Musty Bunches - Tales from the Spit Bucket

By Musty Bunches | 31 July 2001

The Russians, it seems, are planning to celebrate one of their most famous industries by erecting a giant statue dedicated to vodka. And no, before you ask, it isn't a bust of Boris Yeltsin, but some arty thing by a renowned Russian sculptor.

So will it be long before we see a big statue of a bladder in Beijing?

Why, you may ask? Because, forget Coke, Seven Up, Fanta, Doctor Pepper et al, urine is the… ahem … hottest drink right now in China.

Yes, that's right. According to recent statistics some 3 million Chinese like nothing better than to round the day off with a nice refreshing glass of pee. Whether fresh and steaming from the bladder or nicely chilled over ice, the drink's health properties are, apparently, impressive - though they'd have to be, all things considered.

One of its staunchest advocates is a 71-year-old engineer, who talks at conferences all over the country, extolling the drink's virtues, and he should know, having been a regular consumer since the age of 13.

At the same age, Musty was more attracted to Martini Bianco, cider and 20 Marlboro, but it takes all sorts. "My ancestors enjoyed great longevity due to their drinking habits," said the master of micturation.

"So they had their health," says Musty in Jewish Momma mode, "but could they get people to come to their parties…?"

Passing through the kidneys and out into the porcelain bowl that is the marketing world, Musty would like to see how long it will take before one of the cannier drinks companies sees a "unique sales opportunity" (or perhaps a uric sales opportunity) in this whole episode. Giant factories could easily be set up dedicated to the production and bottling of drinking urine, with special battery workers force-fed gallons of water all day to keep the process moving along. And brand names such as Firkle Squirt and Wazz would certainly attract those tricky little Generation Xers.

In fact, Musty even has a couple of (fairly original) slogans to (sorry) whet the appetite: how about "Piss! It's the real thing" and "Have a Piss and a smile!"

Send your own suggestions in for brand names and/or slogans and Musty will send the winner a bottle of finest Chinese "house wine" to celebrate.

(Please note, certain brand names are already taken, so entries with Fosters, Castlemaine and San Miguel will be disqualified.)

Anyway, moving ever so slightly upmarket, Musty was touched by the plight of the City of London "workers" a couple of weeks ago who went out for a perfectly innocent lunch, only to find their revels splashed all over the world's press. After all, after a hard day frittering away other people's life savings, one deserves a bit of a treat. And what is so remarkable about paying £44,000 for lunch?

Actually, this isn't quite fair. The bill was for three bottles of Petrus, one Montrachet, a 100-year old Yquem and two Kronenbourgs. The restaurant generously threw in the food for free…

No such problems with Petrus or Montrachet at the headquarters of UDV in London, oh no. The company's bar is steadfastly loyal to the fine brands which it owns and promotes all over the world. So it's glasses of Blossom Hill and BV all round?

Afraid not. The last Musty had heard, Uncle Jack Keenan was so fed up with problems of cork taint in the wines that he'd delisted them.

Still, at least Jack Keenan (a bit of a wine buff, let us not forget) recognised cork taint. One UK supermarket once received a letter from a highly indignant Irish consumer complaining that the wine in her recently-purchased bottle was so faulty that it had turned the cork green. Green, would you believe! Well, I saw it wid me own eyes, so I did!

Fortunately for the supermarket, a thorough examination by the wine department, which lasted about a millisecond, revealed that the cork wasn't, in fact, faulty. It was plastic. Green plastic.

musty.bunches@just-drinks.com

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