A Change Of Pace

Tastes pretty good to me

By Steele Coddington | December 17, 2008

I keep getting letters from people I’ve never met from weird cities like San Francisco, Umatilla and Buffalo Chip, Alberta, asking me for medical advice. How the writers find me under the name I currently use I don’t know, because they refer to an article I wrote last year under the nom de plume of Maurice Depueski. The article discussed in some detail a juice my grandfather started bottling using a recipe for a clear alcoholic home brew he filched from an uncle named Stanislaus living south of Krakow, Poland on a visit in 2001.

As you know, the Poles make some of the very best vodka in the world and some good, but strange variations that can enhance your intuitive sensibilities. I think it’s their national drink and Polish friends of mine in Tonawanda, N.Y. often dance the polka after they’ve had a snort or two. Well, the similar but transformational concoction made by uncle Stanislaus, and now my grandfather, would qualify as the national drink of the mythical Weird Witchland of Wachovia in Western Westphalia – a halucionary Valhalla believed in by actual inebriated imbibers who drink it. They consume it to warm the cockles of their hearts and so they don’t have to turn up the furnace during the coldest days of winter. “They may be cold, but mon dieu are they happy!” says uncle Stanislaus who slipped a little French into his Polish observation (to improve international relations with the French).

Grandfather describes uncle Stanislaus as a wizened up but very warm old guava farmer who mixes his home grown guava juice with the clear distilled spirit made from potatoes mashed in a barrel, in his livestock barn, where sanitary conditions can be observed. He also mumbles some secret voodoo incantation over the barrel, (I think it’s for show, but who really knows) and includes a generous portion of so-called buffalo grass (an important aromatic grass ingredient that rare herds of European buffalo in Western Poland eat after they stomp around on it). Uncle Stanislaus calls the distilled product Buffalo Zubrowka.

Knowing the buffalos have familiarized themselves with the grass, to put it as delicately as possible, my grandfather, with great enjoyment, invariably takes a big swig of the mystical fermentation, spits it out and loudly proclaims “This stuff tastes like ----!” But after drinking two full glasses out of a dirty fruit jar in the barn, nobody ever really gives a damn how it’s made because the gift of the magic concoction produces a cognitive dissonance that allows imbibers to identify by sight nymphomaniacs, liberals and identity thieves.

When uncle Stanislaus came to visit grandfather last year, they would go out in the shed behind the garage and whoop it up drinking grandfather’s Zubrowka. I knew they were partaking when I heard uncle Stanislaus yell a retaliatory “This stuff tastes like ----!”

I figure the letters I get addressed to me as “Dear Maurice” are fraudulent anyhow because they express deep interest in knowing how to make Zubrowka so they can recognize identity thieves and they cite the apparent health and other benefits of buffalo grass and guava juice. Sure, but I know, as grandfather says, “That stuff is a bunch of ----!” And no one is looking for more liberals.


Christmas puzzler fun

1. What are the names of Santa’s eight tiny reindeer?

2. What were the gifts in the Twelve Days of Christmas?

Answers Below...Don't Peak!

Santa’s Eight Tiny Reindeer

  1. Dasher
  2. Dancer
  3. Prancer
  4. Vixon
  5. Comet
  6. Cupid
  7. Donner
  8. Blitzen

Twelve Days of Christmas

  1. Partridge in a Pear Tree
  2. Turtle Doves
  3. French Hens
  4. Calling Birds
  5. Gold Rings
  6. Geese Laying
  7. Swans Swimming
  8. Maids Milking
  9. Ladies Dancing
  10. Lords Leaping
  11. Pipers Piping
  12. Drummers Drumming