Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Mini-Post: Grog



I’m going to try something different here: writing a small post about something that’s been on my mind that probably won’t fit into a list of any kind (and can be said in less than 500 words).  Hell, it’s not like anyone ever said every post I make in this blog has to be a list anyway.  One nice thing about mini-posts like this is that I can write one up and post it nice and fast, as opposed to the lists, which usually take a bit longer.  (In addition to the lists I put on the blog, I’ve also been busy writing more lists for Listverse.)

So, without further ado:


I’ve been reading Shōgun lately.  The British sailor protagonist is stuck in Japan and wishes at various points in the novel for food and drink that he’s used to eating.  At one point, he thinks about how much he wishes he had some grog.  I’d never heard of grog before.  I assumed it was a drink from the era of the novel (1590s), of course.  I also assumed that the word “groggy” is somehow related to grog.  Later, I looked grog up, and the internet gives various descriptions.  In general, grog has rum as a component, though whether it’s mixed with water, beer, sugar, limes, or other alcohols depends on what source you consult.  Several sources mention its use by British sailors, which explains why the British protagonist wants some.  So, yay, I learned something new.

Grog has been stuck in my head ever since, because I find it to be a surprisingly funny word.  I really don’t know why, but I do.   (I’m smirking a bit just typing this.)  The word brings an image to my mind of some disheveled dude with an epic beard drinking until his face and clothes are dripping with booze and then piloting a sailing ship drunkenly.  Apparently sailing while intoxicated amuses me. 

Then I decided it should be a Klingon drink.  (If the three entries from Star Trek in my previous post weren’t a clue: yes, I’m a Star Trek nerd.)  Of course, the drink I remember Klingons seeming to always favor is bloodwine.  There must be other drinks, though, so I’ve decided personally that grog is coincidentally also the Klingon word for a powerful drink.  And this grog is the worst (or the best, depending on your drinking goals).  It’s all of the most noxious stuff just mixed together in a cup, for the sole purpose of getting very drunk very fast. 

I imagine a Klingon walking into a bar of some kind.  He’s had an absolutely horrible day, about the worst a Klingon could hope to have (whatever that may entail.)  He just walks angrily up to the bar, sits on a stool, slams his hand down on the bar and yells, “GROG!!”  The rest of the bar goes silent and stares at him.  The bartender brings him a cup of Klingon grog.  The stuff is so nasty that it’s a viscous sludge.  With everyone in the room watching raptly, the unhappy Klingon chugs the slop right down, tilting backward on his stool as he does so.  Just as he finishes the cup, he falls off the stool, unconscious, and lays there like that for about a day.  That’s what I think grog should be.

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