last night i sat on a friend's porch, littered in white people, and i watched a bottle of sam adams cherry wheat orbit a small caucasian solar system on this side of the porch. the bottle had accidentally fallen into blake and josh's sixer of sam adams honey porter. at first, when blake pulled the cherry wheat out of the sixer of honey porter, he glowed, holding it up triumphantly like a child's grand toy from the bottom of an adult cereal box. "look, a general lee was in the box of mom's fruit and fiber!" blake had that kind of excitement. and then blake opened the bottle. and then he sipped the cherry wheat. and then all the orange faded off the hood of his general lee, and blake suddenly tasted the fiber on the other side of the fruit.
one saturday night live skit that often runs loops in my head is the one where this family feels overly compelled to share in one another's misfortunes. at first it's rather simple: one person tastes their fish and declares, "ooooo, it's rotten!" and then all the others say, "let me try!" and they all groan together. then they pass around curdled milk, all exclaiming it's rancidness, but all tasting for themselves. finally, the skit ends with one person running down the basement stairs and falling through a broken board half way down. another person at the top of stairs says, "oh my gosh, that board is broken!" and then they all take turns running and plummeting through the stairs into the basement. skit ends. pure genius.
i thought of that skit last night as this bottle of putrid sam adams cherry wheat touched the lips of every caucasian on this side of the porch. blake declared it's badness, then david said, "let me try." he scrunched his face, saying, "that's really terrible." then faith held out her hand for the bottle. she never said anything, just shook her head at the flavor like running into an unexpected mask of cobwebs. eventually the bottle came to me, but i just held up my hand. i know what cough syrup tastes like. my mother poured the shit down me as a bucking little bronco. i didn't need the reminder.
faith recently scored a gift card to world market. i'm not sure if you've seen this place, but it's somewhat boss. not totally boss, but like associate-to-the-boss kinda boss. i remember once, during a fairly dark period of my life, world market had the largest beer selection for burgeoning beer nerds in south kansas city. my buddy andrew botsford and i would drive over to world market, half tanked on red stripe (we were young), and we'd shimmy through all the candle buyers and rug dealers and giraffe statuaries, finally finding the beer aisle where we'd buy up schlafly no. 15 and bridgeport ipa. those were good days, followed by better days when the lukas liquor superstore moved in closer to the house.
so yeah, faith scored this world market gift card and wisely spent it on a build-your-own sixer as opposed to some lame audrey hepburn poster or wine bottle painting. the sixer she built consisted of
- abita purple haze
- sierra nevada pale ale
- new castle brown ale
- new belgium sunshine wheat
- new belgium fat tire
- woodchuck granny smith cider
when i saw this sixer, built by faith, i instantaneously thought three separate thoughts all at once: 1) how can i score that sunshine wheat; 2) thank God, no shiners; 3) other than the woodchuck granny smith, this is a damn near perfect sixer for a Beer 101 class. personally, i'd replace the cider with a sam adams boston lager, for beginners and for the hops, but that's if i were teaching the course. admittedly, i struggled to restrain my beer geek from wolfing out on the porch there. the educational opportunities alone made me near spastic.
faith opened the sunshine wheat. she liked it. i mentioned to her that i like the sunshine. "it's a good wheat," i believe i said. "you want it?" she said. "i ain't taking your beer," i said. "you said the purple haze was nice. maybe i'll sip that and you can have this," she said. so i scored the sunshine wheat. and i held it with two hands.
faith then opened the purple haze and passed it around the porch. abita received much higher praise than sam adams for fruitty wheatness. david said, "it tastes like candy." felix said, "it's alright." josh said, "i like that." the enthusiasm was overwhelming.
andrew came home with a 24 pack of lone star cars, inspiring this poem:
my texas sized lawn chair held me cradled like a beach
beauty in sun worship bikini spread, though
it was night and our state is landlocked and porch
lights do not brazen me quite like the tiki tan
salon. the sunshine wheat tasted good, tasted
like a supermodel tan on the insides of my
taster buds and gullet and belching bullhorns.
then kilzer arrived, bellowing out of a large car,
an SUV screw the earth (i drive one, too). my
sunshine wheat had two sips left. i felt myself
leaning towards a zeigenbock, then i saw kilzer's
hand - his left hand, dominant or not, couldn't tell,
he weren't working calligraphy or chop sticks or
the golden scraper award from dental hygiene school,
so i can't be sure if were his dominant hand - holding
a suitcase labeled LONE STAR BEER. 24 separate
drinking experiences canned like aunt faye's preserves
boxed up and bumping against kilzer's thigh - his
dominant thigh, the better looking of the two - and then,
right there in one fail swoop, i felt my taste buds reach
for the lone star, while my entire bodied being
seceded from the republic of the beach chair
and followed andrew through the front door.
- the hamster / april 26, 2009
*** me and all these white folks were at the house andrew shares with this guy's: ian c. nelson. please listen.