Mixer Mania #18 – Using and Abusing

For some time, commercials have aired hyping chocolate milk as the perfect post-workout beverage. Yes, better than protein shakes, regular milk, water, or sports drinks. Regardless of how legit this claim may be, it got the Sip Advisor thinking about fictional substances used by characters to enhance their physique:

Weight Gain 4000 – South Park

In Eric Cartman’s obsession to be a “beefcake” for his televised award ceremony, after winning his school’s Save Our Fragile Planet essay contest, he begins taking doses of Weight Gain 4000. Well, at least the product came as advertised. By the end of the episode, Cartman has swelled to a massive size and is barely moveable. In his mind, though, the added pounds are simply muscle mass. Cartman does get the fame he wanted, though, as his obesity lands him on talk show Geraldo.

Cartman Weight Gain 4000

Thump – Aqua Teen Hunger Force

After being hospitalized for high blood pressure, Master Shake decides to get into shape. His method of doing this is to drink copious amounts of an illegal fitness beverage called Thump. The product’s flavour options – Mango Bitch Slap, Coconut What Did You Say To Me, and Blueberry Butt Rape – would have most people reconsider, but this is Master Shake we’re talking about. Of course, the muscles gained come to life and start a murderous rampage… just another day in South Jersey!

Powersauce – The Simpsons

Looking to shed his trademark spare tire, Homer Simpson turns to the Rainier Wolfcastle endorsed Powersauce bars to help with his efforts in the gym. Homer’s dedication to only eating foods in bar form led to him becoming the next spokesperson for Powersauce bars and their representative to scale the ominous Murderhorn Mountain. Homer ends up being successful in reaching the Murderhorn peak, but it is also learned that Powersauce bars are merely made from apple cores and Chinese newspapers.

Homer Powersauce Bars

Spinach – Popeye

Popeye has been using this “performance-enhancing substance” throughout his career, with Olive Oyl his enabler. Popeye simply grabs a can of spinach, pops it open and consumes the vegetable, leading to bulging muscles that get him through a number of dire situations. In the real world, spinach sales increased as a result of the character’s association with it. Ironically, spinach was chosen as Popeye’s supplement of choice, due to its iron content, which was later determined to be a miscalculation.

Venom – Batman

The supervillain Bane gains his massive physique by abusing this super steroid. The addictive formula must be constantly administered, directly to Bane’s brain, or else the user will suffer extreme withdrawal. The drug makes Bane so strong, that he is able to break Batman’s back and send him into temporary retirement. Of course, anytime his stream of Venom is disrupted, Bane becomes weak and easily defeated. After all, every antagonist has to have their Achilles’ heel.

Mixer Mania #18: Dirty Bastard

Dirty Bastard.JPG

  • 1 oz Tequila
  • 0.5 oz Irish Crème
  • 0.5 oz Kahlua
  • 0.5 oz Amaretto
  • Top with Chocolate Milk
  • Garnish with Maraschino Cherries

I don’t think I would take any of these enhancers. No, I’ll stick to the chocolate milk – preferably booze-fueled – thank you very much!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4.5 Sips out of 5):
The highlight of this martini might have been finally opening the bottle of Bailey’s Cherry Chocolate Irish Crème I’ve been holding onto for far too long. Despite all the booze that’s part of this recipe, the cocktail is fairly light and the flavours are quite cohesive.

Mixer Mania #6 – It Gives You Wings

Energy drinks have become such an integral part of popular culture that of course they would be spoofed on TV and in movies. Let’s take a look at some of the more famous fictional energy drinks:

Brawndo (Idiocracy)

Otherwise known as ‘the thirst mutilator’, this sports drink was being used to irrigate the crops of the United States, before the process actually started destroying farming yields and causing food shortages. Of course, this is about 500 years in the fictional future, so we have nothing to worry about… for now. Brawndo actually became a legit product for a time, although it was released years after the film, so they kind of missed the cross-promotion possibilities.

