Man vs. Bear?
It's a shot of such putridity, such vile and frankly, blasphemous proportions. A shot that will no doubt end in one's untimely demise at the hands of three bouncers. A shot that will leave you lying on the sidewalk outside of the bar simultaneously vomiting and pissing yourself, bleeding from the ears, temporarily blinded, cursing a God that has betrayed you and your sensory organs. …
It's fitting that my moronic bartender friends and I have taken to this shot, which is more suited for frat initiations. A shot that Civil-War-era surgeons would have administered in lieu of chloroform before sawing off the limbs of wounded Confederate soldiers. It's the kind of a shot taken to fortify a World War I soldier before he charged out of the trenches into no-man's land and certain death. Hunter S. Thompson eschewed this shot because of the dangers it posed to his health. He drank pure ether instead.
This shot is a blend of everything that's wrong with America and the way that we imbibe.
It's called the bear fight.
It is called so because of the juxtaposition of liquors and the unmistakable feeling in your gut of a polar bear and a brown bear fighting to the death. I personally call it a bear fight because after a few of these I'll be foaming at the mouth, roaming the forest, prepared to fight a real live Kodiak with nothing but a dull butter knife I pilfered from the saloon that just gave me my unceremonious exit.
The bear fight consists of an Irish car bomb (a half shot of Jameson Irish Whiskey mixed with a half shot of Bailey's Irish Cream, dropped into a half-pint of Guinness) followed — without hesitation — by a Jager bomb (a shot of Jagermeister liqueur dropped into a half-pint of Red Bull). It's the quickest solution to sobriety other than filling a hypodermic needle full of Wolfschmidt vodka and injecting it directly into your eyeball.
Yes, my friends and I live in a state of perpetual reckless abandon. Yes, I hate me too.
There is nothing in the world more helpless and irresponsible and depraved than a man in the depths of a bear fight binge, and I knew we'd get into that rotten stuff pretty soon. — Fear and Loathing in Richmond Virginia.
Mediocrity Wins Awards: In this year's Best and Worst issue of Richmond Magazine I've been named the best bartender in Richmond, a title that is laughably untrue. I can name 20 bartenders better than I who deserve this award. I must've made out with one of the magazine's editors in the midst of a bear fight blackout and gained her everlasting love. This is the only conceivable reason for me to win this award.
That being said, I'm a media whore and I'll take the title. Pick up a copy of the new mag and see the other businesses and locals who stuffed the ballot box for a cheap victory. P.S. Thanks Mom.
Richmond bartender Jack Lauterback consumes and slings drinks at a number of local establishments. He also writes a surly blog at http://jackgoesforth.blogspot.com. Find him on Twitter @jackgoesforth. Have a question or comment for the bartender? E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.