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Summit Up

Good morning and welcome to Summit Up, the world’s only daily column with the memory of a fruit fly. Or a golden retriever. Take your pick.

OK, we screwed up. Call us what you will (we’ve heard it all before), and we won’t bother you with excuses (because we really don’t have any). We completely forgot to put in Sunday’s installment of the Where In Summit Up Land Is This? Contest! What ignorami we are.

Anyway, don’t worry, we’ll be back in full force this weekend, and we’re going to throw out a double edition to make up for last week. Be sure to tune in.


Cap’n Freshies, our Hollywood field agent, just had to respond to the column the other day about celery soda and why anyone in their right mind would drink it. We had wondered what happened to the Cap’n, because he didn’t file a reconnaissance report from the Oscars ceremony, but after reading the following, we have an idea why:

“After reading your ruminations on the puzzling perplexities of Dr. Brown’s celery-flavored soda,” the Cap’n writes, “I thought about some of my own run-ins with curious beverages in my worldly travels. I share with you here:

“Summering in Thun, Switzerland, a few years back, I came across a drink common in that country. I can’t recall the name, but it was essentially milk soda. Our Swiss guide, who’d put us up for the night in a bomb shelter (but that’s another story), told me they somehow removed all the fat from the milk, and also all of the stuff that makes milk white and taste like milk, then carbonated it.

“It did indeed taste like something that had been stripped of its soul, although the carbonation made it at least fizzy. I finished half the bottle and was so puzzled by it all that I had to lie down for a nap.

“In the Maldives, the natives like a drink called “slammo,’ which is one part rum, one part salt water and one part clam juice. It’s consumed out of large paper cups, and it fueled many a wild night for Cap’n Freshies when I was over there for some esoteric Maldivian night fishing. The next day your mouth tastes like you had an orgy with a mussel bed, but it’s all good.

“If you go to tourist Hawaii, you’ll be served “kava,’ which is a drink made from the slightly narcotic kava root. It’s made by grinding the kava root into powder, then steeping it in water.

“On a recent trip to New Guinea, Cap’n Freshies hung out with some natives who prepared the drink in a more traditional manner: They sit in a circle chewing the kava root, then spit it into a bowl, which is then mixed with water. Tastes vary greatly depending on things like what people had for lunch, what toothpaste they use (if any) and even what their dental work is like. It may sound disgusting, but if you’re supping on ants, grubs and crickets, it’s the perfect accompaniment – like hot dogs and beer.

“In Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, last summer for a log-rolling contest, men in mackinaw shirt-jacks ordered me to drink something called “moose acid.’ I never figured out what was in it, but it tasted like horseradish and licorice and did indeed promote a mild hallucination that made me think the log rollers were doing ballet. Try it if you get up there; goes good with jerky.

“Kumquatnick is the favored quaff of citrus workers in and around Fresno, Calif. They take kumquats, which are little orange-like fruits, and mix the juice with Jim Beam. I know this sounds awful – like blending scotch and tomato juice – but there’s something about it that makes this drink really sing. When the fruit pickers are fueled up enough on this stuff, they yodel the tunes to old Foghat songs, then do a sort of breakdance in the dirt that has to be seen to be believed.”

Something tells us the Cap’n might have sampled a bit too much from any one of these.


May Thursday be the one you’ve been waiting for all week. If not, contact our customer service department at or fax at (970) 668-0755, or for a full refund leave us your checking account and bank routing number on the voicemail at (970) 668-3998, ext. 237.

We’re out doing memory

exercises …

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