attention I was told to sleep off my blindness!? I feel like that's on par with telling an individual who just experienced severe head trauma to sleep off the profuse vomiting and crushing headache. Hell, if it's a good enough cure for blindness, it should work with a concussion too, right?

Oddly enough that's not even the strangest part, the article continues, "The notes say doctors suspected the 65-year-old was suffering from formaldehyde poisoning and they decided to start alcohol infusion into his stomach via a tube through his nose." So the patient is a known diabetic who consumed more than usual amounts of alcohol that resulted in blindness and the doctors gut feeling is that it's got to be formaldehyde poisoning? The only way that makes any logical sense is if the vodka Duthie was drinking was in fact not vodka at all, but formaldehyde. Also, how is alcohol infusion a treatment for anything other than severe withdrawal from alcohol? I guess the better question is how do I get that treatment?

Not only does the diagnosis sound off, but they explain that they had no "medical alcohol" on hand so the medical registrar had to make a trip to the local liquor store to pick up some booze for the treatment. Wait, it gets weirder. The registrar purchased a bottle of Johnnie Walker. Now, let me explain, this alcohol is not being consumed in the typical fashion, but instead it's being pumped directly into the patients stomach via tubes. So, why did the medical registrar think that instead of rot gut whiskey or bottom shelf vodka this particular situation called for something a little bit swankier? My guess is he assumed that the treatment was bound to fail so in the end he'd be gaining a freshly opened bottle of Johnnie Walker. Also, where does one get a prescription for some medical alcohol? I think, um, my blindness is really acting up something fierce right now.

The weirdest part is that the patient had the right diagnosis, "Mr Duthie said it was his understanding that his diabetes medication mixed with the alcohol, triggering the reaction, rather than formaldehyde poisoning." That's interesting, but I suppose if a doctor, of course in his best authoritative doctor-voice told me that I needed some good booze to treat my ailment I wouldn't question things either. I mean, it's free Johnnie Walker. According to the article the patient stayed in Intensive Care for over a week and after 10 days his eyesight came back and he was eventually deemed stable enough to be discharged from the hospital. When asked about his visit, Duthie explained that, "he remembered only small details of his time in ICU." I suppose things are bound to get a little hazy when you're imbibing copious amounts of "medical alcohol." According to the medical records, ""Mr. Duthie was a 'happy drinker.'"

The article ends with some sage advice from Duthie, "To all the drinkers out there: 'Curtail your drinking. Don't do what I did or else you'll be dead.'" Thanks for that advice, Mr. Duthie, but I think it only applies to diabetics who drink formaldehyde at parties. Ah thank you! Now, I'm well aware that alcohol may have been the cause of Duthie's problems, but I'm an optimist so I choose to look at this ordeal as if alcohol saved this man's life and gave him one incredibly weird story to share with people for years to come.

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Join our Movember Team: ScapeGoat Ink's Bullet-Proof 'Staches

This year, we honor the great men who have grown before us and, as Movember and Sons, pay respect to the simple truth that knowledge is power and moustache is king. That, my friends, is why ScapeGoat Ink has registered and started a Movember team for the fourth year in a row. Wow, four years of looking manly and sexy as hell! Our team, ScapeGoat Ink's Bullet-Proof 'Staches, pledges to cultivate genuine, 100 percent, face-grown lip rags for the next 30 days, starting November 1, 2012, to raise awareness and funds for men’s health.

This year we're opening the doors up to our fans and supporters to join our team so that together we can raise awareness AND look dead sexy while doing it. You can participate by either growing a wicked cookie duster as a ScapeGoat Ink Mo Bro, or join as a ScapeGoat Ink Mo Sista to help recruit others, share knowledge, and support Mo growers. To join our team, click here or cut and paste this link into your web browser: https://www.movember.com/us/register/details/team_id/463029!

Once registered, Movember will send you all the information you need to start raising awareness and funds for men’s health as part of our Movember team. And, feel free to spread the word to anyone else who might want to join or who would look stunning with a lip tickler. Plus, if you join our team and you raise $75 or more in donations then you will receive a FREE ScapeGoat Ink logo t-shirt as a thank you from us for all your hard work and efforts.

ScapeGoat Ink's Original LiverStrong t-shirt

If that's not enough, anyone who purchases a ScapeGoat Ink LiverStrong t-shirt (shown above) during the month of November, we will donate a portion of the proceeds to the Movember charity, in honor of the fight against cancer. Now remember, we only have a month to grow Mo's and raise awareness and funds, so please come along for the mustache ride—Heyo!

If you're still not entirely sold on joining ScapeGoat Ink's Bullet-Proof 'Staches in the fight against cancer this Movember, then perhaps some sage advice from one of our personal heroes and kindred mustache brothers, Nick Offerman, might help. Thanks for sharing this clip with us, Ms. Laughies.

Click here to view our successful Movember campaign from last year at the halfway point, and click here to see our final lip products in all their fuzzy glory. Viva la 'Stache!

Click here to "like" us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter here. You can also leave us a comment below or shoot us an email at contactus@scapegoatink.com. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Enjoy Labor Day Weekend with Bourbon Brat Skewers!

Even though the fall equinox doesn't begin until September 22, I know to many, Labor Day weekend marks the unofficial end to summer. School is back in session, summer hours (if you were lucky enough to have them) are winding down, and the sun is punching out earlier each day to make room for the night. This feels like our last weekend of summer. My suggestion—get out there and mix it up. You'll regret the warm sunny days you lost to internet shopping, trolling entertainment sites, and watching a stuffy, British melodrama (Yes, my sun-deprived Downton Abbey fans, I'm looking at you) where nothing ever happens, yet everyone keeps watching.

Whatever outdoor adventure you're into, make it happen this weekend. When the frost is building on the windows and the frigid wind is rattling through the cracks that's when you can makes excuses to bunker down inside and watch 72 hours of The Wonder Years reruns—that Kevin Arnold is such a scamp, what adolescent mischievous is he going to get himself into this episode (fingers tented in anticipation, no doubt)? This weekend is predicted to be sunny and beautiful, so come Tuesday morning I want you all to be tan, or whatever hue your skin allows, and happily exhausted. I know one thing I miss terribly when the weather starts to get too cold is grilling. That is why, my blog readers, I'm going to grill something for breakfast, lunch, and dinner everyday this extended weekend. So, my gift to you is to share a Bourbon Brat Skewers recipe that will surely make my grilling menu this weekend and I think it should make it on to yours as well.

Have a great extended weekend and remember to take a moment tonight to look up at the night sky to see the rare Blue Moon, which won't happen for another 3 years, preferably while enjoying a Belgian White from Blue Moon Brewing Co. Also, remember that all weekend we are having a Labor Day Sale, so don't forget to grab some merchandise from our store!     

Bourbon Brat Skewers

Source: tasteofhome.com

  • 1/2 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup bourbon
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 cups whole mushrooms
  • 2 medium sweet red peppers, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 medium green pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 medium onion, cut into wedges
  • 1 package (16 ounces) uncooked bratwurst links, cut into 1-inch slices
  • In a large resealable plastic bag, combine the first five ingredients. Add the vegetables; seal bag and turn to coat. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  • Drain and reserve marinade. On six metal or soaked wooden skewers, alternately thread the vegetables and bratwurst. Brush with reserved marinade. Grill, covered, over medium heat for 15-20 minutes or until bratwurst is no longer pink and vegetables are tender, turning and basting frequently with reserved marinade.
Yield: 6 skewers.

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"Top 10 Alcohol Health Benefits" Article Review

At ScapeGoat Ink we are always on the lookout for articles that justify our vices, which is why today I bring to you an article from the web site, The Drinks Business, titled "Top 10 Alcohol Health Claims." Instead of recopying the article in its entirety I just included the claims, which appear in bold, and then some supporting evidence from the article with some commentary following.

10. Red Wine Lowers Risk of Lung Cancer
This is good news. I enjoy red wine and I hate lung cancer, so it seems the choice is obvious—drink more red wine. According to the article, "Measuring the effect of beer, red wine, white wine and liquor consumption on the risk of lung cancer, there was on average a 2% lower lung cancer risk associated with each glass of red wine consumed per month." Now that is my kind of statistic. Let me get this straight, if one glass of red wine a month lowers my risk by two percent that means that if I consume 50 glasses of vino a month I will be 100 percent lung cancer free each month? Well, looks like I've only got a few more days to cover August, so I better get started.

The article goes on to explain that "An antioxidant component in red wine may be protective of lung cancer, particularly among smokers,’ said Dr Chun Chao, from Kaiser Permanente Department of Research and Evaluation in Pasadena, California." Damn, I'm not a smoker; however, it's not too late to start. Not only am I drinking more while fighting lung cancer, but I'm also picking up new hobbies. Go me!

9. Alcohol can boost "good" cholesterol
The article states that "Research published in the British Medical Journal suggests that drinking one alcoholic drink a day can boost levels of “good” cholesterol in the body, an essential ingredient in the fight against heart disease." So in addition to fighting lung cancer with red wine I can also boost my good cholesterol while protecting my heart? Well, look at you alcohol. Someone's becoming my new favorite "workout" routine. Plus, this claim explains that recent research shows that the benefits come from the alcohol content and not the type of alcohol you're consuming, which means you can branch out from red wine, if you'd prefer, and still maintain the benefits.

8. Moderate alcohol intake helps heart recovery
The article explains, "Two alcoholic drinks a day over a long period gave heart attack survivors a 42% lower risk of dying from heart disease than non-drinkers, researchers found." So, you're telling me that not only is consuming moderate amounts of alcohol on a regular basis a good preventative measure, but it's also considered a recovering method for heart attack survivors? What can't you do alcohol? I would also like to venture that perhaps the heart attack survivors used in this study suffered heart attacks in the first place because they weren't taking their daily dose of booze? Hey, just a thought.

7. Two glasses of wine “improves quality of life”
I'm not sure if research was really needed to prove that enjoying a couple glasses of adult grape juice improves ones quality of living, I mean it seems like good commonsense to me, but I wouldn't have minded being in that test group myself. According to the Boston University School of Medicine "Research...has shown that by drinking alcohol regularly and in moderate amounts, middle-aged adults may improve their quality of life." Not to sound like a Tween but, like duh. Now the study explains that "quality of life was measured using the Health Utilities index, which looks at factors including dexterity, emotion, cognition and mobility." Personally, these factors don't seem like they'd normally be tied to drinking or happy living. I would have expected quality of life to be gauged by Smile size, Hug-ability, and aptitude to nail a TOP Gun high five the first time, every time. Either way, I'm glad that alcohol imbibers are enjoying themselves at a later age too.  

6. Alcohol may cut arthritis risk
This claim actually came as a surprise to me. I was under the impression that extended imbibing of alcohol, rather than abstinence, would eventually aggravate joints earlier, but the study states otherwise, explaining, "Drinking more than three glasses a week for at least 10 years halves the risk of rheumatoid arthritis, researchers found." Well, it looks like I have 10 years under my belt already, but it can't hurt to be overly cautious and shoot for another 10 years starting now. You know, for the sake of my joints.

5. Drinking alcohol makes you smarter
I knew it! The study states, "The beneficial mental effects of alcohol were found when a person drinks up to about 30 drinks per week, and increased with consumption. The researchers did not test the effects of higher levels of alcohol drinking." Even I'll admit that 30 drinks a week, or 1,560 drinks a year, seems excessive; however, it's nice to know that while people warned me that I was killing brain cells by consuming too much alcohol, the truth of the matter was that I was actually increasing blood flow to my brain. So, next time you encounter a teetotaler who calls your drinking habits into question, simply explain that you're adding a little extra blood flow to the old noggin, and then give them a two-eyed "wink" and maybe a hiccup for good measure. Click here to support the cause and prove the venerable Hans Götman right once and for all.

4. Alcohol can help head injuries
All right, I really enjoy alcohol and I agree that, in moderation, you can acquire many health benefits and increase your quality of living, but I think this claim is where I'm going to have to temporarily jump ship. The article explains, "A dose of alcohol may be a good treatment for people with head injuries, emergency doctors suggest." Wait, what? You're telling me that after a head injury a person should drink alcohol? I don't know, man, that seems like a bad idea.

"Their basis for this is the discovery that people appear less likely to die following brain trauma if they have alcohol in their bloodstream." Oh, OK, so you mean that if you've been drinking you have a better chance of surviving head trauma. I suppose, in some strange way that actually...Wait, no, that doesn't make any sense either.

"It could be that alcohol dampens the body’s inflammatory response to injury, the US team told Archives of Surgery." It dampens the body's inflammatory response? Do you actually mean you're too hammered to realize that you have several nails sticking out of your head from the William Tell apple escapade you attempted earlier? I suppose that being hammered might help in a case like that but this still seems a little thin.

"But they stressed that alcohol can cause medical complications and is contributory to many accidents." All right, now it sounds like the article is at least making some sense here. Though, speaking from experience, I had a head injury while drinking, which was caused entirely by drinking. I survived the incident, but if I wasn't hammered I probably could have avoided it. Yeah, maybe we should move on to the next "claim."

3. Moderate drinking may be good for your bones
It appears the article has gotten back on track compared to the derailment that occurred in the previous claim. The article explains that, "Drinking a moderate amount of alcohol as part of a healthy lifestyle may benefit women’s bone health, lowering their risk of developing osteoporosis." This is good news for maturing women and the men who care about them. A woman with sturdy bones is less likely to age into something resembling the Hunchback of Notre Dame. Men heed this advice; keep your lady friends liquored up for their own good. Trust me; they'll thank you in the end.

2. Lose weight with a glass of wine
"In a study published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, researchers from Purdue University say they’ve found a compound in red wine, grapes, blueberries and passion fruit that blocks immature fat cells’ ability to develop and grow." This is great news. First of all, I like that red wine joins the ranks of blueberries and passion fruit as having the same compound that blocks fat cells. Instead of sprinkling blueberries on my oatmeal in the morning I'll just substitute milk for wine and I'll be looking like a shirtless Dennis Quaid in the hit movie, Breaking Away in no time. If you're unfamiliar with my movie reference then insert your own version of a modern-day "beef cake."

1. Alcohol is a Poison Antidote
Instead of giving you a snippet of the explanation I think this one warrants the entire thing:

"Australian doctors said they plugged a poisoned Italian tourist into a vodka drip after running out of the medicinal alcohol they would normally have used to save his life. The 24-year-old Italian was diagnosed as having ingested a large quantity of ethylene glycol, a common ingredient in antifreeze that can cause renal failure. Pure alcohol is often given in treating such cases because it can inhibit the toxic effects of ethylene glycol."

"Dr. Pascal Gelperowicz at Mackay Base Hospital where the man was taken for treatment said he was given pharmaceutical-grade alcohol on arrival, but that the hospital’s supplies soon ran out. 'We quickly used all the available vials of 100 percent alcohol and decided the next best way to get alcohol into the man’s system was by feeding him spirits through a nasogastric tube,' Gelperowicz said in a statement."

“'The patient was drip-fed about three standard drinks an hour for three days in the intensive care unit,'” he said. 'The hospital’s administrators were also very understanding when we explained our reasons for buying a case of vodka.'"

Well, there you have it. By moderately drinking alcohol I'm dodging the lung cancer bullet, while increasing my "good" cholesterol, and priming myself for a faster recovery after my predictable first heart attack. I'm also living better than non-drinkers, while cutting my risk of arthritis in half, and I'm getting smarter with each and every drink that I consume. I'm also treating severe head injuries with copious amounts of alcohol. Wait, that can't be right. Let's just skip to the next one. I'm helping alcoholic girlfriend avoid the Hunchback of Notre Dame fate that all non-drinkers will succumb to eventually. I'm saying sayonara to fat and I'm going to Australia if I ever find myself poisoned. Here's to alcohol, raise 'em if you've got 'em. Cheers!

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Save BIG with our weeklong Labor Day SALE

In case you're not signed up to receive our emails, we want to make sure that you still receive our deals. Below is the original mailer that went out to our fans this morning. Enjoy the savings and pass them on!

Blame the savings on the Goat!
Follow us on Facebook     |     Tweet us on Twitter     |     Read us at Dipso Facto     | Buy t-shirts here
Celebrate and SAVE BIG with our weeklong
 Labor Day Sale
25% off all merchandise
Donna Summer said it best:
You work hard for the money,
So hard for it honey,
So we're going to treat YOU right.
Labor Day Sale starts today and lasts through September 3, 2012. To collect your savings just enter LaborDay2012 in the coupon section at checkout and watch your money go right back into your wallet.
Shop at ScapeGoat Ink and SAVE today!

No disrespect to the late and great Donna Summer, but we actually prefer Hank Azaria's version of her hit song, "She Works Hard for the Money" from The Birdcage. Enjoy!

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Chicago Heat Wave 2012

ScapeGoat Ink's take on Chicago's Heat Wave
Photo courtesy of Flickr. Click here for photographers page.

Normally, my temperament is pretty close to Mr. Rogers (that's to say I dress well, change often, and I have a pleasant demeanor), but I've got to deviate for a moment to go on a little rant here. Today is June 28. We are eight days into summer and for some reason the news is being dominated by the "Heat Wave" afflicting Chicago. It's summertime. Do you know what happens in the summer? It gets HOT! Sure, I understand it's as hot as Satan's scrotum outside, but do we really need Breaking News alerts every hour on the hour letting us know that it is still hot outside?! I understand that anything over 90 degrees with even the slightest humidity is going to feel like a Turkish bathhouse sans the Turks and perks. I also understand that when temperatures near, or exceed, 100 degrees it's going to be an indoors, shower twice, kind of day.