Blue Bronco (The Simpsons)

Appearing in a handful (at least for the four-fingered Springfielders) of episodes, this energy drink is most prominently featured when teacher Mrs. Krabappel is fired and replaced by hipster Zachary Vaughn. When Bart looks to get Mrs. Krabappel rehired, he plans to spike Zach’s Blue Bronco – which he refers to as “riding the indigo pony” – only to discover that the new educator already does this, ending with a booze-fuelled rant about hating the children, prior to his firing.

Booty Sweat (Tropic Thunder)

Endorsed by rapper-turned-actor Alpa Chino, Booty Sweat comes with the slogan “Pop An Ass Open”! As part of the marketing campaign for Tropic Thunder, Booty Sweat was actually released to the public. Not surprisingly, one of the most common places to find the product was at bookstores on college campuses. Throw in a few retail chains, such as Hot Topic and the cherry-flavoured energy booster became a short-term hit.

Tru Blood (True Blood)

While meant to keep vampires alive, without having to draw blood from humans, the ‘energy drink’ was also a key component in the final seasons of the HBO series, when Tru Blood stock was tainted with the dreaded Hep-V virus. This made it useless to vampires and drove them to need to feed on human plasma to stay alive… or at least not die for reals. Later, New Blood replaces Tru Blood as the next vampire nourishment supplement.

Butters’ Creamy Goo (South Park)

Wow… how to approach this entry without losing my blogger’s license. Okay, so to become better Sarcastaball players (don’t have enough word count to explain the sport), the young South Park kids begin ingesting Butters’ Creamy Goo, the newest ‘sports drink’ on the market. In the end, the adults discover that the product is actually just semen and as usual, Butters ends up grounded. Only in the quiet little mountain town that is South Park!

Mixer Mania #6: All Nighter

All Nighter.JPG

  • 1 oz Galliano
  • 1 oz Cointreau
  • 1 oz Strawberry Liqueur
  • Top with Energy Drink
  • Garnish with an Orange Slice

I’ve never been much of an energy drink guy, only dabbling in them when mixing the odd drop shot or other alcoholic beverage. I don’t think I’ve ever had a serving that hasn’t been spiked in some manner and I don’t plan on bucking that trend anytime soon.

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4.5 Sips out of 5):
When describing this drink to friends, I said that it sounded really neat… until you added the Energy Drink. But since I used the Tropical-flavoured version of Red Bull, it was pretty tasty. The entire concoction was on the lighter side, but the flavours were all really good.

August 15 – Time Bomb

Time Transport

I think it’s safe to say that we would all love to have access to a time machine. To be able to go back and fix our wrong turns or relive some of our finest moments would be an amazing ability. Now that we’ve decided we want to go back in time, all we have to choose is the vessel for our travels. Here are some of the greatest we’ve been introduced to:

#5: Phone Booth – Bill & Ted’s

When Bill and Ted desperately need to pass their history presentation (thus leading to the survival of the human race, of course!) a time machine is required to go back through the ages and learn from the legends themselves. The time machine was originally to be a 1969 Chevy van, rather than a phone booth, but that would be too close to Back to the Future. Today, none of this would be possible, given the phone booth is a thing of the past… plus, space would be kind of tight for multiple travellers.

Time Travel Hitler

#4: Toaster – The Simpsons

This is one of my favourite Treehouse of Horror segments, which finds Homer sent back into the time of the dinosaurs, trying not to alter anything from the past, knowing that it could have dire repercussions on his present and future. While he narrowly misses a perfect life, worrying that donuts don’t exist, he settles for an alternate reality that is close to the present he remembers, with the one difference being that the rest of his family eats with extending forked tongues, resembling a lizard.

