My bottle of absinthe finally arrived in the mail yesterday — the real deal, not the cheap, gimmicky “absinth” crap. It cost me an arm and a leg, but I can’t really complain. I got it in 9 days from France, complete with replica glass and spoon.

I chose a bottle of Lemercier Amer 72%. It’s not the highest quality stuff, but like they say, you crawl before you walk. Or, I suppose, in the case of liquor, you crawl before you walk… and then begin crawling again.

Despite the fact that I had an empty stomach and had to go to work in an hour, I ripped the box open and poured a glass. Self control has never been my forte.

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Vive la France!

Results? Work sucked pretty bad, as would be expected after ingesting a glass of 140 proof booze (apparently, the granola bar I stuffed in my mouth before heading out didn’t do a great job of soaking anything up). Actually, I was feeling OK until my supervisor called to ask if I would come in early and take a “10 key certification test”. That’s what we call “buzz kill”. Didn’t put me in a great mood for the rest of the day.

The next night I figured I should cut my losses and really try the stuff on, considering the expense. What’s an absinthe drunk like?

Absinthe’s not going to make you trip out hawd coh nigga — after all, it’s basically just liquor with some herbs thrown into it, none of which are related to THC or any such nonsense. It does produce a different sort of drunk, though, just like tequila can produce a different drunk than whiskey or wine or beer.

Whether or not it’s the herbs, the distillation process, the tiny amount of thujone, I don’t think anybody knows. I can say that, normally, after drinking half a bottle of 140-proof liquor I would be shitfaced. One would think that I’d be singing Queen songs to my cats in tight leather pants, followed up with some premium drunk dialing and a hangover the likes of which would make Arnold Schwarzenegger cry like a woman. IT’S NOT A TUMAH!

It wasn’t really anything like that. I was intoxicated, but I could operate. It brought on the rush of alcohol, the euphoria, but without the disorientation and stupidity that so often comes with it. I drink so I don’t have to think. “First I think too much, then I drink too much” – my little motto. I was finally happy doing both last night. Now there’s motivation to attend college…

Oh, and the taste. How silly of me. The taste is really unique, definitely a lot more enjoyable than the taste of any other liquor I’ve ever had. It’s almost like a candy on the tongue, even when there’s little or no sugar added. There was also a spicey aftertaste to it, almost peppery. Combine all of that with the burning-flesh sensation of strong alcohol and you have something special. No wonder the French fell for it. My only question is how they continued to pronunciate things like Montpellier with numb tongues.

The smell. Mmm. My first whiff of absinthe was sort of like my first whiff of pussy, both of them equally exciting. Think along the lines of black licorice. I’ve never been a fan of licorice, especially not black licorice, but I do love the smell and taste of this stuff. It is truly unique.

The visuals: almost forgot the best part. Even without sugar, absinthe turns a murky white when water is added, often with a greenish hue, depending on what color the absinthe was before you added water. It’s what is known as the “louche”. My absinthe wasn’t a deep green in the first place, so I ended up with what looked like a yellow-tinted glass of watered down milk. (They also make blanche absinthes which are simply colorless — but that doesn’t sound as entertaining to me. It’s the green fairy, after all…)

The slow process of dripping water is actually part of the fun — it’s almost hypnotizing watching the curls make their way to the surface. This louche effect is caused by the oils from the plants and herbs present in absinthe, one of the things that makes it so unique. And at the end of the show, you get to drink it. That’s my kind of beverage.

It was only after more than half a bottle that I learned how to serve it properly, though, so that was a little bit of a let down, considering the price. The whole “sugar cube preparation” was a bit too sweet, and after a few drinks my stomach started to hurt. I ditched the cubes or tried cutting them in half, but that didn’t really help much. I started sipping the Lemercier straight and making wonderful faces like someone was prodding my balls with a hot poker. Burnt a little. Nope, not gonna work. After reading around I found that sugar wasn’t necessary, it’s all preference, so I decided to just try it watered down. Success.

Lesson learned. A couple of ice cubes in some water, a slow drip, and you’re good. Sit back and watch the swirls of green and yellow turn into a glass of milky white heaven.

Fun facts:

Absinthe is legal to possess in the U.S., it’s just illegal to import or brew.

– Thujone/Wormwood has absolutely no link to THC. Check it out for yourself.