Besides, this isn't news it's just the weather taking its natural course. Now, if I donned a pair of shorts (if you're lucky, neighbors) and stepped outside to see a pack of ravenous Spider monkeys eating people's faces off, then I'd want to get hourly updates on those nasty little face-eating simians. Let me clarify, I'm not saying all weather-related news is non-news, but I am saying most of it is, especially in the Midwest. Unless it's a natural disaster it's not newsworthy. Besides, if I want to know what the temperature is like outside, I GO OUTSIDE! Sure, it's helpful to know about pending storms and such, but I don't need constant updates. How many people do you think walked outside today, got pissed off because they were blindsided by the intense heat, curled up in the fetal position, and had a mental breakdown? No one; people went to work and carried on with their days like normal because they recognize that summer weather = hot. I can't imagine anyone called there boss today and said, "Hey, have you seen the news? Yeah, I don't think I'm coming in today, it's pretty hot outside!"

Personally, I hate it when Mother Nature makes me sweat. In fact, I hate sweating in general, unless I've chosen to make myself sweat doing (insert really manly activity here). But, the fact of the matter is, I live in Chicago. It gets hot in the summer and it gets cold in the winter. I don't need an alarmist weatherman trying to freak me out about a natural occurrence. Listen, when I'm watching reruns of Alf, I don't want it to be interrupted for any reason, let alone because a news station feels the need to alarm me about the weather outside. Riddle me this, if I'm watching television doesn't that mean I'm already indoors and out of the sun's harmful path. So, really, who are you warning? I'm inside because it's really hot outside.

ScapeGoat Ink's Death by Heat
Photo courtesy of Segagman on Flickr.

Oh my gosh! I had the TV on in the background and right when I was about to publish this post I heard a breaking newsflash. Apparently a man in the Chicagoland area stepped outside of his home, ill prepared by the look of what he was wearing, and died instantly from...Heat Poisoning! Wow, listen, I want to retract everything bad I ever said about weathermen and their reports of the infamous Chicago Heat Wave of 2012. All hail the weatherman!

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Case of the Monday's: One-Armed Muay Thai Fighter

This photograph is courtesy of KellBailey from Flikr.

Muay Thai Kickboxing is a pretty vicious sport that's not for the faint of heart. Unlike boxing—where only punching is allowed—kicks, knees, elbows, and strikes are all legal moves used to finish your opponent in the ring. To excel in this sport a fighter must have incredible balance, speed, agility, and a whole lot of heart to compete at the top level. Once the fight begins there is no place to hide or an opportunity to call a quick timeout if you get winded. Two fighters enter the ring, but only one will emerge victoriously.

Today is Monday, and like most people who have jobs and responsibilities, it can be tough to get through. I might even venture to say that Monday's suck; however, do you know what sucks even more? Being born with one arm. Baxter Humby, the Muay Thai fighter featured in the video clip, had his arm amputated shortly after he was born. During a difficult pregnancy Humby's right arm got tangled in his umbilical cord and the doctor had to amputate it from the elbow down. Well, looks like he’s figured out a way to overcome that obstacle. Let me recap: In a sport that relies heavily on both legs and hands equally, Baxter—with one arm—was not only able to compete at a top level, but he was also able to succeed in the sport, and with a wicked knockout under his belt, I might add. I know Monday's can be tough, but hopefully this clip gives you the motivation to pull through and keep fighting toward those dreams. Cheers!

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ScapeGoat Ink Don't Drink That!: Bud Light Chelada

It's been far too long since I've consumed something weird or gross for the entertainment of this blog. Although, the other night I did drink a container of Dean's TruMoo Chocolate Milk—yes, I'm a man-child—that was a week past its expiration date. Gasp! As you may have gathered from this post I survived the Chocolate Milk Incident of 2012, as it's now being called. I learned a valuable lesson though; expiration dates are merely suggestions for pansies. Though one measly container of chocolate milk didn't send me fleeing to the bathroom, I don't think I'll take my chances with the remaining five sitting in my fridge. Now, I may do some questionable things in my line of work, but I try to only tempt fate once a week. Unfortunately, since I'm doing a feature about what one shouldn't drink I'm breaking my own rule. I hope my readers realize that this decision to test my stomachs resolve is all for you and your entertainment. You're welcome.

ScapeGoat Ink Don't Drink That!: Bud Light and Clamato—Chelada
Chelada—Bud Light  & Clamato...in a can. Notice the sweet ScapeGoat Ink magnet on the fridge.

This week I’ll be trying a Bud Light Chelada, in can form. I know what you're thinking, dear blog reader, "Is this canned concoction for real, or is this your lazy version of an April Fool's joke?" This is real. In fact, Chelada’s—basically Bud Light mixed with Clamato juice, lime, salt, and a few other varying ingredients—have actually been around since the late 60s and according to Clamato’s website, it is said that the drink “made its first appearance in Mexicali at the ‘Bar los V-tarros’ where, the story claims, that it was very common to experiment with drink mixes in an effort to find the perfect antidote for the hot, sultry climate." I think an ice-cold beer would have done the trick, but that’s just me. As for Clamato juice, I’m sure most of you have heard of it, but for the less informed the label states, “[Clamato is an] Invigorating mix of tomato juice, spices and a touch of clam.” To be fair, it's actually dried clam broth and it’s not even listed as one of the first 10 ingredients. In fact, it was number 11.

Well, I'll admit, I can completely understand ones apprehension to this drink, especially with the inclusion of Clamato juice. When I first heard about this tomato/clam mixture I was confused as to why anyone on earth would make this for consumption. I have a feeling the conversation that led to the invention of the Red One went a little something like this:

"Hmm, this tomato juice is good, but it needs something."
"Like what, a dash of hot sauce?"
"Hmm, maybe some cracked pepper to enhance the flavor?"
"No, that's not it either."
"I don't know then. What do you think?"
(Light bulb appears above head)
"That's it! This tomato juice needs a healthy dose of clam juice!"
"Ew, really?"
"Trust me, man, this hybrid tomato and clam mixture is going to be a staple in EVERY household."
"Good luck, weirdo."

I should point out that the label on my Bud Light Chelada is in both English and Spanish. The Spanish side reads:

"Disfruta lo mejor de dos mundos: una refrescante Bud Light y el inigualable sabor de Clamato. Tomate La Roja, tal cual, o hazla tuya con tus ingredientes favoritos, El gusto es tuyo, cuando quieras, donde quieras!"

I took Spanish ages ago in high school, so I’m a little rusty, but I believe the above statement translates to: "The blood of two gringos is mixed with the refreshing taste of Bud Light. The initial flavor may startle you, but the realization that you're drinking white man's blood will surely propel this to your drink of choice.” I'm totally kidding, it actually reads: "Enjoy the best of two worlds: a refreshing Bud Light and the unique flavor of Clamato. Drink a Red One, ready to go, or use your favorite ingredients to make it yours—wherever, whenever!"

In case you were wondering if there was going to be enough for me to do an accurate tasting, this bad boy weighs in at 24 fluid ounces. Yep, there's two beers worth of this blood red concoction to power through, so I enlisted the help of alcoholic girlfriend. She was thrilled. Well, here goes nothing. I'm going to blow your minds right now, fair readers—I actually like it. If you can get past the startling appearance and unique smell, it's pretty good. It has a nice tangy flavor with a hint of salt and lime, just as the can promised. I'd suggest adding some hot sauce to give it a little more zip. It's not overpowering. In fact, it tastes like a Bloody Brew (read about it here), which is very similar in ingredients, except swap the Clamato for tomato juice and add 1-1/2 ounces of vodka. This Chelada is actually good to the last drop. I was relieved to find that my final sip wasn't dominated by mysterious floating red chunks either. Winning!

For the convenience factor it's pretty great. However, there is something very strange about drinking a premixed, canned, Chelada. I think in the future I’ll stick to making my own version, but I wouldn’t be opposed to drinking this again either. If you do decide to imbibe this behemoth Bud Light Chelada, just remember, "Ino Agite!" (Do not shake) instead rotate gently to mix and then toma y disfruta! (Drink and enjoy!)

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Celebrate Summer With This Delicious Bourbon Burger Recipe

This photo is courtesy of Ginnerobot on Flikr and has some rights reserved, click here for more information.

I thought a grilling post was appropriate today since we're on the cusp of the official start of summer. I know, I totally thought we were already IN summer too, what with the unseasonably warm weather we've been having. After rereading that statement I realize that it makes me sound exceedingly old and you're probably envisioning me having frequent conversations like this, "How about this weather we're having, Beulah? What? WHAT!? Oh, yes, this is a new wireless telegraphy." Well, the joke is on you because I didn't write that statement. My keyboard was temporarily hijacked by a 90-year-old man and he wrote it. I suppose that version doesn't make me sound that much better, but if you could have seen the crazy look (well once you looked past his cataracts) in his eyes you would have peed your pants and handed over your keyboard too.

Anyway, there is something special, nay magical, about grilled meat, especially in the summertime. The combination of juicy tender meat with a light smoky crisp just screams summer. However, since I'm an apartment dweller I've found it exceedingly difficult to find a spot that I can cultivate an open flame without looking like an arsonist or an insane homeless man trying to stay warm...in the summer heat. I should probably stop wearing night-vision goggles, urine-soaked pants, and a Cosby sweater when I attempt to light up the grill. In spite of the fact that I don't have a designated area to do my own grilling that doesn't stop me from stalking friends and family members who do. Just a word to the wise, if I ever show up on your doorstep with a bag full of meat during the summertime, don't shoo me away in disgust, just direct me toward your grill. Who knows, if you play your cards right, I might actually let you have some of my charred goods. At the very least I'll let you gnaw on the bones and I might even let you lick my fingers when I'm done. Maybe.

Speaking of finger-licking, this past weekend for Father's Day my old man decided to grill up some ribs in honor of...himself, I guess. I know what you're thinking, "Why on earth did you make your own father, the man who made you (allegedly), cook on Father's Day." To which I'd respond I did help. I was the barbeque sauce man. If you couldn't tell by my job title, I was in charge of adding the pre-made barbeque sauce to the already prepared and cooking ribs. I know, I'm a terrible son, but I did write this blog post for my dad, so that has to make up for some of my faults, right? And, considering this was my first attempt at helping, er, watching someone else cook ribs, I think they turned out quite nicely. So, in honor of summer officially starting tomorrow, get your grills ready for this stellar burger recipe that incorporates my two loves: grilled meat and bourbon. Enjoy!

Bourbon Burger
Source: foodnetwork.com
Recipe courtesy Sarah Sommerfield


Burger Patties and Cheese:
  • 30 ounces ground chuck (20 percent fat)
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons bourbon
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons table salt
  • 30 grinds fresh black pepper
  • 6 ounces Dubliner cheese (Kerrygold brand), thinly sliced and divided into 6 (1-ounce) servings

Sautéed Onions:
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter (European style)
  • 1 large Vidalia onion, halved (through the core) and thinly sliced (1/4-inch)
  • 1/4 teaspoon table salt
  • 8 grinds fresh black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 cup bourbon

  • Brioche hamburger-sized buns, halved
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter (European style), at room temperature


  • Combine well-chilled ground chuck with bourbon and Worcestershire sauce and mix lightly with a fork to combine. Add oregano, cumin, salt, and pepper and mix lightly with a fork to combine. Combine more thoroughly with hands, being careful not to over mix. Separate meat mixture into 6 even portions and form into patties. Set patties on a board.
  • Heat nonstick grill pan over medium-high heat.
  • Heat olive oil and butter in nonstick skillet over medium heat for 1 minute. Add onion slices to skillet and toss in the oil and butter. Add salt, pepper, oregano, and cumin and toss. Continue to sauté onions, but start cooking burgers.
  • Place patties on grill pan and cook for 2 1/2 minutes on 1 side. Flip patties and place cheese on top of each. Cook for 1 minute and then tent foil over patties and cook for 1 1/2 minutes. Remove patties from grill and place on a clean board. Replace foil tent over patties and let rest for 5 minutes. Turn heat under grill pan down to low and give pan a quick wipe with a damp paper towel (held in tongs).
  • Once onions start to turn slightly golden, pour bourbon into skillet, off the burner. Once alcohol cooks off, turn heat under skillet down to low, and let onions absorb liquid.
  • Place bun halves on grill pan and toast until lightly golden, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from grill pan and butter with 1/2 tablespoon of butter per bun. Place 1 patty on each bun bottom, top with approximately 1/4 cup onions, and bun top.
  • Serve and enjoy!
  • Makes 5 (6 oz.) burgers

If anyone does try this delicious recipe, drop us a comment or shoot us an email and let us know how the burgers turned out. Pictures are encouraged and burgers through the mail are hoped for—fingers crossed.

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Happy Father's Day 2012!

Happy Father's Day from ScapeGoat Ink with Calvin and Hobbes comic strip by Bill Watterson
Comic Strip Calvin and Hobbes, courtesy of Bill Waters.

Happy father's day to all the dads and soon-to-be dads out there, I have nothing but respect for all of you. Pops, I know I posted a song by Adam Cole to honor mom on Mother's Day, but for you I figured a song wouldn't cut it. Plus, I think Cole may hate his father because he never wrote a song dedicated to him. Anyway, I thought a classic Calvin and Hobbes comic strip where Calvin's father scares the crap out of him was more fitting because 1.) You've actually done that to us. 2.) You look identical to Bill Watterson, so much so that I actually hoped that you were him. 3.) You also happen to look identical to Calvin's dad, I'd even go so far as to say that he's your cartoon doppelganger. Now, since I did a list for mom I figured I'd do the same for you, mainly because I don't want you two fighting over which one of you I love more.

Thank you...
-for indulging my weird movie phases, especially my Jean-Claude Van Damme, or The Muscles from Brussels, obsession. I sincerely apologize for making you watch Double Team, starring JCVD and Dennis Rodman, but I will never apologize for Bloodsport. Ever. I still maintain that's one of the purest action flicks to come out of the 80s. "Kumite! Kumite! Kumite!"
-for being the best father I could have ever asked for, even if I do still secretly hope that my real dad is actually a famous black athlete. Hey, a boy can dream, can't he?
-for teaching me that the right thing to do isn't always the easiest thing to do, but in the end it's not about what's easy.
-for teaching me what it means to have a solid work ethic, in spite of the fact that when you got Nick and I a job at TAB Chemicals we used to hide behind chemical pallets and take frequent naps. I should also apologize to alcoholic girlfriend because there's a very good chance that due to our extended chemical naps, I'm probably completely sterile.
-for always encouraging me to follow my dreams and for making anything seem possible. For example, when you encouraged me to pursue my dream of becoming a pilot, in spite of the fact that I have no inner compass, I get lost in the supermarket, and there are no street signs in the sky to direct me.
-for always providing for us and never letting us know how tough or scary times really were. 
-for not putting me up for adoption or sending me to live with gypsies when you realized I was the most expensive child growing up. In my defense, it's technically mom and your fault for making me with weak lungs, a clubbed foot, a bulbous hunchback, crossed eyes, severe allergies, and two butt cracks. All right, I'm lying about the severe allergies.
-for showing me what it means to truly love someone. Even though I have the sneaking suspicion that since mom used to be a greaser (even though she denies it) she just threatened you into a marriage proposal. I suppose even that's still kind of cute in a creepy sort of way.
-for hiding in our bedroom closet when we were younger and scaring us half to death after your repeated warnings to be quiet and go to sleep were ignored. Not a peep was heard from our bedroom for thirteen years after that terrifying night. Well done, sir; well done.
-for cultivating our imaginations at a young age with your nighttime stories. Although, sometimes I think you did too good of a job. In fact, to this day I can't watch scary movies because my imagination terrifies me for hours afterward. On second thought, not cool, old man.
-for showing me the type of man and father I hope to eventually be someday. You've set the bar high, good sir, but I'm up to the challenge. Besides, if I can become half the man you are I'd be happy with that.      

All right, this list is already getting way too sappy. Listen, Pops, you're a good man and I respect you. Now lets go grab a couple of brews, sit out on the deck, and talk about the awesomeness that is Bloodsport and how we secretly both wish we were Frank Dux (that's pronounced Dukes, not Ducks). Happy Father's Day, Pops!

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Classic Beer Commercial #5: Billy Dee Williams and Colt 45

In addition to today being Hump Day, which means we're that much closer to the weekend, today also marks Classic Beer Commercial Wednesday here at ScapeGoat Ink. It's been a while since I've done this feature, so I wanted to ensure that today's pick was an extra special one. After spending hours sifting through classic beer commercials I finally landed on this monumental piece of awesomeness, which I am proud to share with my readers.
But first, I want to get my geek on really quick. Some of you may know, Billy Dee Williams, the mega star in this epic 80s commercial from his role as the suave Lando Calrissian in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back and Star Wars: Return of the Jedi. Harrison Ford's character Han Solo so aptly described Lando as a "Card player. Scoundrel. You'll like him." Guess what, Hans, we do like him. To give you a little background information about the smoothness that is Lando, he lost the Millennium Falcon spacecraft to Hans Solo in a poker game. The self-proclaimed mayor of Cloud City (before I get a bunch of nerds mailing me correction letters stating that Lando wasn't actually the mayor of Cloud City, I'll just admit that I made that last part up because it sounds cooler. Jeez.) had style and even though he was responsible for luring Solo into a trap set by the Empire, which was apparently trying to strike back in the movie, he eventually did right by Solo and his amigos. In addition to commanding the Alliance Fleet against the Imperial Fleet (good guys versus the bad guys), he also flew point on the Falcon during the final mission that destroys the Death Star. Oh yeah, spoiler alert.

