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THE DIGITAL VIKING: EDSBS'S GUIDE TO SPICY LIVING

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Today's patron saint of Spicy Living: David Niven, who slept with Marilyn Monroe, was jailed for insubordination for asking a boring military lecturer "Could you tell me the time, sir? I have to catch a train," once shared a house with Errol Flynn they dubbed "Cirrhosis-by-the-Sea," was the original pick to play James Bond, left Hollywood to fight in World War Two, was among the first outsiders to actually see a concentration camp, told his men during battle "Look, you chaps only have to do this once. But I'll have to do it all over again in Hollywood with Errol Flynn!", and one slick, debonair bastard all the while. Cheers.

nivennavarone

Drink.
Holly: Viva Pacifico, a fine cerveza that can and shall be drunk in ill-advised quantities for days on end in the summer months with no visible effects.

cerveza_pacifico

It's that watery, limey kind of Mexican good without the attendant twatwaffle factor of Corona. It has recently been packaged in travel-sized form for easy smuggling. Most crucially, it doesn't rhyme with many other words, rendering it safe from Jimmy Buffett encroachment.

Orson: Since Holly has the summer swillin' beer taken, I'll be a good American and recommend one of our red-blooded American beers to counter her outsourcing of drinking choice across the border WHY DO YOU HATE AMERICA? (Pacifico is delicious and we could drink a six pack in an hour on a hot day if we stopped counting, which would all end in tears when you try to hop over the fence to use a neighbor's trampoline, and then gash your leg open and bleed all over a stranger's trampoline, who happens to be sitting on the deck the whole time watching you do this, and let's just move on.)

You know an old friend beer-wise when the experience of power-vomiting eight of these and burnt dormroom chili doesn't ruin the splendor of a beverage for you. Oh, Miller High Life, you fake-tittied 42 year old waitress beckoning from across the bar with a lit Virginia Slim in hand who won't ask any questions, and won't be blinded by the light as long as you call her Angel of the Morning, you trashy lovable whore of a beer, you.

To taste a Miller High Life is to taste your misspent youth in a single, bubbly, weakass-wheat soda shiver. It's called the Champagne of Beers because it is very bubbly, will get you in a superb mood provided you drink multiple units of it, and like champagne sets in innocuously enough to make overconsumption a near dead certainty. It also only costs $3.69 for a six pack, which is in itself a valuation placing Miller High Life somewhere between the categories of "Alcoholic's Miracle" and "Public Health Scandal in Convenient Cardboard Carrying Case."

Comestibles.

Orson: I've always thought the term "hog jowl" was too bowdlerized for my tastes. It's dishonest for my tastes, and I'd much rather just point to a menu, look the waitron in the eye, and say "I'll take the mini-pizza garnished with flash-fried pigface, please.

Holman and Finch insists on using the popular term for this, but what makes them cool is you suspect they really want to tell their customers "And tonight, we have pigface, chicken assholes, and you will love both even if you don't want to." The only full-bore, Grand Guignol St. John style offal-house in Atlanta, Holman and Finch is the kind of place where the staff might have to point to a spot on their body to identify exactly what you're eating, and then reassure you that it's delicious, and the watch as you cram pigface/sliced raw lard/sweetbreads/brains into your maw like the input end of a sausage grinder.

Their cocktails are also admirable damage, come in big fat tumblers, and are served with big globular ice cubes that make a drink three thousand times better for reasons unknown to you, me, and science. The Harrier (Spicy Livin', week one Drink of Choice) came from here, but the Blood Be Damned and Swedish Pinch are just as quaffable. (Miller High Life is involved in the Swedish Pinch; it works, I swear. IT HAS TO OR THE SAD COMES IN.)

Holly: I had dinner the other night with a high school girlfriend who's now a faincy lawyer type, and as we sat on the 30-somethingth floor terrace overlooking the city and guzzled $17 martinis, the only thing we really wanted was a molten-hot slice from Big Ed's. If your favorite uncle who taught you to smoke and drive stick-shift on his Trans Am ran a pizza joint, it would look something like this. It's pitch-dark, smoky, and crowded inside. The entire menu consists of pizza, soda, and beer. That's it. The local kids serving you will bring your pie with tiny paper plates too small to accommodate even the narrowest of slices and flimsy plastic forks that buckle under the slightest pressure. It should go without saying that the pizza itself will make you see God. [Commentburo pizza style flame war, engage: NY SLICE 4 LYFE, SON]

Combustibles.
Holly: Even wind turbines get the blues.

Orson: We belatedly salute the fourth Anniversary of Killdozer.

This and the BTK case are further proof that being overly concerned with city zoning codes is a sure sign that you are a raving fucking lunatic waiting to kill or destroy something or someone.

Transit.

Orson: The hydrocephalic pickup truck of your worst nightmares, the Mercedes-Benz Unimog.

unimog_u20

I love it when otherwise competent entities are asked to produce something totally out of their comfort zone. The results are usually something like the rolling abortion you see above in the Unimog, which when seen in your rear view mirror looks like a gigantic accelerating Storm Trooper head on offroad tires screaming toward you, craving revenge against the world and all in it for bringing it into its miserable existence. It was commonly used by the military for offroad duty, and if you saw this thing bellowing its hell-sow's horn and smashing trees in a beeline for your ass, you'd shit yourself three times and pray for death.

In other words: it's everything I admire in a vehicle, or in anything at all really. Bravo, gimme two.

Holly: The JR-Maglev MLX01, designed and built by Japan Railways Group, a magnetic-levitation train that makes both the TGV and the current Shinkansen trains look like rusty mid-'80s Datsuns by comparison. Five years ago the MLX01 set a Guinness-certified absolute speed record for railed vehicles by hitting 361 miles per hour, which is almost twice as fast as today's TGV trains typically run, and four times as fast as most Amtraks ever get up to. Most badassly, it accomplishes this without actually touching the rail.

jr_maglev

(To put this into perspective, at that speed Kiffykins would only need 45 minutes to get from SEC Media Days back to the friendly confines of Knoxville -- with enough time to condescendingly ruffle the hair of the Pahokee high school principal on the way.)

Canon.

Holly: El Orfanato, released too briefly in the States as The Orphanage. Another here-and-gone treasure flick from '07. Like so many horror imports, it draws its power from genuine creepiness where an American counterpart would resort to loud violin screeches and overturned vases that turn out to be the work of mysterious cats. That creepshow little boy in the mask, standing alone in the center of the frame with nothing else going on, is enough to induce night terrors with his mere presence. And ignore the weird marketing that makes it look like a Donnie Darko knockoff. In short: Spookay! Check it. (Yes, it's in Spanish. Yes, it's subtitled. No, you really don't have to read the subtitles if you're that much of a lazy-ass; The Orphanage will obligingly scare the daylights out of you anyway.)

Orson: The Boys of Summer, Roger Kahn. A baseball book? Don't be shocked. It's not really about death, death, and more death, and about how life is really just one long slide toward being really confused, slightly successful if you're lucky, and then how everything you love will be destroyed and you should really just lay back and accept it. It's really a mean prank of a book--begins as baseball tome, and then left turns into bleak existential family drama and meditation on time and loss--but it is an exceptionally well-written mean prank, so much so that it overcome my dislike for the game and the miasma of crap mythmaking surrounding it.