Retro Relapse: Men Who Can’t Handle One Cocktail

RETRO RELAPSE is a series of older articles from various places where I used to write before Talking Pulp.

*Written in 2014.

There isn’t a night where I go out that I don’t run into at least a few dudes who can’t seem to handle just one cocktail. You know you’ve seen them too. Hell, for all I know, you, the reader, could be one of these 5-star party animals that finds themselves crashing and burning after one Jägerbomb or even worse, one bottle of Bud Lite Lime.

You are the Mike’s Hard Lemonade drinker. The Smirnoff Ice sommelier. The ’90s poster boy for Zima, who considers a classic cocktail to be some swill manufactured by Bartles & Jaymes. The guy that doesn’t understand why people roll their eyes when you show up to a B.Y.O.B. with just one six pack. You show up the most gung ho, the most ready to throw down and often times the most obnoxious. You argue with bouncers about your shorts and trucker hat outside of a nice establishment. You have just one bowling shirt that you think is sufficient for dressing up when taking your significant other to a fancy anniversary dinner of Jack Daniel’s ribs at T.G.I. Friday’s. You probably get drunk on those Jack Daniel’s ribs. Hell, you probably still own a Korn t-shirt. You’re a self-described animal of the night that can go the distance and turn any shindig into an ultimate rager. The fact of the matter is, you’re the first one to fall in a room full of more suave party people.

Now don’t get me wrong, you can be fun and entertaining but after one round of shots, it isn’t fun to be holding you up against the bar, as you drool like a sloppy baby yelling out your ex-girlfriend’s name in front of your current girlfriend. I appreciate you buying me whatever the hell sweet and disgusting shot that was and I thank you for it, as it is still alcohol of some sort, but your response to my gratitude shouldn’t be puking and pissing on me while I’m trying to sit you down in a chair. Frankly, despite your inability to hang with us professional alcoholics, I’d like to spend more than fifteen minutes with you before 6 oz. of Popov and cranberry effect you like a Floyd Mayweather uppercut.

You’re not a bad person, you’re just not doing it right. You need help. You really need to train. You need to step your game up and learn how to control your shit. Maybe your DNA isn’t wired for drinking and if that’s the case, just stick to beer. However, when I say “beer”, I’m referring to something respectable. Nothing flavored, nothing clear and god forbid nothing low calorie! If you’re going to drink, just fucking drink. That is, unless you’re some dainty white girl who finds herself sitting around the house munching on SnackWells cookies because you can eat more of those than you can E.L. Fudge.

If you are a cocktail drinker, put down the energy drink mixers, pick a better vodka and for fuck’s sake, get to know some good whiskeys. There are a ton of badass cocktails that you can drink that have a ton more flavor and character than your disgusting concoction of Goldschläger and O.J. Hell, I made a list of my Top 10 Classic Cocktails (link no longer available). You should read it and start there.

It doesn’t end there though. You need to learn how to go the distance. If you crash early, pace yourself. Don’t start with a wimpy shot that will knock you on your ass immediately. Order a decent beer or a decent cocktail and take it easy. You don’t have to slam the fucking thing.

When starting out my alcoholic training regiment, I suggest that you limit yourself to just one drink per hour. When you get to a point where you don’t want to pass out in a pile of vomit within that time, up your intake to two drinks per hour. To be honest, I very rarely ever go beyond two-to-three alcoholic beverages in an hour. This is how I pace myself, still get seriously buzzed but don’t find myself hitting the floor like a tranquilized hippopotamus.

Now this may take some time to master and to get the hang of but I’ve had well over a decade to practice and I’ve got my shit together. I used to find myself overdoing it and honestly, sometimes on a rare occasion, I still do but for the most part, I keep it together, have a good time, get moderately inebriated and don’t find myself making bad decisions or becoming the burden of the party.

Class up your shit. This isn’t just drinking advice, it’s life advice. Maybe it is time to grow up because dude bros in their mid-thirties who still carry themselves in public like freshmen frat boys at their first kegger are just embarrassing themselves. Plus, you’ll never make a good impression on a potential life mate if you’re in the fetal position, soaked in piss.

And definitely don’t drink in front of bosses or co-workers until you can handle more than one cocktail.

I’m just trying to do my part. You’re welcome, America.

Documentary Review: Pepsi Vs. Cola: The Marketing Battle of the Century (2014)

Also known as: Pepsi Vs. Coca: The Marketing Battle of the Century (title card)
Release Date: 2014
Directed by: Nicolas Glimois, Thomas Risch, Christophe Weber

Indigenius, 53 Minutes

Review:

I have no idea where this documentary first appeared, as there isn’t a whole lot of information on it, even though it is streaming for free on Prime Video for Amazon Prime members.

However, I like documentaries on business history, especially in regards to iconic companies and industry feuds.

I’m pretty sure this was an episode of a TV series that was repackaged, as it plays like that. But even so, this is a thorough and highly informational piece about the rivalry between Pepsi and Coca-Cola, which also delves into the history of each company.

I learned a lot watching this but it wasn’t an exciting documentary. It was mostly interviews with some experts in this realm, as they walked the viewer through both companies marketing strategies over their many decades in business.

This also clears up a lot of the theories surrounding New Coke and whether or not it was real or an elaborate marketing hoax. Spoiler alert: it wasn’t a hoax.