Now that you have a little background information about Billy Dee's stint on the Star Wars flicks, which were basically just stepping stones to bigger and better things, mainly this amazing vintage Colt 45 commercial. Personally, I think this is Williams's finest work. If I were him, which I most certainly am not, I would have retired from acting and hung up my scripts moments after this commercial was cut. Obviously, if I were Billy Dee, which again I am not, I'd come out of retirement to do one thing and one thing only—Top-notch Colt 45 commercials. Well, I'll let you be the judge of that.

In fact, after watching this clip a few dozen more times I think I may actually write a memoir titled, "Billy Dee & Me." Although, since it's frowned upon in the writing community, actually in any community, to write a book that's suppose to be a factual account of ones life, but instead is a fabrication intended to make the author sound edgier and relatable (James Frey*, anyone?), I may have to revise the title to something like, "The Billy Dee in Me." OK, so the title needs work, but it'll basically be a memoir about how I live my life channeling Black Velvet (That's what Billy Dee's closest friends call him. Well, I should say Best Friend because that's what I am and to my knowledge I'm the only one who calls him that.). I'm guessing it'll be a winner, just like this sweet Colt 45 commercial. Remember, "The power of Colt 45, it works every time."

*By the way, if you're looking for something funny to read, besides this blog, check out A Million Little Lies, by James Pinocchio, a rip on Frey's "memoir" A Million Little Pieces. If I had to guess, I'd assume the book is 99 percent factual, but since I'm not a numbers scientist, I'd say your guess is as good as mine.

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Case of the Monday's: Big Daddy

I've admitted it before and I'll admit it again—I still think Adam Sandler's hilarious. I know in this day and age it may not be the wisest thing to confess, especially with the string of terrible movie choices he's made recently. Grown Ups 2 anyone? It may even be on par with saying that Crocs are cool AND they look great, or that Appletinis just taste better when drunk with a pinky pointed in the air. Perhaps I'd be better off saying that skinny, ginger-junk, prop comic, Carrot Top was both insightful AND topical in his heyday. I'm just kidding; I would NEVER say that about that orange nightmare. On a side note, have any of my readers seen pictures of Carrot Top lately? He's starting to look like a blend between Lion-o, from Thundercats, and Eric Stoltz's character in Mask.

My appreciation for Sandler dates back well before he was even on Saturday Night Live; I'm talking about the Cosby years. I used to love when he'd show up as Theo Huxtable's token white friend, Smitty, on The Cosby Show . In the 90s he was the reason I tuned into Saturday Night Live every Saturday, especially for skits like
this one. I owned all of his comedy albums and I listened to them on repeat quoting every bit to the annoyance of anyone within earshot. Some of you may have never seen, or even heard of, the cult classic, Shakes the Clown, which Bobcat Goldthwait wrote, directed, and starred in with Sandler. It was a movie that exposed the underbelly of the "Clown" industry, which ultimately revealed a shared hatred of Mimes. I journeyed with him through Airheads, a mid-90s abomination starring box office poison, Brendan Fraser. It wasn't good, but I laughed because Sandler was in it. Then there was the magical foursome that secured me as a Sandman fan (that's what all his close friends call him, even Jack Nicholson) for life: Billy Madison, Happy Gilmore, Bulletproof, and The Wedding Singer. He had successfully maneuvered through, well, success and managed to stay consistently funny after SNL, which hasn't always been an easy task for former cast members.
Then Sandler made The Waterboy. It was crap. Trust me, some of you may try to defend this movie, but you shouldn't. I will admit that on a few occasions I may or may not have watched this film since its theater release and found myself laughing a bit. In my defense I was nursing a hangover. On second thought, I've actually watched Mannequin while I was hungover because the TV remote was on the other side of the room and I didn't feel like getting up to change the channel, so I'm not sure what that says about me. I believe the late 90s is also about the time in Sandler's career when he was successful enough to incorporate his unfunny posse in every movie he had his hand in. I was familiar with his peak-and-valley performances at this point. I knew, or rather hoped, that he'd make a comeback. In my mind, he did with his role as Sonny Koufax in Big Daddy. This movie may not have been on par with his earlier 90s hits, but it became a favorite of mine. Adam Sandler paling around with a lispy kid who "wipes his own ass"? You better believe I enjoyed that movie. With that said, I should stop now before I reach Little Nicky and completely ruin your Monday. Instead, enjoy this short clip from Big Daddy.

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Support Our Team, Mary's Friends, at the 2012 Arthritis Walk

This Saturday, May 19, I'm participating in the 2012 Arthritis Foundation Walk in Chicago. I've joined the team, Mary's Friends, which was started by Jackie Krol in memory of her sister, Mary, who was afflicted with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The Arthritis Foundation recently forwarded an email to all of its participants, which I'd like to share with my readers below.

I’m walking for those who can’t…

I’m participating in the #1 nationwide event dedicated to the prevention, control and cure of arthritis—The 2012 Arthritis Walk—and it takes place this weekend! The Arthritis Walk supports the 50 million adults and more than 300,000 children who suffer from arthritis pain and disability.

The Arthritis Foundation helped put a face on the 300,000 children who suffer day in and day out when they announced Liberty and Amelia Shultz as the 2012 Arthritis Walk Youth Honorees. At the ages of 2 and 3 respectively, these sisters are battling juvenile arthritis. The Shultz family has faced more than their share of heartache as they watched their toddlers learning to crawl, taking their first steps—these major milestones should never be filled with so much pain. It’s simply unacceptable to the innocent children or their parents who feel helpless against the disease.

That’s why I’m participating in the Arthritis Walk this weekend. To make a difference. To help get us one step closer to a pain-free future—and a cure!

Here’s how you can help:
  • I’d love it if you joined me! Click here to sign up to walk with me—together we can walk on behalf of those who suffer pain with every step they take.
  • Make a donation to support me. I have a fundraising goal that I hope to meet before the day of the Arthritis Walk and time is running out! Please help me meet my goal.
Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you'd like, click here to donate to me, or click here to donate to our team, Mary's Friends. So far our seven-member team has done a great job, but as of this posting we're still $280 shy of our overall goal. We have until Friday, May 18, to continue to collect donations, so please spread the word and help us out. Thank you so much!

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Happy Mother's Day!

Mom, if I were a smarter man or musically inclined, I would have personally written this song for you; however, I am neither of those things, so I've enlisted the help of a talented Biologist, Adam Cole, to help pay tribute to you and all the mothers out there today on your special day with, "A Biologist's Mother's Day Song."

As I sit down at my desk with a freshly poured Guinness beside me, I'm reminded of all the things that you've done for me, mom. Instead of writing paragraph after paragraph of praise, I've decided instead to make a list. Since I'm drunk right now and you'll undoubtedly be drunk when you read this, it'll be easier on both of us.

Thank you...
-for letting me drink before I was of legal age; yes, I'm referring to while I was still in your womb.
-for playing Broadway musicals incessantly during my childhood, so much so that I find myself randomly belting out lines from musicals in public, such as, "Cats," "Les Misérables," "Starlight Express," "Miss Saigon," "Man of La Mancha," and "Jesus Christ Superstar," to name a few.
-for forcing us to do yard work and garden on Mother's Day because, even though we complained every minute and tried to weasel our way out of doing it, I actually don't mind it and kind of appreciate the beauty of it all.
-for making me fetch you ice-cold beers from the fridge throughout my childhood, which so obviously stinted the growth of my hands, but also made it exceptionally easy to find gloves that fit. Sometimes I shop in the women's section...because I can.
-for instilling a solid sense of right and wrong within me. So much so that when I did something wrong I would self punish with a spoonful of liquid soap before you or even God found out about it.
-for helping me realize that even though I had a few medical setbacks when I was younger that I was no different than anyone else and could actually be a very active little dude.
-for making me love animals and furry creatures as much as you and almost as much as St. Francis, the patron saint of animals. I'm still not keen on wearing hair shirts, though.
-for showing me what it means to love someone. Even though I totally don't get your attraction to "The Accountant" that you claim is my "father," since it's so very obvious that my real father is a famous black athlete.
-for dressing me up like a dandy when I was too small to know any better because you thought it was funny and, well, you could.
Wait, I retract that last one. Not cool, Mom; not cool at all.

-for teaching me proper hygiene and making sure I was never the "smelly" kid in school.
-for NOT breastfeeding me until I was five years old.
-for making sure that I had everything I ever needed and more growing up.
-for genetically passing on the Irish Iron liver.

I know that this list doesn't even scratch the surface and I'm sure I could continue on, but I don't want your already sizable Irish head to get any bigger than it already is, lady. I'm just kidding...sort of. Here's to you, you wonderful woman and Happy Mother's Day! Now let's go do some yard work so we have an excuse to get hammered later!

If you enjoyed Cole's Mother's Day song, he also crafted a wonderfully insightful St. Patrick's Day song, "(A Biologist's) St. Patrick's Day Song," which I posted previously.

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The Last of the Graduates--Indiana University 2012

If you're looking to hire a Spanish-speaking graphic designer, you're in luck. My little sister, O-Tang, is finally all grown up! This past weekend she was part of Indiana University's graduating class of 2012. She graduated from the college of Arts and Sciences with a Bachelors degree in graphic design and Español (that's Spanish for Spanish).

ScapeGoat Ink's tribute to Indiana University's 2012 graduating class
Photo courtesy of Indiana University's official Web site.

We awoke early Saturday morning to make the 4-hour trek to Bloomington, IN for O-Tang's graduation from Indiana University. My older sister, Angry Bee, drove while alcoholic girlfriend and I passengered. Naturally, I sat shotgun because I was the one holding the shotgun gingerly on my lap. It was my job to ensure the peace on our long drive. I wasn't hesitant to pump any yellow bellied, law breaking ingrate full of lead. Lucky for them, we had no problems; unfortunately for me, my trigger finger stayed itchy the entire trip. In hindsight, it may have been my allergy to rifles that made my finger itch, but nonetheless we remained safe for the duration of the trip.

When we arrived it was a balmy 80+ degree day. The heat and humidity were relentless. I made the mistake of wearing dark dress slacks and a long-sleeve, button-down shirt. If I were a smarter man, which I am not, I would have gone with a loin cloth and a thermo-cooling backpack filled with Hi-C's refreshing Ecto Cooler juice because it's both enjoyable to drink and cooling to the soul. The reason I regret my outfit choice (Just stay cool, maybe no one will notice that you just referred to your shirt and pants as an "outfit." If you remain calm you might even be able to fool your readers into thinking that all grown men refer to their clothes as "outfits.") is because we had a bit of a trek from my sister's apartment to the graduation ceremony, which was being held at the assembly hall 16 miles away. I'm lying; it was more like a brisk 22 miles.

Luckily, on our walk through the parking lot, either through divine intervention or the mere fact that to every passers by I looked as if I was having a massive heart attack while simultaneously giving birth to a sweat baby, a kind gentleman by the name of Tom offered to give our posse a ride in his pimp wagon (a.k.a. golf cart). He was pleasant enough and carted us right to the door of the assembly hall while spouting off random facts about the college and its campus. I was too busy trying to catch my breath and cursing myself for choosing the seat right above the exhaust pipe, which was sputtering hot fumes all over me. However, the ride was much appreciated. In fact, Tom, if you're reading this you're a saint; a flippin' saint, Tom. Lauren quickly departed from the group to join an even larger group of her fellow classmates who were making their way to the opposite side of the building. We proceeded to join the mass of sweaty people all clamoring to find a seat in the stands.

On the plus side, there was A/C blasting; however, after enough warm-bodied people filed into the stadium the once cool air now felt more like a heavyset child breathing down the back of my neck. We were sitting in the nose-bleed section, but the action was being broadcast on the JumboTron, and by action I mean long-winded speakers wearing funny hats and ridiculous scarves. It was kind of like being at a Harry Potter convention, only slightly less cool. At one point I became fixated on the idea that if asked to stand, I would struggle to my feet, pass out, and swan dive into the rows below us taking out dozens of unsuspecting occupants. I chuckled to myself, but then the more I thought about it the more I truly wondered how many people I could take out if I "fell." What I pictured was similar to what elevated bowling would be like—I'd be the ball and all the unsuspecting people below me would be the pins—if there were such a thing. Obviously I'd have to get a strike (at least 10 humans) my first time out because logically how many times can I fling myself down stadium seats before I was too severely concussed to continue. The more I thought about it the more I chuckled to myself. The mere idea of human bowling was enough to sustain me well into the opening ceremony.

We discovered via text that while O-Tang was making her way to the ceremony she lost, or someone stole, her red sash that was to accompany her gown. Although it was an unfortunate mishap, it did make finding her among the sea of black-and-red, gown-wearing hopefuls a tad easier. It took some searching, but it was a pleasant distraction from the large woman with the fat knees sitting behind who was so obviously afflicted by loud-talking disease and odor issues. After a while it became a sort of game reminiscent of Martin Handford's three-book series, Where's Waldo? Lauren was the elusive Waldo. I was able to locate a woman wearing a brightly colored jumpsuit, snorkeling goggles, a cane, and what looked like a magic scroll before we finally pinpointed her exact location. Once we found her and made our location known to her we were back to listening to the reminiscences of the President of Indiana University, Michael A. McRobbie.

As I was drifting back to my human bowling invention, a most unexpected special guest was introduced: The Doctor of Music—Booker T. Jones. For those of you unsure who that is (shame on you), Google Booker T. & the M.G.'s, "Green Onions." If you still don't know who that is then you're probably a terrorist and should throw yourself off a bridge. I had no idea that Booker T., or Dr. Jones as I now like to refer to him as, went to college, let alone graduated from IU. In addition, he made the decision to go to college AFTER he (and the M.G.'s, of course) cut "Green Onions." He could have easily continued touring and making great music—and money—but, instead he chose an education, to the chagrin of his fans and some of his contemporaries. I won't chronicle his entire speech except to say that it was inspiring. He concluded with the fact that if you didn't graduate from IU your diploma is about as meaningful as gutter trash. All right that may have been a slight exaggeration, but Dr. Jones did make me wistful for my college days, not just to go back to college, but to go to IU and do it better this time around.

As I looked across the stadium at the black speck that was my little sister, I realized how proud and sad I felt. I remember when my sister was but a miniature human wearing her tight, spandex shorts with "Mexico" scrawled down the leg. For some reason they were her favorite shorts. They were hideous and unflattering. I remember when she used to break into mine and my brother's bedroom to go through our stuff and when she'd get caught by my mom she'd put our clothes on and try to convince her that she was in fact my brother or myself. She used to be terrified of vomit, especially movie puke scenes. She couldn't watch the movie Stand by Me until she was in high school because of the pie-eating-contest scene that resulted in Lardass Hogan spewing purple all over the crowd. If you haven't seen it, refer to my above comment about anyone who doesn't know the music of Booker T. & the M.G.'s.

Now she's all grown up. She just graduated from college and she's about to start the next chapter of her life and I couldn't be more proud of her, nor can I wait to see where she'll end up. I hope she does better than her older, unemployed, alcoholic brother, but then again I did not graduate from IU, so that obviously gives her a leg up. To sample from Dr. Suess's Oh, the Places You'll Go!, "You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go..." Today, I raise my glass to you O-Tang. Good luck and I'm proud of you. Pops, I raise a second glass to you for putting yourself and four children through college. Eventually I hope to repay you in riches, until that day you can bank on O-Tang repaying you for all of us. After all, she DID graduate from IU.

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"What's Your Drink Horoscope?" Article Review

Happy Friday! It has been a long time since I've tickled the plastic keys so I thought I would start back up with an article review. Actually it's a slideshow and, you guessed it, TheDailyMeal.com is at it again. If you're unfamiliar with that particular Web sites previous work, click here. The title of the slideshow is, "What's Your Drink Horoscope?" Before I get started I would like to point out the minor misstep the author made by failing to combine the words, "Drink" and "Horoscope" to create the ever-clever hybrid, "Drinkoscope." Not a fan? No worries, after you finish the initial slideshow, which I've copied word-for-word below, sans the delightful stock photos used to illustrate (or distract from the bad content), you'll appreciate my word combo. Since I had a few things to say about this slideshow, I've put my comments below the original content in italics.

Note: Since the extent of my astrological knowledge is about as vast as my knowledge of tampoons, I referred to the astrological Web site, Universal Psychic Guild, which was written by Athena Starwoman (sounds like an authoritative resource to me) to help fill in my gaps. I also have to give credit where credit is due, so thank you to the tone-deaf, Astrological King, Harvey Sid Fisher and his dancing whores for completing my zodiac education. I now feel I am fully prepared to write authoritatively on all things zodiac related.

