A Song After the Binge

Header photo via NASA Ice / James Yungel

The hits just keep coming in the climate change parade. Most recently a new NASA study predicted that an Antarctic ice shelf the size of Scotland could collapse by 2020.

Favorite quote from the Washington Post story:

“What might happen is that for a few years, we will have the detachment of big icebergs from this remaining ice shelf, and then at one point, one very very warm summer, when you have lots of melting of the surface, the whole thing will just give way, and will shatter into thousands of smaller icebergs,” says the Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s Ala Khazendar, lead author of the new study.

My understanding:  While the ice shelf is already in the water and its collapse alone won’t appreciably lift global water levels, it will open up the way for melting land-based glaciers to flow more easily into the sea.

That’s not good.

The ice shelf in question is called Larsen B, which immediately reminded me of this song about the unpleasant after-effects of an unfortunate and ill-advised binge.

We’re melting the Larsen B
with every added degree.
As tall icebergs fall into the foam.
Liquefy snow.
The glaciers let go.
Well, the ice shelf broke up
Submerging my home.

I hope that our fins evolve
As quick as the ice dissolve.
Antarctica wants to flow
over my home!
Soaking the loam.
That is the point of this poem, yeah yeah.
When the ice shelf broke up,
submerging my home.

Like ice cubes to a drunk
we’re hypnotized by each chunk
a prize, Scotland-sized, floating away.
Sea levels rise
You can predict the demise.
The ice shelf broke up
Submerging my home.

Add some lyrics or describe a night drinking with your grandfather.

75 thoughts on “A Song After the Binge”

  1. Drinking with my Grandfather?? I wonder how you come up with the questions some days. But no… never did that.
    My grandparents always seemed old. Partially that is because I am the youngest of the youngest so, they really were old. (Old being relative but I mean they were either already dead or in their ’70s. Present company excluded! You’re not old!)

    OT: son is getting married tomorrow.
    As parents of the groom we’re keeping a low profile and missing out on some of the stress. Rehearsal dinner will be here at our place tonight so we have the tent, the giant inflatable slide and the inflatable obstacle course.
    Groomsmen went camping last night for the bachelor party. Not sure where, but around here… presumably they stayed dry? Or not.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Thanks everybody. Had a good time tonight. It will all be fun! And my 89 yr Young mom did the slide! Took two grandsons to get her up there and she had to rest at the top, but she said it was fun and laughed all the way down while the crowd cheered her on.

      Thinking we’ll be having another Porta Potty Party this summer. Look for the invites. 🙂

      Liked by 3 people

  2. I never met either of my grandfathers. I’m fairly certain, though, that my mother’s father would have enjoyed a pint with me, but I have no idea who my father’s dad was.

    I’m struck, Dale, by the whimsy with which you talk about climate change. The subject terrifies me.


  3. I only had one Grandfather and by the time I came along, drinking was not a family activity.

    There is that dandy old photo of him and some buddies tapping a keg out at Union Hill. Common consensus dates this photo sometime during Prohibition.

    If all goes well at sectionals today, there may be some overindulgence with ice cream afterwards.

    For Baboons into the power of positive thinking, we want 4:25 in the mile and :52 on his leg of the 4×400.

    Nope, never in my wildest did I ever expect to get this hopped up about my child’s athletic performance.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. reporting in:

      S&h placed a very nice 5th in the mile with a 4:37, new PR.

      4X400 split was :56 which the c poo aches felt was mighty finw after that mile.

      3 of the guys ahead of him on the mile are seniors so anything can happen next year.

      Liked by 5 people

      1. I have to really put in a good word for the coaches. They are truly dedicated people who get the very best out of the kids. They teach the kids to work hard, compete like they mean it, and be gracious to each other and the opposition.

        Liked by 4 people

  4. We’ll be moist when the Larsen B fails.
    And more than a little bit wet
    Call for the chaplain! Implore: “God save our home!”
    “Please save our home.”
    “Refreeze the Antarctic zone.”
    This is the worst sh….t!
    It’s man’s denouement

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Neither of my grandfathers were big drinkers. My paternal grandfather had diabetes, and drank only sparingly, but when he did he had a glass of Christian Brothers brandy. My maternal grandfather had a beer on occasion, but not often. Husband’s maternal grandfather probably was a problem drinker who had trouble keeping a job and who spent time riding the rails and drifting around Ohio, Indiana, Pennsylvania, and Michigan.


  6. One grandfather was gone well before I was born.
    I might have shared a tomato juice with the other. I only remember three things about that grandfather whom I lost when I was six. He taught me Frere Jacques, he drank tomato juice and he watched Arthur Godfrey.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I watched Arthur Godfrey. When I was 3 and 4 years old it was my favorite show! And then my parents took me to the Omaha rodeo in which he and Goldie the Horse performed. I floated for weeks.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. My dad told me that once, during Prohibition, Grandpa was making homemade hooch in the kitchen and the still exploded. I guess Grandpa had quite a time cleaning it all up.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Doesn’t Kevin Kling have a story like that? His grandfather brewed some beer during Prohibition (actually, so did one of my grandfathers). During a visit by their minister for a Christmas dinner, the beer bottles in the basement began exploding, one after another. The grandfather had to say something, so he said, “There goes another one of your canned peaches, dear.”

