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Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Good morning crew,

Last weekend's whiskey release party that the wife took me to turned out to be quite a little affair. You may or may not recall me commenting that I didn't know if the event was going to be held in a warehouse, or a distillery, or a liquor store or what. As it turned out, it was the distillery itself, but it was not what I expected.

In my mind, a distillery is a big, smelly, industrial space where big, pot-bellied vats bubble away belching out alcoholic fumes. The reality couldn't have been more different. Granted, this is a very small company that produces small-batch, hand crafted spirits, but the actual equipment fit into a room not much bigger than a one-car garage.

The company, called St. Pat's Horsebox Whiskey, rents a room in a large event venue. It's the kind of place where you might go to see a small concert or attend a wedding reception. In fact, when we walked into the place we found a room that was set up much like it would have been for a wedding reception, with seating for maybe 100 people.

I didn't even realize we were in the distillery until the wife and I wandered up a flight of stairs onto a balcony and found all of the distilling apparatus.

As for the party itself, it was St. Patrick's themed, so there are some embarrassing pictures of me wearing a green plastic derby floating around somewhere, but the buffet featured corned beef, steamed potatoes in butter and parsley, and honey and brown sugar glazed carrots. So I was more than happy with the comestibles.

The star of the show, of course, was their new whiskey. And it was pretty good, too. Our admission price included two drink tickets, which both the wife and I used to sample the whiskey, but I discovered that the guy handing out the samples was one of the distillery owners, so by hanging out at the bar and engaging him in conversation about his product, the distilling process and aging techniques, I found myself the recipient of several free samples.

"This one," he would say, fishing under the bar for a bottle, "is only three years old and uses a little more barley."

"Mmmm, very piquant," I would answer, "but how does it compare with the older stuff?"

"Ah ha! Try this. This is five years old and was aged in casks made from Michigan white oak."

In this way I was fairly well lubricated before we even sat down to dinner.

But if alcohol is anything it is a social catalyst. At one point in the evening I found myself in conversation with a couple and discovered that the young lady went to the same high school as my wife. So I concocted a little practical joke.

I pointed the wife out on the other side of the room and talked this young woman into walking up to her and claiming she remembered her from high school because the wife was so popular that all the underclassmen knew who she was.

When I walked back over to our table I found the wife and this woman in close and intimate conversation like they had been best friends all their lives.

The wife was a tiny bit crestfallen when I revealed the plot, but at least for a few minutes she got to believe that she was a lot more popular in high school than she ever thought she was.

So the night turned out to be a lot of fun. By the end of it we had made at least four new best friends that we will probably never talk to again.

And then the wife drove me home.

Bounce over to the Clean Laffs on Facebook page if you'd like to see a few pics from the night.

Laugh it up,


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"Pizza Hut introduced a pair of athletic shoes that have a button that orders pizza. When they heard about it, fans of Pizza Hut said, 'What are athletic shoes?'" -Conan O'Brien


"Apple employees keep walking into glass walls at their new campus in California. An Apple customer said, 'Oh, so you DO know how to make glass that doesn't shatter.'" -Jimmy Fallon


"Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen has announced he will invest $125 million in a research lab to teach artificial intelligence machines common sense. I'm not sure I like the idea of inanimate objects having common sense. I don't need my refrigerator telling me, 'Yeah, maybe you don't need any more ice cream.'" -James Corden


As you know, Neanderthal man may have interbred with modern man. His descendants are with us even today, passing for full-blooded Homo sapiens.

If you suspect a "touch of the old hand ax" in your ancestry, score yourself on this test:

1. Do your eyebrows meet in the middle? If so, give yourself five points.

2. Can you lock your knees in an upright position? If not, take five points.

3. Got a chin? If the answer is no, add three points.

4. How about a forehead? If not, add another three points.

5. Is it easy for you to balance a book on your head? Then give yourself five points.

6. Do you ever open Coke bottles with your teeth? If you do, add ten points.

7. Are you frequently more comfortable squatting on your heels than sitting in a chair? Take five points.

8. Is your head attached vertically to your neck? If not, add one point for every five degrees of slope.

9. Less than five feet tall? Add one point for every inch under.

10. If your lower arm is shorter than your upper arm, add one point for every inch of difference.

11. Ditto for your lower and upper legs.

12. Pigeon-toed? Five points.

13. Have you ever felt like bashing a postal clerk with a club? You're normal--no points.

14. Is the space between your big toe and your other toes big enough to hold an apple? Add five points.

15. Do you regularly eat apples in this way? Add fifteen points.

16. Do people think you're wearing your hair in a bun when you're not? Give yourself ten points.

17. Can you count your vertebrae while wearing two sweaters and an overcoat? Take five more points.

18. Is your nickname "Duke", "Butch", or "Animal"? Three points.

Scroll down for your score....


0-20 points:
You are a virtually pure Homo sapiens. Feel free to build bridges, compose symphonies, and overrun the world.

20-40 points:
A slight Neanderthal strain means that you will occasionally have spells of primitive behavior, crawling around on all fours and whooping wildly. If you live in California, no one will notice.

40-60 points:
You can still function quite well in the modern world, but avoid eating in fancy restaurants lest your table manners give you away.

60-80 points:
Your Pleistocene heritage is predominant. You should consider a career in pro football.

80-100 points:
Unfortunately, your genetic makeup is Grunt City; there is no place for you in human society. Try running for public office instead.

*-------------- Guaranteed to Roll Your Eyes --------------*

In the office where I work, there is a constant battle between our technical-support director and customer-service personnel over the room temperature, which is usually too low.

The frustrated director, trying to get us to understand his position, announced one afternoon, "We need to keep the temperature below seventy-five degrees or the computers will overheat."

Thinking that this was just another excuse, one of my shivering colleagues retorted, "Yeah right. So how did they keep the computers from overheating before there was air conditioning?"