Smokey The Kitchen Bear also hates it when people go over-board with the cilantro.

Smokey The Kitchen Bear also hates it when you go over-board with the cilantro.

There are certain things in life that are unassailable in their logic, inarguable in their consensus, and inalienable in their inherent veracity.  These are things we can always count on, never worried that we’re going to turn on CNN one day to find out that, behind closed doors, they like to text message pictures of their privates to underage pages.  In this ever-changing world, we can count on them to stay staid and true.  Among these are included the assertion that The Third Man is the most criminally underrated Film Noir of all time; that, while certainly delicious, Chicago-style pizza is bested by its nemesis from the Big Apple; that one’s perception of “time” can change dependent upon his relative motion in space; and, of course, that guilty feet have got no rhythm.  Indeed, these “truths” extend to every category of American thought: Pete Rose should be in the Hall of Fame; Simon Van Der Meer never deserved that Nobel Prize in the first place; East Coast girls aren’t as “hip” as originally thought; and, if you ask my father, it all started to go wrong when I quit football.  As an intelligent people, we know that those of us who don’t agree with the intractable truths listed above are “stupid,” “dumb,” and probably “Puerto Rican.”  We can use these agreed-upon notions to weed out those among us with bad taste, inferior deductive reasoning, and addresses in Michigan.

Oh, please, Van Der Meer; everyone knows that entropy flux through a null hypersurface (with everywhere non-positive focusing parameter of Omega) is bounded by A/4, where A is the area of a spacelike cross-section of the null hypersurface (or "light-sheet")!!!  Call me when you figure out why Sandra Lee has a cooking show, then I'll be impressed.

Oh, please, Van Der Meer; everyone knows that entropy flux through a null hypersurface (with everywhere non-positive focusing parameter of Omega) is bounded by A/4, where A is the area of a spacelike cross-section of the null hypersurface (or "light-sheet")!!! Call me when you figure out why Sandra Lee has a cooking show, then I'll be impressed.

Indeed, there are many truths in the culinary world, as well.  These maxims serve as litmus tests for those people who know, love, and live for food, and those of us named Rachel Ray.  Oh, sure, reasonable people may disagree on some of the following, but those people probably also liked the movie Crash, so fuck them.  To be sure, we’re not talking about mere predilections and opinions based on taste – anyone can argue ad nauseum about their favorite dish, the most overrated chef, or if I’m “extraordinarily” handsome or merely “amazingly” handsome.  What can’t be debated, however, is the fact that Frank’s is the best commercially available hot sauce.  You see, to say that Cholula or Tabasco is the best would mean that you’re as dumb as a sack of rocks, worthy not of our pity, but of our mocking.  These are the truths I’m talking about. These are the concepts which, if not agreed with, result in unrelenting derision from those of us in the culinary “know.”  So, without further ado, feel free to peruse the following food truths and keep score to determine how big of an ass you are (hint: if you disagree with more than “zero,” you’re an enormous ass.)

Less Is More When It Comes To Pasta Sauce

"...So I says to him, I says, "that hooker was dismembered when I got here.  But about that other thing, yeah, quit it with the fuckin' sauce."

"...So I says to him, I says, "that hooker was already dismembered when I got here. But about that other thing, yeah, quit it with the fuckin' sauce."

There’s an old Italian saying which states: “Aaaaayyyy, what the fuck are you doin’, ova here?!?!?   Knock it off with the fuckin’ sauce, you rat bastard, befores I’s gots to knock your fuckin’ head off!”  Generally attributed to Herodotus, modern culinarians are wont to follow his sage advice.  Pasta, after all, should be about, oh, I don’t know, pasta?!?  The sauce should be an accompaniment, not the main attraction (unless your sauce is made of Beyonce, because good luck giving that trilling whore second billing.)  And, as much as I love a Sunday dinner of spaghetti with homemade ragout, I don’t want to have to eat it like it’s marinara soup.  As a general rule, the home chef should heed the advice of another wise Mediterranean thinker, Epicureus, who said “Oh, for fuck’s sake, just toss the pasta in the pan with your sauce, use tongs to transfer to a serving dish, and be done with it – it ain’t like it’s a fuckin’ soup, after all.”  See, told you so.

