Mike Brown thinks that Utah’s new .05 law blows … for the tourism industry. Illustration: garrick@deanillustration.com

As of Dec. 30, 2018, the great and wholesome state in which we reside has updated its DUI policy, lowering the legal limit from .08 to .05. Keep in mind, that for this article, I am by no means a legal expert, nor shall I pretend to be. I did, however, grow up with a lawyer dad, which meant that when I got in trouble as a teen—which was quite frequent—I was rarely grounded and never beaten. I’d get litigated. At the time, I felt that being litigated was worse. I’m not saying that you should beat your kids, but when you’re on the wrong side of a deposition with your dad over breaking curfew, sometimes I’d just want him to spank me and get the punishment over with.

Either way, this new DUI thingie has some people freaking out. Some people are wondering if they can even go out and drink and will just have to get boozed up in the comfy confines of their living room in front of the TV, like I usually do.

First off, I’m going to get as drunk as I want when I want, regardless of what the government ever tries to tell me. I don’t need to get married because I don’t need the government to tell me I’m in love, and I don’t need the government to tell me I can’t have a double–whiskey Coke. We learned this lesson as a nation during Prohibition, and we all know how that worked out. Long story short, it turns out that making booze completely illegal only empowered the mob and the ability for people to do illegal and fun things, like running cool-ass speak-easies and making gin in a bathtub.

Let me quickly go over what .05 means, in case you live in a cave. When you get pulled over and a cop suspects you of drinking, they give you all the fun tests then finally whip out the breathalyzer for you to blow into to measure your blood-alcohol content. It’s a simple percentage that can determine whether or not you are legally or illegally intoxicated.

Lots of factors can determine what percentage the breathalyzer comes up with, like how much you’ve eaten, how much sperm is in your system, how much fat content you have or if you’re male or female. But the simplest ratio is determined by body weight. So according to the Department of Alcohol and Beverage Control, one drink can legally intoxicate a woman weighing 110 pounds, thus putting your BAC at .05.

Now that we have some of the facts, let me go over my humble and wet opinion on this matter. I don’t think this new law changes shit. Like I said about Prohibition, laws don’t change what people want to do. And the fact of the matter is that even before this law, you could still get a DUI if you blew under .08. The police could determine that you were an endangerment on the road. Like, if you were swerving like a motherfucker but only blew a .03, let’s say, or your Valium kicks in on the way back from your kid’s soccer game, you could still get charged with a DUI.

I feel like this law was put into place due to the upswing in ride-sharing via Uber and Lyft. I don’t think it’s a moral argument like other issues with our stupid legislature, but a financial one. Salt Lake’s public transit sucks, and our taxicab companies have always sucked. I remember bartending years ago and having to tell customers from out of town that it would be at least an hour for them to get a cab back to their hotel. So think of all the money the state has lost out on per lack of DUIs due to the fact that ride-sharing is so available. (Although, getting a creepy Uber driver may sometimes make you wish you just drove home drunk.) [Editor’s Note: DON’T.]

I feel like it falls into the same category of why you don’t have to get a safety inspection on your car anymore in this state. It ups the chances of getting pulled over because you forgot your tail light was out, thus upping revenue for the state. This also means that there will probably be more DUI checkpoints because of the new .05 law. But if you get a DUI at a checkpoint, you’re a real dumbass, and here’s why. First off, you shouldn’t be driving drunk. Second off, the police have to post in the news when and where they are running the checkpoints. And third, it’s pretty easy to tell when you are rolling up on a checkpoint—just hang a right and go back to that shitty house party.

So yeah, the real losers of this new law aren’t us power-drinkers or bar patrons. Like I said, we’re gonna get drunk anyway. The real loser is the department of tourism. That’s money that could be brought in from tourists—who would rather go ski in Colorado where they can puff tuff and not have a weird perception of our alcohol laws even though our resorts are closer to Downtown and our snow is better.

