Chelada Party Part Deux | Private Eye | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly
Support the Free Press.
Facts matter. Truth matters. Journalism matters.
Salt Lake City Weekly has been Utah's source of independent news and in-depth journalism since 1984.
Donate today to ensure the legacy continues.

News » Private Eye

Chelada Party Part Deux

Happy Cinco de Mayo, Democrats and Tea Partiers.


1 comment

You know it’s going to be a great year when Cinco de Mayo in Utah lasts all the way through Ocho de Mayo. And that’s not due to a calendar blip, either. Rather, on Saturday, May 8, the folks over at Sandbar Mexican Grill are roping off part of Pierpont Avenue, filling it with sand and banking that babes in bikinis hoping to win the bikini contest will show up to help them celebrate the second annual Cinco de Sandbar. If the babes and the beer come, the guys will come. Sounds like a party.

I don’t often use this space to promote the bad behavior I’m so fond of. I mean, it’s just not normal for a person to laugh and have a good time in Utah. However, due to my fondness for the greatest beer concoction of all time, the chelada, I can’t help myself. Gracie’s is having a Chelada Party on May 5. That’s where I will be at 5 p.m. sharp. At the same time, just around the corner on Pierpont, Sandbar kicks off its own party with specials on beer and tequila shooters. The party resumes on Saturday at Cinco de Sandbar with beach volleyball, the bikini contest and music by U2 tribute band Rattle & Hum. Some lucky fiesta fanatic will win tickets to the U2 concert next month.

No word yet on whether Sandbar will be serving a chelada special, but they should. I was in Phoenix this past weekend, and the warm weather had lots of people drinking cheladas poolside. As I wrote last week, bartenders hate to make them since they have to squeeze so much fresh lime juice, and our Hawaiian-shirted bartender was no exception—he was using some kind of bottled, sweetened-lemon base to mix with the beer. Bleecch! So, I skipped the cheladas and switched to Bloody Beer. It’s the same thing as a chelada—only different. Each has in common beer, ice and salted-rim glass. One mixes the beer with lime, the other with Bloody Mary mix. Both are topped with a wedge of lime. Hope to see you this weekend—and leave your tea party behind.

If you’re not at the Cinco de Sandbar party this Saturday, I suppose you can be excused if you choose to attend the Democratic Convention instead. Nah, even a Democrat can be a stick-in-the-mud, and while you might think Democrats are a crowd that likes to drink, that isn’t necessarily true. First, there are plenty of nondrinking LDS Democrats. Like their Republican counterparts, they drink only when they feel they won’t be discovered drinking. Not even a chelada can change fear and predispositions such as that, so those folks won’t be partying. Not until they crack the pint of Old Grand Dad on the drive back home, that is.

Then, you have the new breed of Democrats, the ones who left their former religion and who drink for “health reasons,” but are self-conscious enough to only be seen drinking wine. I sometimes think that’s why they joined the Democratic Party in the first place—to look really smart behind a wine glass. The Democrats I grew up with only drank wine if they had made it themselves. Their beer came in a can. Their whiskey was never mixed with anything except the Lord’s triumvirate of water, Coke or 7-Up. No fruit—ever. Times change—today, my breed of Democrat accepts that you can be a good Democrat and use fruit in your beer or cocktails occasionally—but never pineapple. And, we don’t mind if you don’t drink, just don’t be a wuss about it. Just don’t drink. It’s a big tent.

My own breed would never exchange a chelada party for a convention. Same for the tea partiers, a group of employed, professional street revelers whom I recently encountered. They like to drink, too. I can tell because it affects their spelling. In ways, we’re just like the tea partiers—only different. Where they “like the smell of napalm in the morning” (napalm, I learned, is tea-party code for vodka tonic), we like the smell of hops and barley—the liquid version of which we pour over our morning cereal. Our motto: If it’s brown, don’t dilute it; if it’s white, just shoot it.

Our more aggressive friends in the tea party said we had it backward. We nearly had a tussle until we explained that our motto relates to the color of alcohol, not skin. A few scary moments passed until someone exclaimed, “What Would Sarah Do?” and calmer heads prevailed when they realized the answer was “nothing.” Nonetheless, it motivated my tea party friends to come up with a new slogan. By now, you may have seen their new bumper sticker around town: White is the new White—And We Don’t Mean Likur.

So as it is, I won’t be at the Democratic Convention. There’s not much I’d like to see there, anyway, and only a handful of people I’d even give encouragement to. I’d support our former editor, Holly Mullen, for Salt Lake County Council, though. And I’d do that knowing that, if she wins, this paper will probably rip her up if she messes up, which won’t be fun. But at the core, she’s a real Democrat.

So is Claudia Wright, who is trying to unseat Jim Matheson for U.S. Congress. Even if she doesn’t become the party candidate, I’ll still vote for her in November. I’ve had it up to here with Matheson, who isn’t a Blue Dog congressman—he’s just a dog congressman. He’s a fake chelada. He’s sweetened lemon juice, a cheap and bitter alternative to the real thing. Bleecch!

John Saltas: