Top Gun and the X-mas Pepsi Disaster

I am back. No more traveling for this working stiff. Well, at least not for another month so let the Christmas countdown begin!

Today I am going to share a story I seldom tell because it shows what a naive and questionably intelligent kid I was at age seven. It’s not that many had a good grasp on basic physics in their younger years but gee whiz, at least they didn’t do this.

Every Christmas Eve it is a family tradition to open one present. That present is carefully selected from the few that were under the tree which taunted me for a month before the big fella brought the rest later in the night. That particular Christmas, Top Gun was the previous summer hit and after having had a theater experience like that, I knew I was destined to be a F-14 Naval Aviator but (spoiler alert) we all know I did not. I eyed the gifts and with a recently purchased VCR begging to be fed, I eyed what could only be a VHS tape. To my delight, I received my favorite movie, Top Gun.

Not wasting anytime, I begged the parents to let me watch at least the beginning scene. You know the one, when all the planes take off and Kenny Loggins belts a killer “Danger Zone”? Yeah, you know the part. My nagging worked and I found myself up in their bedroom, unwrapping the cellophane, sliding the tape from the box and inserting the tape in the VCR. The anxiety of Christmas presents took a backseat to the movie which changed my life, or at least changed my idol from Arnold Schwarzenegger to Tom Cruise. Patiently, I waited through the FBI warning for piracy and just when I thought the Paramount mountain was next, it was a commercial.

Screen Shot 2013-11-26 at 1.22.09 PM

It was not just a commercial but it was a Top Gun parody commercial by Diet Pepsi. Had it been one of the damn Coca Cola bear or that stupid pigtail-ed girl, I would have FFWD that shit out of it but this was different. This had two Navy Fighter jets! And a “Refreshment System”!

This pleased me.

Okay, so we have two fighters that just came off of maneuvers and in celebration they are treated to a Diet Pepsi but something went wrong. Apparently Mustang’s DPRS (Diet Pepsi Refreshment System) malfunctioned and would not release his drink. Taunted by his fellow crew in the opposing jet, he fibs and claims no problems on board while trying to jimmy his Diet Pepsi free. Then, pulling out a bottle opener, he has an idea.

Screen Shot 2013-11-26 at 12.36.06 PM

Thinking fast, this cocky jet jockey pops the top of the Diet Pepsi that is lodged in its “Refreshment System” and held a cup to the edge of the bottle. Instead of tipping the bottle over the cup, Mustang turns his A-4 Skyhawk upside-down, simultaneously pouring his drink into his cup using gravity and the agility of his aircraft.

Screen Shot 2013-11-26 at 1.23.18 PM

The two assholes in the F-5 look around in puzzlement, wondering where he went. To their surprise, Mustang pulls an inverted maneuver and looking up, they are canopy to canopy, forced to acknowledge there really was no problem with his ability to be refreshed.

We finish with Mustang rolling his jet over, his cup of Diet Pepsi keeping inline with the angle of attack. The two jets roar over head and disappear into the blue as the iconic voice of Pepsi states the tagline, “Diet Pepsi: The choose of a new generation”.

Whoa! I was fascinated. I wanted, nay, had to try to invert-pour a soft drink into a cup. Nevermind the movie beginning, nevermind Kenny Loggins was starting to sing about the “Danger Zone” and nevermind Santa, this was what I need to try. But how? I didn’t have an A-4 withe a refreshment system or even a bottle of Diet Pepsi.

I went downstairs and found the closest soda to a Diet Pepsi (a can of A&W) and a coffee mug. Also a bike helmet. I went back upstairs with the items in hand as the adults were still at the dinning room table talking about dull things which were apparently hilarious. I never understood the conversations from the adult table that elicited such laughs and wheezes.

There I was, sitting on the edge of the bed with my pretend fighter helmet on and holding a can of soda in my left and a mug in my right. How the hell am I going to do this? I tilted my left arm up as my right arm dipped but it wasn’t quite right. I needed to somehow roll myself upside down as well. Shit, this was hard.

I GOT IT!