No Ketchup On Hot Dogs, Ever

Sure, you can ignore my advice, but are seriously going to question Bob Schwartz's judgement?  Not if you know what's good for you, that's why.

Sure, you can ignore my advice, but are you seriously going to question Bob Schwartz's judgement? Not if you know what's good for you, homeboy.

For starters, let me state that I love ketchup.  I love it on burgers; I love it with meat loaf; I, of course, love it with fries; and, when I’m feeling especially frisky, I even love it with my fried egg sandwich.  Ketchup is an essential ingredient in thousand island dressing and indispensable in many barbecue sauces.  But, inasmuch as I respect the ubiquitous crimson condiment, I must insist on one rule regarding its usage: ketchup, for those of us over the age of ten, does not – cannot – belong on hot dogs.  Why I am adamant about this rule I can’t say, as it’s more of an irrational pet peeve than a well thought out culinary maxim.  And please do not think I mean to exclude all condiments from the list of acceptable hot dog toppings.  Perish the thought!  My yearly visits to my hometown would be wasted were it not for Skyline chili dogs, and who could visit chicago without getting a traditional dog loaded with whatever the fuck it is they put on hot dogs there.  No, I’m speaking more to the baseball fan at the ballpark or the fourth of july party-goer: if you put anything other than mustard – yellow mustard – on your hot dog, anyone witnessing such an act of nitrate desecration is vested with the authority to repeatedly round-house kick you in the larynx.  It’s in the Bill of Rights.

Martinis Are Not About The Vermouth

Unfortunately, the addition of sexy mermaids to a martini is similarly frowned upon.

Unfortunately, the addition of sexy mermaids to a martini is similarly frowned upon.

We American people take our drinks very seriously.  We invented the tailgate solely for the purpose of imbibing for hours before athletic contests, during which we will subsequently drink fifteen $8.00 Bud Lights; we regularly participate in “Happy Hour,” which, despite its name is woefully inadequate when it comes to hand jobs; and we created a special lunch predicated on the notion of drinking three of the most favorite of American libations: the martini.  Simple in its ingredients, a martini is not a cosmo, nor an apple-tini, nor that neon-colored concoction I just poured that GHB into.  A martini is a humble mixture of Gin (or vodka) and vermouth, garnished with olives and a wondrous glow of intoxication.  Unfortunately, many bartenders who keep 86ing me from their establishments insist on treating the quintessential cocktail as a mixed drink.  They pour in vermouth, rather than merely bless the drink with it, thereby desecrating the crisp taste of the concoction.  As a general The Chef’s Prerogative rule, please make martinis as follows: pour a small amount of vermouth in a shaker, add ice and a good gin, and stir for thirty seconds, strain into a martini glass and garnish with olives.  There is, of course, some lee-way to this one: some prefer to merely coat the glass with the vermouth, some to coat the shaker and subsequently pour out.  Either are fine alternatives, as they adhere to the general rule that one should never drown a martini in dastardly (yet regretfully necessary) vermouth.  Indeed, as Winston Churchill once said of his method of martini mixology: a martini is best made by drinking a glass of gin while looking at a bottle of vermouth.  I prefer to look, instead, at a picture of Megan Fox, but whatever.

Beef Is A Dish Best Served Cold.  I Mean “Rare.”  Beef Is A Dish Best Served Rare.

Had this steak been cooked just thirty seconds less, it would have been perfect.

Had this steak been cooked just thirty seconds less, it would have been perfect.

Outside of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, there are few things more disappointing than beef that’s been over-cooked.  I know that the government says that meat not cooked to, like, 500 degrees is going to give you worms, or whatever, but the government also says that if you smoke pot you’re going to kill little kids with your car, so fuck them.  Beef, whether in burger, steak, or Philly cheese form is best when served as far from “well done” as humanly possible, while still being fit for human consumption.  We’re not talking Chili’s “rare,” here, either.  I’m talking Ruth’s Chris rare, where you’re a little alarmed at how rare it is (and at how you’re paying $40 for some cook to put a steak under the broiler for two minutes, total.)  Truly rare steak melts in your mouth, tastes indescribably delicious, and is reason No. 2,384 why we’re better than the Hindus.  After all, so what if you get the Mad Cow disease and have to go to the hospital for a month?  Just apply to the know-it-all government for a bail out, and everything should be A-OK.