I guess the last question that I don’t have the answer to is what’s going to generate more money for the state? Lack of tourism or money from .05 DUIs and busted tail lights? Only time will tell in another great and strange chapter from the Land of Zion. – Mike Brown

(L–R) Mike Abu and Mike Brown commune with their peer group at estate sales to bring back sick loots. Photo: John Barkiple

The years of living with Mike Abu and being his friend have always been adventurous. Whether it’s seeing how many flags we could steal on our way home, drunkenly stumbling from the bar or blowing up our kitchen, weirdness always abounds. If you know Abu or have ever been to any of his living quarters, then you know that it’s riddled with weird shit, kind of like Pee Wee’s Playhouse without all of the public masturbation—just some of it. All those years I lived with him, I never questioned where he got an antique ice-cream scooper or a 1940s hair dryer. That is, until I went estate-sale shopping with him.

Abu invited me to go with him last month, and I cordially obliged. The thing is, estate sales happen in the morning, and I don’t really know what mornings are. I ignore and neglect mornings like a redheaded stepchild, so I obviously slept through the first estate sale Abu invited me to. Abu bribed me with beer and coffee, and dragged me to an estate sale in the Avenues the next day.

I meandered around some dead old lady’s house for a while, with several other people all digging through her old shit that her kids didn’t want—or that she was too busy hoarding, so us lucky estate sale shoppers got to pick up the leftovers. Fortunately, this lady really liked cats. There was cat shit everywhere, not like cat poo but cat items galore. I was able to pick up some cat pillows and cat ceramics on the cheap. Her fondness of cats and hoarding seemed to go hand in hand, like chocolate and biscuits. Abu bought a broom and a packet of old notepads for god knows what reason.

There were plenty of serious collectors there taking their time; people going over other miscellaneous items, people on their phones, probably looking up something on eBay to check a resale value and lots of old people. Old people like old stuff. Everyone was nice and friendly, and I must say, it was a great Black Friday shopping environment.

I decided that I should learn more about estate sales and what they are all about after this experience, so I called one of Abu’s estate colleagues to get some more info on how this whole thing goes down. Lou Barrett, owner and operator of B-Team Liquidations, was kind enough to let me pick his brain about how antiques go from dead people to collectors to antique stores and sometimes the D.I.

Photo: John Barkiple
Photo: John Barkiple

First off, someone has to die. That might sound harsh, but it’s all part of the brutal circle of life. You die, and someone gets to take your stuff. I’m well aware that all the Utah Jazz merch I’ve collected over the years will end up in someone else’s hands, eventually. But, Lou gets his leads for organizing estate sales mostly from realtors and from the trust department of a bank, not so much from funeral homes.

Lou used to run his own antique store, Wasatch Furniture, before he really got into running an estate-sale business—which makes sense because a majority of estate sale shoppers are antique-store people, or what Lou told me were “serious collectors.” Estate sales typically start on Friday, when the antique store people and serious resellers usually show up. They run all weekend, and B-Team Liquidation is usually able to sell about 70 to 90 percent of the stuff in the houses they purge.

I asked Lou what the strangest thing he’s ever sold was—it was a once-living stuffed monkey for $200. And no, Abu didn’t buy it because he rarely has $200 to blow. Other than that, there have been human skeletons—which I was surprised to find out could be legal to buy—and dentures. For some reason, Lou told me that he sells a lot of dentures at these estate sales. But like I said, there were lots of old people at the one I went to.

Lou does about 40 of these estate sales a year, roughly every weekend. You can find out about them from B-Team Liquidation’s Facebook page. I was surprised I didn’t see more candy-ass hipster kids at the estate sale I went to fighting over vinyl—probably too busy racking up scene points at the D.I. or Goodwill when the real good shit is in some dead lady’s house. In fact, I kind of feel bad blowing the ultimate secret about thrifting with this article, but I have a job to do.

I’ll be hitting up more of these estate sales in the future on my quest of having the ultimate Jazz shrine and some cat collectibles along the way. So if you see me there, keep your hands off the cat pillows—I call dibs.