      Liked by 2 people

  8. Drinking with my grandfathers? What a terrifying idea!

    My father’s father was a sour, grumpy old bigot. His only entertainment in his final years was staring through binoculars at all the traffic through the house next door, a house that was actually a brothel staffed by black women. Their business became a sort of obsession with him.

    My mother’s father was an avuncular, sweet old guy who found modern life astonishing. His characteristic pose was to shake his head in disbelief at some story about modern life. Hearing that autos were traveling at 70 mph on the new Interstate Highway system, Grampa Cox would shake his head and say, “Garsh!” Grampa Cox never drank. He was, however, the horniest old goat in the Midwest, a white-haired Don Juan who serviced a string of girlfriends even when he was in his 70s. That only stopped when he began having car accidents. After he drove through the back wall of his garage they took away his car keys, which cut off his love life. He didn’t live much longer after that.

    I can’t imagine either of these guys as a drinking buddy.


  9. My mother’s dad, who I know precious little about, abandoned Granny and their nine kids when the youngest was just a tot. The subject of him was taboo in her family. He simply took his accordion one day and left. Forty years later, my mother discovered that he hadn’t gone far. Just 26 miles down the road to Dublin. Pretty sure he liked his Guinness, I know Granny did.


  10. I think i might have had more fun drinking with my maternal great grandfather. He was a compulsive gambler and who probably had a lot of fascinating stories about his life in Hamburg Germany before he lost all his money,.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. My father’s stepfather was nasty stinking drunk who died 25 years before I was born. Real grandfather unknown. My mother’s father was supposed to have been a sweetheart. Died three years before my birth. He did not drink; just did not like it. No objection, despite being a Methodist. Supposedly I walk like him. Supposedly my 20 month old grandson walks like me.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I didn’t reach drinking age during my grandfathers’ lifetimes, and I don’t know if either of them imbibed. My mother’s father was a farmer, so for him a night of drinking likely would have comprised a couple of beers and an early bedtime so he could get up early and do the milking.

    I was thinking a post-global-climate-change version of the Beach Boys might be a band from Atlanta, or maybe Tucson.

    Liked by 3 people

  13. I find it interesting how many baboons have rascals and scamps as grandfathers. It sort of contradicts the notion that people in the past were somehow more upstanding and well behaved than people are today.


    1. At an early age my sister decided our family had some dark secret, so she sleuthed around. Sure enough, my mother was born when her parents had been married just a few months. In earlier times young folks had little or no access to dependable birth control. There were a lot of “premature” births.


      1. Have you heard of bundling boards? In pioneer days when the couples courted in cold cabins, parents would “bundle” them in a quilt with a board in the middle so they could talk but could resist physical impulses of the devil. There were a few premies born from bundling as well–board was not wide enough I guess.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Two of my mother’s sisters had children out of wedlock in the late 40’s or early 50’s. Both of my father’s parents were raised in an orphanage, and there’s no information about their parentage. In their day, illegitimate children were often politely called orphans.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. That is NOT comforting about the icebergs.

    My dad’s dad lost the lumberyard in the Depression, and ended up owning the local tavern. Story is Grandma finally laid down the law, no more coming home after drinking, so by the time I knew him there was no liquor in the house.

    What about grandmothers? My mom’s mom would’ve been game for a beer or several – then just toss the can behind the fridge…


  15. Rise and Carouse Baboons!

    Hmmm, one grandfather was descended from Quakers and the other Mennonites. I cannot even conceive a fantasy about this. Both would have grabbed me by the hair, exited the bar, and taken me home. Perhaps there would have been ear-boxing, as well.


    1. My father’s family were descended from Mennonites as well, but they took non-conformity one step further and only did what they felt like doing.

      Liked by 2 people

  16. With all these rascals and scamps I feel a bit dull. Paternal grandfather was an accountant – died before I was born (died just days after my father and his brother arrived home from WWII – he had a heart condition – seems the sort to enjoy an occasional cocktail, back when those were new). Maternal grandfather grew up on a dairy farm and became a math teacher (died while I was in college – Lutheran teetotaler). So perhaps this:

    My grandfathers may have seemed bland
    But gosh I’m glad their my clan
    The one who taught math also sang loud
    Sang loud in Norse
    As a matter of course, yah yah
    I cannot quite fathom
    Gin in his home…

    Liked by 3 people

  17. So hoist up ice shelter umbrella
    Let’s keep the sun off that fella
    Defect all the sunshine off
    send it away
    Could we please start it today oh yeah
    When the ice shelf broke up
    It’ll submerge my home