"What's Your Drink Horoscope?"
Written by ashamed anonymous author; commented in italics by ScapeGoat Ink.

Capricorn (December 22-January 19)
Capricorns are practical, prudent, careful, and reserved. In other words, if they do go for a wild night out, you can bet they're sipping plenty of water between drinks. Additionally, Capricorns, with their penchant for pessimism, don't always make for the best company after overly imbibing. The best drink for a Capricorn, therefore, is a nice, crisp glass of pinot grigio, which can be happily sipped in moderation all evening.

Oh no they didn't Capricorns. Did this slideshow just call all of you irritable light weights that are about as much fun to hang out with as a bag of lice? It also seems pretty harsh to don all of you pinot drinkers. By this slideshows assessment, Capricorns, we most certainly will never be friends. Never fret, according to Athena Starwoman, of the Universal Psychic Guild, "Although many Capricorns are borderline workaholics, this doesn't necessarily make them dull or gloomy!" Oh thank God, I hate sharing a bottle of pinot with grumpy Gus's.

Aquarius (January 20-February 18)
The perfect drink for wild, eccentric, ambitious Aquarius? Tequila, obviously, in all of its glorious forms: shots, mixed up in margaritas, stirred with orange juice and grenadine, whatever. But the best way for them to drink tequila is with a strong, spicy twist of jalapeño, because unpredictable and intractable Aquarians have a kick.

Wow that's some high praise. It certainly sounds like The Fifth Dimension was right, "This is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius." Apparently Aquarians also have iron bellies because I'm not sure how many other people can power through shot after shot of tequila with a twist of jalapeño without burning a hole in their stomachs the night before and a hole in their pants the morning after. Have fun sharting fire all day, Aquarians! Unfortunately for the author, Starwoman has a different take on this sign, which she explains, "Aquarians are the zodiac's most mysterious and unusual people—and no two are anything alike." So to say that Aquarians perfect drink is tequila is a bit like making a wild assumption like just because you dressed your cat up in tiny doll-like clothes, bought a theater ticket for it, and assured the usher that this is your small, hairy child that it's acceptable for the usher to let you both in, even if it is to see the Broadway musical, Cats.

Pisces (February 19-March 20)
Pisces are sensitive, selfless, kind, and maybe a little bit unworldly, at times. In other words, the human equivalent of a White Russian. Delicious, sweet, comforting, homey.

Wow, somebody hates Pisces. It took three sentences to conclude that we're chubby, book-reading pansies who crave sweets and love napping. I detect that the author may have been jilted by a Pisces and was channeling their brokenhearted past. Take a seat, Starwoman, I've got this one. At first, I wasn't too offended because if White Russians are good enough for Lebowski than they are certainly good enough for me. However, to have the shortest write-up and to say nothing about our rugged good-looks, hilarious sense of humor, and well-endowed packages is just insulting. The Dude does NOT abide. Furthermore, nameless author, I hope two men break into your apartment and piss on your rug.

Aries (March21-April 19)
People under the sign of Aries are adventurous, dynamic, and pioneering. They love to try new things, and aren't afraid to experiment, which is why this whole mixology renaissance has been amazing for them. Lillet? Fernet? Barrel-aged cocktails? Whatever unique cocktail is on the menu, Ariens are up for trying it. They're pretty awesome like that.

If I was a betting man, odds are the author's an Aries. I also find it curious that of all twelve of the zodiac signs, Aries is the only one that doesn't have a specific drink to describe them, but instead they have "unique cocktails." Yeah that seems fair. Starwoman says this about the sign, "Aries can be a confusing sign because there is a complex combination of very strong masculine and feminine expressions all combined together." Well, author, you can have your plethora of cocktails, maybe they'll help you cope with the fact that you're more than likely going to develop man-boobies, or a vagina-sack later in life. Enjoy your confusing body!

Taurus (April 20-May 20)
Taureans are warmhearted, friendly people who enjoy good company, and convivial nights with close friends. They're not ones for crazy adventures, change, or fads just good times. They do, however, appreciate life's little luxuries. In other words, they like to drink the good stuff. The perfect drink for a Taurus, therefore, is a nice glass of scotch (Glenfiddich, perhaps?), to be enjoyed in a room full of old friends.

What do I know about this sign? Absolutely nothing. I do, however, know it's a great car made by Ford. I actually used to own a '05 in Teige (Tan/Beige). It was the first car I ever owned. I loved that car. I'd still love that car if it hadn't been totaled in 2011 by some impatient woman making a left turn into oncoming traffic. I happened to be the oncoming traffic that day. Luckily, no one was seriously injured, including alcoholic girlfriend who was sitting shotgun at the time, although we were taken to the hospital. Oh, I forgot to mention that the woman didn't have insurance either. Oh yeah, and immediately after the accident she started yelling, "Why were you going so fast?!" I suppose she's right, the speed limit is a bit TOO fast sometimes. We still get weekly calls from creditors about our unpaid medical bills, which were supposed to be the responsibility of the guilty party; however, in this instance, it apparently pays to be uninsured.

Man, after that story I sure could go for two fingers of Glenlivet, but since I'm a Pisces, I guess I'll settle for a White Russian on this warm day. On a positive note, AG's sister, mini lobes, just happened to have a spare '04 Taurus lying around that she's currently letting us borrow. So, I'm keeping the Taurus streak alive and well. Holler!

Gemini (May 21-June 20)
Gemini are known for being at ease in all social situations they're flirtatious, extroverted, quick, and clever. In other words, they're... bubbly. (See where we're going here?) Obviously, the perfect drink for effervescent Geminis is a flute of prosecco, sipped between conversations, while holding court at a party.

This description sounds like a blurb from Sex and the City. By the way, does anyone else think that show should have simply been titled, "Whores"? According to Starwoman, "Terminally curious and sometimes even mischievous, Gemini's are multi-faceted souls who enjoy knowing a little bit of everything but generally not too much about one particular subject. It's just that variety is the spice of their lives!" Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but it sounds like Gemini's would be better suited with unique cocktails than Aries would be, am I right?

Cancer (June 21-July 22)
Cancers are basically a roller coaster of emotions. They're wonderfully loving and imaginative, but also moody, clingy, and... sort of dramatic? In other words, Cancers lead passionate, dramatic lives, and what better liquid supplement to passionate, dramatic lives than red wine? Probably something Italian, like a chianti, or a barbera, something you can both raise your glass with and cry into, depending on the mood.

Wow, that's pretty rude. I'd be moody too if I had Cancer. Not cool, author, not cool at all.

Leo (July 23-August 22)
Leos are generous, warmhearted, faithful, and creative. What better drink for them, then, than versatile Dutch gin (Genever)? This juniper-flavored drink is the oldest variety of gin, and has been keeping people warm and jovial for centuries. Best of all, its an alcohol that lets Leos be endlessly creative in its consumption, as it can be mixed into almost any cocktail, yet is equally good sipped alone.

Although I maintain that using an astrological sign to decide what a person drinks is insane, I will say that I'm not entirely deterred by the decision of gin for Leos. My mom is a Leo and if lions were alcoholics, she'd be the king of the drunk jungle, or drungle, if you will. When I lived at home my mom and I used to have Martini Friday's when I'd get home from work. We'd basically drink martinis and talk about how amazing we were. The evening would usually conclude the same way: we'd get drunk; we'd realize we were actually SO amazing that it might be hindering our successes in life, and dinner would usually consist of the olives sitting in the bottom of our glasses. No, I don't think gin had anything to do with our shortcomings.

Virgo (August 23-September 22)
Virgos are wonderful people, but they can be a little... meticulous. Analytical. Modest. In other words, they're not the ones who are going to be slamming back body shots at the bar. The best drink for intelligent and practical Virgos is a gin and tonic. No fuss, no messy ingredients, no extra calories. Just a classic, to-the-point drink.

To list gin twice in a 12 drink list seems lazy, but to list one right after the other seems supremely slothful. Why not just type a few random keystrokes, or just mash your hand down on the keyboard a couple times and call it a night. Although a gin and tonic is a classic and refreshing drink, I call shenanigans on your choice for Virgos. My older brother and part-owner of ScapeGoat Ink, Vincent Grey, (a.k.a. Donnie Wahlberg from The Sixth Sense), and my little sister, O-Tang (her arms are stupid long and she drinks Tang like she's trapped in space), who, although given totally different monikers look identical to one another, are both Virgos. Do you know what they drink at the bar? Body shots. Always body shots. In fact, now that I'm thinking about it, they won't drink anything at the bar unless a person is attached to it. Looks like another fail, slideshow author.

Libra (September 23-October 22)
Even in the worst of times, Libras generally seem to have their act together. They're easygoing, urbane, and peaceful. The type of people you can invite to a party and not worry about. You know they'll make conversation and have a perfectly good time, without too much baby-sitting. Totally reliable, just like a martini, which, coincidentally, is the perfect drink for a Libra. Straight up.

What? Are you insane?! Sorry, I just wanted to type that at some point during this article review. First of all, if the author is talking about a proper martini (gin not vodka) then this is the third gin drink they've listed in a row. I know TheDailyMeal.com usually churns out literary muck reminiscent to the pink sludge that was recently discovered in our meat products, but this is getting ridiculous. Although, now thinking about it further, I'll assume they're referring to the bastardized vodka version. Listen, I have no problem with vodka, it can clean a bathroom floor wonderfully. It's OK, I can joke like that because I'm dating a Pollo...um, I mean a Polish-American. All I ask is that people have respect for the classics. If you're going to remove the one ingredient that defines a drink, then have the common decency to at least rename it. Just because it's poured into the same glassware doesn't mean it's the same drink.

My dad is a Libra although according to this slideshow he should be a Scorpio. Guess what he does? He drinks anything that can be drunk from a bottle or poured directly into a glass. He doesn't believe in mixing because he's a purist, that is unless someone else makes it for him, then he'll drink anything. I once saw him drink Brandy Alexanders out of galoshes because someone else made it.

Scorpio (October 23-November 21)
Scorpios are determined, forceful, and powerful. Also, they can get jealous and obsessive, which is why they probably shouldn't overindulge in alcohol. But when they do, a nice glass of whiskey, neat, should do the trick.

Wow, three sentences again, huh? Looks like Scorpio joins the ranks with Pisces as another ex-lover of the author. Wait, I wonder if perhaps the previously mentioned Pisces cheated on the author, who is so obviously a unique-cocktail-drinking Aries, with a Scorpio? The author couldn't cope with the heartbreak, so she/he secretly wrote this slideshow to get back at both of them. Well, she/he really showed those two signs who is a strong, independent man/woman. Also, I think it's humorous that the author says that Scorpios shouldn't overindulge in alcohol, yet their drink of choice is whiskey. You know what drink I would give someone who shouldn't overindulge? I'd give them something that is easily consumed and can turn a person into a monster. Good call, author, really smart choice.

By the way, my older sister, Angry Bee (She doesn't just get angry, she gets Angry Bee angry) is a Scorpio, although sometimes she acts like a total Libra, if you know what I mean (nudge, nudge). She rarely drinks martinis because they make her, well, ANGRY. However, now that she's a mother of two miniature humans she subscribes to the same parenting method as our mother used when raising us: drink until the kids seem likable again. Obviously with our mom we never attained the "likable" status, which explains her tiny, little, blackened liver. I'm pretty sure Angry Bee is venturing down the same path as well.

Sagittarius (November 22-December 21)
Sagittarians are freedom-loving, honest, and straightforward they enjoy the simple things in life. No frilly, fancy drinks for them; they prefer something drawn right out of the keg at a friendly bar, preferably an IPA. (Or a simple cranberry vodka, for the Sagittarians who don't like beer.) They'll drink anything that they can order at bars of all calibers, without having to think about it too much.

I have a feeling that the author was trying to use beer as a last ditch effort here to establish a connection with the reader. And, what better way to attempt that than mentioning the overrated and ever-trendy IPA. Fail. As far as cranberry vodka, I'll withhold from imbibing that unless I develop a severe urinary tract infection.

With that said, I will leave you with the musical styling of the Astrological King, Harvey Sid Fisher and his dancing whores. Have a wonderful Friday and remember if you write a poorly crafted slideshow, I will find you. Note: I'm looking directly at TheDailyMeal.com.

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Case of the Monday's: Step Brothers

My parent's St. Patrick's Day party was a success. It may have helped that we had perfect weather, plenty of ice-cold beers to go around, and friends and family to share it with. In the nines years that they've been hosting this fine event, the weather was by far the most cooperative it has ever been. It was so beautiful that the party actually spilled over into Sunday and replaced what should have been a hefty hangover with another delightful day of cold drinks, good laughs, and eventually pizza. It's safe to say that this is close to what I envision heaven to be like, only instead of getting our own drinks we'd all have personal robot butlers to make and serve us drinks. My robot butler would have a huge handlebar mustache, of course I'd force him to wear a hairnet while making me drinks, and his name would be Gentleman Harry.

Unfortunately, after a great weekend like that it somehow makes Monday's feel that much rougher. I suppose postponing my hangover for today instead of allowing it to ruin my Sunday may have had a little something to do with it; however, I can't think of a better day to feel like someone removed my eyes and shoved a piping hot branding iron into my skull then what started out to be a gloomy Monday. Luckily the weather is turning around, so by the time you leave for your commute home you'll get a nice blast of sun and the knowledge that Monday is behind you and it's only going to get better as each day puts you a step closer to the weekend. Since you still spent your Monday working, here's the entire gag reel from the hilarious movie, Step Brothers, starring Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly. I watched this movie last night while I was fighting off my hangover with more cocktails and I actually laughed so hard someone else peed my pants. Enjoy!

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Happy St. Patrick's Day 2012!

Well, I'm drunk and a happy St. Patrick's Day to you too! I'll keep this brief because the more I type the more all of you have to read and the less time we'll have to booze. This video clip was sent to me by my pocket-size Cananadadian (Read it really fast five times, trust me it gets funnier), so I figured I'd share it with all of you. The musician is Adam Cole and the song is, (A Biologist's) St. Patrick's Day Song. Enjoy, and remember, you may not be Irish 364 days out of the year, but today you're as green as the rest of us! Oh, and I'll bet you $100 you won't be able to lock eyes with the singer, not once. If you claim you can, you need to drink more, liar.

Until March 17, 2012 ScapeGoat Ink is offering FREE shipping on all our t-shirts. Plus,
 if you haven't already
, please click here and "like" us on Facebook and you'll automatically be entered to win a FREE t-shirt. We need to reach 317 "likes" by March 17, 2012. If you've already shown us love, don't worry, you're still eligible to win a FREE t-shirt, too. Also, you can follow us on Twitter @ScapeGoatInk. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Winter Weekend Happenings: St. Patrick's Day Weekend Edition

As you may have gathered from my St. Patrick's Day countdown, which started 60 days out, I get pretty jazzed up (yes, I'm subsequently doing Jazz hands right now) about this holiday and I can't believe we're merely a day away from Irish whiskey fountains and dark pools of chilled Guinness colliding in my belly. My only goal for tonight is to not over-anxiously drink myself into a stupor and ruin what is undoubtedly going to be glorious day tomorrow. Or, maybe, just maybe, I should start drinking now and just continue on through tomorrow? I think I might be on to something.

My parent's, for the last nine years in a row, have hosted a St. Patrick's Day party, which has ranged from fun to blackout fun to "What happened last night, and where the heck are my kidneys?!" fun. One year a guest may or may not have drunkenly toppled into the upstairs bathtub and decided to make that their "nest" for the rest of the evening. That guest may or may not have been me. Regardless, I realize that I've got my drunken festivities planned for tomorrow, but some of you poor souls may not. So, here's a list of options from Time Out Chicago, originally posted in #Chicago blog by Christopher James Palafox, so plan accordingly. I cut a few options because they were already past or they involved running, which is just silly...unless a panther is chasing you then it's just plain smart. And remember, EVERYONE'S Irish on St. Paddy's Day, so go forth and enjoy!

Dyeing the Chicago River
In order to match that tall glass of Green Beer you’re imbibing, this privately-funded tradition transforms the Chicago River into a shimmering Kelly green. Using a secret Eco-friendly formula, the local Plumbers Union make over the river to the chagrin of blue lovers everywhere. Primo spectator spots are located at the intersection of Michigan Ave, Wacker Dr., and the river. 399 N Columbus Dr (312-942-9188, greenchicagoriver.com). Mar 17 at 10am; free.

St. Patty’s Crawl Chicago
This crawl is back for its 15th year and its biggest party yet. Originally hosted in friends’ apartments, this pub crawl has become the elder statesman of St. Patrick’s Day drinking. Excalibur, 632 N. Dearborn St. (312-266-1944, stpattyscrawlchicago.com). Mar 17 at 9:30am; $45 wristband includes open bar.

St. Patrick’s Day Parade
As luck would have it; this year’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade will actually be celebrated on the titular holiday and not the Saturday preceding it. The 57th occurrence of this Chi-town tradition can be seen as a heralding of spring, as we say “buh-bye” to cold weather and hello to less cold weather. The parade offers a chance to celebrate yours and others inner-Irish—whether you’re full-blooded or as Irish as a box of Lucky Charms. 300 E. Balbo Dr. (312-421-1010, chicagostpatsparade.com). Mar 17 at noon; free.

