Today’s new drink is a victory for Science. Think of “Gilligan’s Island”, that supremely silly sitcom from the Sixties. (Four alliteration points!). That ill-fated three-hour cruise that turned into the very first episode of “Survivor”, as seven souls from all walks of life became castaways on an uncharted desert isle. And because of the G-rated mores of that bygone era, a situation ripe with sexual promise became an exercise in wholesomeness that would make the Amish proud. But looking back now with 21st century eyes—not to mention a collective sensibility that has seen much since those innocent days—we see that among the seven unfortunate castaways, two are attractive young women of child-bearing age. The perennial peaches and cream, pig-tailed girl-next-door, Mary Ann, and the smoldering, hot Monroesque bombshell, Ginger.
And since the name of this cocktail is “Ginger Not Mary Ann”, let’s get up close and personal with Ginger Grant. Taller than everyone else (did she wear high heels on the island?), dripping with glamour and a sizzling sex-appeal, with those eyelashes that never quit, and that perpetual come-hither look, Ginger, in a word, stood out. And with no rescue in sight, the male castaways would most assuredly count their blessings, that among the citizens of this desert island was this nubile Hollywood hottie. So let’s examine who among the male population had a shot at bringing Ginger back to their primitive, Pre-Columbian hut.
Let’s rule out Mr. Howell right off the bat. Thurston Howell the Third, of course, was a millionaire—back when being a millionaire meant something. But being stuck on a desert island made his big bucks redundant, and all that was left was some old, pretentious fuddy-duddy who dressed like Lawrence Welk on vacation.
The Skipper, while being captain of the ship, was not exactly a Captain Kirk type—fat, loud, likable but dim. He did, after all, maroon them on the island in the first place. So let’s cross off The Skipper. Then there’s the hapless first mate, Gilligan, who was more like a pet beagle or Pomeranian than a potential love interest, especially for the likes of the beauty-marked Ginger. (Recall the strategically placed mole!)
Which leaves The Professor. Originally, he was just part of “and the rest” in the theme song, which didn’t bode well. I mean, nobody wants to have sex with someone who’s just “and the rest”. But in later seasons, the “Professor and Mary Ann” were included in the song, which made him suddenly viable. Handsome, in a rumpled, absent-minded way, The Professor’s scientific acumen, vis-à-vis the desert island, would make him the leading candidate to receive Ginger’s favors. After all, he kept everyone alive with his ingenious inventions using palm fronds and coconut shells. He could synthesize makeup and moisturizers! Hair dye and perfume! And didn’t he come upon some precious jewels in one episode? He could fashion them into a ring, a necklace, earrings! All in all, Ginger’s dream come true. And I bet he could’ve created something like Botox from puffer fish, if he would’ve conceived of such a thing. Which begs the question, why was The Professor such an oblivious, doltish eunuch throughout the series? Maybe he was, you know, not up to the task. And wheels and pulleys might do the job scientifically, like a literal erector set, but nevertheless would be a turn-off. But perhaps he could've invented a little blue pill made from the ground-up tusk of a swordfish or narwhal!
All in all, The Professor had it goin’ on. He had everything he needed to make Ginger his willing sex slave. The triumph of Science, making Einstein jealous down to the subatomic level, and putting Ginger’s quarks and gluons in an excited state! But alas, with all that Science gave him, it couldn’t give him a personality. Some things are beyond the reach of Science. Perhaps a Poet would’ve had a shot. Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day…
GINGER NOT MARY ANN
1 part Citadelle Gin
1 part Stolichnaya Vodka
½ part Domaine de Canton
splash of Yellow Chartreuse
dash of Hella Bitters Ginger Lemon bitters
Shake over ice. Pour into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a twist of lemon.
Just like a movie star, Ginger's namesake drink demanded another photo.
Maybe it was the eyebrows...
As Fate would have it, a fitting sign from the Science March in Washington, D.C.
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