The pressure of being tagged

I’m under quite a bit of pressure to get this column done.

I wrote six columns a week when I worked for a newspaper. The reason I wrote six columns a week was because the guy in charge of the newsroom at the time was a moron who figured, since he wrote one column a week, it would be easy for me to write six a week.

I mean, I guess that’s what he figured, but I don’t know for sure what with him being a moron and all.

My point is when I wrote six columns a week, I never felt the sort of pressure as I do now to write this one column.

The reason I have to write this column is because my wife and our 24-year-old daughter said I have to and they put me under some intense deadline pressure.


Me: Why do I have to write a column?

Wife: Because.

Me: Well as long as there’s a good reason.

Emma: You have to write one because I’m going to tag you.

Me: I don’t know what that means.


My wife and Emma told me they want to tag me in some sort of social media post that somehow ties into the store the two of them own.

My wife and Emma have owned their store for several months now and apparently “tagging” is very important in the social media campaign they use to promote their store and it doesn’t matter if I understand what that means or not.

What matters is “I JUST WRITE THE @#$$@ COLUMN!”

The name of the store my wife and Emma own is “The Artists Loft 404”.

The store is called the “The Artists Loft 404” even though it’s not actually located in a loft but rather inside a larger store called “The Yellow Umbrella” which is located on the north side of the Square here in Carthage.

“OK, Mike,” some of you are wondering. “Do you at least happen to know what the ‘404’ in the store name means?”

To some of you who are wondering that I say, “No. No, I do not.”

“Do you even care what the ‘404’ stands means?” some of you are wondering.

“No. No, I do not.”

Really about the only thing I know about the store is just about every day,  for the past several months, somewhere between two and 2,357 boxes show up on our porch.

It is my job, just about every day, to bring the somewhere between 2 and 7,452 boxes on our porch into our house and then step around them until my wife and Emma can “price them” and take them to their store.

Although, technically, I have no official role in my wife and Emma’s store I occasionally have to serve as the director or warehousing and distribution.

And by “occasionally” I mean “way more that I want to.”

And by “director of warehousing and distribution” I mean I have to haul stuff in my car from our house to the store on the north side of the Square.

But back to writing this column. As I understand it (and there is a very good chance that I don’t) I’m supposed to write a column about my hot buttered rum recipe.

Now, I’ve written thousands of columns in the past 21 years but I can honestly say that never in all of those thousands of columns have I written one about my hot buttered rum recipe.

And there is a good reason for that.


I not even much of a fan of hot buttered rum. I’m more of a fan of cold bottled beer.

But my wife is a fan of hot buttered rum and she is particularly fond of my hot buttered rum recipe and asked me to make several batches for her this past Sunday.

Because I’m a nice guy and because the Kansas City Chiefs didn’t play until 3:25 Sunday I agreed to make the hot buttered rum batches.

When Emma found out I was going to make the hot buttered rum batches she said,  “Ooooh, I’ll take pictures and then I will tag you on social media. It will be good for our brand.”

To which I replied, “What?”

So Emma took a few pictures of me making hot buttered rum batches while I was wearing an apron and using a spatula that my wife and Emma sell at their store.

When I asked Emma if she needed my face in the pictures she said-and I swear this is true-“Uh, maybe after you’ve freshened up.”


Now, so Emma can tag me and do something with their brand, here are a couple of the pictures Emma took followed by the recipe for my hot buttered rum.

And just like that the pressure is gone.

Now, where is my beer?

Me wearing an apron. The apron, I’m told is key here.
Here I am using a spatula. Here the spatula is key.


Hot Buttered Rum

For the batter


1 LB brown sugar

2 sticks of butter at room temperature

2 teaspoons cinnamon

2 to 3 teaspoons fresh nutmeg

1 ½ teaspoons allspice

2 teaspoons vanilla extract.

For each drink

1 ½ ounces rum

Boiling water as needed.


Beat together the brown sugar butter, spices and vanilla extract until combined. When finished use right away or  refrigerate until ready to use.

If using batter that has been refrigerated be sure to take it out of the refrigerator at least six hours before serving to allow it to soften.

For each drink combine two generous tablespoons of the batter and the rum into a warm coffee mug. Add boiling water to the top of the mug and stir well.