The Gin Drinks

Miss J. has come through with the recipe for us, which was pretty far off from what I remembered. Here’s what you do for a Gin Jenny according to Miss J.:

“I fill up a 12-oz glass with ice, then add a shot of gin, a shot of lemon juice, an Equal, and then fill the rest up with ginger ale. Mmm, that makes me want one.”

So, let’s christen the other thing an Aunt B. (I’ve always wanted to have a drink named after me) and that will be as follows:

A shot of gin
A shot of lime juice
3 packets of Equal
Fill the rest up with 7Up

After all, one can never have too many gin drinks!

I Owe My Soul to the Company Store

Sometimes, you see something on TV so ludicrously gross that you think it must be a parody, something dreamed up by Montgomery Burns, because how could ANY real, live human being be responsible for it?

Last night, as I was watching NBC, I saw a house ad for General Electric–part of their “ecomagination” push to make us think that they’re a conglomerate with a heart. I’m going to describe the ad to you, but I know you won’t believe me, so here’s a link. The ad I’m talking about is the bottom one on this page, called “Model Miners.”

So, the whole ad is a bunch of half-naked sexy people digging for coal in the bottom of a mine shaft that resembles a Britney Spears video. These people are strong, because, apparently, working in the bottom of a hole is a great way to keep in shape. These people are sexy, because coal comes from America, where we all look like supermodels, even those of us covered in coal dust all day. And they’re very healthy, because of all the exercise. No black lung here.

Okay, so if you see it with the sound off, it’s a very visually enticing ad. I’m not going to deny that.

But, but, America, they use Tennessee Ernie Ford’s “Sixteen Tons” as the music. Yes, yes, I know, it’s inconceivable. At the same time they’re trying to make you believe that coal is safe and sexy and environmentally friendly, they use a song that has as its central theme how the miner is exploited by the evil coal companies.

Without any apparent sense of the irony of it, they have, playing over these hotbodied post-modern miners, the lyrics “You load sixteen tons, and whattaya get?/ Another day older and deeper in debt/ St. Peter don’cha call me, cause I can’t go/ I owe my soul to the company store.”

It’s such nonsense that it makes my head hurt, using songs about the evils* of an industry to promote the industry.

Why don’t we just use “8 Miles High” to advertise for nuclear power? Why don’t divorce attorneys all use “Goin’ to the Chapel” in their ads? Shall the IRS promote their new, more personable face with “Tax Man” playing in the background?

Have words no meaning?! Have we really gotten to the point where pretty pictures and catchy tunes can be thrown together on screen without regard for their content?

Don’t answer that. I can’t bear to know.

* Even if you aren’t a big environmentalist and don’t care if coal companies blow the tops off of Appalachian mountains, take a minute to ponder what losing, say 66 men in a mining disaster means for a town like Powhatan Point, OH, which had, according to the last census, only 515 families. Thank god mining has gotten safer, but when you look at a list like this, it doesn’t make you feel all warm and fuzzy about the industry. But who knows, maybe GE sees things differently, and we can expect to see that in their next ad campaign: “We don’t kill as many of your loved ones as we used to!”

Two Slightly Embarrassing Things

1. Kenny Chesney just married Renee Zellwegger and I’m tickled for them, mostly because it means that rumors of a romance between him and the patronizingly-cowboy-hatted Katie Couric are a lie!

2. I cannot wait for the new Dukes of Hazzard movie. It’s not just my inexplicable crush on Bam Margera and all his friends, including dirty ole Johnny Knoxville (but how can you not like a man who takes Knoxville as his last name?), and it’s not just my deep and abiding love for Willie Nelson, though, as I’ve said, I’d leave y’all for him, it’s also my love for getting in and out of cars via the windows.

I tried to explain this to Jon over at Crap & Drivel, who was complaining about his crappy car, and it’s true. No matter how bad the car, if your dad lets you climb in and out the windows, you cannot wait for him to show up to school to get you.

Take, for instance, our crappy cars. Now, you weren’t allowed to climb in the window of the Sky Chicken, that was the good car (I think it goes without saying that an 86 Buick Skyhawk is never the good car) but the 77 Caprice Classic? That was a car you could abuse. And so what if it was a tank, so it sometimes smelled like the EPA had no jurisdiction over it, so it often had some dead thing caught in the grill, so the speedometer was just a rough guess, rounded to the nearest hundred, so the odometer gave up after 175,000 miles and just spun wildly, I loved that car from the moment my parents brought it home when I was in grade school to the moment my dad decided it was too unsafe for us kids to be driving around and junked it.

I’d buy another one in a second, if I had the disposable income.

We used to play this game, called cat and mouse, where we’d load ourselves up in our too-fast cars and speed off into the night, chasing each other down long empty straight roads, and though the boys all drove Cameros, I had eight cylinders and a heavy, heavy car that was already so rusted my parents couldn’t what damage was new.

No muscle-car testosterone fueled teenager could catch me when I hit gravel going eighty and never slowing down. With the windows down, all you could smell was wet corn growing and the bugs were so loud you felt like you had to shout to compete. The gravel under the tires sounded like rain. And so, it was just me, and that car, and the night, and we were headed out of town and away from everyone who might entangle us.

You may wonder what the soundtrack is for something like that and so, I’ll tell you, that for me, it was always The Doors.

The Man from GM says that there’s a guy out west who refurbishes old Caprice Classics for poor police departments, but that he’ll fix ’em up for anyone who’s got the money.

Let me tell you, if I win the lottery, you’ll see me once again driving an old Caprice Classic and, if you’re lucky enough to see me stop to get gas, I’ll be climbing in and out of the windows.