Mike Brown finds the Christmas spirit in the fact that kids still love to get and play video games for Christmas. Illustration: donnellysme.com

The holy Christmas spirit is so magical for many of us when we’re young and innocent. As time goes on, it seems to evaporate like cheap vape smoke from a fuccboi’s e-cig. The older we get, the further away we seem to move away from the magic that is Christmas. Chucking snowballs at cars and pretending to be good to get more presents slowly morphs into a hellish realization of the blight of capitalism on the sacred holiday and destroys us from the inside of our wallets to the inside of our hearts—completely.

We increase in age, and along with the Christmas spirit and holiday, so does seasonal depression. There are family obligations, pointless work parties, magical moments of job insecurity accompanying the thought of our Christmas bonus being botched once again—and so on. The magic of Christmas just doesn’t have the same glow as we become adults by definition of age.

To be honest, I’ve been jaded about a lot of things for a while (big shocker), but I wanted to get back in touch with the Christmas spirit. This isn’t about rekindling my belief in Santa Claus or trying to milk extra presents out of the SLUG staff or my friends—though that would be nice. I just want to get back in touch with what Christmas used to mean to me when I was a kid—instead of just being a day off from work where I could get hammered by myself while laughing about how much my Mormon siblings were stressing over how much they had to spend this month on all of their kids.

I decided that the best way to do this is to interview an actual kid—something I’ve never done for SLUG, unless you count juggalos. Finding a kid to interview was actually kind of a chore. Seeing as how I don’t have any kids of my own (that I know of) and that most of my friends with kids don’t have custody over the holidays, I had to hit up the SLUG Magazine’s (self-proclaimed) Highest Ranking Mormon™, James Bennett, to see if his adorable spawn would be willing to talk to me.

When Bennett and I were neighbors Downtown a few years ago, he would walk with his kid, Atticus, past my house, and I would always respectfully hide my beer and cig and let his toddler steal toys off of my porch. His kid seems pretty cool, so I totally crashed in on a Monday evening with the hopes of a free meal and an interview Atticus—who is named after a rarely mentioned character in the B of M—about the spirit of Christmas, while fully knowing that I was interrupting family night.

Atticus was great interviewee. Like I said, I had never interviewed a kid before, so, the first question I asked was about his favorite Christmas present. He was like, “Other than something electronic?” I had to remember that I come from a different time, so I was like, “Yeah.” Turns out it’s some weird dinosaur that he still likes.

We spent most of the interview talking and debating about video games, but to me, that’s an important part of the Christmas spirit, so I’m cool with that. I then asked Atticus some basic Christmas questions, like “What is your favorite reindeer?” He said Rudolph, which I was expecting as a typical kid answer—“his nose is red, duh.” But when I asked him why, Atticus went down a rabbit hole of existential brilliance that was way beyond a 10-year-old’s perspective in my opinion.

Turns out that 10-year-old Atticus goes to a hippie school—his words (and his dad’s), not mine, which instantly cracked me up because I was able to remind him that his dad is a teacher at a public school. But this explained Atticus’ perspective on Rudolph (alongside the fact that he’s already forced into humanities classes). See, Rudolph was a loner—as Atticus explained to me, but was able to overcome that. And everyone in the room could relate to that—a deep perspective on Christmas.

Atticus also explained to me, in a complex way, why he still believes in Santa but won’t believe in him after he dies—another unique perspective, but humbling at the same time, especially coming from a kid. It kinda made me take a step back in my head and realize that the Christmas spirit is more about perspective than me just becoming older and jaded.

I personally wanted to get back in touch with what Christmas is about. Like I said, the older you get, the more Christmas sucks. Talking to a kid was a great way to get back in touch. I’ll always reflect on the scars of a brutal divorce being soothed over by parents competing to see who could provide more presents—not the worst childhood trauma in the world.

But talking to another kid is rad, realizing that Christmas is also still rad and just simple. It’s all about getting time off school, making some shit out of snow (also, Atticus has read my articles before where I’ve sworn numerous times, so I’m OK saying, “shit”), hanging out late and getting presents, and all the other rad things that come with Christmas.

