I like beer—beer is good. There’s nothing like a cold beer on a hot summer day, or a cold winter night, or . . . well, you get the idea.
Beer drinking has become more complicated than when I started drinking beer in the late sixties. Back then, there were about six kinds: Bud, Schlitz, Miller, Schaefer, Pabst, and Narragansett. There were probably others; they just didn’t have them in Smalltown at Dan’s Market or Luigi’s Bar. Nowadays, there’s a microbrewery in every county making “designer beer”. I’m not a big fan of those fancy brews. Beer shouldn’t taste like pumpkins or blueberries or lemons or chocolate. Beer should taste like . . . well . . . BEER.
The best thing to happen to my favorite beverage in the past 40 years is diet beer. I’m a bit of a health nut, so if I’m going to enjoy a dozen or more brewskis, it’s got to be Bud Light. That’s why the waist size on my Levi’s hasn’t changed in 20 years, though I do wear them a few inches lower these days. The little woman, Winnie, is concerned that my legs are shrinking because my jeans have gone from a size 36/31 to 36/27 since I met her. I think they just make them different now.
This is a true story (the names have been changed to protect the guilty). My buddy, Munzie’s favorite beer is O.P. (Other People’s). The year I met him, he was having trouble seeing eye to eye with his, now former, wife so he spent nearly every evening at my house watching the Sox or the Pats and drinking my Bud Light. I enjoyed his company, so I was happy to share my beer. I’d just ask Winnie to pick up an extra case, or so, at Dan’s every week.
Roughly a year (52 cases of Bud Light) later, we all went camping. Another friend, Barney, offered to make a beer run, so I ordered myself a case. Munzie ordered a case, too.
“Bud Light?” Barney asked.
I was quite surprised at Munzie’s reply.
“Oh, no thanks,” he replied. “I don’t really like that kind.”
I wasn’t upset with Munzie—just grateful I didn’t stock the flavor he likes. Lord knows how many more cases I’d have gone through.
Barney likes to drink beer too—lots of beer. His beer consumption philosophy is “if you weren’t supposed to drink 30 (or more) beers a day, they wouldn’t make 30 packs.” He doesn’t believe 30 packs were made to share with friends. Barney’s the only guy I know with a padlock on his beer cooler. I think that’s, in large part, because of Munzie’s preference for O.P. and the philosophy of another mutual friend, Roy, who likes to say; “you can’t drink beer all day, if you don’t start in the morning.”
In our younger years, it was fairly easy to tell how many “wobbly pops” Barney had enjoyed by the looks of the girl he was dancing with. It seems that all the young ladies at Rex’s Dance Hall got a little prettier with each beer. I hate to say it, but some of the 20 beer women were homelier than a mud fence.
Barney Lang is a five foot six inch scrawny wimp until he has about a dozen beers. Then he’s six and a half feet of muscle . . . and mouth. It’s at about that time of the night when he finds the homely girl with the biggest boyfriend and makes his move.
If I had a cold beer for every time I got my butt kicked for knowing Barney, I’d have enough O.P. to supply Munzie for another year