Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Goodbye '08

Happy New Year to all. McBone will see you in 2009.


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Bigotry at McBone?

All right McBoners, I've been letting this sit idle for a few weeks, but the time has come to have it out. While our latest polling reveals an overwhelmingly liberal climate in McBone Nation, there is a small segment of loyal readers who have a more conservative bent.

I can forgive the seven McCain supporters. I don't pretend to understand how the guy garnered a single vote on November 4th, considering how unhip it is to be a republican these days, but, you know, whatever. Actually, no. Screw that. I take it back. I'm not letting you off the hook so easily. I mean, what the hell? You had a choice between Obama and McCain and you actually picked McCain? Come on, people. I can't even figure out how the Republican party still exists after an unmitigated eight-year debacle. Even that old 'Party of Lincoln' stuff has to be running on fumes by now. I have a strong feeling that if Lincoln had risen from the grave and lurched zombie-like to the nearest polling place last month he would have: a) been dazzled and perplexed by the touch-screen voting, b) eventually cast his vote for Obama, and c) gone on a flesh-eating rampage.

So, I guess I just don't get it. And what I really don't get is how someone clicks onto McBone and has the audacity to condemn gay marriage, and even go so far as to call homosexuality satanic. Cripes, you three people, what's the deal with you? With this laundry list of things that are wrong with the world, do you actually think homosexuality would be high on His list of priorities? And what the hell is your problem with homosexuality anyway? I mean, I suppose it's an interesting civil rights issue because homosexuality, unlike skin color, can be a choice. I have a strong inclination toward women, but I could easily shag a dude one time and think 'OK, I've shagged a dude and it was interesting and that's that.' But then there are all these millions of people who are gay and there isn't too much they can do about it. Well, obviously they can lead heterosexual lifestyles and I'm sure many people spend a whole lifetime fighting against their nature in order to conform to whatever they feel the need to conform to, but who wants to live like that? Not me.

The point is, these people think being gay is bad because they were told by a minister or a parent or someone that being gay is bad. But if any one of them was stranded on a desert island with another member of the same sex, don't you think they would eventually do it? You BET they would do it! How do I know? Because everyone wants to get their rocks off on way or another. People have sex. They always have. They always will. Come on, you three conservative McBoners. Stay Republican if you must, but get over the gay thing.


Sunday, December 14, 2008

A Journey into the Heart of Darkness

To any English major or avid reader of classic literature, the phrase Heart of Darkness probably conjures images of a tiny boat navigating waterways through deepest Africa. In this setting, Joseph Conrad portrays the very worst of the human condition: colonialism, cannibalism, madness, human heads on stakes--all pretty nasty stuff.

But I'm certain that if the author had lived long enough to click on the link below, he would have quickly reassigned his invention to a suburb on a certain island nation in Southeast Asia. Warning! The images and words contained in this site are highly disturbing.

Brace yourself!

While a mayonnaise-rimmed cocktail is an abomayonnation of the highest order--perhaps too ghastly for even Conrad's pen--this atrocity is symptomatic of a far greater problem. Mayonnism in Japan is rampant, nearing epidemic proportions. That a restaurant like the Mayonnaise Kitchen can operate under the protection of the law shows that Japan's moral compass is broken, perhaps irreparably. McBone and the AMA advise extreme caution when visiting Japan. If accosted by a suspected mayora, don't panic. Bow politely and try to extricate yourself from the situation. Remember, mayonnaise offenders are unstable and look for any excuse to uncap their vile condiment. If necessary, deploy your anti-mayonnaise defense mechanism. Should that fail, more drastic measures may be necessary.


Pictured above left: Kewpie is a popular, legal brand of Japanese mayonnaise. Right: a secret cache of unregulated, black market mayonnaise.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

It's the Crap-Crappiest Season of All

Let me preface this by saying that I like Christmas. I do. Every year I enjoy getting together with friends and family to feast and exchange gifts and celebrate the birth of a guy that I basically don't give a good god damn about.

But every year around this time I tend to get a little blue. Although I don't really get caught up in that "true meaning of Christmas" stuff, I find that all the shopping and commercialism does get a little sickening. Holiday sales and traffic and underpaid retail employees who work long thankless hours...not very merry. Still, jaded as I sometimes can be, I always manage to get into the spirit of things. I'm not a Scrooge, after all. You can't even call me a Grinch.

This year, though, I can't get over this Wal-Mart thing. I mean, I detest Wal-Mart on any given day, but when I think of Jdimytai Damour, who had been hired as a temporary employee, and had been sent to the front lines as the clock neared five on the morning of Black Friday, and who held his ground as ravening shoppers began beating and leaning on the glass doors so hard that they began to bow under the weight...when I think of this poor 34 year old, who just wanted to earn a few bucks, who must have been terrified trying to stem the tide, and who was hurled back and trampled when raging bargain hunters finally broke through, well, I just don't know what to make of that. I do know that I want to cry for this guy who met an end as horrible as any I could imagine.