St. Patrick’s Festival
The Irish American Heritage Center celebrates traditional and contemporary Irish culture with this post-parade fest. Irish musicians Tim O’ Shea and Patrick Buckley join Chicago Irish acts for music, dance, food and even children’s activities at this family friendly event. Irish American Heritage Center, 4626 N. Knox Ave. (773-282-7035, irish-american.org). Mar 17 at 1pm; $15, advance $12, children under 13 free.

Now, if you're like me and you already have a party you're attending tomorrow, but need ideas on what to bring, click here. Alcoholic girlfriend's sister, mini lobes, was kind enough to post that link on ScapeGoat Ink's Facebook fan page, which details 11 recipes that involve Guinness. Mmm, boozy food. All right, well now I'm severely parched and craving some libations. You know what, a few beers won't hurt. See you on the green side everybody. Sláinte! 

To read all my St. Patrick's Day posts, which started at 60 days and continued on to 50 days. Then The Leprechauns rang in 37 days with their rendition of, "Oh Danny Boy." And finally, Shane MacGowan, of Pogues legend, lent his drunken yet angelic vocals to ring in 30 days.

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Harpoon Celtic Ale Review

This week has been unseasonably warm to the point where I just showered, yet I feel like I'm now bathing in my own sweat while typing this. I'm sweating from typing!? No, Mom, I'm sure it's not because I'm lazy, overweight, and subscribe to the self-invented Pizza Diet. I know, it's March and it's beautiful out. I'm not complaining about the weather, my pasty body just hasn't adapted to "summer" mode yet because it's still waiting for spring, well, actually winter too I suppose. Anyway, since St. Patrick's Day is in two days, I figured I'd review a beer that was both perfect for the celebration this weekend, but also went well with the warmer weather.

ScapeGoat Ink Reviews Harpoon Celtic Ale

Harpoon Celtic Ale is an Irish-style red, which means it is generally a slightly sweet, malty ale. The notable reddish hue comes from the use of small amounts of dark or roasted grains. I personally enjoy reds, especially when the weather starts to change from cold to warm because it's a nice alternative to the heavy, darker beers I'm used to drinking. When poured into a pint glass this beer has a nice, deep amber color to it with a quality head. From the bottle it smelled a little like what it might smell like if a Heineken had mated with a brown ale and created a new hybrid. Luckily it didn't taste like that (whatever that would have tasted like). It has a nice light, crisp flavor to it. It's not as rich as the other Irish-style reds that I'm used to drinking, like Killian's for example; however, it delivers a nice clean flavor.

This beer would be perfect for a warm spring or summer day. Unfortunately, this red is a seasonal brew and is only available from January to March. On the plus side, the weather outside and what's slated for this weekend are perfect conditions for this beer. Regrettably the more I drink this beer the less I enjoy it. Granted, if I had a six pack, I could be persuaded to continue on, but alas this was a single bottle gifted by my parents for my 30th birthday. Don't fret, they bought me 29 more beers outside of this one, which were provided to me in a traveling case, or a cooler as some of you may be accustomed to calling it.

Now back to this beer, to quote the venerable Hans Götman, "If I wanted to drink water, I would have ordered a light beer." This is by no means a bad beer; it's light and has a clean flavor to it, I just wish it had a little more to it. Perhaps, like my over-sized sweat factory (my body) not being accustom to the warm weather yet, my taste buds haven't made the leap to lighter beers yet either? This is a beer that would pair nicely with my Beer Step Program (copyright pending). What's that, you ask? You start the night with really good, flavorful beer and enjoy it to the fullest. Once you're slightly toasted you progress—or step—down to a slightly lower quality, or less flavorful, beer. Why? Because once you start to get drunk you don't appreciate the good and presumably more expensive beers as much, so might as well save some coin and make the transition down. By the end of the night you're drinking absolute swill, but you're hammered and happy so it really doesn't matter anyway. Boom. Beer Step Program.

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Classic Beer Commercial #4: Guinness

In honor of St. Patrick's Day being only three days away, I thought this 1993 commercial would be the perfect way to pay homage to the greatest beer and the best drinking holiday, as well as give a nod to a prolific actor who has starred in over 100 films, many of which are now considered cinematic gold.

Rutger Hauer, considered by some as the Dutch Paul Newman, has made a career out of playing action heroes and sinister villains. He's probably best known as Roy Batty, the leader of the renegade Nexus-6 replicant group, in the cult-classic, Blade Runner. If you haven't seen this movie, stop reading this post and go watch it immediately. He's also had roles in the comic-book classics, Sin City and Batman Begins, as well as The Rite. He recently wrapped, Hobo with a Shotgun, last year. I haven't seen this film yet, but if it's as good as the teaser on IMDb.com makes it sound, you better believe it's high on my list of movies featuring vengeful hobos, "A homeless vigilante blows away crooked cops, pedophile Santas, and other scumbags with his trusty pump-action shotgun." Um, yes, please!

A couple of Rutger's less critically acclaimed films include Blind Fury, where he stars as, Nick Parker, a blind and furious man. This movie is worth watching if only to see Parker use the hidden sword in his walking stick to slice a man in half. It was based on a true story. I just made that up. He also starred as Lothos in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Lothos was the king of vampires, which is a title I just dubbed him now. Either way, I'd let Lothos bite me because then Luke Perry and I could hangout, party, and hit on all the Vamp chicks together. Being a vampire doesn't sound so bad now, does it?    

Now, let me continue to the guest of honor. There is no way around it, Guinness truly is pure genius. You can't have St. Patrick's Day, or even winter for that matter, without enjoying a pint (give or take ten) of the black stuff with some close friends. I know there are people out there who do not understand, nor enjoy, Guinness. I won't chastise you for not appreciating the deliciousness that's been around since the mid-1700s. Instead, I'll merely give you a smile and offer you thanks, because without people like you, there may not be enough Guinness to go around. Sláinte!

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Case of the Monday's: Got(ye) Music?

Unfortunately I can't prevent Monday's from happening, but I can provide you with a little smile to help you through the day. I'm sure by now many of you have already heard music by Gotye, specifically the song, "Somebody I Used to Know." If you haven't, click here. Alcoholic girlfriend and her sister, mini lobes, introduced me to this artist and when this song isn't being sung aloud or playing in the background, it remains stuck in my head. Recently the band, Walk Off the Earth, did a cover of Gotye's song. Of course, they couldn't just cover the song in a traditional fashion, so instead the five-member band performed the song on one guitar. It's pretty amazing, click here to watch it. Yesterday, my sister, O-Tang, (She has crazy long arms like Stretch Armstrong and she loves space drinks, specifically Tang.) showed me a video clip of another band, Key of Awesome, doing a parody of Walk Off the Earth covering Gotye's "Somebody I used to know." Here is the video for your viewing pleasure. Don't worry, it's almost Tuesday.

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Winter Weekend Happenings (March 9-11)

It's finally the end of the workweek and now it's time to start planning the weekend. That's where we come in (queue ScapeGoat Ink's theme music—anything that rocks). You worked hard all week (or were you hardly working? Heyo! Sorry, I'll kick myself in the crotch for that one), so why don't you relax and just follow our preplanned weekend guide. If you want more suggestions, check out the ever-helpful Time Out Chicago, which is where most of these ideas came from in the first place. Otherwise, have a great weekend and we'll see you on the other side.

Friday, March 9, 2012
pHlip Cup
Studio BE at 10 p.m. Ongoing 3110 N Sheffield Ave (between Belmont Ave and Barry St.)
Improvisers constrain themselves to a single narrative that ultimately leads them to a flip-cup tournament against the audience in this solid and enjoyable BYOB improv outing. We laughed heartily.

Jersey Shore: The Musical
Studio BE, Friday through Saturday, 7:30 p.m. Ending: Saturday, March, 31. 3110 N Sheffield Ave (between Belmont Ave and Barry St.)
Sketch troupe 4 Days Late's parody of loathsome reality show Jersey Shore is both fearless and funny thanks to winning musical numbers and a grounded performance from Nate Stoner.

First Fridays
This week in Chicago
Ongoing 220 E. Chicago Ave. (at Mies van der Rohe Way)
Join the sea of flirting singles and you'll be rewarded with drinks at the cash bar, free Wolfgang Puck appetizers and maybe even a few phone numbers.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Half Acre Beer Tour
Half Acre Brewery, Sat 1 p.m. Ongoing 4257 N. Lincoln Ave. (at Cullom Ave.)
Head to the North Center for this weekly booze tour where attendees get to sample locally made brews. We recommend purchasing a growler and filling it up with the Gossamer golden ale. Bring a sticker to make your mark on the brewery’s label-laden tank. Registration is required.

Whirled News Tonight
iO Del Close Theater, Sat. 8 p.m. Ending: Sat., June, 16 at 8 p.m. 3541 N. Clark St. (between Cornelia and Eddy Sts.)
This weekly winner deserves its prime-time slot. Scenes are based on articles that audience members clip from the dailies and post to the wall.

Sunday, March 11, 2012
Chicago's South Side Irish Parade
Sunday, March 11, 2012 at 11:00 a.m. Western Ave-–103rd Street to 115th St.
The South Side Irish St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee is proud to announce that the parade is back on after a slight hiatus. Come out and enjoy all the festivities the parade has to offer. If you're planning on attending, I'd urge you to click on the link above to read the new guidelines set forth for this years parade. You've been warned.

Shedd Aquarium, Ending: Monday, May, 28 from 9 a.m.–5 p.m. 1200 S. Lake Shore Dr.
Inside brightly colored, bulbous display cases, groups of jellies bewitch with pulsating rhythms and odd assortments of appendages. Learn about the truly strange creatures and why recent spells of overpopulation, stemming from climate change, are harming the oceans.

Speakeasy Sunday
Everleigh Social Club, Sunday, 7 p.m. Ending: Sunday, April, 1 at 7 p.m. 939 W. Randolph St. (between Peoria and Morgan Sts.)
Mixing cool jazz and steamy burlesque, Michelle L'amour and her Chicago starlets tease away your Sunday night in between swinging sets from Ben Tatar and his L'amourchestra.

iO Cabaret, Sunday at 10:30 p.m. Ongoing 3541 N. Clark St. (between Cornelia and Eddy Sts.)
Take a quintet of talented improvisers, add a suggestion, and watch the amazing scene work unfold before your eyes. These guys rock. Middle age Comeback opens. Did we mention they're also awesome?

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Samuel Smith's Oatmeal Stout Review

I keep drinking this beer but, like a boomerang, it keeps ending up right back in my fridge and I like it. Samuel Smith's famed Oatmeal Stout, distributed by Merchant du Vin, is a beer I can't seem to get enough of—literally. On three separate occasions, I've received this beer from three different people—Ms. Laughies, Druncle B., and my drunkard parents. It's nice to know that when it comes to alcohol, people seem to know me pretty well.

ScapeGoat Ink Reviews Samuel Smith's Oatmeal Stout
ScapeGoat Ink Reviews Samuel Smith's Oatmeal Stout

My love of winter hinges on one thing and one thing alone—dark, flavorful brews. I'd even go so far as to say that I would selfishly choose another month of coldness (well, perhaps coldness isn't the correct word considering the weather we've had) for an additional month of drinking stouts and porters. This oatmeal stout comes from the Old Brewery Tadcaster, Yorkshire, England and pours dark with a creamy tan head, yet it's surprisingly light tasting. Like an oatmeal cookie, this brew has a slight sweetness, similar to molasses with a dash of cinnamon, but mellows into a nutty, almost toasty, bitter finish. It's fascinating how much stouts and porters develop in flavor when they're not ice cold, but served slightly closer to room temperature. I was able to compare the flavors between a brew directly from the fridge and one that had time to develop and the difference is like night and day. Ice cold, this beer has a single flavor that ends quite abruptly, but when it's served a little nearer room temperature, it turns into a very flavorful, silky, complex brew.

I like this oatmeal stout; it has a nice old timey feel to it, which is to be expected since it comes from an  English brewery that was established in 1758. However, in addition to its old roots, this beer tastes like the recipe hasn't changed since it was first created. If it ain't broke, don't fix it, right? I also have a fondness for brews that come in oversize bottles because there's more for me to enjoy. This is definitely a solid oatmeal stout that I'll be drinking again. I just noticed that I'm down to my last bottle in the fridge, so I'll leave the door wide open for the boomerang effect to take place (hint, hint). Cheers!

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Classic Beer Commercial #3: Pabst Blue Ribbon

Last week I turned 30 and I received a pretty righteous gift from alcoholic girlfriend's brother, Abracadaniel (He's a struggling magician just trying to make it in this crazy, mixed-up world). He bought me a 30-pack of Pabst Blue Ribbon. Get it? There were 30 cans of beer for every year I'd kicked ass on this earth. Boom. Needless to say, I've had PBR on my mind and in my stomach for the past few days, so when I stumbled across this commercial, I didn't think it was fate, I KNEW it was.

Normally when I do this feature I'll choose a vintage commercial that might make no sense, but it highlights an old pervert that I can relate to, like this Hamm's classic. Or, I'll choose something that I can really learn from and appreciate, like this Schlitz gem. Today's 1979 commercial falls in the category of pure awesomeness. Not only does it feature Johnny Castle himself—in his prime, I might add—but it also combines two of my favorite things: ice-cold beer and Disco. My one regret in life is that my parents gave birth to me in the 80s instead of the 60s, so that I could have been right smack dab in the thick of Disco. I would have Mr. Saturday Night Fevered all over the entire crowd every single night of the week. Sadly, my parents are selfish and thought only of themselves when they birthed me. Thanks a lot, you couple of drunks.

It's obvious that this is a great commercial; however, my only issue is that I find the PBR imagery to be a little distracting. The song in the background asked me, "What's on my mind?" and, I'll be honest, I only have one thing on my mind and it's how flippin' amazeballs Sam Wheat looks the entire time. Question: Can you rock a silk scarf? I didn't think so. Do you know who can? Bodhi, that's who. I almost feel sorry for women who watch this clip because they can't get erections. I mean, can a person ask for anything more than Dalton gyrating his hips to some disc-OH-Yeah beats? If I was pitching this ad campaign, I'd nix the unattractive female. I know it's not her fault she looks like an ogre standing next to the ever-chiseled Darrel Curtis, but I can't have her distracting from the real talent. Plus, I'd revise the song to something a little catchier, like, "Na-na, na-na-na-na-na, na-na, na-na-na-na-na, na-na, na-na-na-na-na, when the sun goes down and the evening rolls around, that's the time I find, I've got The Swayze on my mind." Boom. I knew I should have worked in advertising instead of being an alcoholic.

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Can Scotch Stay Classy...In A Can?

Scotch—once revered as the gentleman's drink of choice—may be changing its persona forever. I recently read an article, "Keepin' it Classy: Scotch Whiskey Will Soon Come in a Can," by Taylor Bigler of The Daily Caller. Initially, I thought this was an article headline written by The Onion, or perhaps an April Fool's joke that leaked early, but according to the article, "The Huffington Post reported that a Florida whiskey maker, Scottish Spirits, will sell Scotch whiskey in a green and gold can." Well, at least they chose classy colors, right?

This comes only a few months after I reported about another article chastising ArKay Beverages for creating a non-alcoholic, whiskey-flavored beverage that has presumably already hit markets. Non-alcoholic whiskey sounds bad enough, but they were also going to offer it in cans, which to me seems like a double slap in the face. Now I find that legitimate (I use that term loosely) scotch makers are starting to lean in the direction of the can, too? I understand the box opened up a whole new market for wine (I'd be lying if I said I'd never had it), but shouldn't we draw the line somewhere? What will be next, bags of beer? Or, maybe boxed bourbon?

According to Ken Rubenfeld, vice president of operations at Scottish Spirits, "Each can of Scottish Spirits will contain 12 ounces—about eight shots—of 80-proof 'single grain scotch whiskey,' distilled and matured for three years in oak casks in Scotland. The company hopes to have its cans on shelves in major American markets by Feb. 1, retailing for $5 apiece." I will admit, paying $5 for 8 shots sounds like a hell of a bargain. However, how good can a $5 can of scotch really be? Sure, it sounds like a steal, but you can also pick up a six pack of (insert beer you drank in college here) for dirt cheap, but the problem is it tastes like Grandma's bathwater. So, is it really worth it? That question is directed toward people who DO NOT enjoy drinking their grandma's bathwater.

Rubenfeld further explains “A lot of people like to have beverages by their pool, on their boat, in a campground, at sporting events or tailgate parties [Someone's channeling Dr. Suess's, Sam I Am]. It’s easier to bring a six pack of a beverage verses bringing a bottle of scotch.” OK, I can understand the convenience aspect of it. Oh, wait, no I can't. Has everyone forgotten about the exceptionally amazing convenience of flasks? You don't have to carry around an entire bottle, nor did you ever have to carry one around. The best part about flasks is they don't make you look like a jackass drinking whiskey from a can. Plus, they come in a number of sizes so you can still bring a lot or a little. Hell, you can even bring more than one. Sorry, Rubenfeld, did I just piss in your whiskey can?

Furthermore, critics are concerned that cans will encourage people to chug the whiskey, rather than sip it out of a snifter the way it was intended, because it doesn't come in a resealable canister. My guess is that anyone who'd chug whiskey from a can would also chug it from a bottle, a boot, a hooker's ass crack, and a flower pot. So, I think it's safe to say that it's a moot point. In conclusion, Florida, just because you wear stupid tropical shirts year round and you smell like moth balls and despair doesn't mean you need to take something classy and put your spin on it.

