Beer from a can taste best if it is poured bit by bit into a tiny glass. Drink. Pour a little bit more. Drink a little, pour a little drink, drink drink, pour a lot drink a little more.
Repeat until the can’s empty and yeah, sure, I will have another.
Ideally, it’s got to be 12oz of something cheap. And don’t even think of trying it with a TallBoy. Because that’s just silly.
I only mention it because it’s snowy and kind of quiet all around tonight which reminded me that I had a couple of cans of beer in the fridge and drinking it out of a tiny glass was something I picked up when I moved for no good reason to Minneapolis years ago and you know, it was always snowing there which meant I spent a lot of time drinking canned beer out of tiny glasses.
And a lot of that time was spent in warm, bright little taverns surrounded by imitation wood paneling where you could sit on a rickety stool at the bar and the old-time owner would serve up a Grain Belt in a can along with a tiny glass, all without any fancy presentation, you know, but all for a buck. All without having to put up with mesh hats and clever T-shirts.
And sometimes after a couple of hours sitting at the bar, the owner would just place a round of beers in front of you and your pals for free because you were good little future high-functioning alcoholics who kept quiet and didn’t bother the locals.
So, that was always nice.
And years back when I moved for no good reason to Minneapolis I eventually became friends with a guy named Mike. Mike the mechanic. Yes, if you are familiar at all with the band Mike and the Mechanics, people always tried to make a lot of jokes. But you know, Mike the mechanic was barely the kind of guy to give into such a dumb-ass shit like that, because saying something like that to him was just that. fucking. stupid.
But that’s not the point. The point is Mike still lived with his parents and sometimes I’d go over to Mike’s house to play pool. Carol, his mom, worked in a hospital during the day, and his dad worked nights. So most nights you could find Carol at the breakfast nook in the kitchen of their house playing cards with her best pal Sue under the greenish-blue light of one of those faux Tiffany chandelier lamps that were mostly used to light up poker tables in basement game rooms in houses all over the nation in the 70’s.
And every Monday Carol sent Mike out for a couple cases of Schmidt’s beer.
So Sue and Carol would smoke their cigarettes and talk, and bitch and complain and most of the time they would wind up laughing so hard about it all they’d go into huge coughing fits that’d only stop once they lit up another Pall Mall.
And all the while they would pour their Schmidt’s into tiny glasses and drink up.
Drink a little, pour a little drink, drink, drink, pour a lot drink a little more.
Monday came around. Mike went out for another two cases. Repeat.
Sometimes Mike’s older sister Debbie would sit with them. She didn’t live far away so she’d show up and just kind make a place for herself at the table. Debbie worked at the hospital too, so she’d sit in her nurses' scrubs, light up and start cussing about this or that until her mom told her to quit talking so damn much and start playing.
I was always jealous of Debbie because I always wanted to sit with Carol and Sue, throw some cards down and maybe cuss a little bit. But man, those ladies were intimidating as fuck.
And, you know, I was never invited; so there’s that.
Yes, yes, I realize unnecessary romanticizing of a bar and cheap canned beer falls a
wee bit lot on the side of ridiculous but you know, I just kind of sat down to type and that’s what came around.
I still enjoy a cold can of beer poured into a little glass every now and then. It’s like a little project.
So there it is.
At any rate, the real point is, if I wanted to be ridiculously nostalgic, I would go ahead and post excerpts from recently unearthed grade school diaries. Because you know the midget closet is full of old year books, pictures, letters, a few trophies, records and tons of other useless crap I just can’t bring myself to throw away. Including those grade school diaries.
So just for fun, tonight I bring you an unedited diary entry from 1986 apparently otherwise known as…THE TIME BEFORE IRONY RULED THE EARTH, where I gush very proudly about how well my older sister did competing in her State Track Meet:
”Well, there it was today this morning. That [happy? some descriptive word; I can’t read my handwriting] face staring at me as I picked up the Sunday morning paper. She finally did it. My sister made the front page. I couldn’t believe it at first but I blinked and there it was, her face was right up there with Hands Across America. She’s worked so hard, and I am very proud of her …
Okay fine, let’s forget about my sister’s stunning achievement for a moment.
Hands. Across. America.
Hands A-fucking-Cross America, y’all.
There it is. My totally young and naïve perception of success in the 1980’s. Clearly, back then, you make the front page of the small town local paper along some blurb about Hands Across America and you are the shit.
I laughed so hard I literally (literally! Gosh darn it I mean it!) cried when I read that entry written out in with 100% earnestness in my horrible, horrible grade school cursive.
Plus, the fact the thing was so obviously written with some sort of literary intent for future generations to behold in awe with the whole “I blinked and there it was…” bit I could really just…just…
I don’t know, laugh until there are tears again, as it confirms everything I’ve ever known: once a dork, always a dork.
Because I tell you what, after that, I haven’t been able to read much more written by the Grade School Me. I mean, should I find any reference to how lining up for The Pepsi Challenge at the new mall changed the world or something, it really just might be too much for the 2004 Me to take.