Remember, folks: The next time you go out, please, please, please, don’t be That Guy.Mike Brown knows how people get to being “That Guy” at the bar and on a Tinder date. Sorry, Tawnie Archuleta. Photo: John Barkiple

For this month’s installment of another booze-themed issue of SLUG Magazine, I thought I’d write a little bit about barroom etiquette, but not from a bartender’s perspective. Quite frankly, that topic is severely played out, and it’s pretty easy to keep a bartender happy. Just tip them a bunch of money—end of story. Bartenders that have pet peeves about anything else are probably pretty new to the trade or they are really shitty at putting liquid in a glass, which is essentially all a bartender does.

Instead, I’d like to tackle the topic of barroom etiquette from the perspective of the customers. We’ve all been in a public place like a bar in these scenarios, and have witnessed “That Guy,” the person you feel an awkward embarrassment for because their booze-brain is incapable of feelings of chagrin for themselves. I, myself, witness That Guy almost every weekend while working behind the bar. In order to help my customers, I’d like to try to help you not be That Guy.

The thing with That Guy is that we all have been That Guy at one time or another in our lives. I’ve had to apologize more than once in my meager existence for realizing that I was That Guy the night before. I’ve kicked myself out of more bars than I’ve actually gotten kicked out of upon realizing that my That Guy threshold was about to be broken. It’s a terrible part of life, and if I can save just one person from being That Guy for a night, well then, I can rest my cranium easy on my pillow.

Photo: John Barkiple
Photo: John Barkiple

One thing with That Guy is that they usually walk into a bar not being That Guy. For some, it might take 12 shots to release the That Guy demon; for others, it may only take two. Although, there always will be a special breed of douchebaggery that have their That Guy switch flipped on 24/7. There’s nothing we can do to save those humans—unfortunately, being That Guy is not a capital offense.

But there are some red flags we can all watch out for in anticipation of someone going from zero to That Guy in 4.5 drinks. That would be drink selection. If you are sitting at the bar and random orders any of the following, run: shots of Fireball, Jaeger bombs, Long Island iced teas, AMFs, any beer with fruit in it or shots of Jameson whisky but he calls it Jame-O. There’s a high probability that he will be That Guy in no time.

That Guy will also try to get you to buy him some of the aforementioned drinks. Classic That Guy move. If you have to ask someone to buy your drink, then you are being That Guy—and you don’t deserve one, in my opinion. I reserve the right only to buy drinks for close friends, people I lost a bet to, intelligent strangers who can hold a good conversation at the bar or people I’d like to cuddle with later.

One thing I’ve noticed at the bar I work at, in particular, is that That Guy likes to go on a lot of Tinder dates. So many Tinder dates go down at my work—usually on a weeknight, which is probably a good idea because if shit goes south, you can bail easily by saying you gotta work in the morning. I call these days Tinder Tuesdays. And whenever I see a That Guy, if he’s on a Tinder date, they usually say, “Fuck no! We met on Bumble!” which is basically the same as saying you use Bing! instead of Google. They are all Tinder dates, buddy.

Usually, That Guy will get to the bar before his Tinder date does and pound three or four shots in a row. The girl will usually take it easy and casually, and sip some sauvignon blanc. Watching the drinking habits of this 21st-century mating ritual is fascinating. A tip for not being That Guy on your Tinder date: Let her set the pace for the booze-intake race. I understand trying to take the edge off, but if you are that nervous meeting strangers off the internet, then maybe you shouldn’t.

I’ve had the privilege of seeing numerous Tinder dates go down like the Hindenburg while at work. Honestly, it’s the best part of my job—and the only good thing about That Guy. But sometimes the Tinder bender goes well for a couple, and sometimes that leads to making out and heavy petting in the bar. And guess what? If you are making out and groping someone in the bar, you are being That Guy. People don’t like public displays of affection, not because it’s gross—because it’s not—but because we’re jealous. I’m all for breastfeeding in public, just not when the baby is a 41-year-old That Guy.

It’s fair to say that That Guy can also be That Girl or That Person, too. The behavior is basically the exact same. Annoying is annoying, regardless of gender or orientation. So remember, folks: The next time you go out, please, please, please, don’t be That Guy.

