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.

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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!

December 20 – Kiss Me Santa

Customary Christmas

There are some very interesting Christmas rituals performed around the world. Some are truly baffling to me, but if I lived in the part of the planet where they occur, they might seem completely normal. I’m not here to judge… but I will anyway! Here are some of the most unique holidays customs:

Pickled Tree – North America

This is a tradition that Ma Sip picked up from when we were on holiday years ago in Leavenworth, Washington. How it works is that you bury a pickle ornament somewhere in your tree and the person who first finds it Christmas morning is rewarded with good luck (and sometimes gets to crack open the first present of the day!) for the following year. The custom has been attributed to Germany, but is actually unheard of to many Germans. In actuality, it’s said to have developed in the United States.

christmas pickle

Roller Derby – Caracas, Venzuela

I love skating and it doesn’t matter if it’s on ice or pavement, so this tradition is right up my alley. On the morning of Christmas Eve, the streets on Venezuela’s capital city are closed off, allowing citizens to skate to morning mass. There is, however, one snag in this ritual… you have to go to church, which I view as one of the most uncomfortable settings in the entire world. I suppose I could just join the mob for a little skate and then ditch them when it’s religion time!

Burning Goat – Gavle, Sweden

It’s tradition in this Swedish town to construct a massive straw goat at the start of the Christmas season… but it’s even more of a tradition for the townspeople to do everything they can to destroy the goat before Christmas Day. Since 1966, the goat hasn’t survived many times, despite it being protected by fences and guarded by security and even military. The goat has been destroyed through various acts (fire, sabotage, hit by car) and once only lasted six hours before two drunk teenagers torched it.

Spider Chronicles – Ukraine

So, apparently the Ukraine got Christmas and Halloween mixed up, because it is tradition for them to include a fake spider and webbing in their Christmas trees. Spiders are good luck, you see… shame on all of you out there that didn’t already know that. Think of all the arachnids you’ve killed over your lifetime. That’s like smashing a mirror to a Ukrainian folk. Mrs. Sip has some Ukrainian in her, but given her fear of spiders – even itty, bitty ones – I don’t think she’s going to adopt this custom.

Spiderman Ornament

Not that Spider…

Night of the Living Radishes – Oaxaca, Mexico

Well, this certainly wouldn’t qualify as organic. In Oaxaca, residents grow massive radishes by any means necessary, for the purpose of carving them up into sculptures depicting the nativity scene, parties, famous figures, building models, and saints. Not being a fan of radishes, I’m all for an event that doesn’t require their consumption. The Dec. 23 ‘Night of the Radishes‘ is attended by thousands of people. The winner of the competition gets their photo in the newspaper and a lifetime supply of radishes (okay, only the newspaper photo is true!).

Love, Japanese Style – Japan (obviously!)

While us westerners are opening presents and spending quality time with family, in Japan, the holiday is treated similar to our Valentine’s Day. A Christmas dessert of strawberry sponge cake is quite popular, except single women of 25 years or older are referred to as “unsold Christmas cake”. It should also be noted that red Christmas cards are a definite no-no in the Land of the Rising Sun, as funeral notices are printed in that hue and can be cause for bad luck and shows poor etiquette.

Letters to Santa – Worldwide

I’ve already touched on Santa’s Canadian address (postal code H0 H0 H0) in my look at Christmas urban legends, and apparently we’re not alone with giving St. Nick free housing. In New Zealand he can be found at ‘Santa’s Workshop, The North Pole 0001’, while Australian children can reach him at ‘North Pole 9999’. Lastly, the United kingdom has provided the jolly fat man with the post code ‘SAN TA1’. This brings much awesomeness to the commonwealth!

Drink #254: Kiss Me Santa

Kiss Me Santa Drink Recipe

  • 1 oz Raspberry Liqueur
  • 0.5 oz Vodka
  • Top with Rose Champagne
  • Garnish with a Candy Cane

In closing, here’s one last interest custom that varies throughout the world and that involves Santa’s mode of transportation. Us normal folk claim that he rides a sleigh from house to house on Christmas Eve, but that story is quite different in other locales, where he is believe to travel via kangaroo (Australia), canoe (Hawaii), horse (Netherlands), and finally and most awesomely, by zipline from heaven (Czech Republic)!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3 Sips out of 5):
For this recipe, you have your choice of using Strawberry or Raspberry Liqueur. The champagne cocktail came across much stronger than I expected. The flavour was decent, but I’m still not a huge bubbly fan and as a result, there just wasn’t enough to bump this drink’s score up higher.