#3: Hot Tub – Hot Tub Time Machine

I’ve always loved chilling out (or better put, warming up) in a hot tub, with a beer by my side. Had I ever experimented with the Russian energy drink Chernobly – and spilled it all over the hot tub controls – I may have ended up back in the past, reliving a portion of my younger life. At least Chevy Chase was on the case as the mysterious repairman, trying to help the gang get back to their present. I have yet to watch the sequel to this franchise, but it’s high on my ‘to do’ list for more histrionic learning.

time travel kitty

#2: Ocarina – Legend of Zelda

How can one little instrument produce so much beautiful music… and songs that really help our hero Link! The ocarina can change day into night and vice versa, summon a horse, and make it rain (the weather, not the cash at the strip club style… although it would be entertaining to watch Link throw rubies at Princess Zelda!). Perhaps the ocarina’s most important feature is that it helps Link jump throughout time, utilizing the Song of Time. We would all love to skip those awkward puberty years!

#1: DeLorean – Back to the Future

The DeLorean can take people back into the past, as well as years into the future – so long as you can get it up to 88 miles per hour… oh, and also have access to a flux capacitor! Early drafts of the film’s script called for a laser device to induce time travel, but a vehicle was eventually incorporated into later edits, with the DeLorean selected thanks to its unique appearance. Despite the popularity the car enjoyed, following the movie’s release, production of the vehicle had already halted two years prior.

Super Saturday Shot Day: Time Bomb

  • 1 oz Tequila
  • Splash of Cranberry Juice
  • Garnish with a Cranberry

Honourable mentions go to the TARDIS (Doctor Who), the WABAC Machine (Mr. Peabody and Sherman), Timmy’s Wheelchair (South Park), and Binary Code (Futurama). Even Superman was able to reverse time by simply flying really fast and spinning the earth in the opposite direction of what gravity dictated. If only it was that easy!

July 25 – Lipstick Lesbian

Coming Out

With Pride weekend upon us, I thought it would be a good opportunity to look at the greatest LGBT characters… and there are a lot of them, making this list very hard to narrow down. Somehow, the Sip Advisor was able to thin the herd, so let’s get to it!

#5: Daffyd Thomas – Little Britain

While he claims to be the only gay in the village, Daffyd takes exception when he’s not being recognized for his sexuality and while he feels he’s turning heads and making a statement, everyone else is totally cool with his lifestyle. In fact, many of the townspeople are also members of the LGBT community. Ironically, when others reveal their sexual orientation, Daffyd is prone to homophobic outbursts.

Daffyd Thomas - Little Britain

#4: Lafayette Reynolds – True Blood

The heavy make-up wearing, eyelash extension rocking short order cook makes the world of Bon Temps go round, in his own unique way.  Interestingly, Lafayette is killed off very early in The Southern Vampire Mysteries books, but the TV series took a different approach, as the character proved to be so popular with audiences. In a world full of horny, indiscriminate vampires, anything and everything can happen.

#3: Mr./Mrs. Garrison – South Park

Garrison has been everything from a straight male, to a gay male, to a transgendered straight female, to finally a transgendered lesbian female. Covering the entire gamut, Garrison is one of the show’s funniest characters and would make for a fascinating teacher. We have to remember that this is a universe where Satan also identifies as gay, having been in a relationship with Saddam Hussein of all people!

Mr. Garrison

#2: Waylon Smithers – The Simpsons

Poor Mr. Smithers… all he wants is to be loved and respected by his boss, Mr. Burns, who barely acknowledges his existence and hard work. The writers of The Simpsons joke that Mr. Smithers is “Burns-sexual,” although he is regularly seen as a fixed member of the Springfield LGBT community and social scene. Hopefully Mr. Smithers finds happiness, whether with or without Mr. Burns.

#1: Cam & Mitchell – Modern Family

Cam and Mitchell put the “modern” in Modern Family more so than any of the other characters. Over the course of the show, we’ve seen Cam and Mitchell’s relationship grow to include the adoption of a daughter and tying the knot. Throughout it all, the rest of the family has been incredibly supportive, even Mitchell’s old school father Jay, who while he doesn’t always show it, is very proud of his son.

