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John McClane v. The Santa Pub Crawl

Now I have a machine gun. Ho ho ho!

My favorite Christmas movie of all time is Die Hard. It’s a heart wrenching tale of lost love reconnecting in Los Angeles on Christmas Eve. Detective John McClane flies from New York City to hook up with his estranged wife who coincidently looks old enough to be his mother. After catching a limousine ride with some guy named Argyle (I’m naming my first daughter Taffeta) listening to the whitest Run-DMC song ever recorded, he encounters a mess of problems at Nakotami Plaza. It’s bad enough that McClane and his ancient wife continue to fight but a bunch of German terrorist take over the building! Alone and barefoot, McClane is able to outwit and outfight Hans Gruber and his band of jack-booted thugs, rescuing the hostages, save the bearer bonds, befriend fat beat cop Al Powell and teach everyone a thing or two about the true meaning of Christmas. It’s just like A Charlie Brown Christmas with machine guns and one-liners.

Bruce Willis is awesome as McClane but Alan Rickman steals the movie as Hans Gruber. If Osama bin Laden was more like Gruber, I wouldn’t be nearly as anti-Taliban as I am today. I try to watch Die Hard around the holidays to prepare me for the onslaught of ne’er-do-wells who flood the bar for Christmas parties and general stupidity. It’s a bracing movie like a cold shower or Indian food. The odds might have been 12-to-one against McClane but behind the bar, there isn’t enough Twinkies and detonators to get through the night.

Let’s get a couple of things out of the way. If you are in love with Christmas and you don’t have children, you are an idiot. You are probably the same idiot who thinks your birthday should be treated like a week-long Marti Gras. Christmas should be celebrated in the same fashion as a six-foot party sub—share with your friends but remember to throw it away after a week. I honestly believe Jesus Christ wouldn’t be able to stop vomiting if he knew the entire hullabaloo that went into his birthday. It’s bad enough we take his name in every war or any other half-baked enterprise we embark on but starting to hang decorations the day after Halloween? He’s so angry about how bad we’ve twisted and distorted his birthday that he lets thousands of people get trampled at Walmart every Black Friday.

Let’s be clear: I am not an Ebenezer Scrooge. I like Christmas. I wasn’t molested on Christmas by a neighbor in a Grinch mask or thrown into a paddy wagon as St. Nick made his rounds. My childhood was idyllic. My mother did everything to make the holidays wonderful. And I try to continue the tradition by decorating our house, hanging stockings, lining the front of the house with lights and raising a tree. I buy presents for family and friends and we even sent out Xmas cards this year. The most anticipated and drunkest, and I mean the drunkest, day of the year for me is Christmas Eve. I go paddling out into an ocean of Johnny Walker and I am lucky to ever see the shore at the stroke of midnight. If there anything better than seeing a movie on Christmas? Not unless that movie is at Brewvies.

My problem is that Christmas brings out a meanness in people at the bar that Santa Claus would qualify as NAUGHTY.  I am sure if we were taught about the true meaning of Xmas from loving parents and not the television, people would be a lot more civil with each other. Unfortunately, it seems like every person at the bar is like Harry Ellis (buckle up, there’s going to be a bunch of Die Hard references coming up) and that makes the dispenser of eggnog and cheer both difficult and upsetting.

Nine million terrorist in the world and I gotta kill one with smaller feet than my sister?

The single greatest idea that is better on paper than in practice is a Santa Pub Crawl. Thousands of people wandering the streets drunk, covered in piss and puke and ravenous for their next taste of human flesh sounds great but when you’re on the serving side of one of these mobs, I’d rather deal with a zombie apocalypse. Think I am wrong? Close your eyes and imagine Gary Busey. Now imagine Gary Busey in a Santa Claus costume screaming for JagerBombs. Now imagine that same Gary Busey raping one of your piano players. And finally, imagine not a single person in the crowd yelling, “How much?” That in a nutshell is a Santa Pub Crawl.

I wish I took a picture of the stretch of Main Street in front of the bar during the Santa Pub Crawl because there is no way you would ever believe me. It was a frozen rink of vomit and emptied cans of Natural Light. Out of the corner of my eye, I could see a crowd of red suits sliding over chunks of the previous clubs in downtown Salt Lake as hordes of tax-paying adults barfed and urinated in the street. For once, maybe the Mormons have it right. Maybe our liquor laws are out of control and we need to rein it in.

Can there be a better way of debunking the Santa myth to a child then the perfect storm of two thousand ravenous drunks running wild at Temple Square? That’s got to be the equivalent of watching the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny screwing in the back of a Target dressing room. As a parent, the ante has got to be raised when you see St. Nick getting stroked by Mrs. Claus over a shared bottle of Old Crow and all you wanted to do was show your kids the Temple lights. I am glad I found out that Santa Clause was my parents from my cousin Albert and not by watching a gang of Santa Clauses fist fighting with cops

“And when Alexander saw the breadth of his domain, he wept, for there were no more worlds to conquer.” Benefits of a classical education.