And when I read that, in the face of tragedy, these maniacal bargain hunters, so blinded by whatever impulse would send us to Wal-Mart at 5:00 AM in search of discounted garbage, refused to leave the store. An employee had been trampled to death by an ugly, stampeding hoard, and the stampeders, in an unfathomable display of inhumanity, wanted to keep shopping. Jdimytai Damour's life was worth less to them than an additional 15% off whatever shit found its way from a sweatshop in Bangladesh to the aisles of the world's worst retail chain and, at last, into the cart of a shopper whose shoes had just flattened a temporary, minimum wage employee.

Merry Christmas.


Monday, December 8, 2008

McBone Recipes: The Old Fashioned

In a world where apple martinis and pomegranate vodka reign supreme, it's a comfort that we can still find refuge in the simplicity of a rocks glass, a bottle of bourbon and a few basic ingredients.

In his seminal tome The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks (which is, incidentally, the snobbiest, most opinionated, passionate and, yes, greatest book ever written about drink mixing or any other subject. Honestly, this book deserves its own post, and it is recommended reading for drunks and teetotalers alike) David Embury outlines six basic cocktails upon which the foundation of all drink mixing is laid. They include: Martini, Manhattan, Old Fashioned, Daquiri, Sidecar and Jack Rose. I don't know much about the Jack Rose, or any drink made with applejack, but the first three he nailed right on the head. Today we examine the Old Fashioned.

Now, the proper way to make an Old Fashioned is a debate as old as time and with all the social significance of Roe v. Wade. Here is Embury's recipe:

12 parts American whiskey
1 part simple syrup
1-3 dashes Angostura bitters

In an old fashioned glass, add bitters to simple syrup and stir. Add about 1 ounce of whiskey and stir again. Add two cubes of cracked, but not crushed, ice and top off with the rest of the whiskey. Twist lemon peel over the top and serve garnished with the lemon peel and a maraschino cherry.

Our grandfather, William, was an ardent disciple of Embury. His refrigerator was always well supplied with simple syrup, which, as far as I can remember, was the only thing he ever used the stove for. However, in the art of Old Fashioned making, grandpa departed ever so slightly from his idol. To his cocktail he added a splash of freshly squeezed orange juice. By the time I reached cocktail swilling age, my old man was the one pouring libations. His recipe features one variation on his father's, with confectioner's sugar substituting for simple sugar. Having downed many hundreds of these exquisite preperandials, I can tell you that I would stand this Old Fashioned up to anyone's, and I deem it a worthy cocktail to outline in detail for the benefit of McBoners everywhere.

Bill Bowler's Old Fashioned

Fill an Old Fashioned glass one third of the way with a good quality bourbon or Tennessee sour mash. We prefer Maker's Mark or Jack Daniel's, but in these trying economic times, you can't beat Jim Beam for quality and value.

Squeeze in the juice of a fresh orange, but not too much! Embury would tell you that a cocktail too heavy with juice will dull the appetite, which is of course counterproductive. About a teaspoon will suffice. *IMPORTANT* Under no circumstance should you ever use anything but FRESH orange juice. Don't defile your bourbon with frozen concentrated OJ. Better to pour the whiskey right down the toilet than add Minute Maid to your drink.

NOTE: the practice of 'muddling' an orange slice and a maraschino cherry with a pestal in the glass is a perfectly acceptable alternative for squeezing in fresh juice.

Add a few dashes of Angostura Bitters. Originally concocted in Venezuela to combat yellow fever, Angustora Bitters are now a popular aromatic bitter that is used to enhance many cocktails. Again, don't overdo it. A few drops is plenty.

Now add half a teaspoon of your sugar syrup, or a teaspoonful of confectioners sugar. Again, less is more here. You don't want your drink to be too sweet. A cocktail is supposed to sharpen your appetite before dinner.

Fill glass with ice and stir. Some bartenders will top their concoction off with a splash of soda water. This practice is an abomination and should be avoided at all costs.

Finally, garnish with a maraschino cherry.

You now have a perfect cocktail in your hand. With all due respect to the great Embury, we believe that the addition of fresh orange juice propels a merely excellent cocktail to the ranks of greatness, on par with the Manhattan or even the Martini. Here we have bourbon balanced impeccably with citrus and sugar and veritably bursting with aromatics--an ice-cold glass of heavenly bliss.

Take a sip. Drink it down. Pour another. Gaiety abounds.


Wednesday, December 3, 2008

To the Villains and Fiends, I Sing

To a writer, the world is not a boring place, nor are its inhabitants, good and bad. Though we curse and condemn them in poetry and prose, we also owe a debt of gratitude to those who refuse to play by the rules, who lie, cheat, steal or are simply hellbent on world domination. What would storytelling be, after all, without antagonists? A honey-sweet and sickening mess of beneficence and goodwill. Who the hell wants that? No one picks up a book hoping for 400 pages of happiness.