When Dressing Up For Dinner At A Nice Restaurant

…Please, for the love of Karl Lagerfeld, tie your tie so that its falls no further than your belt.  If your tie reaches your zipper, I can assure you that it will be the only thing approaching your crotch all night, if you get my drift.  If you don’t get my drift, I’m trying to imply that the girl you’re with will be so put off by your sartorial faux pas that she will not want to touch your penis.  You want her to touch your penis, don’t you?  Don’t You?!?!?!?  Do it for your penis, man!

See, if her tie fell six inches lower, I'd never even have started fantasizing about her hitting my genitals with that book while trying yelling at me in German.

See, if her tie fell six inches lower, I'd never have even begun fantasizing about her hitting my genitals with that book while yelling at me in German.

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*Unless you’re a Bengals fan, in which case, there’s not.

This was bound to happen when the Hindenburg switched from a 3-4 to a Cover Two.

This was bound to happen when the Hindenburg switched from a 3-4 to a Cover Two.

Remember when you were a kid and August rolled around, and you knew that Summer was almost over?  So you’d try to enjoy the remaining free days of vacation, but you’d still have a little sadness over the fact that you’d soon be returning to school?  So your dad would take out that rubber hose from his dresser drawer and beat you with it to really give you something to cry about?  And then your mom would console you by saying something like “You really shouldn’t test your father like that, he already thinks the wrong son died in that river”?  Yeah, that’s kind of how I feel every year at this time when my beloved NFL is only two weeks away from leaving me for another interminable hiatus.

I love the NFL, and the off-season always marks a desolate, lonely, depressing time in my year.  No more excuses to start drinking at 9:00 a.m.  No more being able to let off steam by throwing remote controls and punching holes in walls and innocent bystanders.  No more having to curl up in the fetal position, crying myself to sleep after another Bengals loss.  Ah, how I’ll miss it…   But, much like that fifth grader who tries to squeeze as much enjoyment as possible out of those last weeks of summer, we still have the Super Bowl to look forward to.  As everyone expected at the beginning of this season, Super Bowl XLII will feature the Arizona Cardinals and the Pittsburgh Cheating Cocksuckers Who Also Probably Don’t Believe The Holocaust Happened.

"Can you believe this is my life? Will you pity me when you're back in your funky New York apartment and I'm still in Shittsburgh? I need to get more glamorous films."  I couldn't have said it any better.  Unless I was I said it while my mouth was buried between your boobs.  Then it would have been better.

Sienna, matron saint of Pittsburgh hate, sez: "Can you believe this is my life? Will you pity me when you're back in your funky New York apartment and I'm still in Shittsburgh? I need to get more glamorous films." I couldn't have said it any better. Unless I said it while my mouth was buried between your boobs. Then it would have been better.

Like most right-thinking Americans, I hate Pittsburgh with a raging intensity that makes even my boners jealous.  This, of course, is going to mean that watching the Super Bowl will be insufferable, especially since I’m pretty sure the Steelers will be adding another ring to their collection.  They can put it right next to the one they got in ’05 after insidiously taking an ACL-crushing cheap shot against Carson Palmer in the wild card game.  I’m picking the Steelers to win this game, mostly because I looked in-depth at the stats surrounding both competitors and discovered that the other team in the game is fucking Arizona.

There's really no point to this picture, other than the fact that it was inexplicably present in a Google Image search for "Kurt Warner."  You're welcome, readers' penises.

There's really no point to this picture, other than the fact that it was inexplicably present in a Google Image search for "Kurt Warner." You're welcome, readers' penises.

Pittsburgh’s inevitable collection on some pact it made with Satan notwithstanding, the Super Bowl, regardless of the teams involved, offers an opportunity for one last Sunday of gluttonous snack food consumption and wonderful booze drinking.  Whether you’re at home, alone, making the commute to Black-Out Island, or at a friend’s house, trying your hardest to ensure that you get every ounce’s worth of free hootch, the Super Bowl truly is a great booze holiday.  But it’s not just about the sauce, my friends!  No, there are numerous fatty snacks to wolf down, as well.  Because, let’s face it – when else are you going to make pigs in a blanket?  If you said “every Tuesday evening before Gossip Girl,” you’re my kind of person.  And a homo.  What follows is a humble list of some of the spirits, snacks, and other accoutrement that will be sure to make any Super Bowl party a success.