Rating: 6/10
Pairs well with: other business history documentaries.

Retro Relapse: You’re Not a God, You’re a Fucking Bartender

RETRO RELAPSE is a series of older articles from various places where I used to write before Talking Pulp.

*Written in 2014.

You’re a bartender, dude – a bartender. You’re not a god, you’re not something special and you certainly aren’t Ryan Gosling with Ron Jeremy’s cock. On the flipside, hey female. You’re also just a bartender. You’re not some hardcore porn star, you’re not a badass like Ronda Rousey and we’re not all crowded around you because of your dynamite personality; it just so happens that we’re drunk and your tits are in our face. They’re nice tits, by the way.

Bars are a great place; they are where we go to unwind, have a good time, chill with our friends, meet new people and often times get inebriated. It’s not a place we go to, to have some smarmy fuck of a douchenugget look down upon us because he/she holds the bottle and is god over his/her asinine little kingdom. There’s a whole street full of other kingdoms and they go on for blocks and cities and states and countries. You’re worth significantly less than a dime a dozen, my lord.

You know the bartender I’m talking about. They think they’re cooler than a dead penguin’s dick, they judge you by everything you order, they ignore you for twenty minutes even though they’ve made eye contact with you multiple times, they turn their back from a busy bar because they got a text, they act pissed off when you’re handing them money, they blow Pall Mall smoke in your face while dropping ashes into your shots, they act like they’re some sort of highly desired sex god/goddess, they parade around like the kings and queens of high fashion yet many of them are wearing a generic uniform, they react to a drink order like a Rottweiler getting a steak torn away and usually they are fucking around with their co-workers when money is being waved around at the bar from all angles.

Sorry, I just like money. It is a necessary and awesome evil that the world revolves around. Apparently, many bartenders are allergic to it or something. How dare they be inconvenienced by you trying to help them pay for their kids’ care, their rent and their car. I can’t count how many times I’ve heard some chick bartender bitching about being broke to some guy staring at her tits that she has no intention of fucking, only to have her roll her eyes when I ask for a drink – handing her money and usually, even if the service is bad, a pretty decent tip. Yeah, I’m that kind of nice guy that usually tips more than I should, even if the person I’m tipping is a total asshole. I get it, people have bad days but a customer doesn’t pay for you to add your shit on top of their shit of a day. We go to bars to forget about the bullshit, not get shitted on by some self-absorbed dickhead that looks at us as some sort of cancer.

Also, I don’t care how hot you are. Yes, you may be more than pleasant to look at but your hotness doesn’t excuse shitty service. The fact of the matter is, if I just wanted hotness in my face, I’d go to a strip club and stare at girls who are actually naked and get drinks from bartenders who are actually more competent and have a much better attitude. At least strippers, for the most part fake sincerity and act like they want your money, even if they’ve had a bad day or are pissed about something. Comparatively, shitty, bitchy, scantily clad bartenders are pretty much prude strippers with a bad attitude. No thanks, I’ll go elsewhere.

The dudes that think they’re Jesus Christ Superbartender are usually just grumpy fucks who can’t do anything else for a living. They may make decent money but as time goes on, those cute college chicks flirting with you for free shots and discounts are going to stop hitting on you and either move to another bartender or another bar. Your game of bringing drunk sluts home for a game of the old “in-out in-out” will be thwarted by the oppressive hands of time. You’ll be left aged and tired, a dude who never really settled down, figuring out that it is most likely too late to change that. I’ve seen it happen.

To those self-important motherfuckers calling themselves “mixologists”, you are the bar industry’s version of the Subway “sandwich artist”. No one takes you or your bullshit title seriously. You are a bartender. So what, you know how to make a few signature cocktails. That shit isn’t hard, I’ve invented about six dozen just making mistakes while mixing shit throughout the years. Do I call myself a “mixologist”? Fuck no, I call myself “Rob” because that’s my fucking name. I’m not even a bartender anymore but even when I had that title, it wasn’t something I pronounced to others like I’m some sort of miraculous motherfucker. “I’m a bartender!” Cool, go wash those glasses.

There are some fantastic bartenders out there with amazing personalities, many of whom are good friends of mine. There is a lot of money and I mean a lot of money to be made for those who ply their craft the right way. A friend of mine, who was an awesome bartender, with awesome personality, made over $80,000 in a year. Who’s going to argue that that isn’t a pretty fucking lucrative position to be in. If one were to save and manage their money at that level, they could retire at a decent age and potentially even leave the bar industry behind to start their own business, which is what she is working towards.

Unfortunately, most of these entitled “world owes me something” ass clowns will never turn their shit into anything close to lucrative or respectable. They’ll continue scraping by their entire lives like they’re still 20 year-olds trying to earn their way through community college. They’re in a pit that there is no way out of because they don’t even seem to care. Some of them are expecting someone to walk into their bar one day and pull them out. Well, for the most part, no one just hands you shit in life, you’ve got to earn it.

If those of you who are struggling – that have worked in the bar industry for a long time – would just get your shit together and be more focused on your job, you’d make more money, probably get some recognition from better bars in the area and in turn, get a better paying gig. There is nothing wrong with having fun at work but many bartenders see their job as a constant party and not a job. You don’t get paid to party, you get paid to pour liquor. If you can party while you do it, fine. Just know why you’re supposed to be there. And if this “paid to party” bartender is you, don’t bitch and complain about how you can’t pay your rent. The world belongs to those who hustle.