Illustration: @ashleyfairbourneillustration

With the Jazz season approaching this month, it’s time for me to make my annual season predictions. After last season’s heroics, there’s a genuine excitement about this team locally, while the national media continues to write us off—which is actually a good thing. I don’t want anybody to see us coming when we kick some ass in a dominant Western Conference. But I will take some time to fill everyone in on some Utah Jazz shit that I think will go down. I’ve made some of these predictions before, and while I’m no Nostradamus, a few of my prophecies have come true.

My first prediction is that Donovan Mitchell will have some proverbial skeletons in his closet. Think about it: The beloved rookie/sophomore-to-be is too good to be true. And when something is too good to be true, it is. That being said, I bet that we find out something terrible about the kid this season—like that he’s a Lakers fan.

Another prediction I have is that the Jazz Bear, one of the best mascots in sports, will lead the charge for legalization of marijuana in Utah. I feel like there’s no way that bear isn’t not high as shit all the time. This will come with the help of Thabo Sefolosha, our backup power forward who got popped last year for puffin’ tough, filling the arena full of purple haze in an effort to improve Salt Lake’s shitty air quality.

Speaking of the Jazz Bear, I predict that proud NRA member, avid hunter and ex–Jazz player Karl Malone will accidentally shoot the Bear à la Dick Cheney. And I’m predicting this will happen on the night of the return of the NBA’s most popular white nationalist, Gordon Hayward.

This is why I think this will happen: First off, I’m not mad at Hayward for leaving the Jazz. I never liked him much anyway, and I wasn’t surprised, either. But yeah, he’s still rocking the Hitler Youth haircut and will probably be endorsed by New Balance this season (he donated to 45’s campaign). I have little question about where this Benedict Arnold falls on the political spectrum.

I predict that on the night of Gordon’s return—amid the sea of boos in the arena raining down on him—there will be plenty of cheers for him outside of the arena by stupid white boys carrying tiki torches. This is where I believe Karl Malone shoots the Jazz Bear either by accident or as a pro-NRA statement that bears are dangerous and we need to protect ourselves.

Speaking of white nationalists and basketball, our new rookie, Grayson Allen, looks so much like Ted Cruz and plays so dirty, BYU fans everywhere are going to love him. If you Google this kid, all that comes up is him spending four years at Duke tripping other players. My prediction for Grayson is how many dudes he is actually going to trip this year. I predict 12 (this is a serious prediction). How many technical fouls will our little Grayson get this year? I predict 16. How many times will other Jazz players come to his defense and say he was just playing tough in post-game interviews? I say that happens about 30 times. God bless our new little Bill Laimbeer.

Who knows? Grayson can actually hoop and might actually be awesome, but I’m convinced that we drafted him because of how much Ricky Rubio was beat up by other players last year. If you don’t know, Rubio was cheap-shotted like three games in a row last season, so my theory is that Grayson’s face is so much more punchable to opposing players than Rubio’s beautiful, god-like visage. And I seriously predict that Rubio is gonna have a great season. So, it was smart of Jazz management to draft someone to get punched instead of Rubio.

Speaking of Rubio, I predict that he and his hipster man bun will get suspended at least one game by the team for pounding Fernet Branca and Spanish malbec before practice—much to Coach Quinn’s chagrin—thus rendering him a little useless running the offense.

Some other quick predictions:

Dante Exum breaks in half and spontaneously combusts the first game of the season. The injury bug just loves the taste of this kid.

Joe Ingles stops talking shit to opponents on the court and takes a literal shit on the court. But cut him some slack—he’s Australian.

Rudy Gobert remains tall. Because he’s tall. [Editor’s note: Mike Brown just wants at least one of his predictions to be right.]

Coach Quinn gets caught shoplifting, and Jerry Sloan beats him up. I don’t know why I think this one could really happen, but a man can dream.

The Millers apologize for stealing DJ Juggy’s set list that’s being played during all the games.

And my last prediction? Alec Burks gets traded.

Needless to say, I’m way excited for this next Jazz season, though this article probably wont help my chances of ever getting a media pass again.

