Stepping Out

I know I promised the Operation Alligator FAQ today, but if developments unfold as I am hoping they will, the FAQ will evolve rapidly over the next week. This would potentially allow me to reveal the full scope of the true War on Tedium – of which Operation Alligator is merely the opening skirmish.

Plus I need to get this off my chest:

I am a heroin addict.

It’s something I picked up around the time I got my own apartment. I have decided that, for a variety of reasons — all good — I need to kick this particular habit. So I have embarked on a rehab program. It’s working, sorta. The first couple weeks were terrible. I just sat in a chair and had the need gnaw at me. It’s unpleasant. Really unpleasant.

But it’s not as unpleasant as the next part.

Getting clean can’t carry staying clean’s jock.

Much of my life is — or was — predicated on either a shared love of the stuff, or by being an addict, and now I got a whole new set of issues to work through, with family, friends, coworkers, everybody.

For some, I’m just not cool anymore. They say things like “Why can’t you have just a little heroin? You’re doing great!” and “That’s cool. Just come to the shooting gallery and hang with us while we score. You don’t have to have any.” Guys….I appreciate you trying, but it doesn’t work that way.

There are some very good friends who I haven’t seen since I’m clean, ’cause that’s what we did, was get together and get high. I think they feel hurt. But I have to do this. I miss them. I feel bad I can’t see them. But I can’t, unless they stay clean, which they can’t, and we don’t go to any of our old haunts, which kinda makes it feel like they’re visiting me in jail.

Then there’s the people who want to advise me on how the way I’m quitting — which, demonstrably, works for me — is wrong or is dangerous or, most bizarrely, doesn’t work. They tell me that what I really need to do is take methadone, or get acupuncture, or whatever. You’re not helping. I’m clean. Shut up. You do it your way, I’ll do it my way.

I put those people in the same class as the people who want me to talk constantly about nothing but addiction and recovery. “You’re getting clean?” “Yes.” “Really?” “Really.” “Hey, that’s great! Let’s discuss it, a lot, so that you can feel extra stupid for getting yourself hooked in the first place, and so that we can make sure that smack is always square in the front of your mind.”

I hope that someday I don’t spend every waking moment Not Scoring, which is what I’m doing now. It’s not always front-of-mind, understand, but the Need peeps out hundreds of times a day. So many things make me think of the stuff…so many memories, so many old haunts, so many desires. And that constant gnawing craving I just can’t shake. I’ve come to like that feeling, a little, because it’s a reminder that I’m still clean, but that’s also like welcoming a headache because it means I’m not dead.

Thank God I’m not trying to lose weight. I hear that’s brutal.


The NFL Draft was last Sunday. After three long, hard, NFL-less months, the Draft feels like that first swallow of bourbon after a bad day or the first puff of a cigarette after a long flight. Your head goes a little swimmy, you’re suffused with warmth, and a part of you you didn’t even know was tense relaxes for the first time in months. It’s a little midwinter fix, like a week in Florida in January. It gets you through til the sun comes back out. (July 25)

As to the draft:

Cedric Benson, RB, Texas: I was worried that this would brand us forever as “the team that passed on Mike Williams”, but then the next five teams did too, and then the Lions drafted him, so that put that fear 100% to rest. Cedric I’m excited about, but I don’t understand why he gets so cranky about being compared to Ricky Williams. You’re the exact same size, similar-looking, same position, same school, same ability. Let people ask, and then prove them wrong by not taking your bong and going home.

Mark Bradley, WR, Oklahoma: Multidimensional threat. Will do very well with Muhsin “Must-Start” Muhammed (2004 B&T Fantasy Team MVP) drawing all the coverage. God help him if Must-Start goes down for a game or two. Jack-of-all-trades…but we all know the second part of that.

Kyle Orton, QB, Purdue: Steal of the draft if healthy. So tired of saying that. But it’s true. Bye, Dr. Krenzel. Thanks for trying. Enjoy civilian life.

Airese Currie, WR, Clemson: Lightning fast runner. So-so receiver. Great potential. I #(%!&$*#ing hate potential.

Chris Harris, FS, Louisiana-Monroe: May be terrific, but, seriously, how many DBs does a team need?

Rod Wilson, OLB, South Carolina: Don’t sign a long lease, Rod, and maybe you want to print up a resume between two-a-days. Just sayin’.

Beav, Counselor Harris, random Vikings fan, care to recap the rest of the NFC North?

