May 24 – Crackhouse

There Goes the Neighbourhood

Last week we took a look at some of the best neighbourly relationships ever, which means this week, it’s time to do an about face and examine the worst neighbours you could ever find yourself living next door to. Prepare to see the neighbourhood go down the tubes:

#5: Homer Simpson & Ned Flanders – The Simpsons

Ned is the consummate neighbour (or neighbourino as he would prefer to put it) and has an almost infinite well of patience for Homer. Despite that, Homer can’t stand stupid sexy Flanders and always seems to be at odds with the mustachioed one. With the way the two treat each other, you’d figure Ned would be the one to be short and rude with Homer and not the other way around. For example, half of Ned’s possessions have found their way into the Simpson home, as Homer seems to borrow items with no return date and Homer is jealous of the Flanders superior lifestyle.

homersimpsonzombie

#4: Jerry Seinfeld & Cosmo Kramer – Seinfeld

These two may actually be friends, but Kramer’s penchant for using Jerry’s apartment as an offsite location for himself would grate on any person. Kramer’s constant raiding of the fridge, use of the telephone, and occupation of Jerry’s couch would drive me crazy. Worst of all, Kramer is friends with Jerry’s sworn enemy, Newman, and often brings him around to the apartment. Add in Kramer’s string of bizarre adventures, get-rich-quick schemes, and other outlandish behaviour and you’re in for a bumpy ride, whether you like it or not.

#3: Winslow Family & Steve Urkel – Family Matters

Sure, by the end of each episode whoever Steve had upset within the Winslow family had made peace with the uber nerd, but that kid brought some serious tough times to the household. Steve’s clumsiness caused an untold number of repairs to be necessary to the home and because his own parents were so absent in his life, Steve practically lived with the Winslow’s. The threat of a surprise visit from the suspender-clad dork would cause great tension for myself, even though I love the guy. I just don’t think I could take the destruction that follows Steve like a cursed shadow.

Urkel Damage

#2: Bundy Family & D’Arcy Family – Married with Children

While most of them are reasonably amiable with one another, Al and Marcy have been feuding for years and things get even more tense when Marcy’s women’s group clashes with Al’s NO MA’AM organization. Admittedly, it would be tough existing next door to the Bundy clan and their unique way of living. From the always scheming Bud, to dim-witted Kelly, to parents Al and Peg, who are always taking advantage of the more well-off D’Arcy’s, it would be exhausting to come home. Then again, you can’t feel too bad, given they don’t seem to even like each other, let alone their neighbours.

#1: John Gustafson, Jr. & Max Goldman – Grumpy Old Men

The way these two curmudgeons prank each other comes from years of being rivals. John and Max have grown up together and even competed over girls during their younger days. That set off a lifelong animosity between the two neighbours, one that flares up when an attractive woman moves into the town and both grumps end up fawning over the lady. In the end, the joke is all on John and Max, though, as their kids end up married to one another, meaning the two will forever be linked. Something could also be said for the two old men needing each other, whether they realize it or not.

Super Saturday Shot Day: Crackhouse

May 24

  • 1 oz Blackcurrant Liqueur
  • 0.5 oz Peach Schnapps
  • Splash of Cranberry Juice
  • Garnish with Cranberries

All that’s left is to decide which one of you has to put up the ‘For Sale’ sign. Either that, or continue to battle forever, passing the torch on to future generations. Sometimes you just have to stand your ground and hope for the best!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
I liked this shot. It could have been too sweet, but the Cranberry Juice neutralizes that. For some reason, I really love chewing on Cranberries when the shooter is done. Yeah, I’d probably be one of those neighbours you hate with vehement passion!

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August 2 – Blueberry Alias

Altered Egos

I can’t believe that so many characters in the history of media have adopted an alter ego, whether it’s in the form of a superhero, split personality, witness protection, or any other reason to get out of their skin. Here are some of my favourites:

Roger Smith – Numerous (American Dad)

The alien member of the Smith family has a closet full of costumes and wigs and with each wardrobe change, he can be a completely different character. Some of my favourite alter egos for Roger are drummer Krispy Kreme McDonald’s and block captain Roy Rogers McFreely. Having to keep his true identity a secret from the rest of the world, Roger has a different costume for every visitor to the Smith home and keeping them consistent has been an issue.

