BYOB (in style)

So Friday night I went flask shopping.

Two reasons :

1) My little brother's wedding is fast approaching.

The reception will feature:
--No Booze,
--No Dancing,
--Nobody I Know. (Yes, this point is hyperbole. Bear with me.)

If ever an event called for do-it-yourself liquid entertainment, this sounds like it.

Moreover, the happy couple has an evenly matched set of crazy older sisters. I like the idea of playing the role to the hilt by being the one who is knocking back her own supply of Southern Comfort at the dry reception and possibly scandalizing the new in-laws.

2) If it ever stops raining, I intend to attend the summer movies on the green at the Lumina Theater in Chapel Hill. Patrons are welcome to bring their own food and drink, but glass containers are not allowed. It occurs to me that if you're going to decant your social beverage into a non-glass container, a hip flask is way more cool than a plastic coffee thermos.

So I concluded that I have reached a point in my life at which a flask is called for.

One problem.

I have no idea where one would go shopping for a whisk(e)y flask. Especially someone who is as tightfisted about money as I am.

Solution: EBAY!

New problem: an overwhelming plethora of options.

I thought I was shopping for a basic, classic, unadorned stainless steel (to coordinate with the silver dress that I picked out myself -- not being a bridesmaid has its privileges) hip flask. But a search on "flask" on eBay turns up 3,300-odd listings.

I have to admit, I really liked this one:

But I concluded that pink isn't really my color, and would clash with the bridal party; and personal engraving is an extravagance that I can't justify money- or time-wise.

Then, noticing the variety of designs that are available engraved or printed on flasks, I wondered whether I could find a specimen that would contribute to my tacky religious paraphernalia collection. (If people can put religious messages on thong underwear, why not hip flasks?)

While I did find flasks reflecting loyalty to several other major religions, including one that is generally recognized as such, the closest thing I found to a Christian-themed flask was this. I sense an untapped marketing opportunity! Then again, I may well be the only person in the world interested in purchasing an evangelical liquor flask.

So, plain classic stainless steel it is. But there's still the question of size. It seems that 8 oz. is standard, but, again, so many choices! The discerning shopper must ask herself what is the purpose of her flask. If it's to sneak distilled spirits for personal consumption into her brother's wedding reception, anything bigger than a 4 oz. size is just excessive bulk and weight, because the point is not to get soused, and it would be nice if it fit in a cute little handbag. But then, if she's just using the wedding reception as an excuse to get a multipurpose beverage transport device, she's probably going to be frustrated with the limited capacity of the 3-4 oz. version for carrying less potent beverages. Oh, look, some of these eBay sellers are offering sets of larger and smaller flasks in a single lot! But does she really need more than one liquor flask? Oh, dear, her head is starting to hurt; she gives up, she is paralyzed by the tyranny of choice.

After sleeping on this momentous decision, I got up and placed the winning (and only) bid on a standard-sized stainless steel liquor flask, which I chose from the many available offerings because the seller had good feedback, the price was low, the auction was ending soon, and it comes with a cute little funnel. It should be arriving by the end of the week.


David and Sarah said...

This post was a delightful read-- especially as I'm in the midst of preparing my ordination thesis for the EFCA this week. What question was I working on just prior to reading your blog? You guessed it--my position on social drinking. Now, the EFCA does not formally proscribe its ministers from fire water, however from what I've gathered, the culture is rather ill-disposed thereto. I submit my brief piece to you and your readers for comment. (NB--it has to be short: I only have 20 pp. for the whole thing!)

While scripture is full of warnings against drunkenness (e.g., Rom. 13:13, Gal. 5:21, 1 Pet. 4:3), there is no indication that the moderate use of alcohol is inherently sinful. On the contrary, wine is described as God’s gift to men (Ps. 104:15; Am. 9:14), and its effects at times compared with God’s blessing (Zec. 10:7). Most weighty of all is our Lord’s own example at the wedding feast in Cana (Jn. 2:1-11), where Jesus miraculously supplies 180 gallons of wine to party guests who were already drunk—in other words, Jesus is hardly a tea-totaling kill-joy! I will have more to say on my personal practice in section 5.D., however, I think it clear that scripture places no prohibition on the moderate use of alcohol; rather, its moderate—and at times even its abundant use in the context of celebration—is modeled to us as part of God’s provision in the world for our comfort and joy. There are circumstances under which believers must, for the sake of Christian charity, restrict the exercise of their own freedoms in Christ, as when Paul circumcised Timothy (Acts 16:1-3). Such concessions, however, must never be confused with the law of God or made central to the proclamation of the Gospel—note Paul’s very different reaction over the circumcision issue when the Gospel is at stake in Galatia! (Gal. 2:1-6)

In addition to this, I couldn't help including Calvin's commentary on Ps. 104 in an endnote:

Calvin, in his commentary on Psalm 104:14-15 ("He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle, and herb for the service of man: that he may bring forth food out of the earth; and wine that maketh glad the heart of man, and oil to make his face to shine, and bread which strengtheneth man's heart."), makes the following observation:
In these words we are taught, that God not only provides for men’s necessity, and bestows upon them as much as is sufficient for the ordinary purposes of life, but that in his goodness he deals still more bountifully with them by cheering their hearts with wine and oil. Nature would certainly be satisfied with water to drink; and therefore the addition of wine is owing to God’s superabundant liberality. [. . .] As the prophet in this account of the divine goodness in providence makes no reference to the excesses of men, we gather from his words that it is lawful to use wine not only in cases of necessity, but also thereby to make us merry.

Hopefully I won't be out of a job next month.

Sarah said...

Always a daring move to quote your own founder in support of your position. Will they smile at your knowledge or your roots? Or frown at your obsequious proof-texting?

Daring, David. Daring.

Will you admit to your new hobby in print?

Absolutely hysterical.

Rachel said...

It tells you something about a denomination (oops, "Association") that it even has a social drinking question on its ordination exam, doesn't it? But I highly doubt that it's a trick question -- they're generally interested in ability to articulate a biblically informed position on a potentially contentious issue.

As for the Calvin citation (which is great; thanks for sharing it!), I suspect that even in Presbyterian circles his opinions hardly carry the gravity due such a venerable father in the faith. In the E. Free movement, one might well encounter an examiner who shares the opinion of the early 19th-century Restorationists Marshall and Thompson: "We are not personally acquainted with the writings of John Calvin, nor are we certain how nearly we agree with his views of divine truth; neither do we care."

Then again, you might meet someone who is highly conversant in Reformation theology and sorely disappointed over the inaccessibility of the writings of Oecolampadius in English. :)

David and Sarah said...

Yes, it felt rather daring. I don't know why it should, though--there's absolutely nothing in our consitution either for agin' it. Having read the instructions a bit more careully, however, I see that I'm not allowed to use footnotes, so the Calvin quote is out, alas. The "obsequious" prooftexting will have to carry the issue. As for admitting to my new hobby in print, I already have, on my blog. Let's hope google doesn't land me in too much trouble here!

Rachel said...

Bummer about the endnotes rule. When is this thing due? Do you have to give an oral defense? (If so, you could bring the Calvin quote along, just in case it comes up...)

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