11/16/2007 02:45 pm ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011


I need a drink. STAT. I know I'm not supposed to seek comfort in the bottle, but what's a more appropriate place to turn after getting news like this?

I lost a friend today. Actually, thousands of them.

Hundreds of bottles of Jack Daniel's whiskey, some of it almost 100 years old, may be unceremoniously poured down a drain because authorities suspect it was being sold by someone without a license.

I've never felt like a Jedi before, but now I know what Obi Wan Kenobi meant in the original Star Wars when Governor Tarkin (I had to look that up - I swear) decided to test out the Death Star's new weapon system even though he had already promised Princess Leia he wouldn't. You remember what happened: the planet Alderaan exploded instantly. Obi Wan nearly fainted from the disturbance in The Force, telling Luke it felt, " if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced. I fear something terrible has happened."

Today, my Alderaan is Nashville and my Governor Tarkin is Danielle Elks.

Yeah, I bet pouring history down the drain is just killing Danielle; before she started with the Alcohol Beverage Commission (ABC) she was probably a loan officer in the 80s specializing in farm foreclosures. She got a "tip" on the illegal booze? Please. Ten bucks says caller ID shows the number of the Jim Beam Distillery.

There oughta be a law against stupid laws. First Tennessee doesn't vote for Gore, and now this. I ask the Volunteers, What did America ever do to you?

I'm gonna play some Frank Sinatra on my iPod, maybe that'll cheer me up. Frank only drank Jack on the rocks. What do you think Hef washes down his Viagra with? I'm also gonna look at some "Playboy". That'll definitely cheer me up.

As will the recalling of my first Jack Daniels hangover. My mother is still mad at me. During a semester abroad, I tagged along with my roommate Bill to visit his girlfriend in Spain. We ended up partying with some local college kids - Spanish people call U2 "U-Dos." This was the extent of my cultural exposure on the trip - whose drink of choice was Jack and Coke. The next morning I didn't feel so bueno. In fact, I uttered this cosmopolitan assessment of the Prado, Madrid's world-renowned art museum: "If I see one more painting of a fat, naked chick or Christ on the Cross...I'm puking." Bill's girlfriend, who would dump him six days later, suggested to Bill that maybe I should tour the museum on my own. My mom was not pleased to learn that her eldest spent two hours outside the Prado, sleeping on a bench.

If not my comrade in art, Jack became my comrade in arms. And thanks to him, in the ensuing sixteen years I've slept in much stranger places that my mother doesn't know about.

But I will not sleep well tonight, my friends.

Instead, I will make myself a Jack on the rocks, and then pour out a little liquor for my homies in Nashville.