July/August 2012

Musin’s and Thinkin’s

A Monthly Stroll Down Folksy Byways

with Jack Pendarvis

Sometimes as I sit on the porch swing and puff away on my trusty corncob pipe as eventide comes rolling in, I start to wonder whether eventide is a word and, if so, what it means, and whether I’m having some kind of a stroke.

A quick trip to the family dictionary usually sets things right, and soon enough I find myself swinging back and forth again, sometimes even on the porch swing, and ruminating about slightly more pleasant topics, such as the olden days of yore and Granny’s special preserves. They were terrible.

Why did she choose to preserve Grandpa’s bitter tears, for example?

I must admit, though, they make an excellent addition to a variety of cocktails.

Coat the inside of a chilly highball glass with a little sweet vermouth. Add cracked ice and a couple of shots of good rye. Rub lemon peel around the rim, and garnish with a cherry if so desired. Just before serving, dot liberally from a vial of a deceased relative’s tears, preferably one who was repeatedly disappointed in matters of love or business. It’s a lot like a Manhattan, but I don’t call it a Manhattan, because my grandfather never made it there. I call it an “Estranged Twin Brother’s Funeral.”

We hope you enjoy this excerpt.

To read the full piece, please purchase a copy of the magazine from The McSweeney’s Store.

Jack Pendarvis has written three books.

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