Happy Hour In The Heptarchy: High Life and Hot-Chicken Soup

by J.R.

It’s five past 5 across Conference III (leave work early, Colorado — you have our permission), time to hit bricks and get that freakin’ weekend started, am I right?

Of course I am.

It’s been a tough week for some of you so loosen your belt, pop a top, grab a spoon and stop being such a sourpuss. III Communication’s got good news for everybody

The Particulars

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What We’re Drinking: Miller High Life out of the can because they don’t sell a case of bottles at the Costco and because we’re not showing off for anybody. High Life is Natty Light for grown-ups and PBR for people who don’t have an extensive collection of import-only EPs. It is also, objectively, a better beer than those two. Drink three ice cold and you get a good weeknight buzz. It’s so light, it’s perfect for the weekend, too; you and a couple buddies can polish off a case in about two hours and not realize you’re drunk until you stand up. My favorite bar in Nashville has it on tap and that’s just fine, too, though High Life should really be consumed from a container with a label that shows the world you’re drinking a granddad-just-left-the-factory beer, not some $15, locally-sourced high-gravity brew with ethically-raised, free-range yeast.

9369What We’re Eating: Hot-chicken soup, not hot chicken soup. Hot chicken is Nashville’s culinary touchstone, fiery fried fowl so spicy it produces a mild endorphin rush. Soup is soup and it’s just what’s needed with the Bradford pear winter that’s beset the Music City. It snowed this week. Twice. Nothing stuck to the ground, but this soup is gonna stick to my ribs. Traditional hot chicken looks like shingles from the roof of hell. This soup is going to be the two-stroke fuel for the Devil’s leaf-blower. Once it warms up, he’s got to clean his gutters like the rest of us.

Reasons to Celebrate

25788034Chicago: Thursday’s loss to the quacking-in-your-rearview Ducks must sting with Anaheim now just three points back with a game in hand, the ‘Hawks once-insurmountable lead having rather quietly shrunk to the size of a sigh. Buck up, Chicago. You’re the City of Broad Shoulders, hog-butcher to the world, player with railroads and all that. Also, Nayembi, the cute little baby gorilla injured a month ago at the Lincoln Park Zoo, has made a miraculous recovery and might just rejoin her mom and the rest of the troop soon. And if there’s one thing I know Chicagoans love, it’s gorillas (and salad).

Your Weekend Jam:Don’t Look Back (In Anger)” by The Wurzels, a delightfully self-aware band from the English West Country.

Look at how cool the Commerce City McDonald's is!

Look at how cool the Commerce City McDonald’s is!

Colorado: It’s been tough year on the mountain, I know, what with Ryan O’Reilly’s hold-out and offer sheet and the match of said offer sheet that A) wasn’t accompanied by Nelson Rockefeller’s digitus impudicus and 2) meant you have to deal with Ryan’s dad. But you beat Dallas on a Chuck Kobasew game-winner! You’re probably headed for a prime pick in one of the best drafts in recent memory! Plus, you can head out to Commerce City and watch the U.S.A. play our “friends” from Costa Rica in soccer today. Enjoy that wacky line-up! You earned it.

Your Weekend Jam:Teenage Kicks” by The Undertones, because it combines the joy of those forthcoming youngsters in the draft and also kicking.

ustv_jr_ewingDallas: We’ve been mourning right along with you since the death of leading citizen J.R. Ewing. And it’s gotta be tough losing to Nashville at home when the Predators have been as bad on the road as a three-days past-due armadillo. But both Jaromir Jagr and Ray Whitney are scoring goals. It’s just like 1999, except — and we hate to be the ones to tell you this — but a Stanley Cup probably isn’t happening this year. But, hey, a super-obese tabby cat with the ironic name of “Skinny” has lost seven pounds and is practically svelte at 34 pounds.

Your Weekend Jam:The Magic Bullet Theory” by Texas Is The Reason. RIP, J.R.

Goshin+Karate+-+Be+NiceMinnesota: Our friends from the Land of 10,000 Lakes are Conference III’s most earnest people, so it is with great regret they have turned to the cynic’s refuge: sarcasm. This isn’t a good look for you, Fightin’ Adjective fans. You need a broad smile and leave the smirking to the rest of us. It’s tough that the annual passion drama presented by Zion Lutheran and Good Shepherd Lutheran up in Alexandria was cancelled because of the weather, but I’ve got awesome news for you: you can just read the book (don’t see the movie).

Your Weekend Jam:Kiss Me On The Bus” by The Replacements. Smile!

boots+feel+goodNashville: It’s grey outside, barely cracking 40. It’s late March, your team lost to Calgary, Edmonton and Columbus in consecutive games and is looking up at the bottom of the playoff pack. But, hey, that was a nice game against Calgary, although Barry Trotz might wanna work on power-play defense. And if you don’t mind driving a little ways to Lebanon, there is great news: a new location of the Boot Barn opened this week:

“At Boot Barn, we love cowboy boots. And we know our customers love selection. That’s why we have more than 17,000 pairs in the Nashville area to choose from,” said Amy Inabinet, Boot Barn’s director of marketing. “We also love rodeo. In fact, we support more than 500 rodeos and western events every year and, thanks to Mayor [Philip] Craighead’s help, look forward to supporting the Whip Crackin’ Rodeo in April.”

Your Weekend Jam:The Race Is On” by Jason & The Scorchers. Perfect.

6a0133f3a6c827970b0133f3a76abb970b-500piSt. Louis: Goodness gracious, talk about paradox of choice. How many goalies do you need St. Louis? Are you crying over losing Matt D’Agostini too? You shouldn’t be, since he’s one of about eight identical forwards that was on your roster. You guys must have daily existential crises rivaled only by the cognitive dissonance that must occur when you try to convince people that baked ravioli, Emo’s pizza, and St. Paul sandwiches are foodways worthy of preservation when they all actually taste like cafeteria food at the St. Blando’s Elementary for Children With No Taste Buds. The good news is kids who go to that school will still get to shop at Once Upon a Toy in Edwardsville and LagoonaMagoo in Clayton — both toy stores were saved via crowdsourcing!

Your Weekend Jam: Love Always, Charlie” by 7 Shot Screamers.

img_9610Winnipeg: Look, you get to watch Blake Wheeler every night and you have such divisional challenges as “going to Florida,” but I understand — it’s brutally cold in Winnipeg and every once in awhile, the Frigid-Airs toss out a stinker and you remember they are still sort of just repackaged Thrashers. Good news? It was actually sunny one day this week!

Your Weekend Jam: A Little Bit South of Saskatoon” by Sonny James. Hey, it could be worse!