My Computer Has A Drinking Problem…
A couple of weeks ago I was writing a thoughtful column in the back of the Wu’s tour van. It was about four in the morning and the vehicle itself was parked in the back lot of some Holiday Inn in Virginia, but I was rockin. Our merch guy found a stack of old metal tapes in his closet; Motley Crue, The Scorpions, Iron Maiden, you know, the good shit. So I’m writing away, drinking a twelve pack of Ice House when I swear to god, I have no idea how, my Macintosh reaches out and pours beer all over its own keyboard in attempt to have a drink.
Now, I know what you’re thinking: Computers don’t drink beer! And I agree. Perhaps I was having too much fun and it wanted in on the good times. Maybe I was working it too hard and it felt it deserved a cool one. I don’t know why it felt so moved to try such a foolish stunt, but one thing is clear: My computer has a drinking problem.
The aftermath was a nightmare. It seemed to regurgitate all over itself with some kind of computer-puke. It left the keys sticky and confused. If I press the "F" key, it spells an "S". If I try to turn it off, it turns the DVD player on. If I try to delete any files it dirty pictures that Wu keyboardist Al Oikari undoubtedly downloaded, it takes them out of the trash and flashes them like an obscene billboard for all to see. Talk about out of control. Shit, I should just put a lampshade on it and let it make a fool of itself until it passes out. What else can I do? Give it a cold shower?
All this and I still don’t have a column to send in. So I went to the store and bought the meanest, fastest Mac laptop on the market. Thinking all my ills are cured, I proceeded with fulfilling my obligations to Jambands.com, lest Jon Schwartz brings the whip down on me. However nothing is as easy as it seems. None of my old files want to run on Mac’s new operating system. Attempts to import my column from the alcoholic Mac failed miserably. Since I was so engaged in drinking and rocking out to The Crue, I can’t quite remember all the intricate details of my argument that I was posing for my article. Thus I had to start over, sans point or purpose.
Perhaps this would have worked if I could figure out how to load a word processor, print anything or get online and write the whole thing as an email to Dean Budnick. But this new machine has shown nothing but contempt for me as its new master. Christ, my old computer’s a drunk and the new one has a problem with authority. Can I ever win?
So as a last-ditch effort to give you, the gentle reader, a quality column, I cut-and-pasted some old nuggets from my advice column off the Wu’s web site. These are a few of my favorites from the past, and I think you’ll enjoy them. The "Recipe Of the Month" feature is included in the last answer.
If you feel so motivated, stop by thebigwu.com and share your troubles. The Padre is always in.
Q: Padre- I need your advice. I was out pontoon boat shopping a couple of weeks ago and almost decided to buy one but there was one sticking point. The built in cooler under the captain’s chair only had room for a case of yer favorite beverage. Now this normally isn’t a problem, but since Old Style comes in 30 pack cases, there is about a 6 can problem. I’m not looking for advice on whether or not to buy the boat, but if I do, what is your advice on what to do with the remaining 6 cans that don’t fit in the cooler? Sure, the lonely 6 will eventually make their way into my system, but I was always taught breaking up a case (or more) was a cardinal sin. This isn’t just a problem of simple math so I need your help. A: Troubled Son- How dare you insult the great foresight of the G. Heilmann brewery! A sin committed in the heart is bad enough; spewed like bile in a public forum is unthinkable. However, it’s the sin we hate not the sinner. But consider yourself warned, young man.
It is clear that you must remove the plank from thine own eye so you may see clearly to remove the splinter from thy brother’s. As we shall see, this isn’t a simple math problem, although the answer lies in walking the path of righteousness. And it won’t be a straight line, as we shall see.
Open the thirty pack, remove the first beer. Call up some buddies to go on a cruise with you. If you run out of available friends, try ex-girlfriends. Pontooning only looks safe on the outside. It can get tricky, but one would never think so until it’s too late- much like drinking beer with your former darling while she’s wearing a skimpy swimsuit on a sunny day. If no former lasses are to be found, you can always call your current girlfriend as a last resort.
Grab the second beer and gather up gas can, life jackets, beer can huggies, etc. Carrying the right amount of life jackets keeps the water patrol off your dick; they always seem to know when you left something behind. Make sure you got all your ducks in a row.
Crack Old Style number three. This is for the drive to the gas station. Enjoy as you cruise at the local speed limit (no need for trouble now) listening to some kind of summer music, preferably the oldies station. The Beach Boys are made for days like this.
