October 31 – Hellraiser

Cursed Accounts

We wrap up our month of spooky goodness with another curious subject: curses. I mean, life can be tough enough without having a curse hanging over your head. Let’s take a look at some of the nastiest jinxes out there

#5: Men of Steel?

Who would have thought that portraying a super hero would be detrimental to your health and wellbeing? Catastrophe has followed a number of the actors who suited up as Superman over the years, from George Reeves’s suicide/murder to Christopher Reeve’s paralysation and eventual death. The story goes that the original creators of the character, Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, placed the curse on Superman when they were denied the rights to the character and all the financial benefits that come with it. To be honest, I’ve never been much of a Superman fan… I’ll audition for the role of Batman, thank you very much!

Superman Collateral Damage

#4: Chairman of the Board

As Thomas Busby was en route to his execution, he swore that anyone who sat in his favourite chair would die. The chair’s legend began when Busby came home one day to find his father-in-law sitting in it and demanding his daughter back. Ever the negotiator, Busby killed his father-in-law with a hammer. Since Busby’s death march threat, many are said to have died after sitting in the chair, particularly two air force members, who dared each other to sit in the chair and died later that day in a car crash. The chair now sits in the Thirsk Museum, hanging on a wall so it can’t be sat in, despite numerous requests to do so from visitors looking to tempt fate.

#3: When Painting Kills

The Sip Advisor has never been much of an art connoisseur and this tale isn’t going to change my mind. Many homes that displayed the Crying Boy painting, ended up being the site of fires or explosions. Despite the damage to the dwelling, the painting always survived intact. The Madrid-based artist who created the work, should have known something was up when he asked the boy (who was orphaned after his parents perished in a house fire) to pose for him and his studio caught fire. Apparently, each home the youngster was taken into would eventually go up in flames. There are a few museums I kind of wish this piece would end up at!

painting-funny

#2: Diamonds Aren’t Forever

Diamonds are supposed to be a girl’s best friend, but perhaps not in this case. The infamous Hope Diamond has caused many of those who possessed it to meet an unfortunate end. Stolen from the head of an idol in a temple in India, the 112-carat gem can be traced back to King Louis XVI of France, as well as Princess de Lamballie and Marie Antoinette. All of which were beheaded during the French Revolution. Similarly, the Kohinoor Diamond is said to bring great fortune to the women who own it, but tragedy to the men who possess it. Thankfully, the Sip Advisor isn’t really a jewellery guy and prefers to see diamonds on Mrs. Sip.

#1: Presidential Pallor

When future president William Henry Harrison broke a treaty with Chief Tecumseh of the Shawnee tribe in 1811, war broke out and many lives were lost. Tecumseh cursed Harrison as he was inaugurated in 1840 and from then on, the president elect every 20 years was doomed to die while in office: Harrison, Lincoln (1860), Garfield (1880), McKinley (1900), Harding (1920), Roosevelt (1940), and Kennedy (1960). Ronald Reagan beat the curse after his appointment in 1980 – although there was an assassination attempt on his life – as did George W. Bush in 2000. Who knows what 2020 will have in store, but that’s one year I would avoid if I were the political type.

Super Saturday Shot Day: Hellraiser

There are also a number of sports-related curses – perhaps to be examined in another article. I wish I could blame my Vancouver Canucks championship drought on a long-running curse, rather than poor drafting, trades, and play! Here’s to wishing all you little sippers a happy and safe Halloween!

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March 7 – Grey Mouse

Rodent Rascals

Despite the fear these animals cause for many people, the following entries are loveable rats, mice, chipmunks, etc. It might help that they’re all animated (or at least began their existences that way) as that’s just how you can get the most cuteness out of what could otherwise be considered vermin. Here are the Top 5 rodents:

#5: Remy – Ratatouille

This rat may be one of the few Parisians I actually like! The fact that Remy is voiced by Patton Oswalt is simply a bonus. Interestingly, Oswalt was cast in the movie based off of his food-based stand-up routine. Want some more Ratatouille trivia? Did you know that a wine branded with the name of the film was supposed to be released in a joint venture between Disney, Pixar and Costco, but was pulled because the label featured the animated Remy, something the California Wine Institute was not pleased with, arguing that it encouraged underage drinking.

Remy Ratatouille

Remy certainly has some swagger!

#4: Rescue Rangers

Chip, Dale, Monterrey Jack, and the voluptuous Gadget (the only member of the team forced to wear pants!) may be the world’s smallest crime fighters, but they are thorns in the side of villains like Professor Norton Nimnul, Fat Cat, and Rat Capone. Sadly, little Zipper can’t be included in this entry because he’s not a rodent… sorry, buddy. Back to the team, we will get to see them again in the coming years, as Disney has announced plans for a live-action/CGI animation movie. As long as they keep the wicked opening theme song in some capacity, fans everywhere will rejoice!

#3: Pinky & The Brain – Animaniacs

These two made trying to take over the world fashionable… sure, their zany plans regularly go awry, but that doesn’t mean a strategy won’t ever work and we’ll all become the slaves of genetically-enhanced lab mice! The duo proved so popular that they were given their own series, sadly invaded by Elmyra from Tiny Toon Adventures. There’s a great theory out there that Pinky is actually the intelligent mouse, while The Brain is the insane one out of the two. That would explain why he’s hell bent on escaping his cage and ruling the earth.

Pinky and the Brain

#2: Splinter – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

The wise sensei and father figure of the teen turtles may be a rodent of advanced age, but he can still fight when pushed to do so, often defending his shelled family. The one thing that pisses me off about Splinter is how his origin story changes from time to time. In some projects, he was a human turned into a rat, while other times, he was always a rat, who transformed thanks to the mutagen. He’s at his most awesome in the original Turtles movie, when he battles and defeats The Shredder, sending him crashing from a high-rise rooftop into the back of a garbage truck.