    Ted Cruz says it’s not climate change
    That man is seriously deranged
    His oil men buddies like the way he stays bought
    Logic matters naught
    In contradictions he’s caught
    When the ice shelf breaks off
    It submerges his home

    Liked by 5 people

  18. My dads dad was the son of a mean drunken Irishman so my dads dad was a tea totler no fun to drink with him
    My other grandfather told me me me stories when he was sober he would have been no fun at all when he got drunk
    But…… The me me me grandfather had high faulting taste and one family weekend at the lakes a friend of mine and I went to sleep in the beach house with a borrowed bottle of his pinch scotch an unopened quart, we were so inexperienced we didn’t know when you got knee walking drunk you didn’t need to finish the continue until the bottle was gone. Made for a tough morning after.
    All my grandfather ever said was “at least you got to drink some really good whiskey” and it was

    Liked by 1 person

  19. My mom’s youngest brother was killed in a motorcycle accident when he was in his early twenties. To compensate for his loss, my Granny received a monthly stipend, not sure if it was an insurance payment or what, but I recall vividly going with her to the office once to collect her monthly sum. The office was close to her favorite pub, and Granny insisted that we stop in for a drop on the way home.

    Seated in a dark booth she ordered herself a glass of Guinness and a soft-drink- which she made me pay for myself – for me. Then she pulled a framed photo of the deceased son from her purse and placed it on the table in front of us. She took a sip from her Guinness – which left a small mustache of foam on her upper lip – lifted the picture of my uncle to her lips and gave it a kiss. This process transferred the mustache to the photo. Showing me a piece of paper indicating the amount of money she had just collected she wailed “this is all they pay me for my poor dead child.” After a good cry,, and finishing her stout we went home.

    This happened the day before Uncle John’s wedding, and in retrospect I can imagine that there was more than the usual amount of tension at her house that day. When Uncle John detected the beer on Granny’s breath, he had a coniption, and a huge family squabble ensued. What was she thinking bringing me to the pub? What would my mother think? On and on it went for hours, as other uncles arrived and joined in the fray. I was eleven years old, and I’ll never forget it. It was the last time I had a drink with Granny.

    Liked by 4 people

        1. Great story
          Tough reality
          Maybe you should put it to paper pj
          The bits you’ve told would make an interesting read
          Good soul touching therapy for you if you re up to it
          Then we’ll talk Sherrilee into doing hers and dragging her sisters into the limelight

          Liked by 1 person

        2. Thanks, tim. In retrospect I can look at my mother and her absolutely crazy family with a lot of compassion. They were hardscrabble people who endured unbelievably difficult times.

          Perhaps one of the reasons that this incident remains so vivid in my mind is that the uncle who was killed in the motorcycle accident was one of the two who had sexually molested me when I was only three years old. I was glad that he was dead, and I felt guilty about that. But having never told anyone about the abuse, that secret was mine.

          As to writing the story, I dabble at it now and again, but am having trouble finding the right voice. It does help sort through some of the demons that have had such an impact on my life; it’s therapeutic even if no one ever reads it.

          Liked by 2 people

    1. Was this the Irish side of the family?
      I can’t imagine a fuss taking a child into the pub in any Irish family I know of
      The pub is where the child Is supposed to be while his grandma is supping a giuness


      1. Yes, this was my mother’s family in Drogheda.

        Under normal circumstances, I don’t think it would have been a big deal, tim. This being the eve of John’s wedding, I suppose he was unusually volatile. The Condron family was renown for their temper, and this particular evening, the smell of stout on Granny’s breath was enough to cause a major eruption.


    2. Been reading Cider with Rosie set in the Cotswald in the 1920’s. Full of stories like this. Sandy has tales about sitting in the car behind a bar waiting for her father. Her memories says many times for long spans, but she admits memory may exaggerate.
      She also used to be sent two blocks down the street to get her father out of a bar. She hated walking in to get him. He, of course, made her wait before he came home.
      So glad my parents would hardly drink.


      1. Your tale of Sandy’s waiting for her father reminds me of an old song my father used to sing (not because of any personal experience, I don’t think). I can’t imagine being a child and having to deal with something like this.


      2. I can only imagine how terrified a child would be at the prospect of having to fetch a parent from a bar. Thankfully, I was never in that position. I know from personal experience that childhood traumas leave lasting pain. I’m hoping that Sandy has found a way to embrace that hurt little girl that she was, and integrate her into a compassionate adult. From what you’ve written about her, Clyde, I think she has.


  20. We had a very active day of planting all sorts of things, and I think of my maternal grandfather who loved to grow things and taught me how to plant trees and shrubs. Ferns, beans, roses, lemon verbena, carrots, beets, spinach, chard, lemon thyme, Italian parsley, four kinds of beans, and strawberries all were planted today. I would serve Ompa a glass of good champagne were he here with me today.

    Liked by 3 people

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