January 18 – Crouching Tiger

Counter Culture

I fell asleep during the movie Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, despite the fact I thought I’d enjoy the fantastical martial arts film with a name that sounds like a wicked sex position. This is far from the first popular film (at least according to most of the world) that I have walked away from disliking. Here are the top five movies I refuse to watch, despite their large fan base:

#5: The Hunger Games

Okay, so I only saw the first entry of this series, but it will be hard for Mrs. Sip to get me to return for more. Sorry to drop a spoiler for those who haven’t seen the film, but I absolutely hated how they built up this entire competition for what seemed like forever, only to kill off half the competitors immediately. Then, the fact producers wanted the film to be PG-13 eliminated any chance of serious themes from the book being examined. And so, we slowly wound our way to the inevitable and predictable finish. The Japanese flick Battle Royal is a far better offering in the realm of kids being challenged to kill one another in the name of survival.

#4: Moulin Rouge

Good lord, Mrs. Sip loves her musicals. The Sip Advisor, however, despises any media that is largely based around singing. Tragically, I’ve been dragged to a number of films or forced to watch movies where even the simplest dialogue is crooned. I’m not talking about Disney or other animated offerings, but live action movies where song and dance drives the entire production. Back to Moulin Rouge, I’ve actually been outside of the cabaret club in Paris, France and even without entering, cold chills were running through my system and I suffered flu-like symptoms just being in its presence.

#3: Lord of the Rings/The Hobbit

Middle Earth is simply a place I don’t want to visit… and I definitely don’t want to get stuck there for six movies and 525 hours (running time is purely an estimate of Peter Jackson’s need to have super extended versions of his films). For most of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, Mrs. Sip and I watched the DVD’s and I made sure a clause was put in our contract that we’d halt the movie half way through to take a break playing pool or throwing darts or something else to get me through the second half of the film. The tactic was not very successful with regards to my overall enjoyment.

#2: The Matrix

I just don’t understand these films and the truth of the matter is, I don’t really want to. When I saw the first installment many moons ago, all I could think about was how hungry I was. Thankfully, my McDonald’s feast afterwards wasn’t as disappointing as my cinema choice. Sadly, Mrs. Sip loved that first movie, so when the sequels arrived and we were now dating, I was dragged to midnight openings like I was some nerd who enjoys standing in lines for his entertainment. I only do that at Disneyland, thank you very much!

#1: Star Wars

Mrs. Sip was absolutely shocked when we started dating and I told her I had never seen the original Star Wars trilogy. She had grown up on the films and in short order, made me watch all three of the original releases. I’ve never really been a huge fan of science fiction. I think some of the concepts are neat, but in general, the whole space setting isn’t my cup of tea and too much fantasy and made up stuff irritates me. I must say, this was one of the few new experiences we shared that summer that I didn’t enjoy!

Super Saturday Shot Day: Crouching Tiger

Crouching Tiger Shooter

  • 0.5 oz Tequila (I used Hornitos)
  • 0.5 oz Lychee Vodka/Liqueur
  • Splash of Lychee Juice
  • Garnish with Lemon Wedge

Looking back at my list, not only are most of my selections popular movies, they’re god damn franchises, meaning I’m usually forced to sit through multiple movies I’d rather not see. Movies like Twilight and Titanic should have made the list, but I’ve actually been able to avoid watching any of these, so I’ll just leave them off and pretend they don’t exist!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3 Sips out of 5):
This shot was pretty strong, thanks to the Tequila and my choice to go with Lychee Vodka rather than Lychee Liqueur. I added the splash of Lychee Juice to try and lighten the recipe and that helped in getting the flavour across. A decent shooter, but nothing to go out of your way for.