Evildoers are the ones who color our world, who are so constant and generous with their misanthropy that our creative wells shall never run dry. And so today we salute you, the:

1. Ne'er-do-wells
2. Popinjays
3. Scoundrels
4. Nogoodnicks
5. Charlatans
6. Slyboots
7. Malingerers
8. Mountebanks
9. Rascals
10. Rapscallions
11. Rabble-rousers
12. Hucksters
13. Shysters
14. Hooligans
15. Conspirators
16. Rogues
17. Rednecks
18. Philistines
19. Wastrels
20. Interlopers
21. Dastards
22. Dilettantes
23. Turncoats
24. Ruffians
25. Vagabonds
26. Hellions
27. Phonies
28. Pessimists
29. Pilferers
30. Misanthropes
31. Sluggards
32. Poseurs
33. Nincompoops
34. Ragamuffins
35. Strumpets
36. Coxcombs
37. Rakes
38. Churls
39. Cheaters
40. Boors
41. Braggarts
42. Vulgarians
43. Vixens
44. Pirates
45. Blusterers
46. Freeloaders
47. Villains
48. Vandals
49. Hustlers
50. Courtesans
51. Sneaks
52. Brigands
53. Miscreants
54. Blackguards
55. Trespassers
56. Malefactors
57. Megalomaniacs
58. Lallygaggers
59. Louts
60. Tramps
61. Pickpockets
62. Boobs
63. Meddlers
64. Scalawags
65. Hussies
66. Oafs
67. Lechers
68. Libertines
69. Naysayers
70. Nitpickers
71. Trollops
72. Tricksters
73. Fiends
74. Cads
75. Blatherskites
76. Scapegraces
77. Sycophants
78. Gadflies
79. Curmudgeons
80. Reprobates
81. Degenerates
82. Maniacs
83. Racketeers
84. Confidence-men
85. Sinners
86. Hypocrites
87. Swindlers
88. Prodigal sons
89. Grifters
90. Frauds
91. Doublecrossers
92. Sharpers
93. Thieves
94. Bullies
95. Tyrants
96. Troublemakers
97. Deviants
98. Nemeses
99. Plunderers
100. Mutineers


Monday, December 1, 2008

Mayo Labs: A Growing Menace

Hello McBoners. I hope we are all sufficiently recovered from our turkey-induced stupors to discuss a matter of grave importance. Actually, holiday time is the perfect opportunity to renew our battle against the White Menace. Thanksgiving leftovers abound. Turkey sandwiches are in high demand. We all know what that means, right? Sure we do: turkey, lettuce and tomato on wheat, and just a dollop of something to give your midnight snack a little moisture. The mustard is right there in the fridge, but most Americans reach for quite another jar, which begs the question: just where did that mayonnaise come from?

By now McBone has clearly outlined the ill effects of mayonnaise and mayonnaise consumption to our billions of readers worldwide, but perhaps we've been remiss in not detailing just how easy it is to manufacture this destructive and habit-forming substance right at home. The raw materials are dirt cheap, and most kitchens are equipped with the necessary means for immediate production. Please observe the following video. Warning: what you are about to watch is disturbing and may induce continuous and possibly fatal vomiting:

Now, one of the really typical responses I hear whenever I voice my abhorrence to the White Menace is that mayonnaise is somehow acceptable because of the innocuous nature of its ingredients. It's just eggs, oil and vinegar, they say. And to that I say, sure, and heroin is just poppies. Crack cocaine is just coca plants. And Twinkies are just enriched wheat flour, sugar, corn syrup, water, high-fructose corn syrup, vegetable and/or animal shortening, dextrose, whole eggs, modified corn starch, cellulose gum, whey, leavenings, salt, cornstarch, corn flour, corn syrup solids, mono and diglycerides, soy lecithin, polysorbate 60, dextrin, calcium casenate, sodium stearol lactylate, wheat gluten, calcium sulphate, natural and artificial flavors, caramel color, sorbic acid (to retain freshness), yellow #4 and red #40.

Totally harmless, right? McBone knows better, and so does our mayonnaise offender, who operates under the nom de guerre 'Chef John' and wisely hides his face in the video. Don't be fooled by his casual banter and inane joking. Instead, pay attention to the crime he commits with these otherwise lovely ingredients, whipping them into a pus-like substance with which he then defiles an innocent slice of bread. And how he taunts us by shoving the Condiment of the Damned directly into the camera and, thus, our faces. His manner may seem genial and his kitchen looks clean enough, but make no mistake: mayo labs are highly toxic spaces. Houses that are raided are almost invariably declared uninhabitable and demolished. Even neighboring homes are at risk. Buyer beware. Do you know what's cooking next door? Better be sure before you sign that mortgage agreement.

Tragically, every neighborhood has a Chef John or two. The scary part is, you never know which house might contain a secret mayo lab. If you suspect a possible mayo lab in your area, contact our emergency mayonnaise hotline immediately. The AMA will dispatch a unit immediately. Together we can reverse this terrible trend and reclaim our streets from ruthless mayonnists everywhere.