You know you've had a damn good day of dissertating when you finish it off with a paragraph which, upon reflection, sounds like it was written by a lunatic with nothing to lose and academia to gain. Or a drunk. (Different, as souvenir shirts once scattered across Southern Louisiana—mostly in the French Quarter but available everywhere come Fat Tuesday—different, that is, from alcoholics because drunks don't go to meetings.) Speaking of drunks, I like to drink. Because I'm a graduate student. And a drunk. But not an alcoholic. How do I know? Back when I had cancer and couldn't drink for fear of interfering with the chemo, it came to my attention that while I enjoy unwinding in the evening with a drink (or two or three or enough shots to send me bending for a fortnight), I hadn't reached the point where I needed a drink to unwind. Now maybe there's a stage in the writing process during which all dissertators drink a little more than they should or safely handle. If there is I haven't reached it. Because I can drink prodigious amounts of alcohol and feel nary a thing. To wit:
This evening I've recreated a wonderful concoction named something like a Double Super Sucker Nipple Twister. It consists of Pineapple juice, Malibu Pineapple Rum and Jagermeister. Yes, Jagermeister. I know many of you will scoff when I say that my favorite mixed drink consists in part of a liquor reputed to contain the blood of Bambi's mother. I suffer this embarrassment not because of the blood of Bambi's mother, who according to Whit Stilman is responsible for the modern environmental movement, but because Jagermeister's the shot of choice amongst "shot connoisseurs" like all of these incredibly refined folk. (All of whom were found, I feel it necessary to add, by a Google image search for "Jagermeister." That such drunken revelry appears at the very mention of the drink's name should be damning. Should, I say, should. Not is. Bear with me.) So I have my cocktail, and it contains Jagermeister, and I have similar cocktails on a fairly regular basis. Or I have since I've kicked the cancer and worked in earnest on my dissertation. (Not that I wasn't working on it when I had cancer. I was. Only I wasn't working on it so well, what with the insomia and nausea and wanting to cry like a spoiled child all the time.) But I digress. From my digression. From this digression in a digressive post that people will undoubtedly think Jagermeister responsible for. Well, "people," I said I recreated a cocktail. I haven't started drinking it yet—and even if I had, my tolerance is so manly at this point that I could've downed a couple of shots of Jager, peirced my ears, stuck some clasps through them, attached said clasps to a keg of Jager and walked around some nondescript stage like that guy in that photo I've already linked to. I'm that manly. (Or by dint of dissertating I've been required by force of unyielding pressure to become so. One of the two.)
At this point I intended to tell y'all all about my time in Italy. The "good ol' days" when the wife and I canvassed the countryside of Northeast (i.e. Communist) Italy drinking Jager with archeologists, basketball coaches and hippies. I intended to tell y'all that I love Jager's aftertaste, which tastes like the cracked shells of M&Ms eaten by a seventh grader in the dead of winter while re-re-re-re-reading Moby Dick or The Lord of the Rings. But then I'd have to explain how said seventh grader had a lifelong habit of putting two or three M&Ms in his mouth, orienting them with his tongue so that they stood upright between two molars, then gently cracking down so that the candy shell disengaged from the chocolate core. After hoarding these shells for, say, the time it took to read a couple chapters, this seventh grader would snap down on 'em all and they would taste exquisite, a combination of expectation and sweet candy coating...
...which the aftertaste of Jagermeister uncannily approximates. But that'll have to be grist for another night's mill, since the pasta's boiling and the wife's hungry. But I assure you that tomorrow I'll be more than suggestive. No, I will. I'll be responsible and answer Rich and Cam's comments and will tell you all about the "elixir of the soul" manufactured by French monks to simulate the state of drunkeness while allowing the mind to remain clear of prurient thoughts. That's right:
There's a liquor that leaves you plastered but entirely clear of mind such that you're not plastered so much as "meta-plastered." (I'm such a tease, er, meta-tease.)