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The shaky start this year was caused by Mr. Rutherford T. Phillips of Denver, the executive director of the American Humane Association. He observed in a wire to the Legion post that "beating living creatures to death is contrary to American ideals of decency and fair play." But the boys from North Iredell can match Rutherford T. Phillips both in rhetoric and in the euphoniousness of his names. The Legion's J. Pierce Van Joy answered: "We argue that this way of killing rabbits is more humane than filling their hind ends full of hot lead. When one of these rabbits meets a North Iredell Legionnaire with a club, he meets instant death." Anyway, said Mr. Van Joy, the bunnies wind up in a public barbecue for the benefit of a bunch of underprivileged children.
J. Pierce Van Joy and 150 of his fellow nimrods then took to the fields last Saturday and sticked and stoned 38 rabbits to death. About all anybody proved was that there aren't many rabbits around Harmony. We hope there are as few underprivileged children.
REALLY ON THE ROCKS
The Mixed Drink of the Year is feloniously compounded of cr�me de banana, triple sec, bourbon and whipped cream. This was decided at the annual drink-mixing competition, sponsored by Early Times and held in Las Vegas recently. It was attended by SPORTS ILLUSTRATED Associate Editor James Murray, who reported:
"The winning drink is called The Melody and is the creation of a Hollywood barkeep named John W. Chop, who works at the Melody Room (surprise, surprise) on Sunset Blvd. The Melody (the drink, not the bar) is a test of liver and digestion that might faze a Diamond Jim Brady.
"Nevertheless, it is almost the only drink in the contest that any of the judges could finish. Most of the entries were bilious green and red concoctions that tasted like after-shave lotions in simple syrup. One drink, for example, mixed a shot of bourbon, one ounce of honey, lemon juice and a half-ounce of heavy cream.
"Two bold bartenders entered a drink whose base was Scotch. Lovers of Scotch all over the world will shudder to learn that the other ingredients in the drink were an Italian liqueur and a ghastly treacle called cr�me de mandarines.
"Grenadine bottles and Waring Blendors and pineapple squares and cherries and mint sprigs and syrups were all over the place. A man with diabetes could not even afford to walk through the room. The judges consisted of a few holidaying newspapermen and Las Vegas innkeepers and restaurateurs. There were 40 judges in all, and they had to sip 27 drinks, the finalists in an original entry list of 5,000. Toward the end the judges began to look pretty sick. They would sip a drink and then run outside for a Listerine rinse or a bourbon and soda (this may be why Early Times sponsors the contest).
"The judges had been abjured to abstain from drinking for 45 minutes before the contest, but most of us—most of them—couldn't go on the wagon that long. When the M.C. asked the judges to be seated before the event began, one of them shouted, 'We can't. We're too drunk.' He was lucky—he couldn't taste the awful puddings and soups that were entered as great drinks.