Fill the gas can and open the fourth beer for the cruise back to the boat. Take a minute to enjoy the scenery. What a pleasure a summer day is! Isn’t everything just great? (As an aside, this is a green-friendly advice column. Don’t just throw your empties out the window. Make sure that the Adopt-A-Highway folks haven’t picked up the ditch lately. This way, you won’t be the first to soil the scenery, and they’ll feel so useful when they’re out there cleaning it up. If you see them with they’re trash pokers that day, don’t hit them with your empty. That’s bad form. Throw it ahead of them so they don’t have to backtrack…)
Swill beer five while loading the gas can, life jackets and shipmates aboard the pontoon.
As for the sixth and final problem beer, put this in the huggie as you load the remaining twenty-four into the captain chair cooler and head out onto the water. Wham-bam, even you can handle the Spam! Go In Peace
Q: Don’t you believe in the preservation of our environment? Why would you suggest throwing Old Style out the window of your automobile? A: Troubled Son- In case you missed the irony, most of the questions I receive are usually humorous in nature, thus get the answer they deserve.
Please don’t stay up at night wondering if I’ve found a new and better way to wreck- or worse, pretend I’m saving- the environment.
However, you asked if I’m interested the politics of stewardship towards our resources. Of course I am., but then, everybody is. At least in polite company. But I don’t know the first thing about it outside of the usual, i.e.: Recycle, don’t throw the ciggie-butts on the ground, plant a tree… However, some of that wisdom is regarded as questionable these days. I read that nineteen of the fifty worst Super Fund clean up sights were recycling plants. So should I think twice before chucking my Old Style cans out the window? I mean they’ll only end up at the recycling plant and become the next Super Fund project… Just kidding.
Not to be a curmudgeon, but perhaps I should have put the bong down and paid more attention in my high school Natural Science classes. One would suspect that "Saving the Earth" (whatever that is) has more to do with possessing a Ph.D. in Bio-Physiology and/or Chemistry than say, pestering pedestrians with flyers that get thrown on the ground (more trash!) on Earth Day. Oh well, the road to the county dump is paved with those good intentions.
Maybe America can do with pollution what it does best with everything else: make it profitable, or at least a commodity. If we grab this "commodity" by the supply side- and there’s plenty of it- then the basic laws of economics say that it isn’t worth much. At least much more than, well, garbage. On the flip side, if we look at this from the demand side (a cleaner environment, we find opportunities abound. Since everybody wants to throw something away, we can quantify the value of our former trash and new treasure. However, this is a job for an economist, which I certainly am not (that bong-thing during my high school years again…).
Go In Peace-
Q: Hey Padre. I am writing you because I am concerned about a fan of yours. He is a friend of mine as well. It has recently come to my attention that after a trip to Canada my friend has become a hockey fanatic. This usually is normal for him because he has played all of his life. But what bothers me is that we are from Huntsville, Alabama. Recently Widespread Panic came down to play a show as they do every year. My friend does not attend because of hockey. Huntsville doesn’t usually get great musical acts to perform here. His condition gets worse every day. He is loosing teeth and says "EH" every few words. For example: "How ‘bout you put in that new String Cheese CD, ‘EH’?"
Do you think you can help him? A: Troubled Son- Do you know why Canadians do it doggie-style? So they can both watch the hockey game. All joking aside, I’m not here to make light of Canadians, their sex habits, or their national past time. They’re already ridiculous enough. But Canadian is not just a state of mind; it is a contagious disease. You need to understand that there is no known cure for your friend’s national ailment. Modern treatments are spotty at best. To wean a Canadian (real or infected) off of beer whose principle ingredient is suspected to be moose urine can take months- removing "Eh!?!" as a colloquial ejaculation, perhaps years.
Since he is direly in need of a Cultural Re-education, you need to take matters into your own hands. Next time he contorts and fidgets at the idea of seeing a concert in lieu of a hockey game, try to tape it on a VCR. Although VCRs are user-friendly, take the time to introduce him to the controls. Don’t be afraid to let him make mistakes, i.e.; "that is the ‘Play’ button, not the ‘Eh’ button". Reassure him that this magic machine will record the game as-it-happened; it won’t change the outcome of the Stanley Cup. Be polite, but firm. Time heals all wounds. Including Canadian beer hangovers.
Go In Peace-
Q: Padre- recently I was tempted by the Devil himself. As I was unwrapping a new bar of soap for the shower, it smelled soooo good. Its aroma called out like a siren, coaxing me to take just a small bite. But I knew the consequences. I was able to resist, this time, but I’m not so sure I can in the future. What advice can you give me to ward off these mean spirits? A: (Very) Troubled Son- I would be remiss in my duties as a Padre to not point out the obvious Biblical parallels to your query. If you recall, the last time the Devil tempted someone to take a forbidden bite, Eve caught hell for farting at the garden party. Greeks credit to Prometheus for stealing the light of judgement and donating illumination to mortals. This met with similarly disastrous results for the Lightbringer, (he is eternally chained to Mount Olympus where a vulture eats his liver out from his torso everyday…) But Zeus is thought to be a jealous SOB anyway. Sometimes it truly is better to go with the devil you know. Repression only deepens the compulsion, i.e.; what other inappropriate uses can one find with a fresh bar of soap? If you fear that giving in may only be the beginning of an obsession with bar soap, then perhaps you could switch to Lever 2000 liquid body wash. I doubt that the form of the container will lead to nibbling. If you are tempted to take a tug from the soap teat, it will most likely leave a sour taste in your mouth. As a safety, I didn’t find any "external use only" warnings on the side of my personal bottle of Lever 2000, so you can feel somewhat secure in experimenting if tempted.