Potato Skins

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There's something almost subliminally sexual about this picture, right? No? Just me?

I don’t know what brilliant son of a bitch invented these things, but I hope he’s now somewhere in heaven, punching Robert Atkins in the face.  When I was a little kid, I held T.G.I.Fridays in the same esteem  I currently hold such restaurants as The French Laundry, merely because I considered potato skins to be the height of the culinary arts.  Oh, sure, is the combination of carbs, cheese, bacon, and sour cream a bit gouche, in reality?  Aren’t potato skins merely bar food?  Yeah, they are, but they still rule your face, so shove it.

Margaritas

That's either a tiny hot chick, or an enormous margarita.  Either way, I'm horny.

Gulliver wasn't long at the bar before he found Lilliput's town hussy.

Most booze has a built-in deterrent in the form of the treacherous and insidious hangover.  Margaritas, the nefarious bastards, also like to mix in their own special kind of evil in the form of wicked, unrelenting heart burn.  And they’re fucking worth it!  No superbowl party is complete without a giant pitcher of margaritas (tequila, triple sec, and lime juice), ice, and salt.  Not only will margaritas get you so fucked up that the mere sight of Hines Ward no longer makes you want to fire bomb that Vietnamese Soul Food restaurant down the street, but, in addition, the dames will flock to them like the salmon of Capistrano.  They’ll probably get so drunk that you can save your roofies for next weekend!

Nachos

If I were the head of Peta and wanted to woo people to vegetarianism, I would simply use as a slogan “Vegetarianism: You Can Still Eat Nachos!”  Boom!  Everyone’s a vegetarian.  Nachos (or, as I like to call them, “Mexican Bruschetta”) were invented by some dude with the eerily similar-sounding name “Ignacio,” in 1947.  Some white guy was going to invent them first, but Ignacio did it for half the price.  While there are many ways to make nachos using myriad cheeses and sauces, I like my nachos simply with a demure drowning of cheese product – you can save the real cheese for your viewing party when Milk comes out on DVD, Liberace.  For our purposes, drown the chips in fake cheese, top with jalapenos, and then, all of a sudden think to yourself: “Holy Fucking Shit…  What if we made these nachos with…  Doritos?!?!?!?”  No need to thank me when you win the Nobel Prize.

Not Jagermeister

Are you going to trust a booze with a crucifix on it?  Plus, that deer looks down-right shady.

Are you going to trust a booze with a crucifix on it? Plus, that deer looks down-right shady.

its_a_trap2

Seriously, it's a trap.

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I have drunk about everything known to man, in my time: absinthe, mescal, actual moonshine, the blood of my vanquished enemies, sweat from a Japanese girl’s underwear that I bought on-line…  But nothing has offended my palate quite like the unholy union of anise and ass funk that is Jagermeister.  I honestly don’t get it when a guy brings a bottle of this swill to a party and expects everyone to be grateful.  “Oh, thanks, Jared (they always have the worst names), good to see you brought the Jagermeister!  And I was worried that we were all out of emetics!  What?  What’s that?  I can’t hear you when I have my foot on your throat.”  Seriously, is there any reason to like a person who likes the Jag?  I’m not going to say something derivative like “You know who else likes Jagermeister?  Nazis!”  But, seriously, people who like Jagermeister probably want to kill Jews and burn their corpses in ovens.  Then lose a war because of bad strategic decisions made in Berlin, rather than allowing those decisions to be made close to the front lines.  In other words, they’re a lot like Nazis.

Miscellaneous

Another great excuse to brave the douchebag menagerie that occupies most Super Bowl parties is the myriad dips that most assuredly await you.  Hummus, french onion, salsa, and hummus are all delicious additions to any party buffet.  As are those little cocktail franks one sets afloat in a sea of smoky barbecue sauce.  Finally, if you don’t have one of them big ass sandwiches from the deli at your Super Bowl party, it’s a known fact your favorite team will go at least four games under .500 next season.  Way to go for the last 18 seasons, Bengals fans!  Finally (Part II), I have omitted Buffalo wings from this list, because their inclusion in it should be self evident.  If you don’t have Buffalo wings at your house this Sunday, you should immediately kill yourself.  Do us all a favor and take a Steelers fan out with you.  Or five.

