When you’re a kid this is your job. Actually it is more than that. Its your vocation. A calling. Making up games and things to do in the summer for a kid is like the being called to the priesthood. There are all kinds of obligations, rules and stuff nobody really gets unless they are in it with you. For example, three things dominated my summers as a kid.
Capture the Flag. I’ve blogged about this before. Capture the Flag is one of the greatest single activities of Summer Vacation in America since a bunch of rebels signed a certain document during a certain July giving the finger to King George.
Cannibalized baseball. I lived on a cul-de-sac from 1977-84. During the last few summers roughly seven of us invented our own game. Most of the kids on the street were Cubs fans. But one kid was an Expos fan. He loved Andre Dawson and Tim Raines. During the summer of ’83 I took great, great pleasure every time the Pirates beat the Expos. But that’s beside the point. The rules were essentially that you had to hit a home run or you were out. So it was like watching Dave Kingman bat in the late 70’s and early 80’s.
Epic sea battles between my model World War II ships. Not kidding. I’d spend hours devising and carrying out the battles. One side was always out-numbered since I only had two Axis ships – the Bismarck and the Tirpitz. But on the Allied side I combined the USS Pittsburgh, the USS New Jersey, the USS Chicago and the USS Coral Sea. Yes, I realize the Chicago was a guided missle cruiser that did not fight in WW II. And I am fully aware that the Coral Sea did come into service until 1948 and later took part in Operation Evening Light the unsuccessful Iranian hostage rescue operation. But listen I conducted most of these naval operations when I was 10. Suspending the time/space continuum wasn’t a deal breaker.
Of course I’m not 10 anymore. Among the benefits of not being ten is beer. Swearing is another. Both of which I’m fond of. And, if you’re honest with yourself, so are you. All which adds up to the fact that when I’m in a grocery store on a Friday afternoon, which I was yesterday, I can build my own six pack. Yes you get completely over-charged for doing this. But so what. You get to pick you own six pack! I picked Coors Light Summer Brew, Sam Adams Porch Rocker, Sierra Nevada Summerfest, Sam Adams Rebel IPA, Stevens Point Brewery Nude Beach Summer Wheat and Shiner Ruby Red Summer Seasonal. I went looking for a twelver of Miller Chill but evidently I’m the only one because MillerCoors discontinued my favorite summer beer. Thanks for nothing fellow Americans. Turns out you’re drinking Bud Light’s Lime-o-Rita and Straw-ber-Rita and Man-go-Rita. Which makes me sad. Because none of those are beer. Damn millennials and their flavored alcohol. Oh and they suck. Which means, by the law of transference, so do millennials. It’s kinda like when you meet an Orioles fan and you congratulate them on being a fan of the team with best uniforms in baseball…but then you find out they’re also a Ravens fan. There is so much suckage involved with being a Ravens fan that it cancels out the coolness of being an Orioles fan. Regardless, Budweiser is still brewing Michelob Ultra Lime Cactus. Hopefully you guys won’t screw that up too.
Anyway I’m on the deck drinking my summer sixer and Kinz comes out and has a seat.
“Dad, beer smells so bad how do you even drink it?
“I really don’t like the smell?”
“Ever tasted it?”
“Um no. I’m not allowed. It’s against the law.”
“Correct. But I thought it might be educational for you to taste how horribly bad beer actually is so when you’re friends start pressuring you to drink it in about 3 years, you’ll have a frame of reference to say no”
This seems like absolutely dead solid sound logic while you’re drinking. But then again, there are a lot of things that appear to be absolutely reasonable while you’re drinking. Like arguing that the ‘76 Steelers wouldn’t have won their third straight Super Bowl had Franco and Rocky not gotten injured before the AFC Championship. Or that UCLA doesn’t have cool home uniforms. Possibly the disparagement of hair metal by some smart-ass Lime-o-rita drinking millenial. Whatever.
But lots of things don’t make sense to a 6th grader when it comes to beer. Which means that Mom and I are doing our job. Beer should be utterly confusing and revolting to a 6th grader. Which explains why she was confused when I finished my Rebel IPA even thought I said it was awful.
“Dad if you don’t like it, why are your drinking it?”
“You gotta drink the whole beer once you open it”
“That’s a stupid rule.”
“Agreed. But that’s the rule.”
I didn’t argue the point. But really, don’t do what I did and get sucked into the packaging a buy a Rebel IPA. It’s bad. So was the Shiner Ruby Red. The Sam Adams Porch Rocker has earned itself another Friday evening at our house as did the Point Nude Beach Summer Wheat. The Coors Light Summer Brew tasted exactly like you’d expect it to. Exactly. For example when you turn on the radio and Paradise City is on what do you expect? Awesomeness. Exactly right. When you take a drink of Coors Light Summer Brew what do you expect? Water? Valid guess and completely correct since you’re getting an extremely light beer with some lemony taste. But I think Coors might be taking the whole light beer message too far. The Summer Brew is so light its missing two ounces. Not kidding. It’s a 10 oz. beer. So good job on getting summer into a can Coors but what’s the deal with jipping me 2 ounces?