The Weirdest Month

Once again, ladies and gentlemen, the Blood and Thunder Filler Department proudly presents:

Search Terms That Brought People Here For No Reason

  • school grails who fuck
    You make the call: Totally incomprehensible fetish, or improbable multiletter typo?

  • i have eyeball cancer i love march birthdays
    Lots of variations on ‘eyeball cancer march birthdays’. Starting to wonder about this. Hot new support group? Lifetime movie of the week? New TMBG album title?

  • lava dome five boobs
    For the life of me, I can’t figure a droll comment, but this was too weird to omit. Two normal sacrifical virgins, one badly lopsided? The High Ramalama heading for the volcano, accompanied by four Ding-Dongs?

  • cute bikinis worn by lesbians
    It seems to me crucial, in an eats-shoots-and-leaves way, that one specify that both the bikinis and the lesbians be cute. Unless you’re actually looking for an adorable white thong number on, say, Eleanor Roosevelt, it is best to be very, very specific.

  • death jagermeister red bull
    It won’t kill you, but you’ll wish it had. Try cutting the RB with vanilla rum instead.

  • little darlings christine vegas
    I warn you, dude, Little Darlins carries an A-1 rating in Creepy, but I’ll tell Christine you said hello.

  • maternal uncle uncle fucking his niece
    How on earth could you tell? “Mmmm….ohhh…that’s nice….oh god….I’m your mother’s brother….yes yes yes yes”? Billy Wilder couldn’t write that exposition gracefully.

  • bikinis topless
    Zen Thought of the Day: Is a bikini with no top still a bikini?

  • the song written by ben bernie entitled sweet georgia brown
    This is some seriously formal Googling. Wonder if it works better? ‘i say, Googs, would you be kind enough to point me in the direction of a jolly decent midget gangbang?’

  • bernie siegfried roy
    The lost third member of the act? A missing Master of the Impossible? This is a Far Side caption seeking a drawing.

  • badger mushroom snake mario eleven minutes
    Blue Ribbon Champion: Most Specific Search Term Wherein I Have Not The Vaguest Idea What The Original Data Sought Was

  • how i learned to make charcoal
    overgoogling: the act of using the internet to search out the instructions for a task that is simpler to figure out than the average search engine.

  • mushroom printing
    You’re probably looking for Becks and/or Chris.

  • street monkey tattoos sheboygan
    You’re unquestionably looking for the Beaver.

  • alcohol waterborne pathogens
    “I never drink water. Fish fuck in it.” (attributed to W.C. Fields)

  • ex animo translation
    Latin, “from the heart”. “Igni ferroque” is, colloquially, “scorched earth”. I was gonna use “Molon Labe”, which is Greek, and has way better backstory, but it 1) seems to also be a motto of second-amendment-guarantees-me-the-right-to-own-a-nuclear-weapon types who would come and shoot me for associating their cause with writings like this, and 2) looked too much like the proper name for some girlpart.

  • good lapdance songs
    The Lapdance Song Hall of Fame Induction Committee (comprised of members: ‘Ain’t Nothin’ But A G Thang’, ‘Enter Sandman’, and ‘Gangsta Trippin”) is currently considering a petition for induction brought on behalf of Big & Rich’s ‘Save A Horse (Ride A Cowboy)’.

  • i was literally being inflated through my pussy
    There’s nothing I want to think about less.

  • jay and silent bob slash
    I stand corrected.

  • swimsuit fit clinic walmart

  • is richard dent lazy or gay
    He’s not lazy, but I will never again hear him called “the Sackman” without giggling.

  • show me thy tits
    Do you remember in ‘History Of The World’, when Moses clumsily reduced the number of commandments to ten? Ever wonder what the lost five were?
  • Ye Gods

    I hereby christen April 2005 “The Month of Unanticipated Debt”. I am not in a mood to be writing right now.

    This week: The Operation Alligator FAQ, the NFL Draft Methadone Clinic, and April Search Terms.


    Sometimes, in life, when you reach a critical juncture in the progress of your efforts to relocate part-time to the Florida Keys, and you begin to doubt the wisdom of trying to establish a bicoastal residency, and to doubt your ability to handle the associated enormous new responsibilities, and you begin to wonder if you aren’t insane to throw away a job that pays you well beyond what it should, and to think maybe you’re crazy for ever believing that the amount of effort and organization this will take to make it work the way you want it to work is humanly possible, even for you, and you worry that it’ll put breaking strain on a lot of your life’s load-bearing components, and you don’t see why anybody’d read anything you wrote anyway, and you just generally find yourself looking down into the abyss and thinking “All the way here, I intended to jump, I really did, but that’s pretty high, isn’t it? Maybe I could just sort of scoot down on my butt a little bit at a time,” well, sometimes when that all happens, God sends along a fucking late-April snowstorm, and you’re reminded of just why you’re doing what you’re doing.

