A Separate Sneak

A Separate Sneak
Fernando de Sousa, Wikimedia Commons
Show: First of a two-episode arc, "Sniper," from the fourth season of Homicide: Life on the Street.

Food: Pills, booze.

Difficulty: Painful. Do not try this at home. Owwww.

So far I've detailed various methods of choosing sneakable foods, appropriate repackaging and wardrobe tips for aspiring sneaks without speaking truth directly to the power of sneaking food into the movies: unearthly sangfroid, the kind of confidence that makes a seventeen-year-old ticket-tearer piss icicles down his leg rather than ask why you're walking into Public Enemies with a capon tucked under one arm like you're the Heisman Trophy.

Nothing ruins this swagger more quickly than an unintentional shift in a sneak's physicality. I, for example, took a nasty spill off the last step of a friend's staircase this weekend and am currently sporting a minor limp in the left leg.

So what's a sneak to do?

While my curiosity about sneaking methods and flair for the dramatic certainly knows few bounds, I'm not entirely prepared to test out what I believe may be the superior tactical advantages of being rolled into a theater in a wheelchair until autumn, when I can realistically drape my bruised shins in a wool blanket, which will handily conceal the pizza boxes duct-taped to the bottom of the chair seat.

(Extra points for energy conservation for harnessing the inevitable heat loss into bun toasting.)

Alas, I was also on pain drugs, which made planning anything other than a low-impact nap into a Herculean task. No sneaking for me, at least not in public. Unlike, say, Mel Gibson or Bobby Flay, I'm rational enough to stay home when I'm at my worst.

But sneaking is a call in the blood, a push of the iron and the antibodies, a tide of the fluids, a biological necessity for all true sneaks. I couldn't deny my true nature even if I'd wanted to. So there I was, sprawled across the couch like an overcooked manicotti stuffed with moderate opiates instead of ricotta, enjoying Homicide on DVD -- the closest I could get to a restorative tonic other than the drink that actually laid me low on the last shadowed step.

Let me say this because it's the dead truth (and not because my mother sometimes reads my blog and worries about me): I didn't miss the last step down to the concrete patio because I had too much to drink; I floated in that adrenal moment, arms outstretched in cruciform submission to gravity because I hadn't yet had enough to drink.

click to enlarge A Separate Sneak
Anthony Myre, Wikimedia Commons
That's right. I was coming down the stairs with a plastic cup in each hand, one the cheap champagne I hadn't finished quite fast enough in the kitchen above, one the foaming green concoction I couldn't resist. I hit so hard and fast on my knees from the bottom step that there's a long bloc of scratches -- an angry 4-inch-by-4-inch crimson bar code -- on my left shin from where I slid across the pavement. Had I finished the other drink faster, I'd probably have been fine. But there is the bruise, there is limp. Above all, though, there is the fact that I managed to save my drink. Not a single blot of green froth hit the pavement that night. Here's the drink that laid me low:
Danielle's Insidious Grasshopper

1 gallon vanilla ice cream, softened
Crème de menthe
Lemon-lime soda

Mix crème de menthe into ice cream until it is, in Danielle's own words "seafoam, not Kermit, unless you like things really minty," which should be about one-third of a bottle. (If you don't use all of the foamy mixture, it freezes well for later.) Optimistically fill cups halfway with ice cream mixture. Top with lemon-lime soda. Hand to a friend with impeccable coordination to serve.
Danielle got this recipe from her grandmother. Grandmother's variant calls for adding crème de cacao and exclusively using Dairy Queen soft serve.

Madame M's variant: Add 1 oz. vodka to the glass before the soda.

The Doctor's mysterious, long-time variant: Pour 3 ounces Irish whiskey in the glass. Add ice, plain soda to fill. Hand incidental foamy green drink to girlfriend.

The Sneak's variant: Prepare Danielle's Insidious Grasshopper. Float pills on the glacial surface, green as sea ice. Contemplate wonders of Homicide, its gritty portrayal of police procedure counterbalanced with humor pulled right off the gallows. Enjoy the taste of sneaking one past gravity.

Mmmmm. Minty.

Dara Strickland is a leading expert on sneaking food and drink into the movies. She reports on her exploits for Gut Check (from an undisclosed location) every Monday.
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