That is a depressing proposition either way. Terrifyingly, this exact scenario was predicted by the Simpsons way back in 1996. Twenty years ago in their Halloween episode “Treehouse of Horror VII”, the series’ resident space aliens, Kodos and Kang, capture then President Bill Clinton and Bob Dole, his Republican rival, and assume their forms for the election campaign.

Eventually, they are revealed as aliens during the final Presidential debate. Despite the outrage of the audience at such a monstrous deception, Kodos explains their plan for world domination will still come to fruition. Here is the key piece of dialogue explaining that:

Kodos: It’s a two party system! You have to vote for one of us!

Man: He’s right – this is a two-party system.

Man 2: Well, I believe I’ll vote for a third-party candidate.

Kang: Go ahead, throw your vote away.

In 2016, there is little likelihood of a viable third party candidate, ironically in the election where they would have probably stood the best chance in history. You know things are seriously toxic when both presumptive nominees cannot find anyone willing to be their Vice Presidential candidate.

Now, Vice President is not the greatest role in American politics but it is right next to the greatest role. Plus, if anything happens to the President then the Veep [2] is first in line for the Oval Office. Not only have a slew of senior politicians turned down offers of the role, there is a rapidly growing number of people turning it down before they are even asked. Normally there is a fight for this role – this year there is a struggle to get away from it.

Part of the reason is that the next Vice President will probably be far less powerful than their recent predecessors. [3] Normally, the VP is the President’s principal advisor. However, if Hilary wins there is no question that Bill Clinton will have the most influence – just as she did when he was President.

If Donald Trump wins, the only person he is really going to listen to is Donald Trump. The Don’s egocentric leadership style makes former dictatorial New Zealand Prime Minister Sir Robert Muldoon look like “Rob the Consensus Builder” by comparison. Sadly, it is hard to see a way past the “Kodos Conundrum.” [4] Personally, I’d draft Harrison Ford (President in the movie Air Force One). He is awesome and now does not have any more Star Wars films to make.

Even the mere thought of President Trump or President Clinton (or possibly both when civil war erupts) pushes me towards stronger drink. Fortunately this is just the week for it. Malthouse is hosting a week-long celebration (ending Sunday 22 May) of whisky to celebrate World Whisky Day (Saturday 21). We are currently half way through and punters have been enjoying platters ($50) of four top-notch whiskies with the selection changing every day. [5]

For example, the selection for Thursday is Glengoyne 17 (Highland), Smokehead 18 (Speyside), Balmanach Ultimate Collection 24 (Islay), and Blair Athol Ultimate Collection 26 (Highland). Friday sees the line up of Bruichladdich Waves (Islay), Chieftains Tomatin 16 (Highland), Stronachie 18 (Highland), and Tullibardine 500 Sherry Finish (Highland).

The big day is World Whisky Day on Saturday 21 May 2016. The whisky list for that is still a secret but, in the vernacular of my homeland, the selection is “well bonny” (very good) and Malthouse will be “heevin” (very busy)

I really do enjoy whisky and know a little bit about it, but I’ll be taking advantage of the extensive tasting notes which come with each platter. To gain some words of whisky wisdom I turned to Sir Kingsley Amis and his wonderful book “Everyday Drinking”.

He wrote “there is no better drink in the world than malt whisky…” The only problem he saw was after a good Scotch all you wanted was “another one.” In 1983 Amis also predicted “on present trends there’ll soon be whisky snobs fit to compare with any wine snob of yesteryear.”

While whisky is on show this week at Malthouse the tap banks are all full of quality beers. I’ve really enjoying Liberty Alpha Lord IPA, Te Aro Grapefruit IPA and Epic Armageddon of late, but more dark beers are starting to sneak on tap too. The Darkest Days are surely approaching.

Before that showcase of inky libations happens, the hard-working Malty staff are very excited about a massive delivery of exciting English beers. I’ve seen the list and they are quite right to be excited… It includes some absolute stunners and plenty of newcomers. There will be more details on the English invasion and the Darkest Days in coming blogs. 

Next time, we drink to Tyrell’s Crisps – simply the best crisps in the world. [6] Lobbying has begun to get them into Malthouse. I like the Cheddar and Chives ones the most.

[1] It is a pretty sensitive role so the legal requirement to use official, secure email servers seems reasonable enough.

[2] This long-standing political term has been virtually ruined by that dreadful Julia Louis-Dreyfus show. Did you know she used to be on Seinfeld…?

[3] Apart from Dan Quayle obviously.

[4] I should probably trade mark that before it is appropriated by a right-wing blogger…

[5] Malthouse has A LOT of great whiskies.

[6] I use “crisps” deliberately as they are an English product.


Neil Miller

Beer Writer

Beer and Brewer Magazine

Cuisine Magazine

TheShout Magazine

New Zealand Liquor News Magazine


Malthouse Whisky Week Menu –

World Whisky Day –

Malthouse Facebook –

Malthouse Twitter –!/malthouse

Malthouse Taps on Twitter –!/MalthouseTaps

Neil Miller on Twitter –!/beerlytweeting