I was minding own beeswax in a local tavern recently (read: several years ago) with a female friend of mine (read: nothing really to read, a girl who tolerated my company and probable lack of funds) when an older gentleman accosted me. And by older gentleman I mean a dude who could feasibly have babysat me if he could feasibly have kept from throwing decorative dishes in the general direction of his wife. At the time I was enjoying (relative) a National Bohemian beer. This was the basis of my older "friend's" accosting: "Natty Boh? C'mon! I used to sneak Boh from my old man's cooler." Not daring to trod down the road that had led him from his old man's cooler to spitting on me at 7:30 on a Tuesday some forty years later, I fastened my ears to my new found friend's advice.
He really didn't have much advice. Let me rephrase that; he had lots of advice, just not completely focused on one topic per-se. He had a lot to say about college football which I didn't care about, eighties' rock which I despised, and his wife whom I pitied. The salient point which he left me was my own lousy taste in beer, in fact, he tossed a few bills towards my lady-friend to "up my game" as it were. I would have been offended if said bills did not fill in the rapidly expanding void between my tab and my available funds that I had thus far accrued.
Undaunted, I pushed forward with my love of 'Boh after that night. I brought Boh Ice (variety) to a friend's college dorm who at first thought I was joking and then upon finding out I was serious explained what nethermost corner of his fridge wherein I could store my bottled shame. Gradually I came to realize that not all intoxicating beverages had to taste like watered down gravel, and that my hometown affiliation with such swill need not bind me to it. However, as my legs steadied from fledgling alcoholism into a fully functional adult dependency straining to to be freed from his enlarged, flushed cheeks, I found that the hip world of spirits had once again folded in upon itself.
Suddenly there were baseball hatted, bearded, Levi's-wearing gentleman espousing to me the glories of ol' Boh. "Thirteen dollars a case" they said. "Their favorite beer" they said. Before I knew it they were rolling up sleeves to reveal the ever present Natty Boh Man forearm tattoo and my head would be spinning not just from my third G&T - mostly, but the the bodywork was dizzying as well. Finally it dawned on me just what it was was going on. Drunk Chic had become a burrito. It had poised creating something new by folding in on itself for a debatably tasty result. Boh had gone from "gutter water" to "gutter water with brand recognition" and now young morons were drinking it not just because they were young morons but because they had the spokesperson sadly staring up at them beneath a thicket of forearm hair.
How did I, your modern red nosed, slurring-man deal with this? I drank. I drank cheap. But I learned my lesson from my would-be dish-and-currency slinging babysitter. No longer would contraband booze from a Mad Men era barbecue coat my golden throat as I never ceased complaining about just that. No, no, my hard earned, Coinstar-pilfered monies find their end in the obscure malt liquors designated for certain segments of the populations and in soon expired sauvignon blancs. If you're going to throw money in my direction, sir, you best aim for the cut-off chino-ed version talking about how he was almost in the band Beach House.
Another article in the continuing series "get off my lawn" by Frank Babies.