Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Old Thunder

"If you were going to own a bar or restaurant, what would you name it and why?"

Without blinking, I'd open a Moby Dick themed brew pub (the kind that serves food) and call it "Old Thunder."

In third grade when I was allowed to check out classics from the middle school library, I went right for the white whale and read it cover to cover. Of course I didn't understand 99% of the historical/mythical references and the vocabulary was over my head, but I wanted it all and I loved the story, which was simplified a bit in the weird Danish kiddie movie "Samson and Sally". I finally got around to rereading Moby Dick just last year, devouring it in less than a week during down time at work. The experience was aurally enhanced by Ahab, whose (in my opinion) finest moment is the track "Old Thunder."

Old Thunder the pub will visually be an homage to the whaling industry of the 19th century, with as many genuine artifacts as all the collectors of the world can muster up. Harpoons, anchors, scrimshaw, whale-oil lamps, ambergris in glass bottles, flaying knives, bits of rope, all that stuff.

The menu shall be a fantastic thumbing of the nose at Sea Shepherd, PETA, and vegetarians the world over. From whale bacon to whale tail hors d'oeuvres, whale steak, and whale burgers, every edible item will contain whale meat harvested legally by Japanese or Icelandic hunters. Even nonwhale items will be cooked, fried, baked or sautéed in whale product, so no one can possibly be safe from the innocuous-sounding "Sperm Fried Squid..."

As for drinks, Old Thunder brews and bottles its own beers on the premises. Each stout, hefeweizen and lager will be named after a human character from the book. Daggoo will appropriately be the darkest porter, while Queequeg shall be a robust and universally enjoyed brown ale. Fedallah, being a Persian and all, will probably contain strong hints of exotic spices. Custom cocktails will be named after nonhuman characters/places...with the infamous house special, the "Moby Dick," containing both absinthe and whale blood.

Old Thunder's target demographic will ideally be a brilliant mix of smart weirdos, metalheads, book nerds, and loners. The staff will be a collection of wild cards from patternless and diverse backgrounds. Purveyors of snobbery, jerks, and assholes will be gassed and thrown into a vast mass grave - the call of the wretched sea.

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