Retro Relapse: Let’s Talk About PEDs and Character

RETRO RELAPSE is a series of older articles from various places where I used to write before Talking Pulp.

*Written in 2014.

*Be forewarned, this is going to be a long one. So grab a bottle of Lagavulin and a couple porterhouses. This is something I’ve wanted to write for a long time but put off because I knew it would be massive.

1. Introduction:

I’ve never been one to shy away from controversy. Hell, I wrote a highly successful blog for several years about politics and economics where I shared views that pissed off both sides of the spectrum. I’m not a stranger to speaking my mind, even if it challenges the system in power and the indoctrinated bullshit that warps the masses’ minds: detaching them from logic and reason. That being said, I am sure that this will probably be the most polarizing thing that I’ve published on this website.

To start, I am talking about the use of PEDs (performance-enhancing drugs) in baseball. My feelings and opinions carry over into other sports too but this is focused specifically on baseball, as it is the sport where the use of PEDs is the most demonized.

In fact, even if a player’s name is simply mentioned in the same sentence as PEDs or steroids, regardless of proof or evidence, that player is stuck with a very negative stigma for the rest of their life. In many cases, they are looked at like they’re Satan and regardless of whether there was proof to any accusations, the chances are pretty high that they will never get enough votes to get into the Hall of Fame. The reason given, by the sports writers who are the ones who vote on the Hall of Fame, is that these players have no integrity, character or morals and they are cheaters. And again, it doesn’t seem to matter if anything was even proven. Innocent until proven guilty? Not in baseball.

But why are PEDs the ultimate evil in baseball? Why are the athletes who have taken them or just been accused of taking them treated like they are Nazi war criminals?

2. Who Votes and the Process:

Well, the BBWAA (the Baseball Writers’ Association of America) along with the Veterans Committee are the groups that vote on the players who get put into the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. It is a complicated and confusing process like many things related to baseball but ultimately, the power of who gets into Cooperstown is held by the elite baseball writers. In case you didn’t know, Cooperstown is often used as the nickname of the Hall of Fame, as it the location of the Hall itself (in New York state) and it is where baseball is said to have begun.

As stated above, the writers have a lot of reasons for not voting these players in. Usually they cite cheating and lack of character. The reason they cite these things, is that they can, as there is a clause in the voting guidelines that states that “character” is one of the many factors to consider when voting a player into the Hall of Fame. I get where that is important but the fact of the matter is, what one considers to be “character” is subjective and if you are going to treat the use of PEDs as the ultimate evil and a complete destruction of one’s character, then you had better find a way to justify why some other really shitty people have made it into Cooperstown.

3. Contents of Character:

3A. Bigotry:

To start, let’s talk about Cap Anson, who was considered at one point to be the greatest first baseman of all-time. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in its first year in 1939. He is a legend and was a god to many. Looking at what he did for the game, while on the field, is worthy of the Hall. But what about his character?

Well, Anson was a racist piece of shit. He refused to take the field against black players in exhibition games in the 1880s. He even went as far as to use his star power and influence to strengthen the color barrier that existed in baseball until 1947. Sure, you could be an asshole and say something like, “Well, those were the times.” Well, fuck that, I could point to the ’90s and in regards to steroids say, “Well, those were the times.” It is a weak bullshit argument and anyone with a bit of sense knows that. Yeah, slavery was just “the times” too.

Speaking of racist pieces of shit, Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis had a cool name but he was also a bigoted shithead. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1944. He is also the man who wrote the Hall’s clause about “character”. Kind of hypocritical as his character is polluted by the fact that he was another man instrumental in upholding the color barrier. What power did he have? Well, he was just the first Commissioner of Baseball from 1920-1944.

Another Hall of Famer, former Red Sox owner Tom Yawkey (inducted in 1980), was the last team owner to integrate. He didn’t do so until 1959, 12 years after Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in baseball. Yawkey passed on signing Jackie Robinson and Willie Mays even though his scouts overwhelmingly urged him to. He also hired managers Pinky Higgins and Joe Cronin, both of whom were known for being overtly racist.

To you Yankees fans sneering at your rival Red Sox and their lack of integration, you may want to hold back on your criticisms. Hall of Fame (inducted in 1971) and beloved general manager George Weiss also held off on integration for a long time. He didn’t integrate until 1955, being the 13th out of the 16 MLB teams to do so. In fact, in 1952, Weiss said that he would never allow a black man to wear a Yankees uniform. He went on to say, “We don’t want that sort of crowd. It would offend boxholders from Westchester to have to sit with niggers.”

Legends Tris Speaker (inducted in 1937) and Rogers Hornsby (inducted in 1942) were both card carrying members of the Ku Klux Klan. Speaking of the KKK, one of the greatest players of all-time, Ty Cobb (inducted in 1936), was also alleged to have been a member. Now alleged doesn’t mean that he was but since the PED witch-hunt doesn’t seem to understand the difference between alleged and proof, lets just say he was because that’s fair, right?

That’s not the only thing that makes Ty Cobb a giant piece of shit though. Out of the things we can prove, there was that time that he climbed up into the stands to assault a heckler that just so happened to be handicapped. Then there were multiple times where he deliberately drove his shoe’s spikes into the shins and knees of opposing players while sliding into base. I guess maiming your opponent is a good example of “character” and not “cheating”.

