Sunday, July 06, 2008

The kindness of strangers

"Whoever you are, I have always depended on the kindness of strangers. "

Blanche DuBois, "Streetcar Named Desire".

Well, the holiday weekend has come and gone and I still haven't purchased any beer. Don't misunderstand me, I drank my share of beer but I have exhausted the last of it.

On Friday, after a rough day at work, I knew there was no cold brew to come home to. I mentioned my experiment to a coworker, and bless her heart, she bought me two large cans of Steel Reserve. She said she was thanking me for all the times I've given her a lift home, and in my mind, this more than made up for it.

I went to sit with Franklin at the Tiki Bar and enjoyed my precious gift. And try as I might, I couldn't make them last all evening despite my baby sips. "Come on," said Frank, "I'm out of beer too. Let's walk to the store." The hike there and back was hot and dry, punctuated by car horns and the acrid taste of exhaust. Frank bought an eighteen pack of Bud in cans and told me to grab a six of PBR for me, his treat. What a great guy. Unlike Blanche DuBois, I don't think you should depend on the kindness of strangers. It is much better to have old friends.

To plop down at the bar and take a long pull of an ice cold beer suddenly seemed so much sweeter than usual. We chatted the evening away and listened to the sounds of multitudes of fireworks going off around us, but the only sparkle we saw was the butt of a passing firefly. It was a wonderful holiday.

Saturday night I went back to Frank's and took the last of my six. We watched t.v. at the Tiki Bar and flipped back and forth between the Food Network and HGTV. It was interesting, as I don't watch much t.v., and when I do, it isn't either one of these channels. We saw two room makeovers, a cake show, and a cooking show, as Frank would fill me in about each host and what was good and bad about each program.

Sunday night I had no beer. It was a long evening. While I was reading on the computer, I kept reflexively reaching for an empty can that was sitting there. After the third time, I got up and pitched it. All night I was thirsty, and I kept getting a drink of water, then milk, then juice, and finally a coke. I seldom drink soda pop, but the coke seemed to help some. It satisfied my need for bubbles, but I had to lie to myself and kept saying it was a really dark sweet beer.

I have been true to my word and haven't purchased any beer, but I'm not looking forward to the next week and a half. There won't be any Tiki this week so that helps. I've been smoking less and have been eating better. I've been gardening. The corn is getting tall and the pumpkin vines are getting huge. I think they are going to take over the whole backyard like crazy "Invasion of the Bodysnatchers" pods. I've been thinking about taking up running and the Richard Simmons "Sweatin' to the Oldies" tape is starting to look good.

I must be cracking up.



  1. I doubt this comment will help any, but when you said "really dark sweet beer," it reminded me of McEwan's Scotch Ale. Nectar of th' Gods, my friend. Only had it a couple of times -- and I don't know why. I guess it's just a little too sweet for a regular brew, so I usually opt for Guinness. But, damn, it's a *fantastic* Scottish ale.

  2. Hang in there, buddy. You're in the home stretch!

  3. the whole reference to Coke as a really sweet beer immediately put me in mind of that line from Christmas Carol: "Wherefore the clerk put on his white comforter, and tried to warm himself at the candle; in which effort, not being a man of a strong imagination, he failed."

    Then again, without a lil' rum in it, MOST folken would be hard-pressed to think of it as a nice, sweet milk stout...

  4. 32....hmmm just confusing you more doc


  5. "They tried to make me go to rehab, I said 'no, no, no'..."

  6. Just stay away from the Aqua Velva there buddy!


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