October 26 – Bazooka Joe

Tales from the Candy-keeper

There are numerous urban legends based on candy. Here are some of the juicier tales out there:

Recharge on Mars

Rockers sure know how to party. That’s why this legend involving Rolling Stones front man Mick Jagger, singer Marianne Faithfull, and a Mars chocolate bar persisted for so long. When a party at guitarist Keith Richards’ home was broken up by police, rumours began flying that Jagger was interrupted while eating a Mars bar that was inside Ms. Faithfull (I’ll let your imaginations put that one together). The story was entirely untrue, but I bet Mars bar sales skyrocketed, with deprived lovers looking to spice up their sex life!

Mick Jagger

You’re right, Mick! It is a pretty funny story!

Pop Rock N’ Roll

As the story goes, if you mix Pop Rocks with Cola, this diabolic concoction would cause you to explode. The legend was enhanced when people claimed that Mikey, the Life Cereal ad campaign kid (you know, “Hey, Mikey likes it!”) was an original victim of the blast. A similar tale has recently surrounded Mentos and Cola, because the two products do combine to create fizz and can launch a bottle into orbit. The cute Pepsi girl of the 90’s was said to be a casualty. In both cases, no one has actually died from ingesting the two items together.

Hole-in-One

Creator Clarence Crane was said to have designed Life Savers with a hold in the middle after his daughter tragically died choking on a candy. The hole was to allow oxygen to pass through a person’s body, even if stuck in one’s throat. The reality, however, is quite a bit different. Crane fashioned his new invention after the floatable inner tubes that were becoming all the rage following the Titanic disaster in 1912.

All Wrapped Up

Legend had it, that if you found an image of Indian, complete with bow and arrow, on your Tootsie Roll or Pop wrapper, you would be the recipient of any number of prizes, ranging from Tootsie treats for life to a new bicycle to unimaginable wealth and celebrity (I added that last one myself!). I would have loved to have found that Indian, as I very much enjoy the Tootsie products. Sadly, the story is completely fabricated.

tootsie pop wrapper

Jaw Dropper

It’s hard to believe this one is actually true, but it has been verified by the fine folks at MythBusters. If you place one of those massive jawbreakers in the microwave it will explode. Why someone would ever put a jawbreaker into the microwave is a yet-to-be answered question, but here’s my theory: why not. Those jawbreakers are a pain in the ass (or more aptly, mouth) to get through and perhaps someone tried to accelerate the process.

Spider Yum

When Bubble Yum gum hit the market and became quite popular, stories began to circulate that the gum contained such grossities as spider eggs, spider legs, or spider webbing. These were all probably started by a rival gum company in hopes of curtailing the popularity of the world’s first soft gum. Bubble Yum’s parent company fought these rumours publicly with full-page newspaper ads ensuring people of the quality of their product. Most people actually listened and Bubble Yum lived on.

Bubble Yum Spiders

Razor’s Edge

Remember when we were all wee little sippers and when we returned home our parents sifted through our well-earned Halloween stash (probably contemplating which treats they’d take for themselves) to make sure there was no evidence of tampering? Good thing they did. In 2000, James Joseph Smith stuck needles into Snickers bars he planned to hand out and one boy bit into the chocolate bar. Smith was arrested and charged with adulterating a substance with the intent to cause harm… asshole!

Pick Your Poison

Similarly, the threat of poisoned candy given out at Halloween has always existed, but the only evidence of this occurring happened when some sick bastards poisoned their own children, including one loser who laced his kid’s Pixy Stix with cyanide to collect a $20,000 life insurance policy. Most cases were just overeating by the public (no surprise there) and not waiting to hear the actual results of why someone became sick.

Drink #299: Bazooka Joe

Bazooka Joe Shooter

  • Rim glass with Bubble Gum
  • 0.5 oz Irish Crème
  • 0.5 oz Banana Liqueur
  • 0.5 oz Blue Curacao

Are there any candy urban legends you’d like to pass my way? I’m a skeptical one, but I’ll give it a chance!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
I liked this shooter and always have. Truth be known, when I was taken out on my 19th birthday for my first legal drinks, this was the first shot that was ever ordered for me. I still marvel at how these three ingredients combine to fake the taste of bubble gum, but somehow it all comes together.