What does this “CV” mean? Does it indicate 105 proof in Roman numerals? No, it’s a standard 46% ABV. Is it “Cape Verde”? No, this is a Campbeltown whisky. Is it “choking victim”? Certainly not, though I will come back to this momentarily. Perhaps it’s “Chikungunya virus”? Oh, who am I kidding? No distiller would release a spirit named for a mosquito-born virus. It turns out that the CV stands for “curriculum vitae,” which is more pretentious than anything I could have imagined. Well, now that the committee is convened, let us subject this candidate to an oral defense. The front matter of the thesis is all there, along with a distinctive introduction and literature review: lemony, reedy, light smoke and oils. Think grapefruit and pear sour patch kids darkened by Zamboni exhaust. As I take in the body of the work, it’s really amazing. Forget awarding the Ph.D. degree, I shall have to recommend this expression for tenure! Peppery parmesan biscuits eaten with omega-3 fish oil capsules lining the gums. Eel ceviche in small shot glasses left too long in the sun. Lest you think the author of this marvelous thesis is hopeless in the classroom, the reviews on Ratemymalt.com are glowing. What’s more, at least two students give it a chili pepper to indicate that they are hot for teacher. (In case you’re wondering, it’s a Peter pepper pressed in parchment paper perspiring pinpricks of waxy oil with enough scovillicious bite that you’ll remember it in the morning.) As we turn to the conclusion, appendices, and back matter, our enthusiasm deepens. Clearly, our candidate can do anything, even reproduce the feeling of a cactus being pulled down your throat by a vengeful homunculus.
The Springbank CV is Better Never to have Been: the Harm of Coming into Existence—It’s certainly better (though arguably less improbable) than Is the Rectum a Grave?: And Other Essays. But don’t get me wrong: I’m not saying that the Springbank CV shouldn’t exist. On the contrary, I hold that its degree of excellence is comparable to the degree of improbability of a book-length argument in favor of non-existence. The splendid U. of Springbank has many wonderful drams in its faculty and this up-and-comer is right at home among them.
–Thanks to Andrew Shand and Preiss Imports for the sample! Slàinte!