What if I was to lay on my bed and role in a 360 degree righthand turn? That would surely work and not only would I feel like Mustang but it would be the only way I would drink soda from then on. I would be a trendsetter!

Screen Shot 2013-11-26 at 1.27.02 PM

There were a couple of flaws with this plan which I am sure you can spot already. You see, the soda and my body need to remain static while the cup would be the only rotating item of the three. Or no, maybe the A&W rotate and the cup is static? Obviously I did not put much thought into the plan and laying on my stomach holding the can of A&W root beer in my left hand and the cup in my right, I began to roll over and poured the soda. Oddly the soda did not pour in the cup as planned but in a shocking and cold surprise, all over my face and the bedspread. I gurgled and spit and sat straight up, blinking the root beer from my eyes and when I came to, there was mom looking as shocked as I was.

She turned from the doorway and yelled downstairs to my dad, “BILL? BILL! YOUR SON IS IN HIS BIKE HELMET AND POURED ROOT BEER ALL OVER HIMSELF AND OUR BED!!!”. I am sure it must have been a pretty confusing sight to see and just as confusing to my dad and guests to hear. If there was ever explaining to do, this was it.

I won’t get into the yelling or the multiple towels and forced bath but I will say, they got over it. And every Christmas Eve I am reminded of the time I tried to pour a root beer upside-down…on their new bed…in a bike helmet.

Have any funny stories you are reminded of by loved ones during the Christmas season? Spill ’em! (see what I did there?)

 

 

 

The 2009 Fall Beer Review: Part 1

And here we are! It is mid September and this Indian summer is finally fading into a crisp fall here in the Northwest. I must admit that this is one of my favorite times of year. You can just feel the change happen; spookiness with a need for sweaters and I love it.

This also is a time for the 3rd Annual Fall Beer Review! You’re damn right I am making this an annual thing and it is a great excuse for me to combine brews with my favorite season. If you can’t trick or treat, this is the next best thing. But this year I am having two. A private micro brew is sending me theirs so I have to wait but until then I have wanted to review a larger Fall beer that is one of my favorites.

beer2

Enter Michelob’s Jack’s Pumpkin Spice Ale. This is a beer that should be named something like, “Son of a Bitch This Is Awesome!” because it hits on every Autumn tinge that makes this a seasonal beer. And above all else, it is lighter to accomodate those who are not true hardcore beer fanatics. Some people don’t like to heave after every sip.

Before I get to the taste, I need to point out that the look of this bottle/package is just too great not to jump around and howl at the moon for. From the orange fade-to-brown color scheme to the mascot, “Jack”, it lets the drinker know that they are drinking a season in a bottle. It almost reminds me of a throw back to the early eighties when jack-o-lanterns and scarecrows still ruled the decor for Halloween. At least that is the perception from me as a child. If they included a black cat on here then I probably would have thrown the six pack on the ground in the grocery and break danced in the froth and glass in a celebratory fashion. Luckily for Jack, the grocery store, aisle 5 and me, there are no cats on the label art.

jack

NUTMEG, CINNAMON, GINGER and CLOVES. These are the primary ingredients in this potion. My heart pitters over the balance of not only the spices but the words. It is like a witch’s concoction that casts a spell to buy paper skeletons and watch Halloween until the VCR finally spits it out in protest. And the blend? Pure September/October because remember, Halloween is not a day but a season.

glass have full

This is one of those beers that can not be faulted when the air is cool, college football is on and leaves are falling. If it is 90 and you are sitting by the pool you may feel like you are drinking a spent Hallmark seasonal candle. Luckily we are in the time frame to enjoy this one and I think it is beyond aces. But the past couple of years you have only heard my take. I’m going to go ask my neighbors to weigh in.