July 28 – The Ultimate Warrior

Battle Royal

The TV show Deadliest Warrior takes a look at hypothetical battles between ancient armies, modern day forces, and ruthless leaders. The fine folks running the program have lent me their software, in exchange for my Nintendo Wii, and I’ve decided to run some data. Here are a few Deadliest Warrior simulations I’ve run through their super computer:

Muppets vs. American Gladiators

On paper, this looks to be a no-brainer, but in reality, while the American Gladiators are hulking, intimidating foes, you really can’t hurt a Muppet. Muppets are practically invincible and you have to figure that the Gladiators will tire eventually, especially with the Muppets constantly cracking jokes – some good, some awful.
Winner: Muppets – No matter how many times the American Gladiators shot at the Muppets with their patented tennis ball cannon or smacked the likes of Kermit, Gonzo and Fozzy with jousting sticks, the persistent Muppets continued to attack. In particular, Animal was a brave and wild soldier, attacking the Gladiators with total disregard for his own well-being.

Animal

Skeletons vs. Monkeys

The real issue here is whether or not skeletons are prone to pain. Can you kill what is already dead? I say, hypothetically yes. Monkey weaponry is a mixed bag of tactics. There is, of course, the dung bomb, as well as the much-feared fury attack. Skeletons, however, are just creepy and can move around in an unfathomable manner.
Winner: The monkeys’ ability to attack and retreat gives them the edge in this close battle.

Cats vs. Jelly Beans

Cats may be lazy and easily distracted, but they also have a killer instinct when searching for “gifts” for their owners. Jelly beans are perhaps even lazier than kitties, just lying there, waiting to be eaten. Much like a possum, however, a jelly bean’s greatest asset is lying in wait and delivering sometimes grotesque flavours upon its attacker. Unless the jelly bean is tuna-flavoured, it may have an advantage on cats.
Winner: Jelly Beans – In a battle of who cares less, shockingly kittens do, and the last standing–as the cats pursue other interests like strings and bouncing balls–is the inanimate candy.

Hockey Players vs. Decepticons

On one hand, hockey players are some of the toughest dudes on the planet, known for playing through serious injury and never hesitating to sacrifice their body, en route to championship glory. On the other hand, the Decepticons are freakin’ robots… and evil robots, at that. Although given how some hockey players answer media questions, that depiction might not be solely for the Transformers.
Winner: I have to side with the hockey players. If Shia Labeouf can take on the Decepticons, is easy to fathom some of hockey’s greatest goons standing a chance, too.

hanson-bros

Fast Food Servers vs. Jedis

I mean sure, one side has mind-power abilities and weapons that can slice through human flesh, but the other side are freakin’ Jedis! See what I did there… totally suckered you all in. The Jedis have a distinct advantage going into this battle, but never underestimate a slacker who holds you meal’s fate in his hands. Fast food servers can over season it, under cook it, or worst of all, spit on it!
Winner: I gotta give the W to the Jedis thanks to leadership from puppets like Yoda and Samuel L. Jackson.

Moonshiners vs. Birdwatchers

While moonshiners have the weaponry and will defend their stash to the death, birdwatchers are patient and can wait for unbelievable amounts of time prior to stealthy strikes. You also have to figure that the moonshiners will be plastered and that could alter their abilities on the battlefield.
Winner: The moonshiners get the duke for two reasons: shotguns trump binoculars and who the hell can ever have any respect for people who care about birds!

Drink #209: The Ultimate Warrior (A Sip Advisor Original Recipe)

Ultimate Warrior Cocktail

  • Rim glass with Sprinkles
  • 0.5 oz Jagermeister
  • 0.5 oz Wiser’s Spiced Whiskey
  • 0.5 oz Crowberry Frost Liqueur
  • Top with Root Beer

Are there any other battles you want me to run through the simulator, before I return the Deadliest Warrior computer to its rightful owner? If you can manage to make me laugh, I’ll have cocktail in your honour!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
I picked liquors that I felt fell under the “warrior” motif. Jagermeister and Wiser’s both run ads about earning the right to drink their spirits and Crowberry Frost Liqueur makes me think of Game of Thrones (Winter is coming, you know). Root Beer was my pick for mixer because, let’s be honest, it is above and beyond the most manly soft drink in existence. The Sprinkles came to mind when thinking about former wrestling star The Ultimate Warrior’s face paint. Put it all together and you have one hell of a cocktail!

July 5 – Evil Minion

Despicable You

Through the course of history, there’s been some real low-down, dirty, appalling tactics employed by people and groups. I have taken it upon myself to expose these despicable degenerates. Together, we can stand up to these scumbags and make sure bad stuff like this never happens again. Are ya with me!?

Airlines that Overbook Flights

This is the most absolute bullshit thing in the world. To turn away a paying customer and tell them “Sorry, the flight is full” should be punishable by death. I remember flying out of Toronto once (one of the worst airports in the world) and approaching the agent because I hadn’t been assigned a seat. She told me the plane was overbooked and I might not get on and if I really wanted to make sure I was on the plane I had paid for, next time I should pay the $30 extra for an assigned seat… Excuse me? Did I not already pay over $500 for this exact itinerary? If that’s the case, I better receive compensation and be guaranteed a spot on your next scheduled departure. Nothing like that was offered. This concept has ruined many vacations for people who don’t deserve this shoddy treatment. Go screw yourselves Air Canada and any other line that pulls this crap with its passengers!

overbooked flight

Disneyworld Guests Hiring Handicap People to Jump Queues

I still can’t figure out if I deplore these people because they’re line jumping, usually ahead of me (a frequent Disney traveler), or if I commend the employees for his or her entrepreneurial spirit. Scratch that, I hate them. I think these people should be stripped of their disability payments, since they’re making more money than the average person and get to spend time at the happiest place on earth while doing so. Even worst are the people who hire them. Shame on all of you!

People Who Take Advantage of Tragedies

It seems every time one of these disasters (9/11, BP Gulf Coast Spill, Hurricane Sandy, the Boston Marathon Bombing, etc.) takes place, stories eventually come to light of people trying to exploit the victims and heartbreak of the situation for their own financial gain. Whether it’s people setting up fake charitable organizations or committing other crimes, such as looting, in the middle of the chaos, it’s just not cool.

Ponzi Scheme Operators

This includes losers like Bernie Madoff, who bilked numerous investors out of millions of dollars. Many people walk away from these schemes with their entire life savings destroyed and for those who were relying on that money heading into retirement, it’s a bitter pill to swallow knowing the comfortable golden years you were expecting to experience have evaporated right in front of you.

Madoff behind bars

Reality Show Producers

I was recently flipping through the channels and stopped at the show ‘Extreme Weight Loss’. I didn’t stay for long, however, as the poor kid trying to drop massive pounds was basically mocked as he was told he may have a brain tumour, with a sound effect where they slowed down the voice of the doctor giving him the news, as if the kid couldn’t process what was happening. All the while, the cameras never stopped rolling and made sure to get tight and close for facial reactions of the devastating news that the 23-year-old kid had to receive without any family there to console him. And this is just one example from a totally rotten industry.

Talentless Celebrities

We’re talking about your Kim Kardashians, Paris Hiltons, and Snookies of the world. What pisses me off about them is that they influence so much of culture and in such negative ways. People, especially young girls, want to follow in the footsteps of their idols, but that just means they want to come from a family of means, do nothing but shop for all the high-end designer items, or have no reason for being famous except for “leaked” sex tapes. And we’ll have a whole new line of them coming with the current crop of celebrity kids. Yikes!

Bullies

With all the anti-bullying programs that are in operation now, schools that are taking different approaches with troubled kids, and parents becoming more aware of the issue, hopefully this will eventually be a problem that it eradicated. Until then, we can still try and put as much shame as possible on these folks, hoping they realize the error of their ways. It will be hard to complete eliminate the bully, as we see it in so many forms of media today, from a “news” host like Nancy Grace who berates anyone who doesn’t agree with her to “real housewives” who don’t play well with others and behave quite rudely towards people, despite being in the public eye.

bully-comeback

Protestors

I hate most protestors with a passion. Unless they’re trying to change something like civil rights, I have no time for them. The violent Black Bloc, who spend more time destroying public property than actually trying to get a message across and the heinous Westboro Baptist Church, which has even protested at high-profile funerals in the name of attention-seeking, are among the lowest of the low.

Corporations That Hide Cures

There is more money to be made from the sick than the healthy. That is a sad, but true fact. Rumours and conspiracy theories have often surfaced that some corporations are hiding the cure to various diseases and viruses because it would wipe out their business of treating an illness gradually. If there are cases for which this is true, shame on the companies. Just think of all the pain and suffering that could be ended with their full disclosure.

Drink #186: Evil Minion

Evil Minion Cocktail

  • 1.5 oz Citrus Vodka (I used Pinnacle)
  • 0.5 oz Strawberry Liqueur
  • 0.5 oz Blue Curacao
  • Top with Sweet & Sour Mix
  • Splash of Club Soda
  • Garnish with Lemon Wheel

Writing this post reminded me how much I love the movie Despicable Me. Thankfully, Despicable Me 2 comes out today, allowing me to enjoy more animated goodness. Here’s hoping the second installment is as good as the first!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
I like these sour citrus drinks. They are so refreshing in the summer and this was no different. While I usually find Club Soda boring, it was nice to have some fizz with these delicious flavours and have them not competing with each other. The end result was a lemonade type cocktail.