To those that have wondered about my absence from this blog and Twitter over the past week... Dudes, it has been a heck of a week... you don't even know, but you are about to.

This story begins last Saturday, October 30th, with me headed to Austin for the Texas Longhorn game against our heated rivals, the Baylor Bears of Waco, Texas. I had literally done everything a fan could possibly do to prepare for this epic battle and help my team emerge victorious. I took a shower. I put on clean boxers (not the lucky ones, because I threw those away after losing last year's BCS Championship game... true story). I prepped several pounds of chicken wings to be grilled at the tailgate. I packed the cooler with a fine selection of outdoor friendly craft beers, bottled waters, and orange Gatorade. I even stopped halfway between Houston and Austin to eat two kolaches from Hruskas (klobasneks for anyone that is Czech or pedantic). I would be remiss if I didn't also mention that the weather was absolutely perfect for this occasion.

As I arrived in Austin and began set up our tailgate, nearly 6 hours before kickoff, the scene was eerie. Seriously y'all, it was dead. I cursed our fair-weather fans, then made a joke about using the term fair-weather when the weather was in fact really awesome. I'm telling you, it must have been in the mid 60s with a breeze from the South. I kicked off the tailgate by quenching my game day thirst with a couple of fermented beverages. Being the responsible adult that I am, I chased the 2nd beer with a bottled water. I'm not saying I may have a drinking problem, but it's now 5.5 hours until game time. There is only one bad thing about having a drinking problem, and I think you all know what I'm getting at...... you gotta pee more than the average I-drink-only-when-I'm-thirsty guy. I head to the portable head, which is on the backside of the State parking garage where I tailgate. Seriously people, no one was tailgating at all.

Somehow, both porta potties were occupied. I should have used the roof of the garage, but now I've already committed to the bottom floor. It turns out this was a serendipitous one man bathroom line wait, because Bevo's trailer drove by with BEVO INSIDE!!! What a treat. Hook'em Horns! When I turn back around, both portas are now empty. I pick the one on the left, because the left side is the best side yo. But as I open the door, there is a chochy Baylor fan in there. I'm thinking, "Did that dude cut in front of me while I was taking camera phone shots of Bevo's truck? Jack hole." Get this… dude BROUGHT HIS COLD BEER INTO THE PISSER WITH HIM! Ever heard of condensation, fool!?

Friends, this is where the story gets weird. Sure, I told that Baylor fan that he and a hundred other people peed in his beer, but instead of saying, "You know, you are right. Thanks man"... the dude bit me! Seriously Bear fan, preschool called, they want their “violent” outbursts back. I quickly shut and locked the door, made my water, and wandered back toward the tailgate. However, I couldn't for the life of me remember where I parked my car. Did I mention that it was blazing hot outside? Seriously, it must have been like 150F outside with winds coming directly from hell. I felt terrible. Freaking portas, man. I'm just glad I didn't drink that funk like that Baylor tool.

I'm burning up and I must have really looked like death, because the few people I came across ran in fear. I should have been easily identified as a friendly, you know with my burnt orange on and everything. What gives? I'm going to be honest though... this is the part of the story where my memory has quite a few holes. First of all, I'm pretty sure I missed the game. It was hot. I remember that. Like, so hot everything looked gray and fuzzy. You know how things look when you are looking through the exhaust of an airplane engine? Like that. And gray. Even my skin seemed kind of gray. I also really wanted to bite someone. Wondering what to do next, I remember seeing this pedicab dude. I didn't even have to summon him. It was like he knew I needed a ride without me saying anything. This hippy pedicab dude really stank...... but he tasted DELICIOUS!