I hope you're taking notes, Goodell.

"Fifteen yard penalty - 'Sexy Hands to the Face'." Have a fun Super Bowl everybody! Except Steelers fans, of course. Go get fucked, Steelers fans!

The LOLCats couldn't believe Terrell Pryor fumbled, either.

The LOLCats couldn't believe Terrelle Pryor fumbled that ball, either.

“When, in disgrace with Fortune and men’s eyes,
I all alone beweep my outcast state,
And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries,
And look upon myself and curse my fate,
Wishing me like to one more rich in [good football teams],
Featur’d like him, like him with [winning records] possess’d,
Desiring this man’s [Longhorns], and that man’s [Titans],
With [scotch] I most enjoy contented at last.

Penn State 13, Ohio State 6
Texans 35, Bengals 6

This week’s football-related mood is: Drunken Resignation

Awww, you're as cute as you are delicious.

Awww, unfortunately for you, you're as cute as you are delicious.

Several months ago, my mother called to let me know that the daughter of one of her friends would be visiting my city, and wondered whether I would mind showing her around, or, in the alternative, if I would mind not receiving my monthly trust fund check.  I chose the former option, mostly because I have yacht upkeep and a raging meth addiction to think about (responsibilities, and all that…)  My exasperation at the thought of playing tour guide was quickly assuaged, however, when my mystery tourist was revealed to be a twenty-one year old professional dancer, stopping over in my fair town before a one-month engagement on a cruise ship.  Having supported several twenty-one year old professional dancers in the past, mostly through numerous tips submitted to their crotch-banks, I naturally assumed that my one-day excursion through the city with this particular dancer would end as my other dancer-related dalliances had – only this time the “VIP Room” would be my apartment, and the “private dance” would consist of me seducing her with a special interpretive number I put together to go with Sophie B. Hawkins’ “As I Lay Me Down to Sleep.”

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Thank God for absentee parents and inappropriately touchy uncles. P.S. I think she likes me.

Unfortunately, my expectations where crushed upon my arrival at her apartment, as she and four other ladies she had invited to come along, piled into my car.  While the prospect of five nubile females may sound provocative and exciting, I knew exactly what was going to happen, and it wasn’t going to be pretty (or hand-jobby).  Baby-sitting only one girl would mean flirty conversation, maybe a boozy lunch, and me inevitably helping her get out of her panties, with my teeth.  Five girls, however, means the inevitable shopping excursion, with The Chef’s Prerogative as chauffeur.  Indeed, the day quickly turned into one of dressing rooms,  salesmen, cell phone chats with boyfriends, and attempted suicide via Juicy Couture hangers.  At our twelfth stop of the day – ostensibly for “a shirt,” but which quickly escalated to “well, if you buy the top, maybe you should get those pants and new shoes to match . . .  Which belt makes me look tanner?” – my masculinity metaphorically kicked me in the nuts and informed me that a break was in order.  Thus, I snuck out and headed to the nearest bar, which, serendipitously, was nestled in an unpretentious yet copiously marbled Italian restaurant.

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They're insufferable in unison, too.

It turned out that this place was about as authentic as you can get, outside of an Olive Garden, of course, and the entire staff were from the old country.  I quickly ingratiated myself to them by reciting all the Italian lyrics to “On an Evening in Roma” by Dean Martin, and was welcomed with open arms and an even opener tab.  As time was of the essence, I quickly availed myself of three deeply-poured scotches, and chatted with the raven-haired bartender, who was eating her pre dinner-rush dinner of osso bucco.  Being that I am of a devastatingly charming nature, she offered me a bite – an offer I not only took advantage of, but also assumed was her way of telling me that she wanted to bone.  Lemme tell you a little somethin’ about this here osso bucco: it was maybe one of the most delicious things I’ve ever put in my mouth, and, no, there aren’t any jokes forthcoming about other, more salacious, things I’ve put in my mouth (especially not about your mother’s rack).  I immediately demanded to have the recipe, knowing that my estrogen-laden charges would soon come calling.  She complied as best she could (also, in a totally predictable move, giving me her number), and no sooner was I in possession of this wondrous treasure map of flavor than the she-harpies returned to not only inform me of their purchases, but also of their need to, like, totally go to the yoga-outfit store (and if, like me, you assumed such a place couldn’t possibly exist – guess the fuck again).  My suggestion that we go somewhere so that they could try on lingerie and have a pillow fight went unacknowledged.  And, while the rest of the day was as mind-numbingly boring and vacuous as the first half had been, my spirits were lifted, knowing then that I had a new recipe to try when I got home and finished masturbating to Japanese tentacle porn.