P.S. Florida, did anyone ever tell you look like America's penis?

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Case of the Monday's: The Karate Kid

Today, I've decided to start a new segment here at Dipso Facto entitled, Case of the Monday's, which is a tribute to the iconic movie, Office Space. Basically, Monday's are the red-headed stepchild of the week. No one likes them, yet everyone has to deal with them EVERY week. So, I've decided to help my readers cope with the transition from a fun-filled weekend of boozin' and relaxin' to the beginning of the 5-day workweek with a little inspiration. Each week the theme will be entirely different, but I'll give you a hint, it'll probably hinge on whatever 80s classic movie I watched on Sunday while polishing off a Bloody Mary.

I know you probably don't hear this often enough, fair reader, but I think you're a real asset to the team. In fact, I might even go so far as to say that "You're the Best." On a side note, keep your eyes open for the fighter at 1:33. You're telling me that ogre is a Cobra Kai? I call shenanigans. I think Daniel's mom would have been a better investment training-wise than that slow-moving, mouth breather. Now go forth, my little karate kid's and Crane Kick the shit out of this week. Remember, "Man who catch fly with chopstick accomplish anything." I believe in you!

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Happy 30th Birthday to ME!

Well, the big 3-0 finally caught up to me. Unfortunately my bed was not an appropriate place to hide. It's as if 30 knew I was going to be there instead of at the gym, or volunteering at a soup kitchen, or mentoring today's youth of America (sorry foreigners) at the YMCA, which is where I usually spend my Friday mornings. In honor of my impending death racing ever closer toward me, I've decided to draft a list of 30 signs I'm getting older.
  • My testicles have started their second descent since puberty, and now they actually dangle out of the bottom of my shorts.
  • I wear even shorter shorts now.
  • I often wake up with a new pulled muscle from tossing and turning too vigorously in my sleep.
  • I constantly forget where I parked the car (even when I'm still in the car).
  • Farting on, or near, people in a store or restaurant used to be done out of amusement, now I just can't help it.
  • I've taken to shoplifting small items I can otherwise afford because I feel I deserve to be happy, and stealing things makes me happy.
  • I drink prune juice and eat bran-everything's every hour on the hour, otherwise I won't "make" for days.
  • I make ridiculous claims like, "I invented The Dougie."
  • My prostate is the size of a watermelon and I generate as much piss as a raisin produces juice.
  • I talk to myself incessantly now. I generally don't even like the conversations either, but sometimes I just won't shut the F' up.
  • Instead of bars and clubs, I now hang out at Menard's and Bed, Bath & Beyond.
  • My joints feel like miniature firecrackers when I sit, stand, walk, jog, jump, dance, or when I'm in the prone or supine position.
  • I read menu's instead of books now because my attention span is too short.
  • Last week I ordered my first motorized scooter to help me get around, not because I need it, but because walking is SO overrated.
  • I recently added myself to the 2038 waiting list for bionic arm- and leg-replacement surgery. When I'm 56 years old I want to be Robo Cop.
  • I no longer dream in color.
  • In reference to the music of today's youth, I'll quote Huey Lewis in Back to the Future after the Pinheads shredded it on stage, "I'm afraid you're just too darn loud."
  • I have no control over my emotions anymore. I cry all the time, especially when my vagina hurts.
  • I'm more judgmental than I've ever been in my entire life. Like, right now, I'm judging you. Seriously, that's what you decided to wear today? You look like an asshole.
  • Watching MTV for more than a few minutes is like attempting to eat my own brain with a dull, rusty spork.
  • I now find squirrels to be untrustworthy and highly suspicious creatures.
  • In addition to getting a healthy 14 hours of sleep a night, I also nap throughout the day.
  • I legitimately want to be the new spokesperson for Metamucil. That stuff is amazeballs.
  • I don't like to drive if it's dark out, raining, snowing, too sunny, cloudy, or foggy.
  • I don't like driving.
  • I find WTTW to be wonderfully educational programming, and I have a $400 Giggle Me Ernie and $7,000 worth of Steve Winwood's celebrated catalog to prove it.
  • Falling asleep on the couch at 8:45 p.m. seems reasonable, especially if I was kicking my own ass at computer Solitaire.
  • When I have unexpected gas it is no longer funny, but scary, because it feels like my body is trying to tell me that I'm rotting.
  • My pillow looks like Sasquatch's dick. That is to say that it's covered in strange hair and it smells like, well, Sasquatch's dick.
  • What number is this?
  • I occasionally pee myself.
  • I literally can't see 10 feet in front of me while I'm driving, but I always lie to my passengers and tell them I've never hit more than 7 hobos in one trip. It's not entirely true, but it seems to put them at ease.
  • Sometimes I'll go to the gym just to hangout in the locker room and shoot the shit with the other seasoned veterans. Naked, of course.
  • My eyes are getting smaller, but my head is progressively getting larger.
  • This took me over 17 hours to type.
  • I can't count worth shit in my old age.
All right, I'll stop. I'm going back to bed. I hope that my heart and bladder don't give out simultaneously. Have a great weekend, ya whippersnappers! Peace, I'm outta here!

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The NEW Breakfast of Champions

Dear Alcoholic Girlfriend,

I figured I should post this clip today so that you'll have ample time to get all the necessary ingredients to prepare my birthday breakfast tomorrow. Do you have a pen and paper ready? OK, pick up a shit ton of bacon and a handle of Jack. Boom. That is all.

Sloshed in Chicago,
ScapeGoat Ink

P.S. Special shout out to A.G.'s sister, Mini Lobes, for sending me this clip in the first place.
P.P.S. A.G., I threw out all our plates. I've decided that we're only eating off of bacon plates from this day forward. You're welcome, Environment. 

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Happy Leap Day 2012--Do Something Bold!

Today is Leap Day. This miraculous day only occurs every four years. With that said, I'd like to take a moment to wish all the poor, unfortunate souls who were born on February 29 a Happy Birthday! I'm sorry your parents are cheap, don't love you, and undoubtedly planned your birth on a day that they would only have to acknowledge and celebrate every four years. I'm assuming they conjured this ploy after they'd read Ray Bradbury's short story, "All Summer in a Day." What's the next best thing to shipping your child off to Venus where they'll presumably be locked in a janitor's closet on the only day the sunshine is scheduled to grace the shitty little planet? That would be to give birth to them on the shittiest day on earth—February 29.

Now, for the rest of us who actually have parents who care about us (sorry Leapers), today is an extra day to do whatever we please. There are no limitations or restrictions on what this day may hold. I urge you to get outside and mix things up. Be bold. Drink directly from the milk carton. Take a sick day and get drunk with your friends. Rob a bank. Have the courage to ask out that guy or girl you've been eye-banging for months. Invent something better than the Pet Rock. Eat a whole pizza in under 10 minutes. Write the next great novel. Get drunk and talk about writing the next great novel. Do something; anything. Don't let today slip into the darkness before you've grabbed it by the balls and done something completely out of the ordinary. Tomorrow you can go back to your humdrum life, but today you must live; unless, your birthday is today. Then I'll assume you're parents have you trapped in a cage surrounded by empty boxes that would have contained presents for you, if they did, in fact, actually love you. If your life is anything like this clip from Office Space, then you owe it to yourself to get out there and get weird. Happy Leaping!

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Living Social: Irish Pub Crawl & Drink Specials

St. Patrick's Day is right around the corner, which is why you should heed Ferris Bueller's advice about life moving pretty fast and stopping to get hammered once in a while. Mark your calendar for March 10, 2012, at 1 p.m. because Living Social is hosting an Irish Pub Crawl through Lincoln Park, which will include exclusive drink specials at several fine Irish establishments, all for only $10.

The crawl begins at Duffy's Tavern, where a team of knowledgeable Leprechauns will be waiting to kick off the festivities with you, show you the ropes, and keep you from crawling too early (wink, wink). Check in starts at 1 p.m. sharp, so don't get all tweaked on hooch and show up late because it's rumored that the first 200 people to arrive will get a surprise. My guess is the surprise might include something Irish-themed or booze-related, but I'm no soothsayer, so don't quote me on that. After check-in, the St. Paddy's Day festivities will kick off with lots of booze specials at Duffy's, which will carry over to Harrigan's Pub, Vaughan's Pub, Trinity Bar, Durkin's Tavern, Mad River, and finally, The Hidden Shamrock. Maybe by the end of the night you'll be playing a little "hide the shamrock" with some lucky lad or lass. Heyo!

The boozing will continue on through 6 p.m., but unfortunately food is not included in the price of the crawl. You can grab a bite to eat at any of the establishments throughout the day. Or, you could just sack up and drink Guinness; after all it is a meal in a glass. Oh, and it's good for you, too. In addition to boozin' and crawlin', make sure you dress in your St. Paddy's Day best because there will also be a costume contest with prizes awarded to the winners. So, if an afternoon of celebrating St. Patrick's Day a week early sounds appealing, click here for more details and to sign up for the crawl. Sláinte mhaith!

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How to Navigate A Bloody Mary Bar

After New Year's Eve I had only my second experience—sad, I know—with a build-your-own Bloody Mary option at Jack's Bar & Grill, which is just a mere trip and a stumble from my apartment. Needless to say, I was hungover and in serious need of an alcoholic remedy. Now, according to this article I reviewed, hangover scientists (don't let the title fool you) deem it unlikely that alcohol will help a hangover. To which I say, bring on the booze, Science Boy!

I've made countless Bloody Mary's at my apartment after a night of debauchery, which were absolutely delicious, I might add. However, making a Bloody Mary out of the remaining ingredients in a less-than-stocked fridge is far different than when you're at a bar with a huge Bloody Mary mixing station. It may have been the crushing headache, or the overwhelming number of options, but I felt like I was making a hearty soup instead of the balanced alcoholic remedy that is The Bloody Mary. By the time I finished my Frankenstein-esque creation, I had three different Bloody Mary mixes as the base, and mushrooms, a celery stalk, pickles, olives, horseradish sauce, celery salt, half a hamburger, a bag of fries, and a side salad floating around as the topper. I drank it, or I suppose ate would be a better word, and immediately started to feel better. Take that fake scientists! It did, however, leave me wondering if perhaps there's a better way.

I started my investigation by tooling around on the Information Superhighway (It's just a fancy way of saying the internet, Mom) and I came across this aptly named article, "How to Navigate a Bloody Mary Bar," written by Heather Shouse, a Time Out Chicago contributor. Now this article would have been perfect for New Year's Day, although, now that I think about it, I'm pretty sure I'd drunk myself illiterate and it wouldn't have mattered. However, hopefully some of my readers will find it useful in avoiding the pitfalls that snagged me my second time around.

How to Navigate a Bloody Mary Bar
A master bartender from the Aviary tackles brunch’s most popular cocktail.
By Heather Shouse
Facing a Bloody Mary bar with dozens—sometimes hundreds—of ingredients can be a challenge for the sober, let alone the hungover. Certainly you could just dump the closest mix at hand into your vodka-on-the-rocks and chug, but we’d like to assume you’re setting higher standards. And who has higher standards than Craig Schoettler, executive chef of the Aviary’s cocktail kitchen? We send the mixology pro to the 200-item Bloody bar at Fireside, where he whittles down the overwhelming options to a few key tips.

➊ If fresh tomato juice is unavailable, start with a mix, like Zing Zang, rather than unseasoned canned juice, but taste it on its own to know your foundation—is it sweet? spicy?—and taste again after you add vodka.

➋ Choose a direction rather than create discord. For example, if you want to use soy sauce and wasabi, stick with Asian flavors throughout. Ditto for Cajun, Mexican, etc.

➌ For heat, use pure chili pastes or powders if they’re available; hot sauces and blends add other flavors that could throw things off. Schoettler’s picks: cayenne and horseradish.

➍ If you want to use a spice blend, sprinkle a little in your hand first to taste its strength rather than dumping it in blindly. Also, choose fine powders (Old Bay, celery salt) over coarse rubs for better blending.

➎ Adding spice mixes and bottled sauces will increase the salt content, but even if your drink tastes salty enough, a pinch of straight-up salt can bring out the flavors just as in cooking.

➏ Most Bloody mixes contain corn syrup, but if you want to increase the sweetness, reach for a sauce such as A.1., which also adds umami. (Another umami addition: Worcestershire.)

➐ Get your acid from fresh lemon or lime, and be sure to squeeze the fruit to release the peel oils before dropping it into the drink. Citrus oils have a distinct flavor from citrus juice, so this adds complexity.
Schoettler’s classic Bloody Zing Zang, vodka, fresh lemon and lime, A.1., Worcestershire, cayenne, horseradish, Old Bay, celery salt and salt.

Go forth, my Bloody Mary making wizards, and create your alcoholic masterpiece. And remember, hamburgers are good and delicious, except when you use them as an ingredient in your Bloody. Cheers!

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Farley & Swayze--Working For the Weekend

Friday is finally here and what better way to celebrate the end of the week than with the iconic Saturday Night Live Chippendales skit, starring two late and greats, Chris Farley and The Swayze, dancing to Loverboy's "Working for the weekend." Not only is this skit still hilarious, but the song is still relevant. Thanks for the laughs, Farley; thanks for the throat-ripping action, Dalton; and, thanks for the only song that can still make me sing like an asshole in the car, Loverboy. Enjoy the weekend everybody!

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Happy Birthday, Alcoholic Girlfriend!

I hope you have a wonderful day celebrating your (insert age here) birthday! If you don't mind me saying, you don't look a day over (enter age between 18 to 29 years old). You know it's true, baby, I wouldn't say it if it wasn't. I figured since this is a special occasion, I would enlist the help of a special guy. Put your hands together for Mr. Adams singing "Heaven." I know, I got a little aroused there too.

I was going to try to get Bryan to serenade you in person, but I feared his raw musical talent might be too much for someone who hasn't seen him live in concert 47 times. Unfortunately, YouTube wouldn't allow me to post the video that inspired me to start my own band, so click here to watch it. We were going to call ourselves, "The Bryan Adams TV Head Tribute Band," but unfortunately I only had one other member, which happened to be my parents TV. The band broke up after only a few short weeks because I got tired of being the only dedicated band member. It started to feel like I was carrying the band at every gig. Plus, I found out that TV was putting on private shows for my family behind my back. Not cool, TV. Not cool. Anyway, thanks for putting up with my oddities, quirks, creepy (but entirely warranted) obsession with The Bry Guy, and for being such a caring, understanding, wonderful person. Here's to another year and many more to come, cheers! Yes, I started drinking while you were still sleeping.

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Chef Tim Love Dishes Up Some Bourbon Chili

After yesterday's post about how bourbon is saving the world, I thought it only fitting to help my readers do their part, because this bloated alcoholic can't do it all on his own, by posting an awesome chili recipe that has a little extra kick to it—bourbon. I found this amazing recipe at Maker's Mark, which was created by Tim Love, Owner & Chef at Lonesome Dove Western Bistro in Fort Worth, Texas. Some of you may recognize the name Chef Love (no, it's not from a porno) from watching season one of Bravo's Top Chef Masters. I fully recognize that by publicly making it known that I've seen any Bravo TV programming that I automatically forfeit my Man Card; however, the joke is on all of you because I never received my Man Card. Oooh, burn! Um, anyway, here's the recipe:

Bourbon Chili
Source: makersmark.com
by Tim Love, Owner & Chef, Lonesome Dove Western

This is not your mama's chili. Chef Love's recipe is real chili con carne, and it delivers with a complex spicy punch from the variety of dried chilies used. The masa harina is a fantastic way to thicken the chili and enhance the flavor at the same time.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Level: Intermediate
Serves 4–6

  • 1 cup Maker's Mark® Bourbon
  • 2 pieces dried Ancho chilies
  • 1 piece dried Pasilla chile
  • 2 pieces dried Guajillo chilies
  • 2 pieces dried Chipotle chilies
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 pounds boneless beef short ribs
  • 3 cups onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup masa harina, if desired
  • Salt and black pepper
  • Additional Maker's Mark® Bourbon, if desired
  • Toast the chilies in a large, dry skillet over medium-low heat until lightly charred and fragrant, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.
  • Bring 4 cups of water to a boil and pour over the chilies. Weight the chilies down in the water and submerge with a paper towel. Allow the chilies to soften for about 20 minutes in the hot water. Drain the chilies once they are soft, reserving the soaking liquid. If you prefer your chili to be spicy, remove only the stem of the chilies, leaving the seeds intact. If you prefer a milder chili, take the time to open up the softened chili peppers and remove the seeds before adding the peppers to the blender.
  • Add the softened chili peppers to the blender with 1 cup of Maker's Mark®. Puree until smooth.
  • Heat a large skillet or Dutch oven over high heat. Pat the short ribs dry with a paper towel and season them generously with salt and black pepper. Add the tablespoon of oil to the hot pan. Reduce the heat to medium high. Sear the short ribs on all sides until well browned, about 3-4 minutes per side. Remove the short ribs to a plate and pour off the browning liquid and fat into a small bowl. Return the pan to the heat.
  • Add the chopped onion and minced garlic to the skillet and cook until softened, about 10 minutes, stirring often.
  • Add the cumin, oregano, thyme, brown sugar, vinegar, browning liquid, chile water and chile puree to the pot. Season with a heavy pinch of salt. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and simmer over low heat until the meat is very tender, about 3 hours, turning the ribs every 30 minutes and adding water as necessary if the braise becomes too dry.
  • Once the short ribs can break apart with a spoon, remove the ribs from the stew and break the short ribs apart into small chunks using two spoons or forks.
  • The chili braise in the pot should be the consistency of a thick soup. Reduce over low heat if necessary or add more water to reach desired consistency. Skim any excess fat and oil from the surface of the chili and discard. Stir the pieces of short rib back into the chili braise. Add an extra splash of Maker's Mark® if you want.
  • Thicken the stew with masa harina (fine cornmeal makes a great substitute) if you desire: Ladle 2 cups of chili into a bowl and stir in the masa harina. Return the mixture to the pot and stir in with the rest of the chili. Simmer for 15 minutes. Serve the chili hot garnished with chopped scallions, cilantro and/or sour cream.