Roger Costumes

Ron Swanson – Duke Silver / Andy Dwyer – Burt Macklin (Parks & Recreation)

No-nonsense Ron Swanson has another side to him that most of his co-workers don’t know about. He is accomplished saxophonist Duke Silver, a performer who makes women in their 40s and 50s swoon. In contrast, goofy and loveable Andy Dwyer’s tone gets a little more serious when he becomes Burt Macklin, FBI. While he was turned down in his pursuit of joining the police force, Macklin’s tactical skills have kept the Parks and Rec crew safe from trouble on a few occasions.

J.O.B. Bluth – Franklin (Arrested Development)

To make some extra money (as if any of the Bluth’s, other than Michael, care about supporting themselves), J.O.B. turned to a life of pimping. Perhaps looking to be more intimidating, he adopted the persona of a black ventriloquist dummy named Franklin, which provided him with the edge he needed while entering the often dangerous and seedy industry. The two even recorded an album together, hoping to bring racial harmony to the world.

George Castanza – Art Vandalay / Jerry Seinfeld – Kel Varnsen / H.E. Pennypacker – Kosmo Kramer (Seinfeld)

The most famous of these monikers is by far Art Vandalay, but each male character in Seinfeld ended up having an alter ego. A great scene occurred during the banned Seinfeld episode The Puerto Rican Day, where the three alter egos meet up, each viewing an apartment that is being shown by a real estate agent. Each character was in the apartment for ulterior motives, but the three entered into a rivalry bidding war with each other over the space.

Butters Stotch – Professor Chaos / Eric Cartman – The Coon / Kenny McCormick – Mysterion (South Park)

Usually when little boys play superhero, they don’t go to the extent that the South Park crew does. First came Professor Chaos, whose evil designs were intended to destroy the little town. The Coon entered the picture in an attempt to rid South Park of its problems, but Mysterion became a more popular hero, causing The Coon to switch between the light and the dark side, depending on his motives and objectives.

Stefan Urquelle – Steve Urkel (Family Matters)

In many cases, an alter ego can be the result of some sort of experiment gone wrong (or even right, as it is here). Perennial geek, Steve Urkel was hoping to finally shed his thick-rimmed glasses and suspenders for a suave, jockular appearance. The amateur scientist created a machine that turned him from uber-nerd to… I guess you’d say heartthrob Stefan Urquelle, finally landing him his longtime crush Laura Winslow.

Clive Bixby – Phil Dunphy (Modern Family)

When Phil Dunphy has to turn his cool factor up a few notches, he becomes Clive Bixby, executive business man and designer of “high-end electro-acoustic transducers”. Of course, because Phil is a bit of a geek, this often gets himself and his wife, Claire, into trouble, such as their Valentine’s Day role play date, which resulted in a near wardrobe malfunction, as the two tried to spice up their love life with some imagination.

clive bixby

Rusty Shackleford – Dale Gribble (King of the Hill)

Given how paranoid Dale Gribble is of his own government (and really everyone around him), it should come as no surprise that he often operates under a false name. He even fronted and performed in a bluegrass band, using both his names. They were dubbed The Dale Gribble Bluegrass Experience, featuring Rusty Shackleford on the keyboard.

Ziggy Stardust – David Bowie

Perhaps the most famous musical alter ego (unless we’re talking about how Garth Brooks ‘Chris Gaines’ personality practically ruined his career – yeah, sure, let’s put a wig on a bald guy… that’ll work), Bowie donned his androgynous Ziggy Stardust outfit and became a wildly popular cult character, along with his Spiders from Mars, putting on amazingly theatrical rock shows and shaking the foundation of the genre at its core.

Drink #214: Blueberry Alias

Aug 2

  • 1.5 oz Blueberry Vodka (I used Smirnoff Blueberry)
  • 0.75 oz Blueberry Liqueur
  • 0.75 oz Lime Juice
  • Garnish with Blueberries

There are a few examples I had to sadly leave off this list, including Fenton Crackshell (wicked name) as GizmoDuck (from DuckTales), Charlie Baileygates as Hank Evans (from Me, Myself and Irene), and Buddy Love from the Nutty Professor movies.

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (2 Sips out of 5):
There’s a few issues I have with this recipe, including the measurements of ingredients and ingredients choices. It just doesn’t add up to the standards I want to be drinking. I only chose the cocktail for its name and so I had something to go along with this post. On the positive side, it was nice to work with Blueberries as a garnish, but if I had been thinking ahead, I would have frozen some and used them as ice cubes.