Smithsonian Magazine once pointed out that “Violent confrontations were a recurring theme in Cobb’s life,” and “stories of Cobb’s racial intolerance were well-documented.” Man, he sounds like a swell guy with impeccable character!

3B. Drunkards and Prohibition:

Let me stop using racism as an example, as I think I’ve beat that point pretty hard here. Let’s look at the guy who many, if not most, consider to be the greatest baseball player in history, Babe Ruth. Now sure, I may get some shit for tarnishing the Babe’s legacy but all I am doing here is pointing out the facts. Facts that were well known about the guy when he was inducted in 1936.

Babe Ruth was an alcoholic, overeating, womanizing machine. He also had a shitty attitude most of the time and was so high on his own ego that he had no idea how to treat those in his life. He cheated on his first wife, repeatedly. He left her for one of his mistresses. He probably cheated on her. Hell, he probably cheated on those he was cheating with. He was a big alpha dog and he had to do what big alpha dogs do.

He also drank himself into a stupor repeatedly and was often times shit-hammered when he was on the field. Could you imagine the uproar if a player constantly showed up drunk for games in today’s world? He wouldn’t be allowed to play, let alone have the opportunity to even attempt to have a Hall of Fame worthy career. How many times did Ruth put himself and others at risk in a game, just because he liked to play three sheets to the wind?

Also, look at the era when Babe Ruth was doing this. It was during Prohibition, when alcohol was outlawed. Just as PEDs and steroids are outlawed now, alcohol was a big no-no in that time. The thing is, everyone knew Ruth was a drunkard but no one cared. The sports writers may have criticized it here and there but ultimately his legacy on the field is what was most remembered.

Then there were Hall of Famers Hack Wilson (inducted in 1979) and Grover Cleveland Alexander (inducted in 1938) who were both known drunkards. Wilson broke the law during Prohibition and even passed out on the field and in the dugout during games. Alexander was believed to have been inebriated when he closed out Game 7 of the 1926 World Series. Being a big drinker myself, I lift my glass to that. Being a responsible adult and a lifelong baseball fan, I shake my head and again, like with Ruth, think about how horrible that would go over in today’s world and how both guys would be out of the MLB and forced into substance abuse programs. And with it being the Prohibition Era in both cases and Ruth’s, it puts their “character” violations on par with the PED users of the last two decades.

3C. Drugs:

Moving on past alcohol, let’s look at other drug issues in relation to Hall of Famers.

There was Dennis Eckersley (inducted in 2004), who battled alcoholism and was identified by a convicted drug dealer as a regular customer of his that bought cocaine. Of course, a blind eye was turned, he was inducted into Cooperstown and has been a baseball analyst for quite some time.

Brewers great Paul Molitor (also inducted in 2004) was known to be a cocaine and marijuana user early on in his career. He was also big on the party scene and at one point, got so coked up that police were called out to his home to see if he was even alive. Pretty hypocritically, Molitor opposes Alex Rodriguez being inducted into the Hall of Fame. I guess cocaine is okay but PEDs are the devil.

One of my favorite pitchers of all-time, Ferguson Jenkins (inducted in 1991), a Chicago Cubs great, was arrested in 1980 for 3.0 grams of cocaine, 2.2 grams of hashish and 1.75 grams of marijuana found in his suitcase by customs agents. Jenkins was immediately suspended but that suspension only lasted two weeks. He was not punished further by the MLB and he went into Cooperstown, although it is believed that the drug issue delayed his induction. Regardless, he still made it.

In 1976, Orlando Cepeda (inducted in 1999) was arrested for drug smuggling. He attempted to bring 150 lbs. of marijuana into Puerto Rico. His punishment was ten months in a Florida prison. However, he was also arrested a second time for allegedly pulling a gun on a man. Once he got out of prison, he was instructed not to return to Puerto Rico, as the mafia would kill him.

Before moving on from drugs, let me just throw out some names of Hall of Famers who illegally used amphetamines at some point during their careers: Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, Ted Williams, Mickey Mantle and several others. Are we prepared to kick these legends out to make an example to the PED and steroid users out there?

3D. Cheaters:

Other than substance abuse issues, there were also cheaters who made the Hall of Fame. Why is this important? Well because most of the people with the voting power consider PEDs and steroids to be cheating. Well, let’s look at some cheaters who made it to Cooperstown.

First there is Gaylord Perry (inducted in 1991) who confessed to cheating. In his autobiography Me and the Splitter, he admitted to using saliva, sweat, mud, Vaseline and KY jelly to doctor the baseballs that he pitched. Did he really earn those two Cy Young Awards and five All-Star appearances? Did he cheat his way to that no hitter? We may never know for sure.

Then there was pitcher Don Sutton (inducted in 1998) who was often times called “Black and Decker” because he was infamous for defacing baseballs with sandpaper and other objects. He’s gone on to making a nice broadcasting career for himself after his baseball career that saw him become a four-time All-Star and an All-Star MVP.

Whitey Ford (inducted in 1974), regarded by many as one of the best pitchers of all-time, defaced baseballs by using his wedding ring. He also planted mud pies on the mound that he used to alter the ball. He was also known to use something he called “gunk”, which was said to be a mixture of baby oil, turpentine and resin. Ten All-Star games, six World Series championships, a World Series MVP, a Cy Young Award and a retired number later, no one seems to care about this guy’s penchant for winning by any means necessary – even if that means to win by cheating.