    You old son of a bitch, you got my back.


    Publishing house publicity departments often mail me new books, particularly new books of the type that need all the help they can get. Today, Simon & Schuster mailed me a copy of a book, the cover of which reads:


    My Search for
    My Mother’s Life

    Samuel G. Freedman
    Author of JEW VS. JEW

    Now, I am a voracious and omnivorous reader. I read five to ten books a week. So here’s my review, S&S publicity:

    You could not pay me enough money to read a book called “WHO SHE WAS: My Search for My Mother’s Life”.

    A Parable

    Mr. Woofers was a small grey-brown dog of indeterminate ancestry who lived in a small apartment in Peoria. His days were generally happy, though fairly routine. He would get up, go out, eat, hang around the house, bark at the mailman, sleep, eat, go for a walk, watch some TV, and call it a night. Eventually, Mr. Woofers began to look bored and listless.

    This worried his owner, who said, “Something is the matter with you, Mr. Woofers. What you need is a trip to Paris.”

    So she bought tickets, and they took a long flight, and had an interesting trip through customs. In Paris, Mr. Woofers got up every morning, went out, ate, slept, hung around the hotel room, barked at the chambermaid, slept, ate, went for a walk, watched some TV, and called it a night. After three weeks, he didn’t look any less bored or listless.

    This bothered his owner, who said, “What’s the matter with you, Mr. Woofers? Don’t you like Paris?”


    I am praying – not literally – that the delay between revealing the election of a new Pope and introducing him to the flock is in order to allow time for Michael Buffer to arrive.

    “There is an old church axiom, ‘After a fat pope a lean pope’, and our next pope is lean and mean indeed. The one hundred and seventeen gathered in conclave, and the millions watching around the globe, have awaited this very moment…Ladies and gentlemen, he is the two-hundred and sixty-fourth successor of Saint Peter, the next man to hold office as the Bishop of Rome, and your Pope. He is known as the German Tank, the Best of the Wurst, and the Father from the Fatherland. Here he is, the most Eminent and Reverend Lord, Cardinal of the Holy Roman Church, the Italian Stallion, please welcome Pope Benedict the Sixteenth!”

    * * *

    You’re Mrs. Dalloway!
    by Virginia Woolf
    Your life seems utterly bland and normal to the casual observer, but inside you are churning with a million tensions and worries. The company you surround yourself with may be shallow, but their effects upon your reality are tremendously deep. To stay above water, you must try to act like nothing’s wrong, but you know that the truth is catching up with you. You’re not crazy, you’re just a little unwell. But no doctor can help you now.

    Take the Book Quiz!

    (Thanks, Patricia.)


    1. “Like I’ve explained many times before, I ain’t a drinkin’ man. I quit in Miami on Sunday. As my knees were shakin’ and my teeth were chatterin’, I swore I would never do it again.”

    The first time I felt anything approaching decent today was exactly 3:17pm, roughly eighteen and a half hours after my last drink. (A balloon wineglass filled with ice cubes and delicious Cruzan Blackstrap Rum.) Honey has the best description of how we all felt this morning.

    2. “But I had promised my brother-in-law that I’d watch his still while he went into town to vote.”

    Rob has covered a lot of the detail nicely. He did forget to welcome a new entry into the Lexicon, though:

    It was explained to us, during the disastrous Heaven Hill seminar conducted by Master Distiller Craig Beam and Public Relations Man Troy McClure, that when tasting bourbon, the master tasters have to stop after fourteen or fifteen tastes because of “palate fatigue”. I got to feelin’ me some palate fatigue last night, too.

    3. “Like I’ve explained many times before, I ain’t a drinkin’ man, but, on that particular occasion, the temptation got the best of me, and, this feelin’ comes over me, and, I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I- took a slaaaash.”

    I knew it was going to be a long, trouble-filled evening early on, when we entered the Tasting Room. Rob was a WhiskyFest Rookie, so I said to him “What do you want to taste first?”. He scanned the room like a child on Christmas morning, and led the way to the Dalmore table, which had the Cigar Malt flowing. We had a few snorts out of the array of bottles, learned a Scottish toast — something about “wee drops tae th’angels” — and inhaled peat smoke, whereupon Rob turned to me and said “Your turn to pick.”

