January 1999
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Moosemilk Kicked My Ass


By Jessica Brandt

For many years, my parents have been hosting a New Years' Day brunch. This year, I was set free from the restraints of having to show up at this event when my parents decided to actually LEAVE the house for their 25th anniversary (New Year's Eve) and not sponsor the all-morning bitch-a-thon with their friends.

Since I was overwhelmed by the fact my parents were leaving my brother and I to fend for ourselves, and giving us free reign of the house for 24 hours, I did what any respectable teenager would do: have a party. About 30 people were invited, and in total, 20 turned up. I had tons of cute little finger foods, and there was plenty to drink. I got drunk, my friends got drunk, and I made them all breakfast in the morning. It doesn't get better than that.

Everything was perfectly in order at the house by 1:30, way before my parents returned home. I then decided that a cure was needed for my mild hangover, and called my cousin (who is an expert on such things) to see what I could do.

"Come to Moosemilk with me!" he said. I did not know what Moosemilk was, but I had heard that it was not only the name of a drink, but also the name of the party held on New Year's Day in honor of the drink. My cousin told me I'd be happy if I went, and so I did.

Moosemilk was being held at my boss's house (I work with my cousin, so we're all mutual friends), and we'll call him Ben, to protect the MooseMaster's identity. I entered to find a very tiny house overflowing with adults and little kids and food. I was then handed a mug, and presented with a frothy beverage, and asked to partake in a toast to the New Year. "Here's to the New Year!" Ben said. "Happy Moosemilk!" And I drank.

It was a tan drink, tasting like a coffee-flavored YooHoo. I inquired if there was alcohol within. I was told there wasn't. I was nearly finished with my first cup when I was promptly re-filled by the host. Cheers!

I ventured down to the basement, where more Moosemilk was being made. I then learned more of the legend of Moosemilk. Turns out that it is supposedly a hangover cure-all, and the recipie comes from our friend Brian's grandad, who concocted it while living in Northern Minnesota. There are now MooseMasters in Minnesota, North Dakota, and Ohio. It's made from a select blend of vanilla ice-cream, double-strength coffee, and some unknown source of liquor (The coffee and liquor was just referred to as "Moosejuice"). The trick is that the first cup does not contain alcohol, but it's slowly added to the mixture. Pitchers of Moosemilk are carried through the house, and your mug is somehow never empty. A host is not allowed to ask if you want more, rather they just fill you up. If you're stopped on the way home and asked how much you had to drink, you can legally say "I only had one cup" because, in a sense, you did. It just happens to be bottomless.

After two refills, I was contemplating how hard it would be to go up the stairs. Between the shaking effect of the coffee and the downers of whatever alcohol was in it, my brain was beginning to play ping-pong with my eyes. After five refills, some other people at the party decided to carry some folks up the stairs and dump them into the snow outside. Then the snow came inside. We all began making foamy moustaches from the Moosemilk and scooping up the foam with our fingers. Then I decided to vacate the basement. It was too surreal for me to see my superiors from work acting as such. Very slowly I ascended the stairs, leaving my mug behind.

Upstairs I found the host, comfortably sitting in his easy chair, not really having had any Moosemilk at all. He knew. I remembered I hadn't eaten much, and downed a few pieces of a Big Sandwich and had a Coke. Ater an hour and some fresh air, I was in good enough shape to get home.

I thought that I would be able to fall asleep allright. I mean, I had gotten only 3 or 4 hours of sleep the night before. I had had enough to drink to put anyone to sleep. But magically, I couldn't close my eyes until 6 AM. Maybe even later. My body felt as tho it was alseep, but my eyes and brain wanted more TV. I probbly should have worked on the Shrub or cleaned my room or something. But I couldn't really move, except for darting my eyes around.

I don't think my body was too pleased. I went to the bathroom at least three times as much as I normally do. I was really cold, but eventually really hot. I slept like a rock until 6 PM that night, when I was awakened so my parents could be sure I wasn't dead. Miraculously, I have no signs of a hangover, I'm just incredibly crabby. So I guess Ben was true in saying that it is a hangover cure.

So what have I gained from this experience? Well, I can say I participated in a very special New Year's tradition, and even though Moosemilk kicked my ass, I can't wait to go back next year!

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