Chickens and boobies and Zima, oh my!

On Saturday, my sister Pens Fan/Tammy and I took our seven-year-old sons to see a Musical Christmas Carol at the Byham and three notable things happened.

1.  From start to first intermission, I understood exactly three words, “Chickens!” and “Bah humbug.”  And since I’m not sure bah and humbug are actual words, let’s just say I made out one word. That’s a fun, frustrating as hell time.

2. Our sons never once noticed the naked ladies painted on the ceiling. I’m a bit disappointed because I was really watching closely to see that first wave of, “OMG. BOOBIES!” wash over their cute little faces.  Never happened because they were so engrossed in their Sqworms and Sour Patch Kids.

3. When we arrived, I beelined to the bar and said to the bartender, “I am going to ask you the weirdest question you’ve been asked in a long time.  Do you have any Zima back there?”

And he didn’t laugh at me or guffaw or make a joke about 1990 calling or about 1992 paging him or anything.  The only perceptible change I saw in him was that  both of his eyebrows suddenly became very high, curious arches of pleasant surprise and he said, “Yes, we do!” clearly so excited to finally find a human being willing to shell out $4.50 for what was probably a two-year-old bottle of tangerine Zima.

Here I am, holding my first Zima in almost a year:


Yes, those very may well be tears of joy reflecting in my eyes.



  1. Pa-pop
    December 14, 2009 5:30 pm

    Now that a photo of the Byham’s ceiling has been published on the internet, I wonder if the Foul Dwarf will buy a season ticket?

    You indeed look misty-eyed holding that Zima.

  2. cmd_45
    December 14, 2009 5:45 pm

    I have a friend who adores Zima and she can no longer find it. Thanks for the info, I’ll send her on her quest!

  3. Carpetbagger
    December 14, 2009 5:47 pm

    According to the all-knowing source, wikipedia, Zima is classified as an alcopop, and is still made and marketed in Japan. Maybe you can score some and enjoy them with with new Pirate sensation, Aki Iwamura.

    Kanpai (Japanese for “Toast!”)
    Oishii (Delicious!)

  4. PK
    December 14, 2009 6:40 pm

    I used to work with The Cultural Trust, which operates the Byham, and got to know the “naked ladies” in quite detail. (No, not that way.)

    It’s not actually a mural, but a giant applique. And if you look closely at the “lady” in the lower right, you’ll notice how odd “she” looks. Like she’s wearing a wig. Her shoulders seem broad for a woman. And she’s holding a lyre and an athlon, or olive wreath.

    We could never be sure, but we often thought that at somepoint, Apollo had a sex change and became Nike.

  5. lipreadergalore
    December 14, 2009 6:40 pm

    Congrats on the Zima! I don’t know if I’ve ever had a Zima. I bet I would like it, seeing as how I’m not a beer drinker and like hard cider and Mike’s Hard Lemonade and those types of drinks.

    Next time you get tickets to a show, ask if you can borrow a copy of the script. It can be a pain looking up and down from the script to the action on stage, but if you’re a fast reader like me, you get used to it. I try to get seats up close so the lights from the stage are all I need, otherwise I bring a small flashlight-pen holder thing. I love musicals and shows, and since Pittsburgh doesn’t have live performance captioning like other cities (check out:, we have to settle for this…

    I actually talked to the Director of c2, and he said Pittsburgh has been discussed as a likely candidate. I can talk to you more about this offlist if you’re interested. :)

  6. bluzdude
    December 14, 2009 7:09 pm

    “I’ve missed you, my Zima… come to mama!”

    I’m surprised you didn’t buy out whatever he had left…

  7. L-A
    December 14, 2009 7:37 pm

    zima gives me indigestion, but you are super cute :-)

  8. Jen
    December 14, 2009 10:09 pm

    I LOVE Zima – so glad to hear that someone else enjoys it.

    Looking for more of your perspective on Tiger – I’m sure you have a point of view that you are dying to share!

  9. Magnus Patris
    December 14, 2009 11:05 pm

    I’m a guy and I have been known to drink a Zima. My friends made fun of me. I didn’t care. They asked what other girl drinks I liked. I didn’t care. They made fun of my pink dress shirt. I didn’t care. I’m secure in my sexuality and I like Zima, dammit!
    By the way, little know fact; buy a Mac and you get a free case of Zima with it. Now you gotta get one.

  10. Beatrice
    December 14, 2009 11:16 pm

    It’s good kharma from the Make Room for the Kids project! You’ll probably find a Zima every Saturday for life!

  11. Betoon
    December 15, 2009 9:18 am

    Okay weird anecodote here – we’re all working with hand sanitizers on our desks to ward off whatever germs happen to wander into the West End. So I was using my favorite from the Dollar Store The Boss wanders past my desk, and comments, hmm that smells like Zima. SO there you go, hand sanitizer from the dollar store in a pinch will give you the scent of Zima.

