Boardwalk Empire, In Hell

Wow, things have gotten disturbing on Boardwalk Empire.  This season we’ve seen the show morph from a relatively innocent, Prohibition-era tale of Nucky Thompson and corruption, bootlegging, and the rise of organized crime in Atlantic City and Chicago into a very dark story, indeed.

We’ve seen babies borne out of wedlock, then deserted by their mothers.  We’ve seen the racist underbelly of the jazz age and the power of the Ku Klux Klan.  We’ve seen brother pitted against brother.  We’ve seen divorce and cheating.  We’ve seen stroke-addled people slapped into submission and friends  felled by murderous rage.  We’ve seen the rise of the IRA and the introduction of heroin, purely as a money-making proposition.  We’ve seen main characters dropping like flies, and most recently we’ve seen the American version of Oedipus Rex.  My God!  What could possibly happen next?

It sure is exceptionally riveting television, though.  We can’t wait until the season finale on Sunday.

Egg No

Kish got two quarts of egg nog for the holidays.  She did so because, some years in the past, one of the boys made the offhand comment that they had tried egg nog and it wasn’t bad.  That innocent remark probably means we will buy at least one container of egg nog for the holidays, every year until the end of time.  Mothers are just that way.

The egg nog has not been touched by anyone.  Perhaps the fact that the label describes it as “ultimate” egg nog is the reason.  Regular egg nog is intimidating enough without having to deal with the “ultimate” variety — whatever it may be.  Or perhaps it is because every rational person knows that egg nog is undrinkable.  Its grotesque thickness, cloying sweetness, and overpowering odor . . . could anyone have come up with any less appealing holiday drink?

Occasionally you will run across those egg nog defenders who look at you knowingly, lower their voices to a conspiratorial whisper, and say that everyone knows you need to spike the egg nog with, say, Captain Morgan’s Spiced Rum.  That’s how they drank it in the old days, such people will say.  Why do you think Old Fezziwig was so jolly in Dickens’ A Christmas Carol?

Such comments simply confirm that the long-dead Brits who came up with the idea of combining milk, sugar, eggs, and rum were seriously troubled individuals who probably, deep down, hated the holidays.  It’s bad enough to be left furry-tongued after a night of pounding rum; combine that rum with the awesome, near-permanent coating properties of egg nog and I’d be scraping my tongue for days.  No one who really wanted to celebrate the holidays would develop a drink that is just going to compound and prolong the morning-after awfulness.