It’s not likely that you’re going to cut off your beautiful little ears or paint a Starry Night. There’s a big myth that thujone, the primary active ingredient in Wormwood (which is featured in absinthe in small amounts), will get you high. This is false. Thujone is poisonous in large amounts, and that’s about it. Some people do feel effects other than a simple buzz or drunk from absinthe, but who knows from what or if it is even real. Read: “Some researchers have now hypothesised that the reputed ‘secondary effects’ of absinthe have nothing directly to do with thujone at all – if they in fact exist at all, they may be caused by the interaction of some of the other constituent herbs ( fenchone in fennel, pinocamphonethe in hyssop, and the anethole in anise, have all been shown to cause epileptiform convulsions in laboratory animals when administered in very large doses). Source.

Absinth is not Absinthe. Absinth is a gimmick liquor made in Eastern Europe, sold to gullible teenagers who think they’re going to get high from a high thujone content. It’s going to taste like shit and do nothing for you.

– Put away the Zippo, you brilliant cunt. There is nothing about the preparation of absinthe that requires an open flame. When you light sugar cubes on fire, or set the absinthe on fire like these shitheads, you’re simply jerking off the old myth that it’s going to get you high and that there’s something to be unlocked with a flame. It’s liquor. It isn’t heroin. You’re not shooting up. You’re just making 80 dollar liquor taste like burnt asshole.

– Abinsthe was banned because of a foolish doctor in the early 20th century who thought that it was was ruining French society. The wineries in France, who were noticing losses in sales thanks to absinthe, quickly agreed with his claims that the green fairy was in fact a devil, stealing men’s souls. The doctor, one Valentin Magnan, proved his point about absinthe by giving a bunch of thujone to a mouse, subsequently killing it. He then claimed that it was the thujone in absinthe that was causing all of the supposed trouble. If you want to blame someone for the insane price or the fact that it is still illegal in the US, blame that guy.

There’s some other useful info at the La Fee Vert FAQ and at the Wormwood Society. Check-check it a-one time!

Dear Gulf Coast drivers,

December 7, 2006

I cannot help that you were born in Bumfuckvillenowhere, grew up with little-to-no manners and do not correctly know how to drive, but I’m willing to attempt to help you out a little.

Firstly, when it comes to legality, pedestrians have the right of way. Period. This includes stop signs. If you see me at a stop sign, STOP, and don’t bitch because someone else is out walking to work and getting some exercise while you’re on your way home with a sack full of Krystal’s to watch NASCAR. There is no rush. Dale Earnhardt will still be there when you get home.

Shit. My mistake. Well, Petty will still be there, anyway. The point is, you stop. You don’t collect 200 dollars, you don’t pass Go, you Stop and Wait. It’s OK to take things slow now and then.

When you see a pedestrian walking towards you down the road, you slow down or move over to the left if there is no oncoming traffic — some times both! What you don’t do is drive 15 MPH over the speed limit a foot away from the pedestrian (ME, ASSHOLE!), especially when said pedestrian is traversing terrain lined with downed tree branches, sand, and weeds because there are no side walks in the pit stop shit hole town you both inhabitate.

Understand this: the one time I trip and fall into your hideous little Rice Rocket, I can promise you that I will leave more than a small dent in its trim. Your car will be totalled and your life will be ruined because you’ll have nothing else to do on Sundays when you could be riding around town pretending to be an O.G. with Young Jeezy blasting from those pimped out speakers of yours. Just stay at home and pretend you’re cool by smokin’ that Mexican dirt weed you’ve got stashed away, and do us all some good.

My Christmas wish is that the two idiots who passed me on the road today some how collide with each other this weekend, killing each other instantly, otherwise, they’re going to kill someone else out of stupidity. I actually took the driver’s test here in Florida last month (and passed) and can attest to the fact that you don’t truly have to know how to handle a vehicle to drive legally. You don’t have to know what to do in any given situation while careening down the road at 75MPH in a huge metallic behemoth, you just have to know how to park and do an un-timed 3-point-turn.

But they’re out there anyway, enmasse.

Russian roulette, every day, on your way… to work. Have fun.

As for the manners, I’ll give you a hint there, too. When you’re at a restaurant and are given utensils wrapped in a napkin, place the napkin on your lap. It’ll make you look sahfistacayted,