Super Saturday Shot Day: Lipstick Lesbian

  • Wrap glass with Rainbow Candy
  • 0.5 oz Watermelon Pucker
  • 0.5 oz Raspberry Vodka
  • Splash of Cranberry Juice
  • Dash of Sour Mix
  • Garnish with a Lime Wedge

Some honourable mentions go to Lt. Jim Dangle (Reno 911), Dean Craig Pelton (Community), Lloyd Lee (Entourage), Oscar Martinez (The Office), Mr. Humphries (Are You Being Served?), Ray Gillette (Archer), Willow Rosenberg (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), and – allegedly! – Bert and Ernie (Sesame Street). Have I missed anyone? Feel free to let me know below!

June 27 – True Canadian

Canadian Content

Recently, we looked at some of the most notable Canadian patriots and icons, in RL (that means real life!). Today, we enter the fictional world and examine some of the greatest contributions to this country’s (and outside its borders) culture, from persons who have never actually existed:

#5: Northstar

While many have probably not heard of Northstar, he is an important figure in comic history and LGBT culture. A member of the Canadian Alpha Flight team (also featuring his sister Aurora and other members, such as Guardian, Sasquatch, Shaman, and Snowbird), Northstar gained notoriety for being the first openly gay major character created by Marvel Comics. Despite debuting in April 1979, Northstar didn’t officially come out until 1992. The superhero was finally allowed to marry his partner 20 years later, in 2012.

Northstar Marriage

#4: Bob and Doug McKenzie

These two hosers got their beginning on the SCTV sketch comedy show, leading to a feature film, Strange Brew, in which they are thrust into becoming unlikely heroes, trying to save their favourite brewery. If that’s not a definitive Canadian story, I don’t know what is! These roles launched the careers of both Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas. In a great casting choice, Disney reunited the McKenzie brothers to play a pair of comical moose, Rutt and Tuke, in the movie Brother Bear, also set in the Canadian wilderness.

#3: Ike Broflovski –South Park

Ike is the adopted brother of Kyle, born in Canada as Peter Gints. As the main characters have aged, so has Ike, who is now in kindergarten, despite being only three years old.  Any episode that revolves around Ike is usually pretty good, whether he’s entered into a relationship with his adult teacher, is going through early puberty, caused by steroid, or is saving the Canadian Princess (wait, we have one of those?).  Crude TV stars Terrence and Phillip are also Canadian, which is why the folks of South Park, Colorado aren’t too happy with their neighbours from the north!

ike broflovski

#2: Trailer Park Boys

Julian, Ricky, Bubbles, and the rest of the gang seem to always be getting themselves into trouble, as they move from one get-rich-quick scheme to another, trying to avoid the capture of police and Sunnyvale Trailer Park disciplinarian Mr. Lahey and his partner in crime (and other things) Randy. Set in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, this mockumentary shows the love that can develop between folks stuck in hard times, as they scratch and claw their way towards better lives, sometimes taking shortcuts, rather than conventional means.

#1: Wolverine

One of the most rugged, bad ass superheroes has Canadian blood running through his veins… well, that and adamantium bones! Wolverine debuted all the way back in 1974 and over the rest of the decade, grew in popularity, leading to his own four-part series in 1982. The character has proven to be so prevalent, that he has been the focal point of numerous movies for the franchise. Wolverine’s on-again, off-again enemy Sabretooth also hails from Canada, as does Deadpool, who has been previously played by Canadian actor Ryan Reynolds, and will be again in the 2016 eponymous feature film.

Super Saturday Shot Day: True Canadian

  • Rim glass with Bacon Bits
  • 0.75 oz Vodka
  • 0.5 oz Maple Syrup

In closing, I have to include an honourable mention for Anne Shirley (better known as Anne of Green Gables), or else Mrs. Sip might strip me (wait for it) of my Canadian citizenship! Next week, we get to look at the fictional patriots from south of the border… and there are a lot of them!

November 1 – Teddy Bear

Full of Stuffing

There are some great stuffed animals that have appeared in media over the years. Friends of our favourite characters who just don’t get the attention they deserve. Well, that’s going to change right now. Here are the Top 5 stuffed animals:

#5: Larry the Leopard – The Cleveland Show

Larry the Leopard is Cleveland Brown Jr.’s imaginary friend. With a relationship bordering on the creepy (ie. Larry is sometimes portrayed as Junior’s spouse), Larry is an important part of his owner’s life. Junior practically has a nervous breakdown when Larry is put through the washer and dryer, taking away his essence or as it is more filthily known, his stank. Cleveland Sr. is not a fan of the stuffed animal and its effect on Junior, who takes advice from the inanimate object.

Larry the Leopard

#4: Teddy – Mr. Bean

It seems at times as if Teddy is the only person Mr. Bean cares for… although Bean’s use of Teddy in his palns often results in punishment to the bear. The two exchange Christmas gifts, Mr. Bean makes sure Teddy is safely buckled in while driving, and the bear is given its own bed. Teddy became such a popular character in the series, that Ty (makers of Beanie Babies) produced a replica, so fans of the series could have their own adventures with the stuffed bear.

#3: Clyde Frog, Rumper Tumpskin, etc. – South Park

Cartman has a whole collection of stuffed toys that become his imaginary friends (also including Polly Prissypants, Peter Panda, and Muscle Man Marc), joining him for tea parties and otherwise filling in for Cartman’s lack of a father. When Cartman is finally ready to grow up and leave behind his plush friends, they are all murdered in a twisted, schizophrenic fashion with Cartman as the culprit and his childhood toys as the victims.

Cartman Stuffed Animals

#2: Rupert – Family Guy

While Rupert seems like an innocent enough stuffed bear, when Stewie imagines the two of them cavorting together in his fantasy world, Rupert becomes a muscled man (save for his teddy bear head) is skimpy speedo shorts. There are many other insinuations that Rupert is gay, likely playing off of Stewie’s own ambiguous sexuality. Stewie losing Rupert or moving on from the toy has been used in a couple of episodes, but the bear always winds up back in the crib.

#1: Hobbes – Calvin and Hobbes

Like the other stuffed animals on this list, Hobbes becomes an imaginary friend to his owner, in this case Calvin. The two get up to all sorts of trouble together with Hobbes trying to be the voice of reason, but often being ignored. Artist Bill Watterson blurs the lines of how real Hobbes may be with events like Hobbes being regularly tossed in the washing machine, which are baths that the tiger is forced to deal with.

Super Saturday Shot Day: Teddy Bear

Teddy Bear Shot

  • Rim glass with Chocolate Syrup
  • 0.25 oz Kahlua
  • 0.25 oz Peppermint Schnapps
  • 0.25 oz Cola
  • 0.25 oz Milk

Honourable mentions go to Winnie the Pooh, Ted, Pookie (Garfield), Smacky (Get Fuzzy), Mr. Bear (Full House), and Bobo (The Simpsons). What’s your favourite stuffed animal from the entertainment world? It’s time to get cuddly!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
This shot was pretty good, reminding me of a Cola float… and how could you go wrong with that! The Chocolate Syrup rim took me back to the days of stuffed animals with early morning cartoons and chocolate milk. You know, the good ol’ days!

September 27 – Spinal Tap

I’m With the Band

For those about to rock… we salute you! And we also salute these fictional bands, some of which turned into real-life touring acts. Those which didn’t, should have. Hell, if the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles had a music tour at the height of their popularity in the early 90s, why can’t we see Faith+1 or Fingerbang around the world!?

#5: The Blues Brothers – The Blues Brothers/Blues Brothers 2000

When Jim Belushi and Dan Aykroyd took to the Saturday Night Live stage to perform as Jake and Elwood Blues, nobody knew how musically-gifted the two actually were. The sketches were turned into a feature film and the SNL alum even toured together, performing live on stage. With the unfortunate death of Jim Belushi, his brother John has filled in at times (as Zee Blues), as well as John Goodman, who joined Aykroyd as ‘Mighty’ Mack McTeer for the sequel Blues Brothers 2000. Aykroyd’s love of blues music has even resulted in his owning a percentage of the House of Blues restaurant and live performance chain.

Blues Brothers

#4: The Dale Gribble Bluegrass Experience – King of the Hill

The Experience consisted of the back alley crew (Hank, Dale, Bill and Boomhauer) with young Connie Psupnesphone on her violin – or as it’s referred to in blue grass, a fiddle. Boomhauer’s unintelligible southern drawl speech is perfect for bluegrass and the troupe made it all the way to performing at the Bluegrass Festival in Branson, Missouri, before Connie’s overbearing father Con interfered. Their cover of ‘Blue Moon of Kentucky’ sounded pretty good and they even talked country legend Charlie Daniels into filling in on the fiddle when Connie disappeared. Despite all their efforts, though, they did not win the festival competition.

#3: Spinal Tap – This is Spinal Tap

The greatest fake rock band to become a real rock band EVER! Made up of David St. Hubbins (Michael McKean), Nigel Tufnel (Christopher Guest), and Derek Smalls (Harry Shearer) and filmed mockumentary style, this film covered Spinal Tap’s journey to the top of the music world. Spinal Tap later appeared on The Simpsons, thanks to Shearer’s voice work on the series, forever cementing their status as a great fictional band, although the group actually tours and performs. This is one act you wouldn’t want to be a drummer for, though, as each prospective percussionist has died from bizarre accidents and under mysterious circumstances.

Spinal Tap

#2: The Be-Sharps – The Simpsons

Homer, Principal Skinner, Apu, Chief Wiggum and later Barney Gumble (replacing Wiggum) made up this little quartet. With a Grammy Award winning and number one hit ‘Baby On Board,’ the group seemed destined for superstardom, but in a case eerily similar to The Beatles, creative differences and an Asian woman forced the band to split and remain a one-hit wonder. The Simpsons has also featured other fictional groups and musicians, including Bleeding Gums Murphy, Lurleen Lumpkin, the Party Posse, Captain Bart and the Tequila Mockingbirds, Sadgasm, and even Kirk Van Houten.

#1: Fingerbang & Faith+1 – South Park

Both of these bands are driven by the genius mind of Eric Cartman. First, he created Fingerbang, an attempt at capitalizing on the boy band craze. The death of Kenny – crushed by an elevator during a concert at the local mall – thwarted them in the end. They did gain one fan, but promptly split up, realizing that such fame doesn’t allow for a normal life. Years later, Cartman splits from the boys garage band Moop, to form the Christian Rock-based Faith+1 with Butters and Token. Faith+1 goes on to be a hit, receiving a Mir album distinction. Cartman, expecting a gold record to win a bet with Kyle, goes on a profanity-laced tirade, ruining the band’s innocent image.

Super Saturday Shot Day: Spinal Tap

Spinal Tap Shot

  • 0.5 oz Vodka (I used Finlandia)
  • 0.5 oz Peach Schnapps
  • 0.5 oz Crème de Cacao
  • Garnish with a Guitar Pick

As usual, this list was extremely difficult to pare down. I would have loved to include groups like Jesse and the Rippers (Full House), the Zack Attack (Saved by the Bell), and The Electric Mayhem (The Muppets), among others. I did manage to sneak a sixth band into the post by doubling up the South Park entry, so consider yourself extra special today!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4.5 Sips out of 5):
I’m unsure of if this shooter has anything to do with the mockumentary band or if it’s more to do with the medical procedure… either way, I’m using it! And it is delicious. You get varying notes of Peach Schnapps and Crème de Cacao and both taste so good. Had I used a flavoured Vodka, I wonder if things would have got better or worse. Would a whole new flavour emerge, or would there be too many competing notes? The questions that keep the Sip Advisor up at night!