Baboon Pirates

Scribbles and Scrawls from an unrepentant swashbuckling primate.

My Photo
Location: Texas, United States

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Old Crow (In A Plastic Bottle)

Seconds & Thirds From A Fifth Of Fourth-Rate Hooch

I posted a comment the other day over at Velociman's crib. He was seeking a cheaper grade of Who-Hit-John following a pay cut.

Naturally, I had to recommend Old Crow bourbon. It's got all the vitamins and nutrients a growing liver needs, and you can still get a half-gallon jug for under $20.

V-man was kind enough to reply via email with an anecdote regarding the Senator and a reference to Old Crow from his youth. He recalled an Old Crow sign that hung from the barroom door at a local watering hole.

Probably looked a bit like this, only with more cardboard, and less electrical foofuraw...

I, too, have a youth that was haunted by the Old Crow. Dad & I were involved in the YMCA Indian Guides program in the mid to late 1970s. The Indian Guides were a kind of low-rent Cub Scouts that put Dad & Lad into tribes instead of troops. The program has since been stomped out due to political correctness forbidding the stereotyping of Indians Native Americans Migratory Aboriginal Eco-Respectful Pangaea-Dwellers.

We drew the Crow tribe during the sign-up process, and soon met the other menbers and their tribe mascot, a huge Old Crow Bourbon advertising statue probably manufactured sometime during the Hoover Administration. Looked like this, only larger:

It caused a bit of stink when displayed from the top of the tribe's camper trailer on Indian Guide Pow-Wow campouts. The kids just saw a moldy old crow. The Perpetually Outraged saw a dangerous statue promoting alcohol abuse and licentious behavior. When the owner of the statue got wind of the complaints, he lit a Winston, cracked open a can of Hamm's beer and invited them to "Kiss my breechclout-covered ass!", if I recall correctly. I can't for the life of me remember his real name, just his "Indian name" of Square Bear. My other strong memory of Square Bear was him stubbing out a cigarette in the spill trail of gasoline from the fill-spout on his ski boat and insisting it wouldn't catch fire. (It didn't.) Weird guy, that Square Bear.

My next run-in with the Old Crow was in college, where I hooked up with a thrashgrass country-punk band called Killbilly as a roadie/hired thug/all-purpose gofer.

Old Crow was the drink of choice, except for bass player Richard, who preferred 2% cowjuice, and drummer Mike, who had a thing for Herradura tequila. The rest of the band swilled Old Crow like it was spring water on a hot day. Old Crow was incorporated into song lyrics, the stage act, and you could generally find a bottle tucked away in someone's gear.

The invention of the lightweight plastic "Traveler's Bottle" was a godsend. It eliminated the telltale "clink" of a glass bottle knocking against things, making smuggling liquor into clubs, restaurants and similar places much easier. Prior to the plastic bottle, I'd gone out and found a couple of hot-pink plastic squeeze bottles, and kept them filled and stashed with the T-shirt and CD swag in case someone needed a medicinal dose.

One night in Chicago, we'd fallen in with a rowdy troupe of Irish expats who led the group back to their midtown apartment for an after-gig hoo-raw. After dosing us with copious amounts of John Power & Son Gold Label Irish whiskey, ("Bushmills?? Jameson? Fook that horribl' shite! ONLY DRINK THE POWER!!!") they were wanting to know about this mythical "Old Crow".

Being charitable and completely blitzed, I dug around in my backpack and found one of the squeeze-bottles of Old Crow. Bear in mind this bottle has been rattling around in there for many days during a scorching summer, it's about blood-warm and tasting vaguely of hot plastic.

God, the looks on their faces when they took a slash of that stuff... "Best not fook wit' em, Seamus. If they drink this brutal shite day in, day out, they're off their nut!"

I haven't danced with the Crow in quite a while. The arrival of a steady paycheck allowed the liquor of choice to be pulled from a much higher shelf in the licka sto', and Maker's Mark became the preferred bourbon.

I'll have to pick up a bottle of Old Crow for old time's sake. The next blogmeet would be a good place to spread the love around...