Then there is famous and beloved manager Leo Durocher (inducted in 1994). He managed the 1951 Giants who pulled off an amazing comeback at the end of the season. How did they do it? They mastered the art of sign-stealing. It wasn’t just any sort of sign-stealing though. You see, they developed a pretty elaborate system of illegal sign-stealing. What made it illegal? The tactics used in accordance to what baseball deems as okay and not okay. There is a thin line there but regardless of how you feel about sign-stealing and how far one can go with it, by most of those with the power of the pen, what Durocher and the 1951 Giants did was cheating. Cheating for him and legend Willie Mays, in this case, was good enough to get both of them into Cooperstown without mountains of disdain.

3E. General Pieces of Crap:

Other than racists, drunks, drug users and cheaters, there are also Hall of Famers who are just pieces of crap as people. The two that stick out the most in modern times are Roberto Alomar (inducted in 2011) and the late Kirby Puckett (inducted in 2001).

Roberto Alomar was accused of domestic violence by his wife, Puerto Rican model Maripily Rivera. She alleged that she was the victim of spousal assault three times. She told the tale of Alomar threatening her and pulling a knife on her. She also claimed that Alomar gave her HIV, as did a former ex-girlfriend. All of this was out in the open before Alomar was inducted into the Hall of Fame. Now while none of it was proven, in regards to PEDs, proof doesn’t really matter.

The late Kirby Puckett, who died in 2006 from a stroke, was deemed a model citizen for the majority of his career and won the Branch Rickey Award in 1993 for his lifetime of community service work. However, even seemingly good people have flaws.

After his retirement, a lot of strange things came to the forefront. To start, Puckett was accused of multiple incidents of violence against women. In 2002, a woman alleged that his wife threatened to kill her over an affair she had had with Puckett. That same month, another woman claimed that Puckett had shoved her around in her condominium on multiple occasions during their 18 year secret relationship. A few months later, Puckett was accused of groping a woman in restaurant bathroom. He was charged with false imprisonment, fifth-degree criminal sexual conduct, and fifth-degree assault. He was found not guilty of all accounts but had to relinquish his role as Minnesota Twins executive vice president. Additionally, Puckett’s wife told Sports Illustrated that he held a gun to her head and once tried to strangle her with an electrical cord. Dude sounds like a real fucking winner and Hall of Fame worthy in that character department.

4. The Hypocrisy:

Not all of these players that I’ve discussed have been voted in by the BBWAA and not all of the character flaws I’ve described were public knowledge at the time of their induction. However, does that mean that they should stay?

If a big part of what makes a player Hall of Fame worthy is “character”, should not all of these names come under serious scrutiny? Should there not be a system in place that allows those with the power of voting to go back and examine a Hall of Famer’s character and their inclusion in Cooperstown if some big character flaw comes to light after the fact? Because what are the rules telling us now? That you can be a big shithead and as long as you get away with it before the voting process or you are lucky enough for them to turn a bling eye, you’re considered an okay person worthy of universal admiration? It’s bullshit.

You can’t hold the players of this era to a standard that was never upheld before steroids and PEDs came into the mix. You can’t all of a sudden go “yeah okay, this issue right here, this is the big one, this is totally evil” when you’ve turned a blind eye to every major character flaw some legend before this issue committed. I mean, how much of a piece of garbage was Ty Cobb? Yet you’re going to shit on Roger Clemens and Mark McGwire because they “cheated” and have questionable “character”?

The biggest hypocrisy of all, is it is these baseball writers that stir the fucking pot and get the people fired up over this issue. They’re the ones serving the hate-flavored Kool-Aid and hammering this anger into the minds of Americans too daft to put down the newspaper or turn off the Internet, television and radio. And why is this the biggest hypocrisy?

Well because when this shit was really going on, steroids and PEDs I mean, many of these reporters and sportswriters were aware but said nothing. These passionate and boisterous voices who want to burn Alex Rodriguez and Ryan Braun at the stake, were exposed to the truth before the truth came out into the light. Now I am not accusing all sportswriters, as most probably didn’t know but there are many who did and said nothing about it. Why are they so passionate now? Well because that’s the trend and if they yell and point the finger, they absolve themselves of the guilt and the blame. Besides, most of them don’t have the balls to say what’s real. It’s easier to join the crowd and follow the trend, as opposed to going against it and being honest.

At least Buster Olney took some responsibility for what he felt was his part in it. In a 2006 New York Times op-ed piece, he wrote:

I could have done a better job of reporting how people in baseball thought the game was being changed by performance-enhancing drugs . . . I had a role in baseball’s institutional failure during what will be forever known as the Steroid Era. But I was only part of the problem, because just about everyone in baseball is to blame.

These arguments about “cheating” and “advantages” can’t be taken seriously unless both sides realize that people in baseball always cheat and each generation has an advantage over the previous one.

I’ve written in previous posts about the secret code and hidden language within baseball. Everyone in some way cheats, the thing is, there are ways to cheat and ways not to cheat but it has always been a sport where cheating is at the forefront. And that’s any sport really. Every time a manager comes out to bitch about a bad call that he knows was a good call, that is a form of cheating. Every time a pitcher sneaks some substance onto a ball, that is cheating. Every time a player knows he was out but argues with the umpire that he was safe, that’s cheating. You take what you can get and that is all a part of the game. To bitch about cheating as some ultimate evil, means that you have to demonize just about everything in baseball. These people cry about the integrity and the soul of the sport but apparently have no idea what that is.

