[oh mah hed]
Everclear. Golden Grain. PGA.
Pure grain alcohol. Pure guaranteed foolishness.
When I was coming up with my list of A-Z food and drinks, Everclear was the first thing that popped into my brain for the letter E. After doing a little research on this combustible corn distillate, I’m surprised I still have a brain after drinking this stuff back in my college days. 190-proof ethanol. You could remove warts with it.
Well, at least (and probably the only thing that saved me) we diluted it with gallons of Hawaiian Punch, Country Time Pink Lemonade and/or Grape Koolaid. And cans of Libby’s Fruit cocktail (for Vitamin C). We’d mix it up in a big ol’ Coleman ice chest and serve it at dorm parties. Hunch punch. Jungle Juice. When the punch was gone, you ate the fruit, which was also, by this time, 190-proof.
To distract myself from the shame of younger me stupidity, I can tell you a funny story about a time I had a dorm party with my freshman roomie, Angela,* where Hunch Punch played a role. At least, it’s funny to me, but lord knows what’s humor and what’s a byproduct of damage done by the grain.
At some point during the
punch party that night, I left to walk someone back to their room. When I came back several hours later, my dorm (a double with a kitchen and common room) was dark and eerily quiet.
What?!!! We’d made a big batch of punch. The party should certainly not be over so soon.
“Hello?” I hollered, a bit hesitant, into the blackness.
I turned on the table lamp and winced as light flooded the scene.
Holy crap! Everywhere were strange alien growths! All over the furniture! The cabinets! The TV!
They were oozy and pale and slightly luminous, sort of like fleshy stalactites and stalagmites. I was raised on Science Fiction, ladies and gentlemen – I’m a Star Trek baby.
This had all the earmarks of a first-stage invasion.
The Hunch Punch cooler was ominously empty, but for a scant bathtub ring of red death and a lone, incendiary chunk of pineapple.
I heard a groan. Racing down the hall to Angela*’s room, I tripped over a crumpled wad of debris in threshold as I flipped on the lights.
And there she was: unconscious on her bed, being slowly devoured by alien beings.
Her hair was filled with the white growths, which had spread across her face and clung to her eyelashes. She stuttered and twitched, spastically clutching a battered tube in her hand. She moaned again.
Terrified, but fascinated, I leaned in.
She mumbled. “Bisssss-kit. We need bissssss… Kit.”
Puzzled, I drew back and squinted at her mottled visage through booze-befuddled eyes. Ahhh.
It was coming together.
I pried the mangled cardboard from her fingers and returned through the hallway, kicking the wad of metal and paper from the sill as I passed.
In the kitchen: The Siege of the Dough Boy.
Even drunk, I could easily reconstruct the events leading to the carnage, as I waded through scraps of biscuit tubes and melting dough. My roommate and her cronies, in what was obviously an ethanol-fueled frenzy, had breached the stash of Pillsbury Grands sent home with me by my grandmother.
A biscuit battle had ensued. At least, till the punch and dough ran out.
I ate the last piece of fruit in the cooler and went to bed.
My memory of the night, though many years later…
Mallory: Say, this stuff is pretty good. What did you say it was?
Pam: Basically? Pure ethanol.
Mallory: Huh. Well God bless corn subsidiaries.
— Archer (TV Show)
*names are changed purely for my own protection