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ASK AN ABSINTHE DRINKER

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In honor of the production of good, ole-fashioned, terrorist-killin' American absinthe, our guest columnist is Jean-Baptiste Aragand, an absinthe drinker and Parisian poet, and he will now answer your questions.

Ah, Marcel. The green fairy speaks...

Dear Absinthe drinker,

I'm astonished at the superb recruiting class Dave Wannstedt has assembled despite three solidly mediocre years at Pitt. What gives?

--Shelley, Aliquippa, PA.

Dearest Shelley,

Who knows what languid dreams this world may weave in front of your eyes? The diseased fabric of your imagination does. I knew a whore once named Simone, and she would sit with me, drinking the absinthe, and talking of life's woes with me.

That was a long time ago. Now she is still here, but sits across the room with the mad syphilitic Monsieur Guitreaux. That hole-dicked bastard. Putain! He may have her, and together they may dine on rotten dog corpse sandwiches as they do.

Pitt? Let me ask the green imp of sadness, Marcel, who sits on my shoulder all of the day and night.

Marcel, the Imp of sadness: No clue. We have no idea how the man continues to recruit to Pitt. Good bets are on a vague "charisma," the offer of instant playing time as demonstrated by their use of freshman Lesean McCoy this year, and the decline of Penn State in the area for the gains.

Thank you, kind Marcel. Next question, if you care to inhale another of these flies buzzing all around. (Swats at air frantically. There are no flies around his head.)

Do you really think Les Miles is done and is staying at LSU, or does Michigan have a legitimate shot, as posited by many Michigan fans today?

--Hal, Kalamazoo, MI.

Absinthe drinker: Damn these flies! Damn them to hell! Marcel, discharge your musket immediately, the noise be damned.

(Marcel holds up arms as if he's shouldering a rifle, makes KA-BLOOM noise.)

Ah, so much better. With the sad fairy of the absinthe, the silence grows a thousand tiny feet and crawls across your brain, leaving the thundering of a small army trudging across your brain. Excuse me--I believe I've soiled myself. Waitress? Bring a bottle, a fresh pair of pants, and the sugar cubes. And please, the flies. Do something about the flies in here, madame. I certainly haven't helped! ha-HA!

Oh, Jesus. Tell the chandeliers to stop taunting me. Please.

Marcel, the Imp of Sadness. It is a marginal chance, but it does exist. A contract extension changes nothing, but it makes a withdrawal and departure to Michigan seem quite skunky on Miles' part. Sangre mal would not begin to describe the aftermath, mon ami.

Dear Absinthe Drinker,

Why is the Big Ten turning its back on tradition and expanding to a 13-week schedule?

--Jorge, Bloomington, IN

The minarets are on fire, and do not try to tell me they're not, monsieur. It is as if I am a string plucked over the hollow, resonant instrument of myself; all the rest is merely the vibration and echo of something long since accomplished and done. The flowers of evil do not cover the barren fields of this soul, left to moulder by its careless owner.

Have you ever been to a Turkish brothel? They're really spectacular. I once made theatrical love to a plate full of dates and a heaving hunk of cooked lamb there for sport. In truth, I have never been as whole or as satisfied as I was in that one, singular moment, ami. (Wipes back tears.)

Baisse-moi, whore chandeliers! You never finished law school, either! (Breaks down in tears.)

Marcel, the Imp of Sadness. To accomodate the 12th game and give a break in the schedule, of course, though the long layoff faced by Ohio State or Michigan the Big Ten BCS representative after the end of the season and its adverse effects have something to do with it, of course.