Friday, 1 April 2011

Tactical Nuclear Penguin


There exist in my life an increasing number of events that prove impossible to classify. Ostensibly they appear as mistakes, or bad decisions, but circumstance conspires to make their consequences difficult to appraise.

TOD forgetting to pay the rent on a flat we once lived in so that we got thrown out by a crazy landlord from County Kerry looks like an error. But the flat was small, had no electric lights, an immovable freezer full of rotting meat in the sitting room, and my bedroom had no windows. A month of homelessness may have been a small price to pay for eventually finding somewhere habitable.

The Russian taking on my immeasurable financial expertise in June 2009 and betting that CPI inflation wouldn't rise above 4 % within the next 2 years was definitely foolish (even though he is in an industry which loves the smell of Novocain in the morning). But my decision to spend almost all of the winnings on two small bottles of beer could have gone either way.

Brew Dog clearly enjoy winding up the anti-alcohol brigade by brewing increasingly strong beers and launching them with much fanfare. But even they recommend drinking Tactical Nuclear Penguin in moderation.

To be honest though I'm not sure it's their prerogative. So I made up to enjoy these as irresponsibly as possible, and for that I'd need a sidekick.

Sister has always had a fantastic appetite for waywardness, and once confessed that she "would give anything to be a penguin" so her return to the family abode a night before our week-long sojourn in Mallorca seemed as good an excuse as any to get stuck into it...

There's alcohol on the nose, but porter too, and savouriness. Not too bad, but nothing to prepare you for what's to come. Soy sauce, salt, burnt barley and burning heat, but what sticks, overwhelmingly is Marmite. Lots and lots and lots of it.

This one went catastrophically wrong; it is nasty in a malicious and visceral way. Like Bovril made with poitin but a billion times worse. Impossible to enjoy in moderation- total abstinence is the only way.

Unless you're my Spanish penguin. He quite liked it.


  1. I have, you will recall, explained several times exactly how & why we were thrown out of that house. The first of two fortuitous evictions that you have been the beneficiary, and I the cause. There is nothing whatsoever difficult to appraise about it.

  2. Two evictions? I don't recall wanting to leave Electric House.

    Not, of course, that I recall leaving.

  3. The second was after the end-of-exam celebrations when half of Leeds descended upon the flat. The night that ended up with all the unexplained blood everywhere. And then that estate agent (what was his name? The human embodiment of the Celtic Tiger) decided he was overruling the landlady and let us stay.

  4. Ah yes, when DE-K drank all my beer. A dark moment.

    I really am a man almost as sinned against as sinning.