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Podcast Summary:

“Anyway, I’ll Drink to That” is a Boozn Sam’s production, exploring the fun, quirky, and fascinating tales of drinks (Cassis Orange in this episode) that define culture, history and the world. Every drink has a story to tell, and I’m going to tell it…as true as I can. Hosted by Sam, from Boozn Sam’s. Saddle up with a good cocktail and give me a few minutes of your time for a mystery surrounding a drink that changed the world.

Episode 5 Details:

An Easy, Squeezy Night Out

Parasite children are unmarried, employed, adult children that live with their parents to save on expenses. In Japan they put a huge stress on many parents who have not planned to cover the living expenses of their adult kids and often need to go back to work just to make ends meet. This is their story and the story of the popular drink, The Cassis Orange, that embodies everything parasite children stand for.

Transcript of Podcast:

*This is the entire podcast episode in written form. Do not read if you want the audio version to be spoiled.

The bartender looked at her and pointed at the empty glass. Ema giggled, turned to her girlfriends, and raised an eyebrow. It was time to decide. Should we stay or go? The girls looked at each other and shrugged. What else did they have to do tomorrow? And this place was as good as any. 

The lights were dimmed and created an atmosphere that enhanced their faces. Music, the popular plays of the month, thrummed on in the background loud enough to hear but not so loud that they couldn’t hear each other talk. And the bartender was cute. Ema looked back at the bartender, nodded and giggled once more.

The rest of the girls followed suit too. One more round. Why not? Just like the last. They go down fast after all.

Which, was a recipe that matched most of their lives. Life in the fast line filled with the latest fashionables from the luxury brands that had popped up in surprising numbers over the last decade. A decade ago she wouldn’t have been able to afford the Gucci bags either. But, her career had blossomed and, like so many others her age, late 30s, she’d succeed in offsetting one of the biggest expenses most people face – a housing expense.

No mortgage. No silly repairs and maintenance. Appliance costs were zero. Yet, she wasn’t renting either! She’d found a savvy solution. The money saved she pumped back into the economy via fancy bars and restaurants like this and portable arm candy in fashionable designs like the bag she carried tonight. I mean…why not? She was young. Live a little!

The stressors of homeownership were for the birds…or, more precisely her parents, who she coincidentally lived with in order to avoid those big life expenses. Who could blame her really? The economy was in shambles, bankrupt by prior generations. Owning a house was expensive, not to mention limiting, and so much work.

Ema was not alone. Of the five friends, including her, that were at the cocktail bar tonight, two of them lived at home and four of the five of them were single and didn’t want to ever have kids. She wasn’t sure, but she felt that, that number was pretty accurate.

Come to think of it, it had to be. She knew wayyyy more people who were without kids at her age than with them. She shrugged as another round of the colorful, tasty drink arrived. Oh well, she thought, it doesn’t matter.

Of course, her father Ken would likely disagree. Although Ema didn’t know it, he’d even referred to her as a Parasite Single. He hadn’t come up with it. It was something he read in the newspaper, an interview with some writer who remarked on the incredible trend of young men and women moving back in with their parents and draining them of their welfare checks and hard earned savings. 

It wasn’t that they couldn’t afford to live on their own either. They could. They were college educated and had great paying jobs. Affording rent or a house was not an issue. Well, not an issue if you didn’t want to buy a sports car or designer clothes. It was a shrewd move, of course. Save on household expenses to spend more on entertainment and luxury.

For Ken, he hoped that Ema would figure it out. While he appreciated having her around in her twenties he always thought she’d find a man and get married. Instead she spent most of her time with her girlfriends, drinking at the bar…what was that drink they liked so much again? 

He could never remember. All he knew was that it was ironic. It tasted like anything but alcohol, an easy sipping drink, as casual as the lives they lived.

The drink was rooted in a sweet, dark red liqueur. A very specific fruit was crushed and soaked in alcohol. The irony is that this liqueur came from a country with high standards for drink. It was a lowbrow drink, the poor person’s swill used to aromatize and soften cheaper wine. 

This modern version came about in the 1840s, but an altered version of the drink existed before that. It just didn’t exist to sweeten sub par wine. 

And if someone had told you that a hundred and fifty years later it would be used to create a simple 2 ingredient craft cocktail that sold for double digits to young kids with enough disposable income to spend their nights, most nights, eating out at fancy restaurants and paying for meals and drinks from plastic cards stuffed into designer handbags, they would have laughed at that too.

But, here we are. Ema in a bar, sipping on the cold, tasty drink that entirely masked the taste of alcohol. A parasite single, as defined by her country, but feeling more duped than anything. Go to college, they said. Get a job, they said. Be strong, independent, and female, they said. 

You don’t need marriage.

Or a man. 

Cheers to that. 

With an orange drink that softened the cloying burn of hundreds of years of history with an easy escape. After all, this is the easy age. The buy what you want age. 

Who could be bothered to pay for such things as houses and furnaces.

Just the thought of it seemed repulsive. Especially when, Ken would foot the bill. 

But, Ken didn’t like to foot the bill. In fact, he wanted nothing more than his little girl to get out of the house and find a good man. So, he did what any concerned parent would do. 

He went to dating conventions. Put on by matchmakers, and packed into hotel convention centers, Ken talked to other parents…who had a similar problem as his….a parasite single that wouldn’t find a new host to suck on. 

After all, for generations and generations there had always been a pattern. Grow up. Find a significant other. Get married. Settle down. And move on with your life.

But, for men and women alike, this wasn’t the case anymore. So concerned, and annoyed, parents like Ken went to dating conventions to find out how they could set their single kids up with each other and get them out of the house once and for all.

Was it so bad to want their kids to experience the joys of loving and committing to another human instead of a sports car? 

Where was the harm in that?

Ken didn’t know. But, he didn’t know he was part of that 20% category that wanted to enjoy his golden years but instead found himself financially support a grown ass child that had become so disillusioned and disconnected with reality that she was incapable of being a fully functioning adult.

Was society at fault? Driven by media and culture, did the quest for pelf create an entire generation, or two, of maladjusted kids who didn’t know how to function in society?

Had the government bankrupt their futures in exchange for their own through policies that hindered, handicapped, and didn’t give a fair shake?

Or, was this just another generation that had its own problems, like every other generation. But, instead of dealing with the problems of the day, this generation turned to a tall cocktail glass filled with squirt of orange juice and a French liqueur, an easy going drink that didn’t even taste like alcohol.

You could put them back, one after the other, and barely taste a thing. Then stumble home and key open the door to mommy and daddy’s house, where you could drop into bed and wake up the next day to do it all over again.

Parasite Singles.

A problem that has led to this country earning a spot at number 212 in a list of 227 for country birth rates.

A birth rate of 1.37.

Far below the 2.1 number needed for a country to maintain its population. 

Below even the point of no return. 1.6.

Get below that number and a civilization will continue declining until it goes the way of the woolly mammoth, or the caveman….

A well dressed caveman with a Prada purse and Nissan supra, to be more precise.

And that’s why people are worried about Parasite Singles in Japan and the generation that would rather spend it’s money on the 

Cassis Orange Cocktail

Instead of a house.

One, is a sign of stability and a future. 

The other, is 5 ounces of orange juice mixed with 2 ounces of that blackcurrant liqueur Creme De Cassis from Burgundy, France and the future.

For parents like Ken it’s a reality he faces daily.

For kids like Ema, it’s reality unfaced daily.

Anyway…I’ll Drink To That.