Now I've always heard that you are supposed to feed a cold and starve a fever, but it was really crazy how hungry this heat was making me. I borrowed the pedicab and used it make my way back to Houston. Whenever I felt especially weak, I stopped for a local snack. I basically ate my way through a reverse MS150, if you will. I know food blogs are all the rage, and while I'm no Aimless Chef, I did jot down some tasting notes along the way. Bastrop folks... pretty bland. La Grange... really gamey. Columbus... forgettable. Sealy... too salty. I know you guys aren't going to believe this, but eating all those folks left me with a terrible sweet tooth. No kidding. By the time I made it to Katy (weird aftertaste), it was a few days after Halloween. Aww yeah. It was candy time.

I hit up one of those 4000+ sqft suburban homes. You know the ones 40 miles outside of the city? Huge yard. Palatable dog. I knew this would be the kind of house that would have the good candy. You know, the stuff on the top of the candy hierarchy. I attacked their stash with military-like focus. The Snickers, Twix, and Reese's were all gone before I knew it. But my craving had not diminished. I moved on to the lower tier, but tasty stuff, like Smarties and Runts.

I was convinced that global warming was going to kill every single one of us before this fever took me out. What I'm saying is that it feels like the world is about to spontaneously combust. These people's A/C must not be working. Like I said, my memory is sketchy, but I remember cleaning out this house of their candy and then walking around and eating all decorative candy, like candy corn, out of dishes in various common areas. All that was left was the dregs of the candy society. The rejects. Licorice and those circus peanut things. Even my insatiable candy craving didn't want to have anything to do with the licorice, so I ate the circus peanuts.

What the! How are these legal to sell as food!? The situation left me with only two clear choices: 1.) Ride down the street to the neighbor’s house and borrow a little flesh to wash this taste out of my mouth or 2.) Die right there in the distant Houston suburb of Katy, TX. Despite not being thirsty in the human sense of the word, I decided to see if a beverage could hold me over for the few minutes it would take me to get to the neighbor's house.

Katy suburbanite fridge inventory time. Milk, ugh, past the expiration date. No thanks. OJ... Minute Maid? Heck no. Diet Coke. I don't think so… that stuff will kill you. And then I saw it. In the back. A sixer of Saint Arnold Divine Reserve 10. Apparently this iteration of DR10 is a Barley Wine, so I searched and found a snifter glass to decant the beer into. The aroma punched me in the face once and then once again. From what I remember, the jab was citrus and the right hook was floral. Kind of La Grange-y if memory serves me right. The beer tasted much like its aroma, jerking the taste buds around a bit before leaving an unfamiliar but nice hop aftertaste. The mouth feel was perfect for this occasion, since I didn't want anything heavy before I visited the neighbors for dinner. This beer has a lot of potential, but it was definitely young. I grabbed the rest of the sixer and placed it in my pedicab. I’m sure we are on the same page here, I too questioned the ability to age this beer properly with the weather being like 200F at the moment. But to my surprise, it felt pretty good outside. A little nippy even. The gray fogginess kind of passed and I felt pretty damned good. In fact, I skipped visiting the neighbors and hoofed it the rest of the way home in my pedicab. I felt human again.

And that's what I remember about the last week. Strange, I know, but I figured I'd leave you this quick note to let you guys know that I'm alright. I'm just glad I put on those clean boxers before I left for Austin.

  1. Ilya Feynberg November 30, 2010 at 11:07 PM  

    I don't even know where to begin with this post!

    I spent some of the time thinking "is this for real?".

    Other times I was simply spilling my beer reading this because I should be holding a drink in my hands this close to my computer as I'm laughing this hard.

    And yet other times thinking..."how I still want to try that Hruskas that I've been hearing about so much so badly."

    Seriously though! I'm glad you got a chance to try the Divine Reserve 10, they're pretty damn rare even in Texas every year. Age some of them if you can, that's what I'm doing with the only bottle I have left. :)

    Have you had a chance to try the Barely Wine from Real Ale Brewery yet? It's called Sisyphus from Real Ale and it has "vintages" as well by the year. Not the greatest ever, but VERY VERY decent and is readily available...usually.