Sometimes I finish writing these posts and wonder what the most random Google search is that will lead someone to read it. Today's is probably "candy bourbon beer Halloween Ninja Turtle," which I'm sure is actually searched by tens of thousands of college students every October.
The Story Behind the Object
I've never been much of a Halloween guy. I mean, don't get me wrong. I love candy. I once tried to go on the paleo diet (no bread, no sugar) and quickly realized that virtually my entire diet is bread and sugar. Sadly, even to this day, many of my breakfasts feature chocolate chips (an apple with peanut butter and chocolate chips, oatmeal with chocolate chips, yogurt with chocolate chips, chocolate chip muffins...I'm like Forrest Gump but with chocolate chips instead of shrimp).
So yeah, anyway, the candy part of Halloween I enjoy. But the whole dressing up thing? I've always been able to live without that. The first costume I remember wearing was probably around second grade-ish when I dressed up as Michelangelo of the Ninja Turtles. My mother sewed the entire costume by hand and it was truly elaborate. That one was actually really cool (thanks, Mom). In fact, it was so elaborate and so cool she made me wear it two years in a row. I was not as enthused to be the same thing two years running, but I'm going to say it's not a big deal because at this point in my life I've forgotten what my other option even was and being a nunchuck-wielding Ninja Turtle is pretty much the only costume I remember. I think most years I just dressed up as a baseball player, because that was fairly similar to my everyday outfit.
My kids, on the other hand, have had a few decent costumes in their short little lives. When my son was two he spent virtually all of his time outside driving a Power Wheels style police car around our yard. Before age three he could parallel park better than 95% of all licensed drivers in America, and I'm not exaggerating. It was truly impressive. He was well known in our neighborhood as "the kid that drives the police car at the house on the corner." (Not an exceptionally short nickname, but it described him well.) One day we ordered pizza and when the delivery guy came to the door he said hello, then saw my son standing beside me and said 'haven't seen you driving your police car lately.'" Never met the guy in my life. He said he just always saw him driving around while delivering pizzas in our neighborhood.
Given its popularity, I thought the police car would make a heck of a prop for a costume. Not to mention save his little legs from walking or my arms from carrying him. Man was it a hit. Three or four different people/groups asked to take a picture with the kid. It's possible he blew his fifteen minutes of fame at age two. Our biggest concern was that he might run over someone - particularly, other two year olds. Our neighborhood shuts down the streets for Halloween, so literally hundreds of people walk the empty roads trick or treating and it can become quite crowded, but he didn't hit a single person. May have had a few close calls, but the kid could drive.
A year or so later he wanted to be Goofy, which somehow led to the entire family dressing up. So to go with Goofy, I was Mickey, my wife was Daisy Duck, our daughter was Minnie. Honestly, that may have been one of my low points as a parent. Walking around our neighborhood dressed as a Disney character without receiving a check from Disney for doing so? Let's just say it wasn't my idea.
The last couple of years I've sat on our front porch with a giant Bingo board. I just look online and find a list of what the experts expect the top costumes of the year to be and write them on the board. When kids show up, I make them tell me who they are in exchange for candy, and I fill in the board. The first kid that completes a row and earns Bingo gets a giant handful of candy. Maybe this year I'll do a full size candy bar for them - we still haven't bought our annual $50 candy supply. The board also allows me to track the most popular costume. A couple of years ago there were like 26 girls dressed up as Elsa. Plus a few dudes. Just kidding. It was more like 36 girls.
I know I tend to get pretty off topic with some of my stories about the objects I'm reviewing, but at this point you're probably wondering how in the world I’m going to steer this Halloween themed column around to a Tar Heel beer bucket. Well, the answer is, for me this is more of a Tar Heel candy bucket. As I stated earlier, I have a strong affinity for candy. Beer? Not so much. If you're coming over to our house, it's definitely BYOB. My wife is wine drinker, and I'm a bourbon guy. Woodford, Elijah Craig, Eagle Rare, Larceny, Maker's Mark, Buffalo Trace, Knob Creek. And you just don't store those kind of high class beverages in a bucket like this (maybe I should get a Tar Heel decanter to review at some point). So since I don't have any good beer stories, I had to go with Halloween stories given the Halloween/candy connection.
Actually, one quick beer story. When I was 10 or 12 my dad hosted a work related individual (think it may have been some bond broker) for dinner at our house. My father is also not a beer guy. In fact, my parents didn't even drink alcohol until I turned 25. At least, that's what they led me to believe. I'm pretty sure the "new" alcohol cabinet actually existed my entire life, but I digress. Anyway, this guy comes over so my dad gets a six pack of Heineken to have in case he wants a beer. I think he had one or two, I don't really remember. I just know after he left I must have asked something about the beer so Dad asked if I wanted a sip. I said sure and took a drink. It was disgusting. Dad emphasized that all beer tasted exactly like that and I should never have it again. I have since attempted to drink beer six or seven times, with each one tasting more like urine than the previous one. No clue how you people choke that stuff down. But good for you...just leaves more bourbon for me.
Carolina Collectibles Description
This beer bucket from Boelter Brands measures 9" in diameter at the top, 6.75" in diameter at the bottom, and 7.25" tall. It's basically big enough for a six pack of beer (bottles or cans). Or, if you'd prefer to actually store something tasty inside of it, you could probably fit at least a hundred fun size Snickers bars. Also, note to candy makers, "fun" is not a size. (By the way, I did a Google search to try to credit that quote to someone, as I did not make it up, but all I got were articles explaining why fun size bars are killing America because three fun sizes are equal to one full size and while you'd never eat three full size candy bars in a day you'll easily eat 10 fun size candy bars and I'm truly sorry I just ruined fun sizes for you.)
Carolina Collectibles Comparison: Damion Grant
You may not remember Damion Grant. The 6'11", 260-pound center played three seasons (the last being the 2005 title season) before having his career cut short by injuries. Even prior to his career ending injury, he never really got to play at full strength, and I think he only scored 30 points in three years. But my memories of him are from off the court. We both came to Chapel Hill as freshmen in the fall of 2002. Our sophomore year, I lived in Hinton James and he lived in Morrison, but I had several friends in Morrison that I would visit regularly. I kid you not when I say that every single time I went to Morrison for a visit I would see good ol' DG in the lobby getting a candy bar from the vending machine. Every. Single. Time. That guy could have really used this Tar Heel Beer (or candy) bucket.
Carolina Collectibles Rating: 3 Stars
If I drank a lot of beer, I might give this item five stars. Of course, if I drank a lot of beer, I might be an alcoholic that lacked the ability to write a column about Tar Heel stuff each week, meaning it wouldn't even get one star. Since the bucket can double as a candy storage tub, let's just split the difference and give it three stars.