Friday, December 11, 2009

#14 Beer

You know when you're, I don't know, 13, 15, 9, and someone older gives you your first taste of beer? And they're invariably older than you and this pretty much always happens at that time of your life when "older" means "better" in pretty much every conceivable way that matters to you. And so it's 2 in the afternoon and you've spent the afternoon out in the heat and there you are, and your older brother's hanging out with his friends and Danny, the one you know they all think is funny and cool and he's athletic and kind of a dick and there's something in the pit of your stomach that tells you this guy's bad news but all the girls in your class totally love him and talk about him all the time, and he's like, hey I'mNotBobby, c'mere, you ever had a beer before? And he hands you a cold bottle of Flitzenflachen and you're not sure, but you've thought about it before, I mean by that age, you've seen enough beer commercials and ads to think of it as this beautiful, translucently gold, foamy, cold-sweating-glass wunderbeverage and but while you're kind of scared of taking that oddly sacred leap away from your childhood, you're also anticipating this almost nectar-of-the-Olympian-gods type experience?

So you decide to do it, to have your first beer.

And then you open your watering eyes and can see them all laughing at you, laughing at this kid whose face looks like the entire world has gone through an enormous amount of time and trouble to play this lame little practical joke on him. And then it occurs to you, wait a minute, that makes no sense, people must actually really like this crap, and that's even more bewildering. So then you steel yourself and take a long deep gulp to show Danny, show him you're tough, you can take it. And he smiles at you, acceptingly, and the whole group of them are watching by now, encouraging you to drink drink drink and then confiding in you like you're one of them now, and saying yeah, it's a bitch when you first try it but you have to keep drinking it and you'll learn to like it.

But that concept is just completely and entirely foreign to your experience. Kids don't "acquire" tastes. Your body tells you whether you like something or you don't and for the most part, when you're a kid, you like what you like and you don't what you don't and you may for the sake of your parents force yourself to eat certain things you have a natural revulsion for but it's not really until you get older that either your tastes change or your power of denial is deft enough to start convincing you that you like things you don't really like.

Beer is one of those things, and I never developed a taste for it. I can't tell you how many times over the years friends have said to me "What? I'mNotBobby, you don't like beer? That's weird." And then they insist on getting me to try this one beer that they're absolutely sure I'm gonna like because it's "really good beer." And you know what? It tastes like friggin' beer. You know why? Because it's beer.

The cult of beer is pernicious. For some reason we go on and on about smoking and transfats and DDT and sugar-water soda and genetically-engineered food or the overpriced scam that is
organic vegetables and meat but beer is somehow completely off the table. I mean beer gives you, over time, that distended, perfectly round beach-ball gut that has to cause so many health problems it isn't even funny. Not to mention the physical violence of all kinds that attends its sacred position in the pantheon.

But it's off-limits, and has this odd kind of regular-guy credibility that is so completely retarded that every politician has to be seen out there forcing down a frosty cold one with a pandering, [literally] shit-drinking grin on his face. The fact that beer-drinking was a factor in the '04 election demonstrates just how ubiquitous and retarded the beer-cult is. To say nothing of the fact that people thought sharing a beer with a privileged little nancy who doesn't even drink sounded fun.

I mean if you want to drink the disgusting brain-killing wheat soda knock yourself out, but why does it have to be this showing-off competition kind of thing? Because I think, I really believe this, that it's kind of impossible to really like the taste of beer. I mean to PREFER the taste of beer over say, Ginger Ale or a Pina Colada. That's ok, I don't have to. I just hope I pass on my distaste for the stuff to my kids, because beer is stupid, people are stupider when they drink it and encourage each other in their stupidity in the process and eventually get into fights and punch each other in their mouths or have sex with people they don't like. There's really nothing good about it. There's plenty of other stuff to drink.

[SYANATNL would like to thank Serps at Learning to Crawl for this post's idea...although Mrs. ImNotBobby reminds him that she gave him this idea months ago and she is absolutely right and deserves full unabridged props for it....thanks honey!]


  1. I remember my first beer: I was 10 or 11 years old and it had been a long night of dodging empty beer bottles as my old man hurled them in my general direction, mostly on account of me being so damn insolent and spoiled. Well I think it was either the 4th or 5th bottle that whizzed by my head and I swear, in that moment, time slowed down to a near crawl and I could see that last lukewarm drop of sweet pilsnery goodness finally lose its death grip on the lip of that bottle and hurtle earthward, only to be intercepted by my mouth. Dear god was that first drop of beer delicious, I knew right then and there that for so long as I lived I would love beer. So why don't come down from your little ivory tower, I'll save you a spot at the local dive bar and we can have a BEER.

  2. Flitzenflachen Lager, the first beer that appeals to 12-year-olds, should be another one of your brilliant entrepreneurial takeovers.