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Bourbon: Saving the World One Bottle At A Time

I read an interesting article, "Made in America: Bourbon Boom in the Heartland" by Jonathan Karl, which details how bourbon production is skyrocketing and as a result its stimulating the economy, as well as creating more jobs. I've been unemployed for almost 6 months now and I've been forced to cut my spending drastically; however, I still set aside a little extra money now and again for the things that I can't live without—booze.

Obviously bourbon is 100 percent American made and has been around for ages, so why all of the sudden is bourbon production increasing so much? Well, according to the article, "Noticing a slowing American market, bourbon makers aggressively sought sales overseas. They improved quality and capitalized on what made them different: By definition bourbon can only be made in America. Distillers could sell bourbon by selling America itself, plastering horses, cowboys and the Kentucky Derby right on the bottle."

As explained in the article, the results have been anything but poor, "In the past decade, bourbon exports have boomed, reaching 126 countries. In Spain, sales are up 153 percent and in France, where ads showcase Mount Rushmore, sales have increased 286 percent. They are also up 98 percent in Australia and 55 percent in Germany." So due to the increase in sales overseas, distillers have been forced to create more jobs and hire more employees to help in the preparing, distilling, packaging, and distribution of bourbon in the U.S. and around the world.

Well, it looks like alcohol may actually solve more problems than it creates. Take THAT teetotalers! If you want to join in and help the cause, all while stimulating the economy and getting sauced at the same time, grab a bottle of the good stuff and start drinking! You're welcome, fellow alcoholics of America.

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Baconfest ChicagoTickets On Sale TODAY!

As some of you may have realized over the years, whether from my drunken outbursts professing my love of meat (I realize that taken out of context means something totally different than intended); to seeing my anti-svelte figure and wondering when I'll be giving birth to a bacon baby, similar to the plot line of the very accurate and scientifically proven hit comedy, Junior; to reading about my jaunt through Bacon Forest. It's easy to conclude that in addition to suffering a dozen heart attacks before I turn 50, I LOVE bacon. That's why I feel it my duty to spread some bacon cheer today. Last year, I was informed of a heavenly event called Baconfest Chicago where the cured meat is put on a pedestal and celebrated for your eating pleasure. Unfortunately for me, but luckily for my heart, I stumbled upon this beautiful event far too late. The day my dreams were dashed, is the very same day I vowed to never let that happen again. Yesterday I received the answer I've been looking for and now I'm going to drop that meaty, delicious news right on your faces:

General Admission tickets for Baconfest Chicago 2012 are available today, Monday, February 20, starting at noon. What does this golden ticket get you? It includes tasting samples from chefs and 6 drink-tickets for booze. If you ever wondered, "Can you put a price on the deliciousness of bacon?" Apparently the answer is yes, $75. Each ticket is valid only for the session for which it was purchased and they limit each purchaser to 4 tickets per shift.
Baconfest Chicago will be held on Saturday April 14th, 2012 at the UIC Forum (725 West Roosevelt).  To find out more information about this event, click here.

There are TWO exhibition sessions

LUNCH Session:
12:30 pm - 3:00 pm: General Admission

DINNER Session:
6:30 pm - 9:00 pm: General Admission

Each session will feature over 50 restaurants/chefs per shift who will be sharing their bacon-creations with guests, vendors who will be sampling their bacon-related wares, and liquor sponsors who will be serving beer and bacon-based cocktails.

This event sells out fast, so make sure you click here to get in on the salty meat action. Trust me; you do not want this event to sell out before you get a ticket because it'll loom over you for the rest of the year. Good luck, my fellow bacon lovers. Happy meatings, heart attacks, and happiness to all!

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Winter Weekend Happenings (Feb. 17-19)

I'm sure a lot of you tapped your wallets earlier this week celebrating Rick Astley Day, the holiday formerly known as Valentine's Day, so I thought it might be a good idea to compile a list of things to do this weekend that won't cost you a cent. However, Ashlee Rezin, a contributor for Time Out Chicago already did the leg work. I deleted a few of her original items, so if you'd like to read her original post, click here.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Pocket Guide to Hell: The World Finder
10am-6pm, Gallery 400
Steele MacKaye never realized his dream of building the world’s largest theater—the Spectatorium—for the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition. The Pocket Guide to Hell collective revisits MacKaye's tragic story through artifacts connected to the Spectatorium and The World Finder, a four-act play about Columbus that the theater was meant to stage.

Joanne Greenbaum
Noon-6pm, Shane Campbell Gallery
Greenbaum, whose work adorns the cover of Wilco's album The Whole Love, presents new abstract paintings that are all 16" x 12". The works continue the New York–based artist's experiments with structure, line, color and negation.

Graham Rae
7pm, Quimby’s bookstore
Scottish author Rae reads from his new novel, Soundproof Future Scotland, set in the 22nd century in an independent Scotland. The book isn't out yet, so you can buy a voucher to receive the book when it's in print, which is how they'll do things in the 22nd century anyway.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Pulled, Pressed and Printed, Chicago
9am-6pm, EXPO 72
Thomas Lucas/Hummingbird Press, Anchor Graphics, Spudnik Press, Screwball Press, Lora Fosberg., Jay Ryan/The Bird Machine, Sonnenzimmer and other Chicago artists and studios share their work in printmaking.

Alex O’Neal: Delta Donuts, Migraine Weather
11am-5pm, Linda Warren Projects
O'Neal's paintings and drawings of his signature Southern "mean hippies" evolve to include doughnuts and migraine auras.

ITVS Community Cinema: More than a Month
2pm, Chicago Cultural Center, Claudia Cassidy Theater
Filmmaker Shukree Hassan Tilghman is on a nationwide crusade to end Black History Month. He examines race, equality and a postracial U.S. with history lessons and a touch of wit. The screening is presented by the Independent Television Service (ITVS), a service that funds, presents, and promotes award-winning documentaries and dramas on the Web, public television and cable.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Prints and the Pursuit of Knowledge in Early Modern Europe
10am-5pm, Mary & Leigh Block Museum of Art
Prints, drawings and other objects demonstrate how 16th-century Northern Renaissance artists such as Albrecht Dürer and Hans Holbein helped disseminate scientific discoveries. The Harvard Art Museums curated this exhibition in collaboration with the Block Museum.

Someone Else’s Dream
Noon-5pm, Hyde Park Art Center
Nine artists including Richard Hull, Gladys Nilsson, Jim Nutt, Peter Saul and the late Christina Ramberg blur reality and fiction in this exhibition curated by John McKinnon, program director of the Art Institute of Chicago's Society for Contemporary Art.

Nachos y Muchachos
10pm, Evil Olive
Evil Olive continues its quest to combine food and dancing with this hilariously themed Sunday bash. DJs Zebo and Phenom curate an eclectic array of movies that air from 10pm to midnight while people munch on a $5 all-you-can-eat nacho bar. Once the bell tolls 12am, the needle drops and the beats go till close.

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The Pogues Make It Official: 30 Days Until St. Paddy's!

Today officially marks the start of the St. Patrick's Day season. So, I've decided to kick it off in style. You can't have an Irish drinking holiday without a drunken Irishman, born on Christmas Day, who revolutionized traditional Irish music by blending it with punk. The man is Shane MacGowan and the band is The Pogues. Special thanks and shout out to our enormous Irish friend and brother, B.F.G., for not only introducing the ScapeGoat Ink family to The Pogues, but also for starting a tradition of seeing them in concert when they'd drunkenly stumble back into town. Last concert we attended was supposedly The Pogues Farewell Tour; however, I see they are currently touring in the land of OZ, so I imagine they'll eventually drag their weary selves back to the States for one last show, at least that's what I'm hoping for. Also, here's a shout out to our buddy Kernel who, like a superhero, protected me as I was escorted by security guards out of the last Pogues concert. It's rumored that he body slammed 14 hooligans, and ripped the beating heart out of the chest of a Protestant and shoved it into the chest of a Catholic—they both imploded. Here is the first song I heard from The Pogues, "Dirty Old Town."

SPOILER ALERT: Shane's teeth are a thing of legend, be prepared.

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Classic Beer Commercial #2: Hamm's

It's about that time for another blast from the beer commercial past, folks. This week I found this vintage Hamm's classic from the mid-60s. As if I needed to include the era it was made in, what with the obvious drug references. I'm pretty sure we can surmise the message behind this beer campaign, "Hey Hippies, your parents are getting tweaked on Hamm's beer (which is laced with LSD) and trippin' out in public, too."

I will admit, if I crushed enough beers to not only build a kick ass miniature cabin out of matchsticks with the dame sitting next to me, but also conjure a tiny talking bear willing to serve me, I can't say I'd be running for the door either. See, this is what the commercials of today are missing. It's not about banging people over the head with advertising gimmicks like big breasted women, talking dogs, and majestic horses. Sometimes you just have to make a few strategically placed drug references throughout the commercial and people will be putty in your hands. Hey, I'm getting stoned with an imagined bear, who apparently also laced our beer with LSD and may or may not be cooking up some Meth in a Lincoln log lab. Now THAT'S forward thinking. Don't shy away from it, embrace it. Plus, it makes for a great story, right? "Remember that time we got snockered on Hamm's and...shit, what happened?" "Um, I don't want to talk about it."

Pause the video at 29 seconds and 41 seconds, respectively. I think we can all agree that this guy is a dirty, little pervert. Unfortunately for the woman sitting next to Captain Pervy Pants, she's oblivious to the fact that she's leaving the bar one of two ways—with him, or in the trunk of his car. I will admit the effort the perv is putting into this "date" is inspiring. It's not like these days where all you have to do is find a loose woman (read whore) and inquire if she's "DTF" (Google it). Obviously her response of slapping you in the face or grabbing your tube steak is your answer. Back in the day, people put time and effort into bedding a lady—except for Bob Dylan. "Lay, Lady, lay. Lay across my big brass bed..." was pretty straight forward. It's obvious that he'd just gotten a new mattress and wanted his female amiga to test out the firmness.

Hamm's beer: things are about to get hairy.

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Happy Valentine's Day From Rick Astley and ScapeGoat Ink!

Although I've previously expressed my disdain for this saccharine greeting-card holiday for "lovers" here, I suppose there are two sides to everything. So, today's post is dedicated to those of you out there who actually appreciate Valentine's Day. Listen, I understand that sometimes life can get in the way of romance. As we start to get older we get set in our routines and forget about the spicy side of life. So, in that respect, it's nice to have a holiday that gives people with busy schedules, children, or long-distance relationships a day dedicated to telling your loved one how much you care about them. I may not have any of the aforementioned hurdles in my life, but believe me I can totally understand how all of those things can seriously cramp ones style. You've got to make time to get sexified and enjoy your life.

To the single people out there, today may feel like a loaded day for you. But that's no excuse to sit in the dark watching "Finding Bigfoot" on Animal Planet while shoveling gallons of Rocky Road ice cream in your word maker. Wipe the ice cream off your face, slap on some decent clothes, and grab a few drinks with some friends. Who knows, tonight might be your lucky night. If not, no worries. Just stay flexible and open to the possibilities life may throw at you. My only other advice is this: Let this man guide you tonight. Channel his hair, his clothes, his moves, and his unnervingly deep voice for such a skinny ginger junk. Tonight, BE Rick Astley and I promise you that you'll get ass like Rick tonight. Happy Valentine's Day!

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Booze Wizards Save Whiskey Using Near-Infrared Analysis

My knowledge of how protective whiskey drinkers and makers of scotch are became very apparent after I wrote about ArKay Beverages creating a bastardized version of "whiskey" that is apparently non-alcoholic (read: pointless). To read my post about the whiskey/non-whiskey debate, click here. Of course, something as notable as a company making a non-alcoholic, whiskey-flavored drink wasn't just going to disappear from the news. It turns out that whiskey actually has a couple of crime-fighting groups, which were established to uphold the honor of whiskey and prevent companies like ArKay Beverages from crapping on that legacy. The two groups previously mentioned, European Union (EU) and Scotch Whisky Association (SWA), were possibly going to take legal action against the beverage makers because they deemed it illegal to use the good name of whiskey to peddle the non-alcoholic swill. Read about it here.

In addition to having two hyper-vigilante groups protecting the name of whiskey, I just read an article from The Engineer, a UK publication, about a new practice being put into place that will eventually be able to detect counterfeit whiskey. Hey, if they can do it with money, why not with booze, right? The article, "Near-infrared Analysis Method Detects Counterfeit Whisky," written by Stuart Nathan, explains that researchers from St. Andrew's University (the oldest university in Scotland) were working on a device that pinpoints which whiskey the sample is from. These guys are like whiskey wizards with their magical detection devices. Before this article, I was unaware that counterfeit whiskey was even a concern, let alone a problem. However, I guess there have been issues primarily with counterfeit branded single-malt scotch.

According to the article, "The St. Andrews researchers, led by Prof Kishan Dholakia, use laser-based near-infrared spectroscopy to analyse samples—generally biological—using a microfluidic device that guides the laser into the sample through an optical fibre. Another fibre collects light scattered from the sample and takes it to an analyser." I'm always amazed at how far technology has come since the day's of grade school when I was playing Number Munchers on an early Apple computer to now using high-tech devices on something I love almost as much as life itself—booze.

Apparently the detection system was initially used to determine the alcohol content of a sample, which is an indicator of true whiskey or fake whiskey. The article explains that since the results were so accurate this technique was able to detect other compounds, which could pinpoint the type of brewing process used and how long the spirit remained in wooden casks, which "have a very large influence on the taste, colour and texture of the drink." This is huge because, in addition to being able to detect whether a whiskey is counterfeit, it can also be used by distillers for quality control in the manufacturing and bottling process. Today, we salute science, technology, and most of all whiskey wizards for protecting us against drinking non-alcoholic swill and fake booze. Cheers!

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This Just In: Coors Beats Bud in a Fake Blind Taste Test

Last week my cousin Terese sent me a link to an article claiming that Coors beat Budweiser in a blind taste test. I started reading it because I was curious how the panel came to that conclusion. Personally, I think both beers are crap. It's like comparing a bag of farts to a glass of dirty bath water, it doesn't matter which wins because they're both gross. However, I read on only to find one of the most disjointed articles ever. It starts out explaining the blind taste test briefly, but it never fully discloses what eight beers were tested. It then proceeds to name the winner (Coors) and the three runners-up. Somehow it then branches off into four subcategories of head-to-head competitions with topics that have nothing to do with the initial blind taste test. Finally, the article ends by saying that none of these beers are excellent. What the hell just happened? Am I being punked? This article actually made the slideshow I reviewed from TheDailyMeal.com seem—I won't go so far as to say good but—decent by comparison. I included the original article below for your reading confusion.

Coors Outscores Bud
By Consumer Reports

Our experts conducted blind taste tests of eight top-selling regular and light beers, plus offerings from Trader Joe’s and Walgreens (yes, beer from a drugstore). And the winner is: Coors regular, by, let’s say, a field goal. It has balanced flavors with some citrus notes, and no off-tastes. It’s a Consumer Reports Best Buy, at $6.45 for a six-pack. Three runners-up are also CR Best Buys: Name Tag (Trader Joe’s), Big Flats (Walgreens), and Miller High Life.

All of the tested beers are lagers, which usually have a mix of floral, fruity, yeasty, malted-grain, and boiled-hop (pungent) flavors. Most are pale yellow and light-bodied, and don’t stay foamy for long. Other face-offs:

Regular vs. light.
Light beer will save you about 20 to 50 calories per can (due to lower carbs and slightly less alcohol), but no tested light scored high enough to be very good. Best of the bunch is Miller Lite. Worst is Corona Light, a bitter brew with traces of tinny and sulfury off-notes.

Price vs. taste.
Corona Light costs far more than higher-rated Miller Lite; and Corona Extra costs about twice as much as three better beers.

Store brands vs. big names.
Trader Joe’s and Walgreens stood up to the competition, doing about as well as Miller High Life and besting Corona Extra and Bud.

Cans vs. bottles.
We tasted beer from cans, which may seem less refined than bottles, but they keep light, beer’s nemesis, from getting inside. Light can react with beer within weeks or even days to create compounds similar to those a skunk uses to defend itself.

Bottom line.
None of these beers has enough complexity and balance to be excellent, but Coors comes fairly close.

