Craft and the Drunk Spectrum

I was taking the bus to the liquor store…


The liquor store awaited my arrival; doors poised to open at the sight of me: the apple of its motion detecting eye…

Ha. But no.

Nestled in the bosom of the bus, I delighted in knowing that my backpack would soon be laden with the glass-vesseled Eucharist of my church…


I write a lot about drinking and liquor stores, but truthfully, I don’t know very much about wine, beer, whiskey, scotch, cognac, or what have you. At least not in terms of the distilling, fermenting and brewing processes, which, as far as I can tell, signify the extreme intellectual end of the drunk spectrum. Are you on the drunk spectrum? Where are you on the drunk spectrum? I would have to say that I’m very much more toward the other end of things. I mean, I thought hops were the main ingredient in beer until I got laughed out of a craft brewery.

I had been walking along the street at four in the afternoon, around the time that my hands get a little unsteady, and so I stopped in to the nearest bar for a pint. It was a nice place. Quite new. In fact, a whiff of latex paint was lingering in the yeasty bouquet of the air. I was, of course, rather thirsty, and in my anticipatory rapture I made a perfectly innocent joke about sad hops making for unhoppy beer. The bartender, who may have been the proprietor, did not laugh at my joke as he pulled on the handle of the tap that I, absent of intellectual authority, had pointed to. Perhaps he questioned whether or not I was slighting him. Perhaps it was just a bad joke. At any rate, he was polite enough to fill the awkward silence with a disquisition on the Humulus lupulus plant, wherein he described its main function as being that of a preservative. “Really,” I said, wiping froth from the whiskers on my upper lip, “I always thought it was the main ingredient.” The bartender coughed, handed me my change, and quickly made his way through a doorway into the back area, where I presumed all the brewing took place. Seconds later I heard him let loose with a maniacal burst of laughter. Ten minutes passed and he was still laughing. At one point I heard him start to choke. It didn’t sound very good at all. There were some gasps and some retching and I honestly thought about going back into the brewery area to check on him, but there was a sign saying Absolutely No Unauthorized Personnel Beyond This Point! I decided against having another beer when I heard a thump that sounded suspiciously like a stout man hitting the floor, and after leaving my change on the bar, I zipped up my coat and vacated the premise(s).


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