Friday, July 3, 2009
Lately, due to my possible (if enough students sign up) teaching of a Political Science class at College of the Albemarle in Elizabeth City, and my Economics courses at the grad school level at ECU (in order to to be able to also teach Econ at the community college level), my reading list has become somewhat dry.
Piled up by the bed like cordwood are back issues of fun magazines such as Baseball Digest, Wine Spectator, Cigar Aficionado, Wired, Fast Company, and Baseball America. Taking their place are ECU required Econ books with exciting monikers such as Taxing Ourselves, The White Man's Burden, A Failure of Capitalism, Getting Off Track, and Freakonomics. To catch up on the Poly Sigh stuff, I'm also reading journals such as Political Science Quarterly, Wilson Quarterly, Foreign Affairs, Hoover Digest, and The American Interest.
So imagine my joy when I discovered, at the bookstore next to the Beach Bread Company (I have no idea what the name of the store is) a copy of a magazine called Modern Drunkard. Mind you, I had heard of this rag before from a good friend who is a religious listener to the John Boy and Billy Show, heard locally on 95.3 The Rock. JB&B is the quintessential Southern boy syndicated show, with plenty of NASCAR news, southern rock music, an emphasis on grits and sausage, and very politically incorrect humor. For years my friend kept quoting over-the-air quips from the JB&B Show attributed to some magazine named "Modern Drunkard". I figured the magazine, like many of JB&B's on-air characters and skits was a fiction, nothing more than a show prop.
Yet there it sat, on a shelf of this bookstore. And the articles? Exactly what one might expect. "How To Be a Wingman", a male role I never had to play in my bachelor days, but one that I now understand is a noble tradition that sometimes requires the ultimate sacrifice. And, this month a full-length article on "All-Star Alcoholics", covering the hardest drinking professional athletes in history. Next up, "Boozing Through Bad Times", which explains how to stretch your recession dollar to continue drinking. One piece of advice: "Cut down on non-essentials. Like vermouth. And olives. And glassware".
And, its probably the only media outlet in the world where an advertisement for a bar is honest and admits why we all frequent them. For example, this ad tag line: "Bar rules: We will not tolerate unacceptable behavior. Like drinking in moderation. The Squire Lounge". The guys are obviously not afraid of MADD and their ilk.
By the way, the bar is in Denver if you're curious.
Subscriptions are $24 for six issues a year. You might think this an extravagance in our depressed economy. But its cheaper than therapy!