I will leave you with these because, really…I am drunk now. Seriously, I have downed a few of these and I just think anymore of me rambling will lead to embarrassment. But I did ask Matt at X-E.com and he said persevere. Will do sir. Next review I will carve something and that is a promise. So, here are my friends and their take.

get-attachment.aspx1

Cearsar: It doesn’t taste like the normal seasonal brews. It’s not a “bitch” beer but it’s definitely not a beer you would think. It is smooth and goes down easy and I got used to the taste and that causes one to start drinking more quickly. Not a good thing.”

get-attachment.aspx

Giggles: “Tasty up front and I also like the after taste. It tastes like pumpkin pie but not too strong. The best thing I like is the lower carbonation and lighter body. It doesn’t leave you feeling full and bloated.”

sad wookie

Hairy Wookie: “Free beer? Where?” Actually this is the beer to drink around a campfire. It is something to keep you warm at night but not too full to keep you down in  the morning.”

Dirt Napping

Man, what a month it has been! Can you believe in just a couple of weeks we have seen not one but four celebrities pass away? I know a couple were circling the drain but the other two, wow, out of nowhere. Well, let’s give them a shout out.

42-3870-smEd McMahon lived the life, didn’t he? He always struck me as a guy who liked his drinks a particular way as well as his women. I could be wrong but neckerchiefs and gold bracelets never lie. At 86 one would say that’s a good long run but I did feel a little bad about his homes going into foreclosure right before he died. I think Donald Trump bailed him out but still, that sucks something fierce at that age with the legacy he had. I hope he is up in heaven having a bullshot with Phil Hartman.

farrah-fawcettI think we all knew Farrah’s time was soon but still, an icon like this going down is still hard to swallow.( That sounded dirty and I am sorry.) Even as a young kid I remember looking at this exact poster in my Uncle Brett’s room and thinking, “I don’t know what is happening but I like it.” She blazed the trail by empowering women to embrace their beauty and use it rather than feel ashamed and hide it. At least that’s how I perceived her intentions. Her passing really brings to light the fact that cancer is terrifying and no matter who you are or what status you hold, it can still get you even after years of battle.

caratulas_MICHAEL_JACKSON-THRILLER_Ok, I did not see this one coming. Not at all. I know he lived a life of mystery and bizarre behavior to include a total face transplant, having a monkey, living in Neverland, napping with kids and naming his kid Blanket but I never imagined him passing so young. I remember when Thriller came out and that video terrified me as a kid. Those monsters were far more scary and disturbing than any rated R movie at the time. I can still close my eyes and think of Vincent Price’s part in the song and walking at a fast pace to my parents room for a safe night of slumber in their bed.

I will be honest, the man was a genius. He seemed to defy gravity when dancing and his albums were nothing less than perfection. I have yet to meet a person that didn’t like something he did. I bet even the Taliban has a little love in their hearts for Moon Walker.

m171161359As Scooby Doo would say, “Rut the Ruck?” Billy Mays died? Are you serious? I have always had a fascination with the man and it wasn’t for his ability to sell you shit you would not normally buy on TV but rather his high decibel voice. The man had no indoor voice and I wrote about that almost two years ago. You can find that here. Well Billy, I am sorry you were silenced so early. Your voice will forever be in my head  saying, “Billy Mays here!”.

You know what else died? My favorite bar in Idaho. It is true, my home away from home is gone forever. I know that including a bar in a blog about dead people is a little insensitive but I really feel like I lost a lot of friends.

When I moved to Idaho I knew no one. I mean really no one at all. I was living out of a hotel until I could find a place to live and my only real means of social interaction was the gym and the local pub next door called Paddy’s 2. That very day I first stepped in there I was taken under-wing by the bartender, met a nice lady would allowed me to to stay in her basement until I found myself a permanent pad and went on to forge many friendships that I still have today. It is sad when such an establishment goes under and you have only memories. And with a bar they are usually foggy ones.

IMG_0693Happy trails, Dougie. Until we meet again.

On a happier note, you are looking at, er, reading at(?) the proud member of probably the last 100% VHS rental store in America. Yup, it just proves that Idaho is still hanging in the 80’s. Of course I rented Texas Chainsaw Massacre and The ‘Burbs because that is how they were intended to be seen. Oh VCR don’t fail me now, we have work to do.

IMG_0692Oh, and somehow I caught pink eye. Jokes on me.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: