Monday, April 7, 2008

6. Swizzlesticks

In the time when white men were white men, and business executives drank their lunches, the swizzlestick served as a friendly companion to whites who preferred their alcoholism served in a brandy snifter or highball glass rather than in the less-dignified paper bag or beer can.

Swizzle sticks are small sticks placed in cocktails to hold fruit, or merely stir the drink. Commonly made of plastic, the origin of the name is uncertain but rum drinks made with sugar and citrus juices have been called swizzles since at least the 19th century.

There's nothing like commemorating a lost weekend at a sales convention with a skinny shaft of plastic, topped with a corporate logo. Real white men of the era were keen to brag about their drunken experiences on the road of business, and produced many a collected swizzlestick as evidence of their carousing and drinking prowess.

Due to the unfortunate drying out of the American office, the swizzlesstick has seen a marked decline in both admiration and collectability in recent years.

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