By Jonathan Shikes
By Alex Brown
By Cafe Society
By Samantha Alviani
By Lori Midson
By Mark Antonation
By Loren Lorenzo
By Nate Hemmert
I am on a roll in this new year, and I'm pretty sure I may be a candidate for sainthood. While I know that bleary-eyed readers are already well-acquainted with my piety, I've recently performed the requisite three miracles that should get me an all-expenses-paid trip to Rome and the vineyards of northern Italy. So I'd like all of you to start contacting local priests, the archbishop and Howard Dean (who's becoming an honorary Bible-banger as his campaign prepares to swing into the South), and encourage them to push the Vatican bureaucracy forward so that my honor doesn't become a posthumous award. My first miracle is something I've actually been doing for years, but I was unaware of its significance -- until now. Despite repeated warnings by the U.S. Department of Consumer Panic -- responding to information provided by Tom Ridge that undercooked stuffing is a terrorist trick that inevitably leads to vomiting, diarrhea, death and the cancellation of all flights into and out of Iowa or wherever the hell Butterball grows its turkeys -- I stuffed my bird this past Christmas. Only my close relationship with God and overall devoutness prevented my guests from getting fatal food poisoning. And while this might seem like I'm pushing it, the fact that I stuffed my face with turkey and was still able to clean up my apartment that night, instead of just sitting on my couch, Jabba the Hutt-like, until New Year's Eve, was no small miracle.
Second, in another food-related miracle, I've continued to consume meat and so far have not contracted mad-cow disease. I am so unconcerned about this rare disease -- which inevitably leads to violent behavior, clumsiness, voting Democrat and eventual death -- that I am eating a monster steak right now. The analysts at the departments of Consumer Panic and Homeland Security have got to be wetting their pants at the potential of generating Norman Bates-like levels of paranoia in some sectors of the American public by talking about mad cow. My guess is that it's only a matter of time before the Washington State strain of bovine encephalopathy is traced through Canada to Osama Bin Laden, Saddam Hussein, Kim Jong-Il and/or Pakistan's nuclear program, and we'll have no choice but to launch a pre-emptive thermonuclear attack on our northern neighbors.
Finally, and most convincingly, I have taken a classic miracle performed by Jesus himself and gone a step further. At the wedding in Cana, Jesus was able to make water into wine, because, despite the bride's father being too cheap to provide an open bar, Jesus knew that it was bad luck for the new couple to break the tradition of encouraging the whole wedding party to get drunk and sleep with each other and then regret it the next morning. I, on the other hand, was able to make wine out of thin air at the Macaroni Grill (2500 East First Avenue).
7979 E. Arapahoe Ave.
Englewood, CO 80112
Region: Southeast Denver Suburbs
If you haven't been to this Macaroni Grill before, I suggest you hurry over to Cherry Creek before it's put out of business by me and other people who are able to perform this miracle. It's actually very easy to pull off, because when you sit down at the beginning of dinner, a server places a bottle of house wine on your table, fills your glass and leaves. This system is known as "honor wine." At the end of dinner, the server asks you how many glasses you've had, and you promptly answer "one."
During a recent dinner, several of my Air Force Academy buddies and I went through several bottles of wine until we were scarcely capable of standing, much less coordinating a common answer to the question that we knew was coming. Still, when our waitress asked how many glasses of wine we'd had, in unison we replied: "One." And according to the bill, that's what we had! It almost brought tears to our eyes. Honor, indeed.
Thank you, God.