For the Love of Beer
Beer has stirred an emotion in the heart of the average person that can only be classified as love. I've done extensive studies on the topic of beer, so it's possible I might be some kind of an expert. Most of the scientific minds have disagreed with my methodology over the years but I didn't let them discourage me in any way. My conclusions are firm... People love beer!
I admit that my research methods weren't always of the scientifically approved sort. I didn't study cross sections of the population in numbers of 1,000 or more, for instance. Nor were my experiments double blind, or even single blind for that matter. No, in the interests of saving taxpayer money, I opted for the simpler, lower-budget style of research. I restricted most of my studies to one subject (me) and during most of my studies the subject was totally blind. Blind drunk. But it was in the interests of science and I was willing to make the sacrifice... and I gave it my all.
I conducted most of my scientific work in Newfoundland, a province off the northeast coast of Canada. For those who aren't familiar with that part of the world, Newfoundland is to Canada what Tasmania is to Australia. A great expanse of water separates it from the mother country, much to the relief of a large portion of the mother country's citizens. The people living on the appended island are the butt of many jokes, much to the amusement of a large portion of the mother country's citizens. Most of the mother country's citizens rarely go anywhere near the appended island, much to the relief of the people who live on said island. You get the idea.
All of this was very good for me because I didn't have to worry about scientific minds hanging about getting in the way of my research. The scientific minds were mostly in Montreal, Ottawa, or Toronto living off the largess of various universities which were largely funded by the federal government. I lived off the largess of the people of Newfoundland, repaying them with tall tales and songs of the sea, accompanied by chords exuberantly strummed on my guitar. Everyone seemed happy with the exchange and I lived free of government interference or control. I conducted my experiments in comfort and peace while the local population pitched in on a volunteer basis because they believed in me and in the cause I was pursuing.
The Results of Beer Research
It should be kept in mind that I was quite youthful during the time I was studying beer. A consequence of my youthfulness is that much of what I learned, I learned through harsh, personal experience. Observation wasn't a skill I had yet acquired. Truth be told, it was a skill I probably wouldn't have accepted even if I had been given the opportunity to acquire it. The method of personal involvement was so... so... complete!
I did learn quite a number of interesting facts during those years, though. I learned about beer, which is good because it was the point of my work. But I also learned about alcohol consumption in general, and about the result of alcohol consumption on people's behaviour. Which was not so good because it landed me in a spot of trouble now and then. Maybe I'll share a couple of my experiences with you in the hope I can keep you from repeating my mistakes.
I would say the most important thing I learned about alcohol consumption is that you should never assume the man of the house is not home simply because his pickup truck is not in the driveway. He could have lent it to his buddy... the truck, that is. You need to think fast if hubby answers the door at 1:00 a.m. and you're there with your guitar singing "Savin' All My Love for You". Fast thinking is not a known outcome of extended beer research.
Another important thing I learned is that you should never start a conversation about religion, politics, or popular wives with a fellow who has switched his drinking from beer to rye whiskey. There's something about rye whiskey that shifts a man's opinions from his brain to his fists. And it causes that man to insist on sharing his opinions which he proceeds to pound into your head.
One of the songs I used to sing for the folks back then was Ray Stevens' tune, "Everything Is Beautiful". I'd switch the lyrics around a bit, to the delight of the crowd, and sing "Everything is beautiful, when you have beer." But those good times can be forgotten oh so quickly. Rye whiskey, all of you should know, erases a fellow's memory of good timin' songs and the jolly good fellow who sings them. The presence of rye whiskey makes me nervous still.
In the mid 1970's Tom T. Hall recorded a song named "I Like Beer." From the first time I heard that song, Mr. Hall became to me a great and wise philosopher. He had written into his lyrics rich wisdoms like "Whiskey's too rough, and vodka puts my mouth in gear... I like beer." To study the words of that song is to gain insight into some of the deep and little known mysteries of life.
Love beer, my friends, and love it deeply. But be wary of the peripherals... they're dangerous.