Go In Peace,
Q: I have one simple question for you. Last week I had asked this girl out from my work and she said sure, but later that same day I found out she had a boy friend. I was wondering if you knew of a good way to get her back, and teach her its not nice to lie. A: Troubled Son-
Punishment? How do you know that she intended to spend any of "your" personal date time with her "other" boyfriend? If you’re jumping the gun because she has something else on the burner, what does that say about you? Why don’t you be a little cooler, funnier, and charming than the other guy? Fun walks. Jealousy stays home and writes bass guitar players email. Lighten up, my friend and get it on.
If you think I’m being a wise-ass, then listen up: It took me over six months to steal the love of my life from her "boyfriend". To be truthful, I didn’t even know she was dating for most of that time, so that really wasn’t much of a deterrent. But who cares? So instead of a suitable punishment make her dinner. If you don’t know how to cook then get it together and go shopping. If you’re still bitter, then read between the lines:
Sexual Punishment Thai Curry:
2 Tbl spoon Red Curry Paste (heaping if ya want the heat. Be careful, see note.) 2 cans Coconut Milk 2 healthy pinches of garlic, ginger or Viagra. (They all do the same thing, Viagra just doesn’t add much flavor to the mix…) Your Choice (mix and match) 1-2 lb. chicken, broccoli, asparagus, mushrooms, whatever you want. Rice
For the rice: 2 cups rice (follow directions on the back of package, use Jasmine rice if possible. Roughly 2 cups water to every cup of rice- boil then turn to low heat for one half hour until cooked. It is always better to have stickier rice. Fuck Uncle Ben.)
Curry: Purchase a carton of Thai Red Curry Paste from any of the Asian grocery stores on Nicollet Ave- a store on 27th and Nicollet has the one I like. Same with cans of coconut milk, although these are available in the "ethnic" sections of the local supermarket.
1. First start the rice. Heat the first can of the coconut milk, whisking in the full amount of curry. Cook slowly and thicken. If you are using chicken, cut up and add now. If serving vegetables, add five minutes before serving. Once thick and mean, add second can of coconut milk and reduce heat, cook twenty minutes.
2. Pour the wine. (You did buy wine, didn’t you?) Although the curry is red, you can’t go wrong with a white. Don’t overspend, this dish is already a load on the taste buds. A $7-8 bottle will do. Please, a little dry, and not too sweet. If in doubt, encourage her to bring the wine… why not? You want her to enjoy, right Romeo?)
3. Serve rice, curry (in separate bowls) along with salad, naan bread, or whatever you desire. Traditionally, serve in small, separate portions to sprinkle as garnish: raisons, nuts, coconut flakes, lemon zest, cilantro- whatever you like.
4. Enjoy the evening. I hate to say this, but it is better that you know now: If you served the curry super spicy, Do Not Accept a hummer from your date until she has neutralized her mouth (milk will do the trick). The same goes for you. There is nothing worse than a rippin’ case of curry-dick. If you don’t believe me then go "a-head" and pay the price.
For God Sakes my boy, Go In Peace
That wasn’t so bad, was it? This month’s Old Style Zealot is Eric Gould, Particle’s four-string partner in crime. In August, the Wu and Particle found themselves in Alaska at the same time, so our friends stopped over at our gig at the Bear’s Tooth for a beer. In lieu of Old Style beer, the Bear Tooth Brewery concocted a special batch of "The Big Bru" for Wu’s Alaska run. (As described online by an anonymous beer aficionado, "The Big Bru – (First tap) (Classic American Pilsner/California Common) This month’s First Tap Beer is a combination of styles. Its full body and light color come from the Pilsner malts and flaked corn are typical of American beers brewed before Prohibition. As in a California Common, it’s fermented with lager yeast at warmer than normal temperatures to impart a snappy aroma and clean dry finish. Typical of both styles it’s assertively hopped with Czech Saaz and Crystal hops making the Big Bru for the Big Wu. abv. 5.6%"
I humbly accepted their generous hospitality by draining the keg in two days, with a little help from Eric.
Go In Peace,