As far as PEDs and steroids giving these modern players advantages, let’s talk about that.

5. Now and the Future:

Do PEDs and steroids give the players an advantage? Signs certainly point to yes.

However, playing in the modern era in general is advantageous over playing in previous eras. Why? Modern medicine, other supplements that aren’t illegal and general knowledge on health, diet and training. PEDs or not, we have never had better athletes than what we have right now and for the most part, this is due to their training regimen, their strict diets and the amazing doctors and trainers that every major league team staffs.

Tommy John surgery has come along and extended the careers of many pitchers, does this mean that they have inflated career stats because their career’s would have ended sooner in the 1920s? I think it is a ridiculous proposal but one could theoretically make that argument.

When it comes to PEDs, why are they bad? The main reason is because they are illegal. But going back a few sections in this article, so was cocaine, marijuana, hashish and alcohol during Prohibition but the legends who partook in those vices have a place in Cooperstown.

There are plenty of legal supplements, when compared to PEDs, should probably be illegal as well. At some point, they probably will be but that doesn’t matter all that match because science is always making new miracles and baseball players who want that extra boost will cut corners and do what they feel they need to do. I’m not saying that any of this is right on their part, I’m just saying that it is reality. In fact, I don’t know why more of them don’t seek out the still legal versions of performance-enhancers instead of taking the risk of getting caught with something outlawed by their sport.

And moving forward, the future is always bright and new medicine and new medical techniques will be implemented as time goes on. In a few years, athletes may be using nano-machines and other things that seem like science fiction to repair their bodies and heal them faster. Hell, we could be on the cusp of an era where medical science allows players to play well into their forties or even longer. What then? With a long enough career, we may get a guy that hits 1000 career home runs. I guess we’ll be able to stop worrying about Barry Bonds and the proverbial asterisk. Or will we stop worrying? This brings up a whole other argument now.

The point is, the world changes and baseball, whether it wants to or not, has to adapt to these changes. It doesn’t mean it tarnishes records of old, it just means that we, as human beings, will always enhance ourselves and our society. We will always find better ways to do things and to improve. Baseball can’t escape this truth.

Going forward, players are going to look for things that enhance them. Hopefully science provides us with things that won’t harm their bodies long-term and lead to illness and premature death.

6. Conclusion:

I’m not calling for Babe Ruth to be kicked out of the Hall of Fame. Hell, Ty Cobb can stay for all I care. Frankly, the Hall of Fame has become more of a political shit show than a true place to honor the game’s greats. Besides, if a guy like Pete Rose isn’t in there because he gambled a little, I can’t take this whole thing seriously anyway.

I’m not saying that, shit show aside, it isn’t an honor to go into the Hall of Fame but if they are going to be managed like a fascist dictatorship by hypocritical sportswriters calling way too many shots, I really don’t care who is in there and who isn’t. Because frankly, there are a lot of deserving players that have missed entry and a lot who probably don’t need to be there. I’m not going to get into specifics on that because there are a few pieces I plan to write about that in the future.

The thing is, the people voting have tremendously huge bugs up their asses about the Steroid Era, something they helped perpetuate until the cat was out of the bag and they had to flip the script, absolving themselves of their responsibility and trashing the sport in order to save their own hides like a bunch of weasels. I’m not trying to generalize and blame all baseball writers but there are a lot of them that fit the bill and they know who they are. I guess they can seemingly live with themselves but ultimately, they are bigger pieces of shit than the PED users they are trying to trash and demonize, in my honest opinion anyway.

You want to call them addicts? Well, fine. But then you have to call Babe Ruth and Paul Molitor addicts. You want to call them cheaters? Also fine. But then you have to call Whitey Ford and Gaylord Perry cheaters. You want to attack their character? Fine as well. But then you should also attack everyone else that I have mentioned in section three of this article. You can’t just pick and choose who you think is a shithead and you certainly shouldn’t ostracize someone who has either done nothing wrong or that you don’t have any proof of wrongdoing. Many of these writers with the right to vote have refused to fill out ballots because they claim that they don’t know who is clean. Well, if you don’t know, vote as if they didn’t do anything. In America, one is supposed to be innocent until proven guilty. Besides, look at all the people with poor character who got in and I don’t see any baseball writers crying over the fact that they voted in Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb or Kirby Puckett.

And even if a player is guilty, they are being held to a standard of persecution that baseball has never really exercised before. Going beyond just the Hall of Fame, guys like Alex Rodriguez and Ryan Braun are booed out of stadiums by angry fans and that is their right, as we have freedom of speech and expression in this country, but that hatred is pretty unfounded if you ask me and these people are surrendering to emotion and indoctrination and not employing logic and reason. I get that people are upset about this but throwing an object at a player’s head on the field is inexcusable.

Besides, professional athletes are just people. That may irk some people to read but it is true. I’m sorry that you angry entitled crybabies don’t have millions like A-Rod but you also probably can’t play baseball for shit. Anyway, athletes like all human beings, make human mistakes. How many knuckleheads in an uproar in the stands have never done drugs or smoked weed? Fuck that, how many baseball writers have lived sober lives? People make mistakes, does that mean it is worth condemning them for life? Absolutely not. Sure, some people don’t learn from their mistakes. Others do however and frankly, a lot of these guys being condemned have never been proven to have made any mistakes.