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Things just got sexy. And, by "sexy" I mean "what the fuck?".

Buy:

Veal shanks
Flour
Onion
Carrots
White wine
Salt, pepper, olive oil, butter, garlic
San Marzano tomatoes
Veal stock
Parsley
Lemons
Probably some other stuff I can’t remember

Do:

Osso Bucco is so easy to make, a chimpanzee with Downs syndrome could do it.  No pressure, but this means that if you fuck it up, it’s probably not only because you’re a bad cook, but also because you’re developmentally handicapped.  This is a slow cooking meal, but don’t think I won’t chastise you if you use a slow cooker; that shit is for lazy people and hack Food Network cooks that they relegate to weekday, day-time-hour shows.

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"I say, old chap, what's with all this retarded monkey ballyhoo?"

Heat the olive oil and butter in a large dutch oven while rocking the fuck out to some Iron Maiden.  Coat the veal shanks with flour, shake off the excess, brown both sides in the pot, and remove to your specialty Sur La Table veal resting plate.  Turn down the heat, add some oil, carrot, and onion, and saute with reckless, yet extraordinarily precise, abandon.  Pour in the wine, reduce by half, and make sure all the brown bits on the bottom of the pan are incorporated.  Add the tomatoes, stock, veal shanks and whatever else I wrote up there.  Cover the pot and throw that bitch in the oven for a good two to two-and-a-half hours.  Spend this time drinking several 40’s of Mickeys while pretending you’re still in college (basically, just sit around in your underwear, doing nothing, drinking several 40’s of Mickeys; make sure to take this time for granted, as well, for the full effect.)

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College: Where the awesome is.

Serve with a gremolata of garlic, parsley, lemon zest, and self-satisfaction.  Finally, feel grateful that you got this recipe from me, rather than an Italian bartender, cum succubus, who can’t take a hint after one date that NO, I DON’T WANT TO SEE YOU AGAIN – YOU KIND OF CREEP ME OUT AND, OH, HERE’S A HINT: STOP TALKING ABOUT HOW YOU USED TO CUT YOURSELF WHEN YOUR EX-BOYFRIEND WOULD CHEAT ON YOU!!!  In unrelated news, “Cum Succubus” is going to be the new name of my band.

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"Why didn't they play better, momma? I rooted for 'em good an' hard, didn't I?"

“The merry grinding of the roller skates, the cheerful if ironic music, the cries of the little children on their goose-necked steeds, the procession of queer pictures – all this had suddenly become transcendentally awful and tragic, distant, transmuted, as it were some final impression on the senses of what the earth was like, carried over into an obscure region of death, a gathering thunder of immedicable sorrow; [The Chef’s Prerogative] needed a drink…” 

USC 35, OSU 3
Titans 24, Bengals 7

This week’s football-related mood is: DISCONSOLATE

"First Down," sayeth the Lord.

"First Down," taunteth the Lord

Like that first drink of wine after crossing the desert; like embracing your lover after being apart for as long as your heart can bear; competitive football makes its much-needed return this weekend, quenching our feverish, absence-fueled longing and desire.  And, unlike your girlfriend, football didn’t cheat on you with its spikey-haired supervisor when it had to go to Dallas for that business trip, last month (fuck you, Diane!).  Now, I know that this weekend is “only” college football, and that a lot of the matchups aren’t all that “marquis”; but if that’s your concern, you probably shouldn’t worry about it too much, as your ballet practice and hug-tag competition will probably preclude you from watching much of it, anyway.  For those of us who love football in any form (so long as it doesn’t involve Bon Jovi team ownership or Canada, that is), this Saturday allows us the chance to breathe a nice, long sigh of relief, knowing that we are again in the loving arms of our most favorite of pass-times, secure in the knowledge that she won’t abandon us again until the cold, sun-bereft days of February.  The pass-time of which I speak is football, of course, but perhaps even more important, includes its corollary: boozing during football.

