McWhiskys magnum opus Bacchi Plenus:
McWhiskys magnum opus Bacchi Plenus. Perhaps this will mitigate and/or allay my Jack Lord idee fixe…my King Charles’s head or whatever you like to call it.
I slipped onto the stool, that most heavenly station,
A tad capernoited after much popination.
‘Twas tea time by then, and I fancied a drop
Of champagne or cognac—or any slipslop.
Alas, I adn’t a farthing to buy me some grog,
So I knew it was time to find a shot-clog.
Beside me there sat a young bibulous fellow
With ‘is nose in his barm, looking quite mellow.
I winked at the publican, then turned to me mate;
‘e was deep in his downdrins, unaware of ‘is fate.
I patted ‘is seidel and flashed ‘im a smile;
‘E belched in reply, and ‘is breath was right vile.
Undaunted, I said, “For some blash, me old chum,
I will teach you to drink supernaculum.”
After xertzing a jubbe, and then three more apace,
I was sozzled with stinkibus, ‘e was flat on his face.
Here is a glossary to the poem:
Bacchi plenus: (BAK-eye PLEE-nus) Latin for “full of Bacchus,” blazing drunk. Bacchus, also known as Dionysus, was the ancient Greek And Roman god of wine and and orgiastic drunkenness. An aside:
Ironically, I played Bacchus in a college stage production—”Orpheus In The Underworld”–I didn’t garner
any awards, but I did receive three curtain calls…and as you can clearly see it has yielded nothing, except for obsession and depression with a sidetrip to mother’s helper decompression.
barm: beer foam (also called fob).
bibulous: (BIB-yuh-lus) fond of drinking, especially excessively.
blash: weak or watered-down liquor or beer (blashy, adj.).
capernoited: (KAP-ur-NOY-tid) slightly intoxicated, tipsy. This Scottish dialectal word may also
mean irritable, peevish
downdrins: an afternoon drinking session.
jubbe (rhymes with rub): a large vessel for drinking ale or wine.
popination: (PAHP-i-NAY-shun) a playfully pompous term for barhopping, apparently formed from
“pop in” (as for a drink) and the noun suffix-ation. The adjective
popinal (stress on pop) means pertaining to bars or restaurants.
publican: a saloon keeper or bar manager.
seidel: (SY-dul or ZY-del) a large beer mug with a hinged cover.
shot-clog: a simpleminded drinking companion that one tolerates only because he or she is willing to buy
supernaculum: see discussion below.
xertz: (ZURTS) to gulp down, swallow quickly and greedily.
Supernaculum (SOO-pur-NAK-yoo-lum) has an interesting history. The word comes from Latin and means literally to drink upon (super) the nail (naculum)—in today’s lingo, to drink to the last drop. Brand’s “Popular Antiquity” (1813) offers this elucidation: “To drink supernaculum was an ancient custom, not only in England, but also in several other parts of Europe, of emptying the glass and then pouring the drop or two that remained at the bottom upon the person’s nail that drank it, to show that he was no flincher.” According to tradition, if the heeltap–the bit of liquor left in the glass after drinking–fell off the nail, the drinker was obliged to fill up and drink again. Supernaculum came to be used in a general sense to mean good liquor.