What’s the solution?

Stop being crybaby pussies and move forward. Does Mark McGwire, Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds, Manny Ramirez, Mike Piazza and Alex Rodriguez deserve to be in the Hall of Fame? You bet your ass they do. If you disagree, you apparently didn’t watch them play or you’re prepared to kick out all the Hall of Famers who have exhibited bad character, which is probably most of them.

The McDonald’s Double Drive-Thru Is Bullshit

*The Bullshit Series started on an older blog but I wanted to bring these articles back here, as I have new installments for the series that I want to release over time. The series focuses on things that I think are bullshit… like filet mignon, Zubaz pants, the Pro Bowl and diets.

*Written in 2015.

The McDonald’s double drive-thru is bullshit. It is a clusterfuck of biblical proportions. Seriously, whose idea was this? I’d like to meet them.

Okay, let us look at this objectively and in theory. In theory, in a perfect world, this is probably a fairly decent idea. It allows McDonald’s to process orders more quickly because obviously they are struggling financially and need more money. But really that is only the real benefit I see.

And what good is processing orders, or really just taking orders, at a faster rate considered more efficient when the split line has to merge back together?

Okay, the idea is actually crap in theory.

Here’s the real problem. McDonald’s really overestimates the logic and patience of human beings. They also overestimate their acceptance of change and learning new things.

One, people are generally morons. Two, people resist change. Put both of those things together and you get the mess that I have to deal with every time I just want to grab a Sausage McMuffin and a shitty iced coffee because I am too lazy to make my own breakfast.

What I usually deal with is people who aren’t sure where to split the line because the arrows are just suggestions and not a law punishable by Mayor McCheese and Officer Big Mac.

So we get impatient dickheads who swerve out of the long line violently and cut several cars to get to the second lane before the suggested traffic split. It creates tension and road rage. People who try to follow the rules and be orderly are fucked over by self-absorbed pricks who can’t wait an extra few seconds for a McFlurry.

Then when the cars are supposed to merge back together, people don’t seem to understand how this works. I constantly see people yelling and beeping their bitch horns because they are already pissed off and think that the other person is trying to cut in front of them again. People don’t understand that the line should merge back together in the sequence of completed orders. If you finish your order, you are in front of the other person still talking into the monitor. It is pretty simple but it is still over many people’s heads.

Also, McDonald’s is squeezing this concept into every location possible. The two McDonald’s locations closest to me don’t really have room for it. It is really hard to navigate in limited space, especially when other people trying to just move around the drive-thru, who aren’t in it, can’t get through or have to enter the drive-thru traffic because they are stuck just trying to get out of the parking lot.

A double drive-thru doesn’t need to be rocket science but it is because people don’t know how to use it, even after a few years.

And the worst are the assholes who aren’t paying attention and hold up their half of the line, allowing people to cut in and screw up the sequence of orders to be picked up.

This article doesn’t need to be long, the point has been made. But apparently there are “studies” that claim McDonald’s bullshit drive-thru experiment works. They are probably the same “scientists” that claim that clowns aren’t terrifying. Hence, they are on McDonald’s clown-loving payroll.

I could just park and order inside but then again, people don’t know how to form a line there either.

I think line forming was the first thing I learned in school.

Fast food should be convenient. McDonald’s has now made it the equivalent of trying to board an overbooked flight.

Retro Relapse: Chick-Fil-A: A Swashbucklingly Good Breakfast

RETRO RELAPSE is a series of older articles from various places where I used to write before Talking Pulp.

*Written in 2010.

Chick-Fil-A is pretty tits all around. Their nuggets are pretty awesome, their sandwiches are on point and they may have the greatest cole slaw next to KFC’s (it’s a toss up).

However, where they truly excel at is breakfast. Ignoring the fact that they don’t offer waffles, Chick-Fil-A is the greatest establishment for breakfast via a drive-thru window. Everything that they have for breakfast is pretty damn choice. I’ve yet to have an item that was just… meh.

My favorite thing is definitely the sausage, egg and cheese biscuit. This is the best breakfast sandwich available that I’ve ever had access to. The biscuits are perfect, the egg is just the right amount, the cheese is well… cheese and the sausage patty is damn near perfect. Being thicker than most patties on fast food breakfast sandwiches, the sausage is just the right size and just the right flavor. It’s not overpowering like sausage from Burger King or McDonald’s. It also compliments the mixture of egg, biscuit and cheese perfectly. This sandwich literally melts in your mouth and is unrivaled in the fast food industry, as far as I am concerned.

My next favorite item is the hashbrowns. The only complaint I have of these, is that I wish you got more (which is why I always order two). The Chick-Fil-A hasbrowns are usually always fried just right and are extra crunchy. The oil they use gives them a better flavor and they almost taste cleaner and less greasy than the competition’s sorry excuse for hashbrowns. The only thing that may throw off the non-hashie connoisseur is the fact that the hashbrowns are like Burger King’s in shape: kind of like tater tots or crowns. I like this shape of hashbrown, however, and Chick-Fil-A does them the best.