You may kindly remove Old Glory from your helmet, good sir, and keep your "football."  We don't award points for punts here in America.

Kindly remove Old Glory from your helmet, you socialist swine - we don't award points for kick-offs in American football!

As Virgil wrote in The Aeneid, “Any man not needing the intoxication of drink during the vexing play of his home team is no man at all, but a God; and such Gods do not exist.”  I’m pretty sure ol’ Virge was talking about the importance of getting good and shit-faced during the play of ones favorite football team, because as any fan knows, bad play is downright unbearable while sober.  As a Bengals loyalst, I wholeheartedly agree – tying one on not only makes the good times more enjoyable and the bad times endurable, but as football fans, is our God-given right.  As such, I have endeavored here to give you a sort of booze syllabus, with which you can approach not only this Saturday’s games but all the glorious dual football-dayed weekends to follow…

Breakfast Booze: Bloody Mary

I would totally go medieval on her ass.

I would totally go medieval on that ass.

For the longest time, I had an inexplicable aversion to Bloody Marys.  Once I turned twelve, though, my palate changed, and they became a staple of my weekend brunches.  A good Bloody Mary should be spicy enough to give your senses a swift kick in the nuts, yet booze-laden enough to say to them, afterwards “I’m sorry baby, you know I love you – come here, give Daddy some kisses.”*  In a blender, mix vodka, tomato juice, Worcestershire sauce, horseradish (made from real horses, please), lemon juice, some jalapeno, salt, pepper, blood, Mary, and lemon juice.  Pour over ice in a tall glass, and garnish with celery, two olives, and a shot of Bourbon on the side. 

Afternoon Hootch: Salty Dog

Wow, just looking at this drink makes me want to make out with ugly chicks

Wow, just looking at this drink gives me the overwhelming urge to make out with ugly chicks

Holy shit are these fuckers refreshing.  Just combine vodka and grapefruit juice over ice – couldn’t be simpler.  The good thing about these guys is that they’re light and can be drunk at a good clip without having to worry about your one-way ticket to black-out island being punched.  They’re soothing, too: without the aide of Salty Dogs, furniture tossing-related homicides would have been up about 125% in my greater living room area during the soul-destroying 2006 NFL season/BCS championship game. 

Nightcap: Scotch

Apparently, this bottle of scotch was trying to stay anonymous, knowing that otherwise, I would try to drink it.

Apparently, this bottle of scotch was trying to stay anonymous, knowing that otherwise, I would attempt to drink it.

Chances are, you’re going to need to decompress, a little, after yelling at the T.V. all day (I mean, seriously, how the fuck do you drop that fucking pass?!?!?!).  The best way to do this is to nurse a few scotches during the late game, then gracefully fall asleep on your living room floor.  The Glenlivet has always been my favorite affordable scotch, but if you’re some kind of high-fallutin’ upper crust type, feel free to drink something more expensive, just to make me feel inferior.

Well, I hope that this booze primer has been helpful, and I also hope that you are as far into your cups as is necessary to numb your senses when your team fumbles on the game-tying drive, with less than two minutes left to play in the game.  Cheers!

P.S.  Just to keep some semblance of a culinary presence in this post, here’s a recipe which will transform anything in your pantry into food your guests will swear you bought at a gas station: make a quick roux, add cream and grated cheese, and melt over low heat.  You now have a cheese sauce you can dip practically anything in: pizza bagels, pizza hot pockets, french bread pizza, even regular pizza.  As for me, I like to dip cheese sauce in my cheese sauce.  For those of you who may be lactose intolerant, however, you may want to man the fuck up and consider growing a sack – pansy.

"Hey!  Making shitty food out of shitty food is my schtick!  That is a pretty good recipe, though."

"Hey! Making shitty food out of other shitty food is my schtick! That is a pretty good recipe, though."

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*And if you read that line with the voice of Billy Dee Williams in your head, then you’re just the kind of person who’s going to make it in this world, and I want to be your friend.