OK, are you as confused as I was when I first read this gutter trash? First of all, this "tasting" done by "experts" had to have been conducted out of the back of a van in a Wal-Mart parking lot by toothless gypsies. If you're doing a taste test, why wouldn't you disclose what beers are being tested? It seems like pertinent information; unless, of course, this tasting includes, a puddle, urine, hobo blood, poop water, and animal semen in addition to Coors and Budweiser. Now, if that's the case then, yes, it makes perfect sense that Coors bested the competition, except for hobo blood; I've heard it has a nice tanginess to it.

How are you then going to go from a blind taste test to talking about how regular beer fairs against light beer? This doesn't need its own section, I'll sum it up for you right here: light beer tastes like puddle water compared to regular beer. Also, if you're drinking a light beer because you're trying to watch your weight, maybe you should consider putting the beer can down and hitting the gym instead, Fatty McBurger Pants.

I appreciated the "Price vs. Taste" category, until I read it. Thanks, Consumer Reports, for letting us know that a novelty Mexican beer is more expensive than a crappy light beer. I'm starting to wonder if the "experts" actually performed this taste test on humans or if they just corralled a bunch of feral cats roaming the Wal-Mart parking lot and tossed them in a sack with eight beers. Whichever beer was "drunk" must have been deemed the winner.

I'm going to skip the "store brands vs. big names" category entirely because, really who cares? You're comparing shitty known beers with shitty lesser known beers. No one's a winner here. Instead, I'm going to jump right into the "cans vs. bottles" section. I'll start by saying WTF?! Listen, I've consumed beer from a tap, a bottle, a can, a plastic cup, out of a dog's bowl, from a boot, and off the floor. I think it's obvious that I'm not a beer snob by any means. If it's hot enough outside, the receptacle the beer comes in doesn't matter as much as the temperature of the beer. If the beer is ice cold, I'll drink it out of nearly anything (except for a sack that previously housed a handful of feral cats for a bogus taste test—I do have my limits). Unfortunately, other than a crappy biology lesson about how light alters the compounds in a beer, they never even compare cans to bottles. I think this article would be better served as a campaign to drum up support for sufferers of ADD or ADHD. Look a squirrel!

Bottom line
No one involved in this tasting (feral cats) or those who performed this test (toothless gypsies) are winners. I think the true winner is Wal-Mart's parking lot because apparently anything can happen there. In closing, I'm going to perform my own tasting of premium 90s beverages. Now, I just need to track down a case of Zima, Bartles & Jaymes, and Boku spiked with cocaine (I'm sure Richard Lewis still has a few cases lying around). Then, I'll grab some feral, er, I mean human beings, and I'll be all set.

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Happy 37 Days Until St. Patrick's Day!

The countdown to the greatest drinking holiday continues. I started my journey at 60 days and I checked back in at 50 days. Now, we're only 37 days out from St. Paddy's Day and I can just feel the drunken excitement. Just a heads up, once we hit the 30-day mark things are going to get even greener in here, with more posts, more videos, more drunken everything's. Also, I'd like to remind people that if you want to win a FREE ScapeGoat Ink t-shirt just visit us at our Facebook page (here) and click the "like" button. You'll automatically be entered into a drawing to win a FREE t-shirt. Our goal is to hit 317 "likes" by March 17. If you've already "liked" us, we appreciate it and we'd like to remind you that you're already automatically entered to win. Now, I've enlisted the help of three talented singers to help express my love of St. Patrick's Day through the gift of song. Please put your hands together for The Leprechauns singing, "Oh, Danny Boy." Get ready to cut some onions, people.

Now that The Leprechauns have thoroughly put you in a melancholy state, cheer up with these fine t-shirts from our St. Paddy's Day collection. These digs are sure to put you in the holiday spirit and, who knows, they may even get you some free drinks along the way.

Deforestation is kind of a big task, so we chose to focus on something closer to home: the unfinished-beer pandemic. Next time you order a beer, don't waste a drop. This t-shirt lets people know that you care about the environment, but you also like to party. Remember: Drink, refill, and enjoy! To purchase this t-shirt, just click on the image below.

Recycle Beer

This t-shirt was a nod to one of our favorite Wes Anderson films, The Royal Tenenbaums. Don't worry, if you happen to run into someone who suffers from colorblindness while wearing this T-shirt, they won't get the joke—they're colorblind, remember? To purchase this t-shirt, just click on the image below.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!
(Wait...I'm colorblind!?!)

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Dogfish Head Chicory Stout Beer Review

This week's beer was a last-minute purchase. I was leaving the grocery store when, out of the corner of my eye, I saw a separate display for this stout away from the usual beer-laden shelves. Well done, store manager, your strategically placed display appealed to my alcoholic impulses. I gently placed the four-pack in my cart. For a brief moment I felt a wave of guilt come over me as I pictured my overstocked fridge with hand-selected beers anxiously anticipating the day when I finally decide to bring them up to The Big Show (Yes, I refer to my weekly beer reviews as The Big Show. Don't judge me.). Luckily my liver was the voice of reason on this one, and it convinced me that I NEEDED this beer. I'm sincerely glad my liver urged me into this one, because as it turns out Dogfish Head's Chicory Stout is only available for a limited time. Thank you for always guiding me in the right direction, Liver!
ScapeGoat Ink Reviews Dogfish Head Chicory Stout
Dogfish Head Chicory Stout (5.2% alcohol by volume.)

I'll admit it, I had no idea what chicory was before I bought this beer. I actually had to look it up. If you're anything like me, I've included the definition below:


Noun: A blue-flowered Mediterranean plant (Cichorium intybus) of the daisy family, cultivated for its edible salad leaves and carrot-shaped root.
The root of this plant is roasted and ground for use as an additive to, or substitute for, coffee.

When I cracked open one of these stouts, the smell was a little difficult to decipher, not for lack of a scent, but rather the smells were simply unfamiliar. I detected a dark, meaty or wood-like smell with a hint of earthiness. Luckily, the first sip was much easier to pinpoint with a very distinctive charred-wood flavor, in a good way, of course. Alcoholic girlfriend decided to join me because I've since corrupted her taste buds into loving dark, rich and flavorful stouts as much as me. According to A.G. her first taste was likened to burnt dark chocolate, to which I don't disagree. It's fascinating the way the flavors linger in my mouth, like smoke from a campfire attaching itself to your clothes and hair. After a few more swigs, A.G. and I agreed that this is what it might feel like to drink carbonated coffee. I wouldn't mind replacing my morning cup with a couple pints of this stout every once in a while. No, I'm not an alcoholic. I swear!

About halfway through, the stout starts to leave behind a very definitive coffee taste. It's not bad, nor does it leave your breath smelling horrendous like the real stuff can. Yes, I'm looking right at you, Mr. I drink 14 cups of Joe and smoke three packs of cigs a day and then talk close enough to melt people's faces right off. Eat a mint, or jump off a bridge, just stop breathing on me. The remaining taste is more of a flavor reminder then an aftertaste. Each sip is like a balancing act between a charred-wood flavor and coffee goodness. The carbonation has a nice bite to it. A.G. pointed out that the flavor coats your entire tongue. I noticed more action on the sides of my buds, but that could be because I was lying sideways and upside down while drinking it.

The way I feel about IPA's must be similar to the way some people unfortunately feel about stouts because they both have such extreme flavors at opposite ends of the spectrum. If you're a casual drinker who walks on the lighter side of beers, I'm not sure if you'll like this one, but I'd advise you to try it before you write it off completely because this is a nice twist on the traditional stout formula. Besides, I may not be a fan of pale ales or IPA's, but I'm still on the lookout for one I can enjoy without imagining I'm drinking someone's bile. Who knows, maybe someday I'll find that IPA that changes my mind when (insert Chicago sports team) wins the (insert sporting event). This stout, like a Guinness, is one I could drink all night long and I think I just might. Sorry alcoholic girlfriend, but my liver wins again tonight.
It's OK, liver, sleeping on the couch is like a slumber party with the TV.

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Don't Be A Weirdo, Get Yourself A Beardo!

It would be in poor taste for us to freely advertise for another clothing line, since we have a clothing line of our own selling hilarious drinking t-shirts. Luckily, we found a loophole, which is that we do not sell hats. The other reason we're taking a moment to give a shout out to this company is because we are huge advocates of facial hair, as you may have known from our continued support and participation in Movember (read about our journey from boyhood to manhood here and here). I'm sure you're all wondering aloud to yourselves, "Wait a minute, ScapeGoat Ink. What do hats and facial hair have to do with each other?" We'll, we were going to get to that before you so rudely interrupted us with your thinking out loud. Well, shit, now you've blown our intro. Thanks. Um, where was I? Oh yeah, introducing The Beardo.

The Beardo, or hat with beard attached (in case you're still confused as to what it is), is the creation of Canadian, winter-sports enthusiast, Jeff Phillips. In summary, while Phillips was snowboarding he was trying to stay warm, so he made a mock version with a scarf, which became the prototype for the glorious hat pictured above. It's since been refined and is now a hat that keeps your head and face warm at the same time. As can be imagined, people, even ones outside of the skiing/snowboarding community, gravitated toward the Beardo. Now, in case you want to match your face carpet with your head drapes, the hat also comes in
black, ginger, blonde, and Toronto (white). To check out Beardo's website, click here.

Do you know what would go really well with a Beardo? An original ScapeGoat Ink drinking t-shirt. To check out our store, click here.

If you haven't already, please click here and "like" us on Facebook and you'll automatically be entered to win a FREE t-shirt. Help us reach 317 "likes" by March 17, 2012. If you've already shown us love, don't worry, you're still eligible to win a FREE t-shirt, too. Also, you can follow us on Twitter @ScapeGoatInk. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Join the V-Day Haters Club Today!

Get geared up for Black Tuesday this year with a shirt that expresses how you really feel about this saccharine greeting-card holiday for "lovers." Toss on one of these t-shirts, adorned with a skull and crossbones, head to the local watering hole and let the magic begin. Not only is this t-shirt a great conversation starter, but if it does its job properly, which we guarantee it will, you'll be leaving the bar with a man or a woman on your arm and at least one shared interest—a disdain for Valentine's Day.

Trust me, people, if you dislike this holiday it's best that you find out upfront whether or not your girlfriend/boyfriend does too. Otherwise, you might find yourself in an awkward situation when this fake holiday rolls around and your significant other is expecting a Valentine's Day teddy bear, three dozen roses, a romantic dinner at an expensive restaurant, and a V-Day card written by some a-hole who thinks his poetic rhymes are a better way of expressing your feelings than you actually expressing them yourself without the added pressure of a holiday. For only $15 we can save you from a lifetime of having to celebrate this fabricated holiday. Trust me, you and your wallet will thank us. Now, get into uniform and join the growing majority of V-Day haters by clicking here or on the t-shirt above.

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Big Americans Celebrating a Big Game--Super Bowl 2012

This weekend is Super Bowl Sunday and no matter where your allegiance may lie you should make it a point to watch the game, if nothing more than for four uninterrupted hours of boozin' and snackin'. So whether you're cheering on the Patriots, the Giants, the cute black lab in the Puppy Bowl, or just tuning in for the million dollar commercials, make it a point to relax and crack some brews with some buddies. Trust me, just because your team didn't make it (I'm sure the Bears are going next year, I can feeeeeeeeel it) doesn't mean you can't get fired up about this game and, who knows, maybe even go streaking at halftime. Invite Snoop-a-loop along and tell him to bring his green hat.

For your reading pleasure, I decided to include the abridged version of a Super Bowl party fact slideshow I found. No, it's not from TheDailyMeal.com, which serves up steaming piles of crap daily. If you missed my bashing of the previously mentioned site with their slideshow gem, "What Your Drink Says About Your Relationship," read it here. This time, I'm actually including a legitimate slideshow from Fox Sports. To see the slideshow in its entirety, click here. I may or may not be adding a few zings here and there to keep things fresh.

1. This Super Bowl is slated to generate $150 million, which includes all the money spent by fans, sponsors, media and other visitors in the Indianapolis area this year.

2. Fans will consume roughly 1.25 billion Buffalo wings this weekend. Sucks to be a winged buffalo this time of year, huh?

3. In the past 20 years, 17 Super Bowls have been won by the team that hails from the city with the lower unemployment rate. With that rationale, the Patriots are slated to win. Get a job, New York!

4. Veggie platters rank top on the list of snacks most consumed on this sacred Sunday. The Midwest is definitely not representing the veggie platter; maybe the wings, but not the veggie platter.

5. According to a poll, 9 out of 10 people watch the game at their own house, or a friend's house, as opposed to hitting up a bar. That makes perfect sense, especially if your buddy's team beats yours, you can always upper deck him (Google it).

6. Dominoes pizza estimates that it will deliver 9 million pieces of pizza to hungry viewers. Does it seem strange to anyone else that they estimate in pizza slices? Um, hey, Dominoes, I'll take 16 slices of pepperoni, please.

7. It's estimated that one third of adults will bet on this game. Unfortunately, of the people surveyed, 92 percent lost money in the past. Hmm, I like those odds. Put it all on the Pit bull in the Puppy Bowl, kind sir.

8. A survey indicated that 32 percent of fans will eat dip on Sunday, while 100 percent of people reading that fact will find it boring as hell.

9. When asked what people would give up to see the Super Bowl, 23 percent said a vacation, 21 percent said an important work responsibility, 20 percent said the wedding of a close friend or family member, 19 percent said the funeral of a loved one, and 15 percent said the birth of a child. I personally think that's pretty weak and a lie. No one said anything about giving up a body part, killing someone, or giving up an actual child. I mean, where's the dedication, pansies?

10. It takes lots of spuds to make the 11.2 million pounds of potato chips that fans will be munching on in front of the television during the big game. I cut the rest of the fact because it basically explains how chips make people fat and I didn't want anyone to feel self conscious on Sunday. You're welcome.

11. An estimated 8 million pounds of avocados will be murdered for your Guacamole-eating pleasure. I hope you're happy, murderers! This is where I throw green paint on all of you.

12. Some hotels have jacked up their rates by more than 1700 percent! In fact, one hotel near the Indy airport is charging $725 for a room during Super Bowl weekend that normally costs only $39. Unless that room comes with a free fully stocked bar, an autographed football from both teams, and at least a few high-class call girls, I'd venture to say that it's not worth it.

13. In 2009, a total of 55,200 hot dogs were served at Tampa Bay's stadium when it hosted Super Bowl XLIII. I'm curious how many of those hotdog guzzlers had heart attacks after the game?

14. The biggest sport in Indianapolis isn't football, it's a sport where you watch a shit load of left turns at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, which can seat 400,000 people for the Indy 500, including standing room in the huge infield. Wow, I'm impressed. I had no idea 400,000 people enjoyed (insert inbred/hillbilly/race car driving joke here).

15. Roughly 48 million Americans will order takeout or delivery food from a restaurant instead of cooking up grub at home. They may have to wait fourteen hours before they receive their food, but dammit all, they're getting their Buffalo wings.

16. Of the 10 most-watched programs in the U.S. television history eight of them are Super Bowls. In fact, last year's Super Bowl tops the list with a whopping 111 million viewers. I'll assume the other two most-watched programs would be the Golden Girls episode where the infamous four-way takes place. And, the next would have to be The Batman episode where a shark bites onto the hanging ladder of a helicopter and tries to climb it to bite the masked superhero.

17. It's going to take a big microwave to pop up the 3.8 million pounds of popcorn fans will be munching on. It will also take tons of floss and weeks of dedication to clean every kernel out of your teeth.

18. The average fan will consume 1200 calories and 50 grams of fat from snacks. And yes, that's just snacks and not meals on the big day. Not to worry, come Monday we'll just look into heart bypass surgery options.

19. All that food needs to be washed down with something. Will you be picking up one of the 51.7 million cases of beer sold to quench the thirst of Super Bowl fans? I don't know that seems pretty low to me. I mean with 11.2 pounds of potato chips and 9 million slices of pizza, I feel like we could be doing better in that department.

20. I cut this "fact" because it was about how people will be eating apple slices and macaroni and cheese instead of the usual heart-attack inducing food. It wasn't really a fact, but more of a dumb observation. You're welcome.

21. Over 4.3 million lbs. of pretzels will be consumed throughout American households and bars this Sunday. Again, I really feel like more beer is needed to wash it all down.

22. The Super Bowl is the top grilling day of winter, with 62 percent of people firing up the grills. Hell, with the weather we've been having in the Midwest those numbers are sure to rise.

23. Whether its peanuts, cashews, pistachios or any other nuts, 2.5 million pounds of the salty snack will make its way to our snack tables. Ha ha, you guys eat a lot of salty nuts.

24. Tortilla chips also get some respect at the Super Bowl snack table with 8.2 million pounds of them consumed by fans. I'm glad our Mexican brethren are getting a shout out here.

25. The Super Bowl is the second highest day of food consumption in the United States after Thanksgiving. What can I say, Americans like eatin' food.

26. Antacids sales are expected to increase 20% on the day after Super Bowl. I think it's safe to say that plumbers and ER doctors will also experience an increase as well.

To all enjoying the Super Bowl, the commercials, the Puppy Bowl, or Madonna's (Yuck) Halftime (Bathroom break) show (shudder), enjoy yourself and do these facts and statistics proud. Cheers!

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