Sunday marked the 100th official Mother's Day (It was officially signed into law by Woodrow Wilson in 1914).
If you're like me, you probably bought the old gal a card and took her out to lunch and made a concerted effort to not roll your eyes or check your phone while she regaled you with tales of her latest lace-doily-shopping adventure or whatever it is she does when I'm not around.
And if you're really like me, you probably had about six cocktails during said lunch.
That's not to sound too irreverent about Mother's Day because my Mom, like most Moms, deserves a day where she is the focal point.
Mine raised a drunken, rule- and curfew-disregarding little hellion and she did it as a single parent. I'd even go as far to say that she did a pretty good job. I mean, she didn't buy a one-way ticket to Borneo to begin a new life, and there were many times during the course of my youth that I wouldn't have blamed her for doing so.
So nice work, Mom. Keep it up. Don't go and start getting cocky though. Stay humble.
• An interesting Mother's Day aside, and not to take anything away from my Mom for birthing me (I was and am a very big boy), but she's not nearly as prolific as the first wife of Russian Feodor Vassilyev (1707-1782). Between 1725 and 1765, in a total of 27 confinements, Mrs. Vassilyev gave birth to 16 pairs of twins, seven sets of triplets, and four sets of quadruplets for a total of 69 children — 67 of which survived. (One presumes that there was a lot of vodka involved and very little pushing required after about baby No. 17 or so.)
• Another important sidebar: Sunday's Mother's Day and next month's Father's Day are not ever to be confused with Milf, Dilf, Gilf and the lesser-known, but popular in Kentucky, Cilf and Silf Days (I'll let you figure those out those acronyms on your own). *
It's difficult to understate the importance of good mothering. The strong correlation between bad mothering, absentee mothering, crack-whore-mothering or a complete lack of mothering and kids who grow up to be convicts is no mistake.
So I guess what I'm saying is, regardless of how screwed up your life is, be nice to kids. With an apocalyptic future bereft of jobs and an ozone layer, and overpopulated with crappy strip malls and traffic snarls — they're going to have a difficult enough time as it is.
* Some other awesome days include Boxing Day, Guy Fawkes Day, Steak and Blowjob Day, Hungover Morning Quickie Day, International Talk Like a Pirate Day, Fast Food for All Three Meals Day, Blasphemy Day, CAPS LOCK DAY, Slightly Funky Font Day, Air Musical Instrument Day, Public Twitter Fight Day, Ice Cube's Today Was a Good Day Day, Dr. Dre's F*ck Wit Dre Day (And Everybody's Celebratin') Day, Global Orgasm Day, Middle Name Pride Day and Festivus, to name a few.**
**Editor's Note: Some of these are not in fact observed or recognized days, anywhere. We didn't have the heart to break the news to Jack.
Drinking With Jack
The movie release of "The Great Gatsby" and the fanfare building up its release last weekend have had noticeable effects on certain economies, including a rise in the sale of fedoras for men and flapper wear for the ladies, a strong push on Gatsby book sales (it was the No. 1-selling book on Amazon last week), and interestingly enough, a renewed interest among the nonbar geek and nonbrunch crowd in the timeless Bloody Mary.
Gatsby-related consumption generally is associated with gin, champagne, Sauternes and the mint julep. But it's the Bloody Mary that's seeing a resurgence of sorts. Its origin is unclear, but most say it was invented in 1921 at Harry's New York Bar in Paris, a frequent Hemingway, Fitzgerald and expatriate watering hole.
Whether or not the Gatsby remake is helping to drive Bloody Mary sales, the drink is seeing its day in the sun and deservedly showing up on many restaurant's nonbrunch drink menus as a featured cocktail.
In lieu of giving some perfect, magical Bloody recipe (there isn't one), I'll give you some baseline tips on what I feel constitutes a good mix.
• Always use horseradish. It gives the drink texture and a nice pop.
• Never use bacon vodka, because that's gross. Gin, bourbon and even tequila are acceptable. Absolut Peppar is a good pick if you must go with a flavored vodka.
And that's it.
Tabasco, Worcestershire, salt, pepper, lime juice, olive juice, a variety of garnishes? An Old Bay rim? That's all up to you. The Bloody is the most versatile drink in the world. Tailor it to your needs and give a middle finger to those who disagree.
Plus, if you're going to spend years pining for lost love, a few strong, spicy, made-to-order Bloodies are probably in order.
Connect with Richmond bartender Jack Lauterback at firstname.lastname@example.org. Lauterback also is co-host of 103.7-FM's "River Mornings with Melissa and Jack," weekdays from 6-9 a.m. On Twitter @jackgoesforth.