If you cross-breed a (L–R) Circus Brown and a Mike Brown, you don’t get an Angela H. Brown—you just get a tomato. Photo: John Barkiple

For this year’s episode of the Food Issue, I had the great opportunity to interview my friend Circus Brown all about tomatoes. You may know Circus from his awesome KRCL Friday-night radio show, “Not a Side Show,” but what you probably don’t know about him is Circus’ crazy obsession with a red, round fruit. He likes tomatoes more than any human I’ve ever met. So we went to lunch, got drunk and talked about tomatoes.

I, myself, have an affinity for tomatoes. I have hosted two Mike Brown Fests at Urban Lounge where I sold tomatoes at the door that people could throw at my band, The Fucktards, while we played. People throw other shit at us when we play, so I figured why not make some money off of that and charge a dollar for each tomato that you could pelt at me? I honestly made more money off of tomatoes than I did for the door cover those nights. Circus actually provided me with some of his awesome tomatoes for those shows. They did not go to waste.

The first question I asked Circus is if he’s ever seen Attack of the Killer Tomatoes, a cult-classic movie for sure. If your hipster ass hasn’t seen it, well, you just ain’t cool. We indulged—for a few minutes—in discussing the subtle nuances of this fine movie,  then, got into a serious discussion about tomatoes.

First off, we both agreed that cherry tomatoes are bullshit, but the little, yellow tomatoes are pretty awesome, and yellow pear tomatoes are kinda boring. The most overrated tomato, according to Circus, is the heirloom tomato. Like, all these douchebags are coming up with different names for the same heirloom tomato like they are doing something special, but it’s still just an heirloom tomato. Get over it

I asked Circus if you can cross-pollinate tomatoes the way you can cross-pollinate weed, and guess what—YOU CAN! It can be done on accident, but you can get a surprisingly delicious and juicy treat.

Currently, Circus’ tomato garden yields roughly two pounds of red righteousness a day. I asked him what he does with all of those tomatoes. He mostly makes pico salsa and then puts it on everything he eats. He also makes tomato sauce and pickles, and dehydrates a bunch of his tomatoes, too, which he uses as currency at local craft breweries, which he is fond of. The dehydrated tomato is basically tomato jerky, which should prove handy for the zombie apocalypse. Dehydrated tomatoes are also pretty epic in a BLT, according to Circus—they elevate the crunchiness factor, for sure.

We also discussed green tomatoes. Circus has never actually seen the movie Fried Green Tomatoes, but was still very knowledgeable on the subject. Green tomatoes need to be fried. To me, tomatoes deserve to be red and not green. But Circus assured me that they are pretty good.

I got personal with Circus during this interview about tomatoes. I asked him how his wife feels about his obsession. Like, was this a deal-breaker when they started going out? Fortunately, it was not. She loves tomatoes a little less than Circus does but is OK with his obsession.

As far as the best way to keep a tomato happy, Circus told me that hand-watering your tomatoes means a lot to them. They know when you are going the extra mile. Also, good mulch, eggshells and coffee grounds will do wonders for a tomato’s spirit while they are just hanging on a vine, waiting to be murdered for your pico sauce. No one likes a sad tomato, so keep them happy.

I asked Circus about why tomatoes split sometimes. Are they growing too fast and don’t know their own strength? He said that it could have to do with your watering schedule. And you don’t want to stress them out. Tomatoes are sensitive sometimes.

I also wanted to know if Circus had ever grown a tomato so rad and special that he couldn’t eat it. The answer is yes. He grows Olympic-sized tomatoes called Olympic tomatoes that are so epic, you either preserve them in wax or enter them into the state-fair tomatoes competition.

Now the ultimate secret to the success of Circus’s tomato garden: drumroll please … fish water! Yep, fish shit does wonders for tomatoes. Who would have thought that fish shit and tomatoes go hand in hand? Circus just uses fish-shit water from his aquariums in his basement next to his bong. Bong water would probably work, too—but yeah, tomatoes love fish shit. And I love tomatoes.