This is a one way ticket to oblivion. Sometimes you need something that will blow your mind. To smithereens. Especially when your teens manipulate you into escorting them [wife edits: like, for hire, but without getting paid, no wait, I’m paying to escort them] the two and a half hour drive to an Ariana Grande concert in Toronto. On a Sunday night. Oh, and they want their friends to come too, pretty please. No, not just one, four additional teens to your own two so that you find yourself planning the drive with a second parent because your car won’t fit all seven girls. Oh, and mum, you need to put all the tickets on your credit card so that we’re all sitting in the same row at the stadium – don’t worry, they’ll pay you back. [wife edits: nothing like a stadium setting for a royal row chasing up ticket reimbursements].
As the day of the concert looms at the precious end of an already too busy weekend, the Gearhead, your dear Gearhead, announces—like a benediction—that he has found a set of
tires on kijiji. Most conveniently located a short skip and hop [wife edits: drive] from the stadium in downtown Toronto. [wife screech edits: I am not trading cash for rubber in a sketchy parking lot with a strange man while chaperoning other people’s kids who are wearing enough makeup to shock the plaster restoration off the frescoes of the Sistine Chapel!]
And the other parent, who promised to drive, is blessed with the most brilliant idea: he’ll loan you his van! It’ll take all seven with the requisite charging chord plugins to boot. You find yourself navigating the highway in an unfamiliar tin can van with only six girls, because you have to stop off in Oshawa to pick up the seventh who’s playing a hockey tournament, conveniently located through a maze of junkyard dogs, auto-wreckers, and ATV sculptures rusting in naked fields. There’s a hockey rink somewhere around there. There always is. Then back on the highway and, just as you promised, destination shopping mall, because there’s time to kill [wife edits: kill] before the concert [wife edits: and because, why the F*%ck not?].
You meet the strange man and trade cash for four tires because they fit in the trunk with the makeup junk and hey, you’re a sucker for the story. Above all else. It’s a family motto.
And you sit in the rows at the stadium and puzzle the performance which begins with a single female the size of the pea from the fairy tale, the pea wedged beneath so many mattresses. And she’s gyrating solo on a massive stage with a bottom that circles the laws of physics to spiritual level arousal. And the music is blaring except there are no instruments. Only lights. The performance moves through a series of S & M-esque costume changes, thrusting boy dancers, seven dollar bags of popcorn and giant Ariana projections on a giant white curtain.
Your favourite montage displayed: Ariana as a blond in legwarmers, writhing on plank wood flooring, interspersed with word flashes: “strong”, “graceful”, “smart”, “not askin’ for it”, legwarmers split a fast full-frontal Y toward the camera, “beautiful”, “elegant”, tits and cleavage arch backed to the heavens, “not askin’ for it”. [wife edits: really?]. And the montage flash ends: “female” [wife edits: exclamation point capital letters!] causing you to question whether your money would have been better spent sending the girls to pole dancing lessons.
You who need this. Drink this. Drink this as soon as you can [wife edits: which for me, has been at least two weeks post-event because let’s face it, in your forties you have to pencil in your hangovers]. Join me in imbibing…drum roll please… Satan’s Circus!
Also, you may have to plan, as I did, to stock up on ingredients for this one. Cherry liqueur lurking in your liquor cupboard? After one of these you’ll ride that dick bicycle as a dominatrix with a new whip to crack.
Recipe by The NoMad Library Bar in NYC as published in Bon Appetit.
Makes 1 (largely effective) drink
- 2 ounces rye whiskey
- ¾ ounce Heering Cherry Liqueur
- ¾ ounce Chile-Infused Aperol (infuse 1 bird’s eye chile in 6 ounces Aperol 10 minutes or so, strain, store remainders for later)
- ¾ ounce fresh lemon juice
Combine whiskey, cherry liqueur, aperol, and lemon juice in a cocktail shaker. Fill with ice, cover, and shake (I prefer to roll so as not to splinter the ice into tiny shards that will dilute the drink) until outside of shaker is frosty, about 30 seconds. Strain into a coupe glass. Cheers!