Other notable items are the chicken biscuit and the bacon, egg and cheese biscuit. Both of these I have had and have thoroughly enjoyed. The chicken biscuit is better than the cheap knockoffs that BK and Mickey D’s tried to come out with a few years back. In fact, any other fast food chain with a chicken biscuit should be slapped with a lawsuit. The bacon, egg and cheese biscuit is nearly as good as its counterpart: the sausage, egg and cheese biscuit. But again, I am a bigger fan of the sausage one.

When it comes down to it, most swashbucklers prefer Chick-Fil-A. They are friendly to our kind and most of them have sweet ball pits. Although, most swashbucklers are too big for the ball pit according to their lame sign. In any event, Chick-Fil-A is still pretty awesome, especially for breakfast.

The only downside is that I only seem to crave Chick-Fil-A on Sundays. Well, they are closed on Sunday because Jesus doesn’t like to eat after church or something like that. I think they should be open and that they are losing a lot of business by not being open. Hell, what do I know. I’ve never owned a business unless you count that time that I was selling Japanese wrestling tapes out of my grandmum’s garage. I was banking some sweet cash back then!

Retro Relapse: Sub Making Is A Dying Art

RETRO RELAPSE is a series of older articles from various places where I used to write before Talking Pulp.

*Written in 2014.

When I’m not eating glorious amounts of red meat and bacon, I am usually eating a monstrous and awesome submarine sandwich. Unlike most people, I don’t have just one spot that I go to. I look at sandwiches as art and when it comes to subs, every place makes them in their own special way. I regularly go to Publix, Jersey Mike’s, Jimmy John’s, Sweetbay, Winn-Dixie, Firehouse, Quiznos, several mom and pop joints and pretty much anywhere else that you can get a sub. Although I do occasionally hit up Subway, I typically avoid it at all costs and if I do give in, I am quickly reminded as to why I stay away from the damned place.

Considering that I do frequent many places in the submarine sandwich world, I have more insight into what is going on in the industry. In a time where the world has been moving towards more automation and machine made goods, handcrafted skills have been slowly replaced. The art of sub making however, is something that should never die. I don’t think I’ve ever had a machine made sub but it wouldn’t surprise me if such a thing existed.

Being that subs are a hand-made delicacy, they are given extra special care and should be made with an undying passion for a necessary craft that should never die. I say “should” because I’ve had too many instances lately, of people making really shitty subs. I don’t know how such a thing as a shitty sub is even possible but the people I find working in a lot of these places now, apparently have no clue how to make a fucking sub or they just don’t give a shit.

My most recent bad experience is the freshest in my mind, so let me talk about that.

To start, I ordered an Italian, my preferred sandwich on most days. This woman didn’t know what meat went on the sub and actually put some turkey on it. Being the good sport I am, I didn’t correct her because I thought, “Hey, that’s something new, I’ll try it.” She then asked what cheese I wanted. I said, “provolone.” She then asked what veggies I wanted before putting the cheese on. I told her what I wanted and instructed that I would also like sub dressing. So what does she do? Well, she splashes the meat with sub dressing before putting the vegetables on it. Uh.. what the fuck? She then puts the vegetables on in giant fistfuls. She didn’t even strain the juice dripping from the vegetables. I got about 4 oz. of olive juice on my sub because she just grabbed them and dumped them on without care. She then covered the mountain of veggies with cheese slices that wouldn’t stay on top of the veggie mountain because that is not where one puts the damn cheese!

I took it home and tried to eat it. The sub dressing immediately shot down my arm, as it wasn’t soaked up in the shredded lettuce, as it should be. The bread was also soggy as fuck. Did I mention that there was too much mayonnaise and mustard? Thus, white and yellow goop kept spooging out between my fingers. The cheese was just an appetizer as it wouldn’t stay on the sub so I ate the slices by themselves. The sandwich was a sloppy mess.

Either this woman has never made a submarine sandwich or she is mentally handicapped. Now this isn’t a rare occurrence, as I’ve had similar issues at other places over the last few months. Granted, different people make your sub each time but that is what’s cool about it, as everyone has a slightly different way of doing it. When I walk into my favorite sandwich joints, I usually know which guy or gal to go to, if I have a choice. Some people make great subs, others make good subs. Until recently, I hadn’t come across many people that make truly awful subs.

I blame the managers or the trainers in these places. You need to have strict protocols and hire people who aren’t completely insane or stupid. Make these people make you a sandwich, you eat it and then ask yourself, “Does this person have the artistry to make sandwiches in my awesome shop?” Then you follow that up by making them make you nine more sandwiches. After 10 total subs, you should have a good grasp as to whether or not they can cut it.

You see, sub making is important; it is an art form and should always be treated as such. When you’ve had a tough morning at work and just want a tasty sandwich to solve the day’s problems, getting stuck with some soggy gooey giant blob that is impossible to eat and just sloppily gross, is a giant fucking bummer.

Sub making isn’t hard, it should be common sense. I mean, at this point, hasn’t everyone in the free world ordered a sub multiple times and seen how they should be made? The order of the ingredients is key. It’s not a goddamned puzzle! Additionally, giant fistfuls of every ingredient is asinine. If you can’t fold and cut the sub, you’re a moron who needs to scale it back a bit.

Maybe I just have certain standards that others don’t. Maybe I care about doing things right and making the best effort possible. Maybe I worship food too much. Whatever the case, I don’t really care. The point is, Leonardo da Vinci didn’t paint the Mona Lisa with piss.