Happy Hour In The Heptarchy: Pasties & Scrumpy
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.
What We’re Eating (and Drinking!): I spent about two years stationed in Cornwall, England’s far South West. Cornwall is sort of a strange place. By sort of, I mean, totally. It’s Celtic — like Wales and Scotland and Ireland and the Isle of Man — but it was subjugated by the Anglo-Saxons and the Normans before the other places. It’s constitutional status is complicated and forever in flux and there’s not been a commitment by the UK government to preserve its largely-dead language in the same way as has been seen in Wales, for example. The economy is (was?) largely driven by fishing and mining and, these days, tourism.
The interior of Cornwall is strange and dark — legends of feral large cats are modern, but the mystery of the moors have inspired tales for centuries. There is, as there is in much of Celtic Britain, a strong connection with the Druids (though, interestingly, the Cornish uprisings, when they’ve come have been largely inspired by Christian orthodoxy).
Because of this, the solstice always makes me think of Cornwall and while there’s few things I miss about those days, I do miss the pasty. It’s a pastry filled with meat and vegetables — a sort of beef stew calzone (I liked the steak and Stilton variety and a good pork-and-apple was also a nice treat). The legend is that it was made to be a one-handed lunch for the miners — in the old days, sweet custard would be baked into one corner (they don’t do that anymore). Pasties are available wherever Cornish men settled — and they settled wherever there was a place to go in the ground and dig something out. Pasties can be found in the UP and on the Iron Range and in California and, in my personal favorite ethnogeographic quirk — in parts of Mexico where men are named Juan Trelawney. They are hard to find in Tennessee — Ulster Scots did most of our mining — and I miss them terribly.
And I miss scrumpy cider, too. “Proper varm’ouse soider” in the lilt of Cornwall. This ain’t Woodchuck or whatever flavored water America turns out. It’s not even Strongbow. This is stuff so strong it’d start your car. Drink enough of it and you’d start seeing a Druid or two.
Reasons To Celebrate
Your Weekend Jam: “Into The Summer Sky” by Smoking Popes
Colorado: Your front office trolls future Conference III rival Nashville — and, depending on how badly they think the Avs need a blueliner, perhaps their own fans. And perhaps Sakic-Sherman-Roy can make their draft pick via 8,000 Post-It Notes.
Dallas: Way to go! We can finally stop asking two important questions: 1) When will the Stars hire a coach? B) Is Brett Hull a boob or butt kind of guy? Can’t wait for those first games against the Blues when I hope Hitch will have a special message for Lindy. If Lindy has a blind dog — and he seems like the kind of guy who would have a blind dog — he can rest assured that Dallasians (Dallasers? Metroplexis?) will help him out.
Your Weekend Jam: “Song for Lindy” by Fatboy Slim
Minnesota: Craig Leipold is convinced the Wild are (is?) on the right track. Is that good news or bad? Hmmm…Just in case, check this vid of a Twins ballboy making a helluva play.
Your Weekend Jam: “Victory” by Trampled by Turtles
Nashville: OK, so there are toxic rabbits roaming the southern part of the city, but…uh. Um. OK, there are TOXIC RABBITS, people. Perhaps they will be contained by Powers Boothe whose show Nashville will again film in Nashville, probably funded by tax dollars. And congratulations to David Poile being selected to build the U.S. Olympic team.
Your Weekend Jam: “Rabbit March” by The Features
St. Louis: Here’s an interesting problem in St. Louis: too few foreclosures. Never thought I’d say any of those words. At least the insidious problem of dumb teenagers wearing their pants dumbly is being addressed by your elected officials.
Your Weekend Jam: “Tight Fittin’ Jeans” by Conway Twitty
Winnipeg: Jets fans, I know you haven’t signed anybody and that’s making you nervous, but I hope you weren’t getting your hopes up for Mike Commodore, who called out Andrew Ladd. He apologized, but that relationship may have suffered irreparable harm. At least the Bell of Batoche is coming home.
Your Weekend Jam: “Bells Ring” by Mazzy Star