#1: Mickey Mouse

While I’ve never been a huge fan of Mickey, some of my favourite things in this world wouldn’t exist without him. Think about it: I met Mrs. Sip in Disneyland, which was only possible thanks to the success of early Mickey cartoons, leading to more animated gems from Walt Disney and company. With those facts, you just have to respect Mickey and everything he’s done in the name of entertainment. As Walt himself famously said, “I only hope that we don’t lose sight of one thing – that it was all started by a mouse.”

Super Saturday Shot Day: Grey Mouse

Grey Mouse Shot

  • 1 oz Irish Crème
  • 0.5 oz Black Sambuca
  • Garnish with a Gummy Mouse

Honourable mentions go to Bernard and Bianca (The Rescuers); Jerry Mouse (Tom & Jerry); and the trio of Alvin, Simon and Theodore Seville (Alvin & The Chipmunks). I really wish I could have included The Chipmunks, who got the Sip Advisor through some tough times with their upbeat music!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3 Sips out of 5):
The shot was one thing (it was what you’d expect from mixing Irish Creme and Sambuca), but I think my choice to garnish the shooter with a Gummy Mouse was spectacular. Thankfully, Ma Sip had a few on hand, which I was more than happy to use in the production.

September 8– Double Jeopardy

Come on Down

Not surprisingly, today’s drink turns my mind towards game shows. I’ve always been a fan of game shows… at least until they became what they are today, involving little talent or skill, where all you have to do is select a briefcase or have your car repossessed (actually, I really like Repo Games!). Here are some of my favourites in a two-day tour from childhood to present day!:

The Price is Right

My favourite show when I was younger and I was home from school when feeling ill or I was enthralled with all the joys of summer. Bob Barker is a friggin’ legend and Happy Gilmore knows all about messing with Barker’s beauties! Games like Plinko, Mountain Climber, and Hole-in-One (or Two), were among my favourites. To have your name called at the show would be a sure highlight and spinning the big wheel would be even better!

Plinko

Family Feud

Good lord some of the people the producers ask to answer their polls are stupid… and some contestants are even dumber. No game show gets me shouting at the TV screen more than Family Feud, except perhaps Jeopardy, but in that case I’m calmly and educationately (yeah, I know it’s not a real word) answering queries. Mrs. Sip and I even bought a home edition of the game to give it a shot… I lost!

Kidstreet

I actually know two different people who appeared on this Canadian game show as youngsters. It was similar in fashion to the Newlywed Game, although you were teamed with your sibling and the final round was Classic Concentration-like with a rebus puzzle to be solved. The greatest draw for any child watching was the prize wall they teased the contestants with. Winners got their pick of all these toys and gadgets, which left a young Sip Advisor drooling.

Jeopardy!

While I prefer the Saturday Night Live Celebrity Jeopardy clips over the real show, it isn’t that bad on its own. I feel that I’d be a decent Jeopardy contestant, as I usually do well playing from home, but I’m really not the brightest bulb due to my lack of desire for reading and learning important information, so I probably wouldn’t be able to pull off a Ken Jennings-type run of 74 consecutive victories.

Jeopardy

Fun House

I remember bits and pieces of this show from my childhood. I think every kid wanted to take a trip through the “Fun House,” grabbing tags that would correspond with various prizes. It always looked like kids on the show were having fun thanks to the outlandish games played. There was also an adult version of the show, titled College Mad House that would have put to shame any frat house kegger!

American Gladiators

Staying up late as a youngster is very memorable. I remember sleepover birthdays at the age of 24 (just kidding, I was probably 7 or 8 – we are talking about the original Gladiator series and not the revival, although I enjoyed that version, too) where we’d watch American Gladiators. The mini-games played on the show were eye-opening and I would have loved to get tossed around by any of the muscle-bound Gladiators or tackled the feared Eliminator obstacle course!

urkel-american-gladiators

Guts

American Gladiators for kids (although they actually had that as well – Gladiators 2000), which climaxed with a trip up the Aggro Crag, a fake mountain, which challenged kids with lighting and smoke effects as they had to hit a series of checkpoints, while racing to glory. Even if you finished last, you walked away with a bronze medal. Too bad there wasn’t a home edition of the Aggro Crag handed out as a consolation prize, as well!

Beat the Geeks

Putting nerds in their proper place as stars! This show pitted contestants against “geeks” in a certain field (TV, movie, music) as well as a guest geeks from popular culture of the time, including South Park, wrestling, Friends, and even the ‘Nudity in Movies’ geek. I swear I could have been the Wrestling Geek on this show… sadly I’ll never know, unless he’s up for a good ol’ fashion mat duel. The fact there even was a wrestling geek was cool enough, as it is.

Drink #251: Double Jeopardy

Double Jeopardy Drink

  • 1 oz Frangelico
  • 1 oz Black Sambuca
  • Splash of Milk
  • Blend with Ice
  • Garnish with Peanuts

I loved it when Mrs. Sip’s parents had a satellite dish and we were able to watch the Game Show Network together. Seeing all the new shows mixed in with some classic footage was one of the reasons I stayed with her as long as I did!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3 Sips out of 5):
This drink wasn’t all that bad. I was curious about how the Sambuca would taste with all the other ingredients. Vanilla Ice Cream is supposed to be part of the recipe, but sadly, ours had gone kind of fuzzy and funky, so I just went with ice to get the frozen cocktail done. Galliano may have made a nice alternative in a pinch!