The $24 Santa Claus suit from the aforementioned Walmart is a great costume with the exception of the fact that it doesn’t have pockets. For a successful night of boozing, you really need three things: good shoes, a light dinner and pockets. Women have the advantage of double-downing with their bra as both purse and boob holder but men are forced to figure a way of carrying ID and cash. There is nothing more disturbing than pouring out a round of shots and waiting as Santa Claus fishes out his debit card from his tighty-whities. Wanna know why I hate Christmas? Because I find myself running credit cards covered in pubes. And I wonder why I’ve been sick for a month…

I know I am in the business of getting people drunk but December is the worst month of the year for over-consumption and lack of manners. My name is Benjamin Mitchell Raskin. Growing up, my siblings called me Bean-O. I go by Ben at home but I am Benny at the bar. All in all, I think it is a pretty solid name. I got lucky with a name that I like and I like being the only Raskin in the state of Utah. As much as I like my name, I want to change my name to Bob Jones when I have a bar-full screaming twats yelling for Lemon Drops or Coors Light. I cannot think of another business beside the bar where screaming at the attendant gets you quicker service. If I yelled my banker’s name for a solid two minutes trying to make a deposit at the bank, I would wake up to a face of pepper spray in the back of a squaddie. If I slammed my fist on the counter of a TSA gate, I would be taking a Greyhound bus to San Diego.

Mr. Takagi, I could talk about industrialization and men’s fashion all day but I’m afraid work must intrude…”

I think it goes without saying that Utahns can’t hold their liquor. All of those jokes people make about Utah are true. I used to go hoarse defending my fellow citizens to out-of-towners that Utah knows how to party but the reality is that the average Utahn drinks as well as the Nevadan in junior high. My new position in telling out-of-towners about our liquor laws is that Utahns are too immature and stupid to respect the service of alcohol in the state. Biting the hand that feeds me? I’m sure I’d be worried if one of the people that I am talking about read my column. Those gin monkeys are too busy priming in front of the mirror in their new Affliction blouse or berating their girlfriend. My comeuppance is years away because it’s going to take them awhile to learn how to use a computer. If the average Utahn could take a collective moment and pull his head out of their asses, they could see that this is a damn fine place to live.

Do our liquor laws stop people from becoming trashed? Lord no. Between the altitude, the copious amounts of idiot juice (Red Bull) and the inability to handle a shot of Wild Turkey, Utahns are doing just fine with their one-ounce pours and 3.2% beer. The last thing this state needs is a Santa Pub Crawl with full-strength beer flowing through their veins.

Utahns deserve the liquor laws that they have.

The reason why my friends and I can polish off a bottle of Jameson and not punch out a cop is that we were raised in a culture that didn’t demonize booze. That’s why for Christmas we can have cocktails and still be able to keep the contents of our stomach inside of our bodies. Jive-ass turkeys descending upon the bars during the silly season means only two things for me: I am going to work twice as hard for half the money and somebody is going to end their night with me 86ing you from the club. I’ll take your business but I won’t take your abuse. I just went through a month of you morons barking like seals for the girliest drinks on the planet and I’ve cut more than a few of you off. I’m one insult away from putting an eye-dropper of chemical castration in every one of your vodka & Red Bulls. I’ll be damned if my son going to continue the Raskin tradition of bartending for your idiot spawn.

So, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Years, Jerkweeds! For me, this holiday season means only one thing to me and that is being home with Erin and the pups. Spending time with my family trumps watching the movie sidewalk of drunken pigs and whores at the bar. You’re lucky I am still waiting to see what Santa left for me under the tree or I would have emptied a spittoon into every third drink I poured this month. Keep that in mind the next time you act like Amy Winehouse.

Yippee-ki-yay, motherfuckers.

Ben Raskin pours at Keys On Main Wednesday through Saturday. Got a problem with that? Then tell it to his face. Follow him on Twitter @BennyRaskin.

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About Ben Raskin

Born in El Cajon, raised in Las Vegas, educated in Reno and living in Salt Lake City. I bartend, write, box and live in Sugarhouse UT.

Discussion

2 thoughts on “John McClane v. The Santa Pub Crawl

  1. Fucking awesome. I’m heading to the DVD rack to pull out my well used copy of America’s greatest contribution to Christmas movies. You’ve nailed it again, Raskin.

    Posted by Brandon Isenhour | December 24, 2011, 3:33 am
  2. WOW. And I’m sure the bar really hates all that added revenue, too. Not to mention the increased tips for the night.

    Posted by Molly | December 24, 2011, 7:37 pm

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