    “Uh-oh,” thought I, with a smile on my face.

    4. “That yella whiskey runnin’ down my throat tast like honeydew vine water, and I took another slash. Took another and another and another, an’ ‘fore I knew it I’d downed one whole jug o’ that shit and commenced to get hot flashes. Goosepimples is runnin’ up and down my body.”

    Sip Of The Night went to a fantastically rare and expensive Scotch from the Dalmore, reactions to which ranged from “Ewwww…it tastes like leather.” to “Ooooh…it tastes like leather!”

    5. “Alla sudden this, this feelin’ comes over me. ‘S like I was in love. In love for the nine hundred and thirty-fifth time!”

    The gender-balance at WhiskyFest is approaching 50-50, which makes me very happy. Not in an eye-candy way, either; I am a strong proponent of gender equality, especially as it pertains to the freedom to behave very, very badly. (Sadly, when I ran into my current favorite cute ex-co-worker friend, she was just arriving. If only she’d started the evening with my pirates.)

    6. “‘S like there’s this, this great neon sign flashin’ on and off in my brain sayin’, “you fool. There’s a great day a comin'”…’cause I was DRUNK!”

    Line Of The Night is credited to Frederick Booker Noe III: “I’d rather my great-granddaddy was Jim Beam than Albert Einstein.”

    He dropped this during his flat SPECTACULAR Traveling Roadshow Bourbon vs. Scotch ‘Debate’ with Richard Paterson (of the Dalmore), the hour spent watching which was worth the admission fee.

    7. “I wadn’t no knee-crawlin’, slip-slidin’, commode-huggin’ drunk. No, I was God’s own drunk, and a fearless man.”

    One of the things I like best about WhiskyFest is that, there among my fellow loudmouth drunks, I overhear conversations like this:

    “I like eighteen year olds. I mean, really, they go down so easy, they’re so smooth, they’re really reliable, as a class.”

    “I find eighteen year olds to be immature. Twenty-three, now those are worth spending some time with.”

    “You’re willing to pay through the nose for the good stuff, though. We don’t all agree with that philosophy.”

    “You guys are idiots. Fourteen’s both a minimum and a maximum. Fresh, clean, no bitterness, bless ’em, I pick ’em up every chance I get. Never had a bad one.”

    “I’ve had some unbelieveable tens. They have a taste and an aroma that’s just unbelieveable, plus they’re not a fortune to get. I can pound three ten-year-olds in a row and not feel bad about it.”

    “Age isn’t important past seven.” (General murmur of outrage, centered around “Going too far.”)

    “Hey, as long as they’re brown, I don’t complain.”

    “Can we all at least agree that once you’ve popped them open, it’s critical to share with your pals? Eight, ten, eighteen, forty, whatever – they’re all best when passed around.”

    Die Trying

    WhiskyFest is tomorrow.

    Last year’s pregame coverage — here and here — has given me a minor flashback headache.

    But it’s important to persevere, and it’s important to set goals. Here’re this year’s goals:

    Auchentoshan Three Wood

    The Balvenie:
    • 21 yr. PortWood
    • 30 yr.

    Black Velvet Reserve

    Compass Box:
    • Hedonism

    • Cask Strength

    Eagle Rare Single Barrel

    • 1968 Vintage

    • 30 yr. XXX

    • Madeira Wood Finish

    Heaven Hill:
    • Very Special Old Fitzgerald

    Hirsch Selection:
    • 10 yr. Canadian Rye
    • American Rye

    Kentucky Bourbon Distillers:
    • Rowan’s Creek
    • Pure Kentucky
    • Noah’s Mill
    • Old Pogue

    • US*1 American whiskey
    • US*1 single barrel straight rye

    Old Potrero:
    • 18th Century Style Whisky
    • Straight Rye

    Scott’s Selection:
    • Glenlivet 1977
    • Glen Grant 1977
    • Highland Park 1985
    • Inverleven 1979
    • Littlemill 1984
    • Longmorn-Glenlivet 1968
    • Macallan 1974
    • Royal Brackla 1976

    Suntory Yamazaki:
    • Sherry Wood Cask

    • 27 yr.

    Wild Scotsman:
    • Golden Cask

    Black Star Farms:
    • Spirit of Pear, Eaux de vie
    • Spirit of Cherry, Eaux de vie
    • Spirit of Apple, Apple Brandy
    • Pear In Its Spirit, Eaux de vie

    Cruzan Rum:
    • Estate Single Barrel
    • Black Strap

    Hine Cognac