Scotch on the rocks

Specialists from New Zealand plan to recover two crates of Scotch whisky left more than 100 years ago by the polar explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton and trapped deep in Antarctic ice.
New York Times, November 17, 2009

Ladies and gentlemen,

Well, who am I kidding? “Ladies”? Good one. Gentlemen, welcome to the New Zealand Explorers’ Club. It is that time of the month again, and I am happy to see so many of our distinguished members here tonight. And even happier to see all the rest of you! HAA!

The Man.

Krhm, sorry about that. Tonight, we will hear a presentation by Samuel Bassett, who will take us deep underneath the crust of the Earth. Many of you surely remember how Mr. Bassett, the recipient of this year’s NZEC Grand Prize, and his crew drilled a huge hole to the centre of the planet. He’s here tonight to tell us all about it.

Without further ado, Mr. Basset, the floor is yours!

Oh, oh! Let me also take this opportunity to remind you all that the bar is open!


Thank you, Sammy, what a fascinating story. Riiiiiiight. Who would have thought that you would find perfectly good beef jerky on your way down. I bet you wish you’d had a nice bottle of vodka to flush it down, right? [Wink, wink]. On that note, cheers, everybody!

Krhm, thank you, again, Mr. Bassett. Let’s move on to the next point on the agenda, the election of this year’s Toastmaster. As is our tradition, we will decide that in an arm wrestling tournament. The brackets are here … and may the best man win, but make sure it’s no Australian, lads.

Needless to say, the bar is still open, and I am sure that those who will get ousted of the Toastmaster Cup will get plenty of chances to prove their strength to others before the happy hour.

Maybe not! The happy hour starts now!

Also, we have some small snacks over at the side table, courtesy of the Emanuel Jones North African Safari Crew. Aaand, if I’m not mistaken – and I’m not – we’ll be having some very old wine, too, right Emmie? Yeah, this is the wine that his crew found at the south bank of the Nile in Cairo, most likely left there in storage by Benjamin, the son of Jacob, during his visit there.

Let’s have a sip, boys. Mmmm… it’s really … not good. Phew! Black beetles! Disgusting! And it smells like the stinking fish we found in Sweden the other day.


And weeeee have a wiiinnneeerrr! The new toastmaster is none other than Gareth Passey, that ugly son of an Irishman! But at least he’s no bushman from Oz-land.

Congratulations, mister.

As is customary, the new toastmaster will now make his first toast. And if I know Mr. Passey at all, it will be a long-winded and rambling speech, rather pointless, so fill up your glasses so you have something useful to do while you’re not listening to him. Yeehaa!

Please, Mr. Passey. Enlighten us.


WOOOOOOHOOOOOOOO!! High-five, Sammy, high-five! You, if I may say so, my friend – and hey, you’ve always been my best friend – are. The. Man. I kid you not. You’re awesome. We should do this more often.

Pour me another one. I bet I could take that weasel Gareth, how the hell did he win? Next month, I’ll bring him down.

Come on, come on, what is this, an African safari? Fill’er up! What!? Empty! Shipwreckers! Blue blistering barnacles!

Hey, nobody leaves the meeting. Where do you think you’re going? This isn’t over yet, no, no, no, we’re still having a good time.

No whiskey?

You want some whiskey? I’ll get you whiskey, don’t you dare leave the group.
Because, I’ll tell you where we can find some really good scotch. You know what I’m talking about, the Shackleton scotch, of course. Who’s with me? Let’s go!


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