About a month ago while attending Outside Lands Music Festival in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, I had one of those head-slapping “doh!” moments. As I shivered under what the city calls fog (and I argue is clearly rain), wishing desperately I had a mug of spiked hot chocolate, I noticed something strange. In front of me a tall young man was watching the Radiohead concert with a pair of huge binoculars around his neck.
Binoculars? At a concert? I’ll admit, it’s not immediately suspicious, but I knew something fishy was going on. First of all, cool young people who go to three-day music festivals don’t tend to carry massive binoculars with them. These were neck-cramping five-pounders, typically reserved for horse racing fans in oversized hats and people who really enjoy spying on exotic birds. This guy looked like neither. That was my first clue.
My second clue came when he began fiddling with the binoculars’ eyepiece. Rather than looking through them for a better view of Radiohead’s mesmerizing light show, he lifted the binoculars to his mouth and took a long swig of what I could only assume was some deliciously warming, shivers-banishing elixir. Whiskey perhaps. Or bourbon. Tequila even. That was my second clue.
After returning to Vegas I tracked down the mysterious instrument with the help of Google and was delighted to discover the Binoculars Double Flask ($9.99-$24.99) – an innocuous-looking tool with eye pieces that detach to reveal two flasks for a total capacity of “16 ounces of your favorite drink.” You can bet most music festival/ball park/political convention security guards aren’t going to give your straight-out-of-the-‘70s spectacles an extra glance. So, while everyone else grumbles about $7 Heinekens and the Prohibition-era liquor rules, you’ll be feeling good, enjoying happy hour without having to waste any money or leave your seat.
Now, someone pass me the sparkling cider.