  12. Marcy
    December 15, 2009 9:19 am

    Regarding the naked ladies on the ceiling…like PK said, some of them are pretty darned masculine in appearance. I was at a Patty Griffin show there with a friend a few years ago (if you are not familiar with her she has a huge gay following) and before the show started I was looking at the ceiling and I commented to my friend, as I was pointing up to the ceiling “wow, those women look like dudes” and the man in front of me turned around and loudly proclaimed “oh, sweetie, pretty much all the women in here look like dudes!” Not PC at all but it was very funny. :D

  13. John in the Rocks
    December 15, 2009 10:13 am

    Before I became a beer drinker, I was a big time Zima fan, so I understand your glee at finding your much-missed libation of choice.

  14. bucdaddy
    December 15, 2009 10:50 am

    I drank a Zima.


  15. LuAnn
    December 15, 2009 11:32 am

    I went to school with a Richard Zima.
    But that’s a whole ‘nother thing…

  16. bucdaddy
    December 15, 2009 11:33 am

    I went to college with Sam Zima.

    Not what you’re looking for, I know.

  17. butcher's dog
    December 15, 2009 1:49 pm

    @bluzdude. Ginny’s holding a bottle of Zima. She probably DID buy out their remaining stock. And I, too, can hardly wait for her take on Tiger. Is that what happens when nomnom goes too far? Just curious; I would have no personal knowledge of that myself.

  18. AndyTheo
    December 15, 2009 2:22 pm


    You seem to be very nice and smart and there is no question that you are super cool and a very talented and entertaining writer. And we’re not friends, but I say this as I would if we were (meaning that a true friend should be honest even if it sounds mean): Zima sucks. It’s not a matter of taste or individual preference. We’re talking empirically proven, scientific fact. Sorry, but I really think you needed to hear that.

    Feliz Navidad!

  19. tat2dsteelergal
    December 15, 2009 2:42 pm

    Zima Memory 1:

    When my friends and I were “underage” we snuck some Zimas from my friend’s older sister. We. Were. So. Effing. Cool. ZIMA. WOW. One step above Sprite, one step below Robitussin. Never even caught a buzz…

    Zima Memory 2:

    When I was in college, we used to put a jolly rancher in our Zimas. Why? I don’t know. I guess it made the Zima taste fruity. College years are hazy…but we never got drunk from Zima so it was phased out.

    So tragic that it had to end…but good to know it lives on in Japan. I’ll sleep well tonight.

  20. mike
    December 15, 2009 4:25 pm

    I saw the 4:00 show and thought the same thing about trying to understand what the hell they were saying. I thought it was just me. Also, the seats were very uncomfortable to the point my arse was hurting and I couldn’t wait for intermission so I could get out of my seat. So much for “theater seating” I guess back in 1900 they didn’t think about the seats that much.

    Overall the actors were very good so this is no slam on any of them, they are very talented, even if I couldn’t understand them.

  21. butcher's dog
    December 15, 2009 4:56 pm

    @Mike: “they are very talented even if I couldn’t understand them” sounds like what most people say coming out of a Shakespeare performance. Your experience gets more cultural all the time, doesn’t it?!

  22. facie
    December 15, 2009 6:57 pm

    I did not know Zima had flavors, at least I don’t think that was the case during my Zima-drinking stage in the early to mid 90s. Kind of miss that taste.

  23. Chris
    December 16, 2009 1:24 am

    Back in the mid-80’s, I used to drink Iron City Coolers….very similar. These days I’m happy with any flavor of Mike’s Hard Lemonade.

  24. Michele
    December 16, 2009 12:33 pm

    @ Chris: I am glad that someone else remembers Iron City Coolers. I was not of drinking age when they were around, but I would sneak a sip every once in awhile. I was devastated to find out they didn’t make them anymore when I finally turned 21.

  25. Joe K.
    December 16, 2009 11:09 pm

    Zima was at the first college party I ever went to in 1992, and I remember the jolly rancher thing. I drank quite a bit of Zima in the day, and yes, I even bought a case or two of it. Zima got to be considered a girly drink, but somehow Mike’s Hard Lemonade isn’t. Go figure.

  26. Birdie
    December 17, 2009 8:54 am

    We went to the 8pm showing and took my daughter and her friend (both 10). Within the first 5 minutes of sitting down we heard “they don’t have shirts on, we can see their boobs”. My response was “they’re angels they don’t have to wear shirts”. Not sure where the response came from…

  27. glenn beck
    December 17, 2009 9:04 am

    only commies drink Zima, now the terrorists have won