From an email to my pal Ruz, now in Iraq serving in the Air Force as a firemen. regarding the house Joy and I are working on and getting ready to move into in the coming weeks..
Speaking of which, when we first got in the house to start stuff last week, I bought an 18pack bottles of High Life for 9 bucks at the Rite Aid up the street from the new pad. It is, indeed, the Champagne of Beers. I get it now. Always believed, now I understand. I could have wrote my Ph.D on why no man can truly appreciate the High Life until over 30. Maybe 27 if he's exceptional. Those commercials the past year were absolutely dead-on. The older you get, the less tolerance for b.s. you have just by evolution it seems. A man just wants a beer he can sip on or take a swig, and he doesn't want that beer arguing with him, taste or price-wise. I wanna beer, I wanna relax, I don't wanna get crazy, just give me some something refreshing and smooth that won't slow me down, I got enough crap on my plate to deal with (picnic plate literally and life plate figuratively).
I'll enjoy my Guiness when it's the only thing to do when out on the town, with friends over. But it's an insult to the Guiness and to you if you can't enjoy it appropriately. How much can you savor your Guiness holding it at your side while watching the steaks grill? High-end beer is like a girlfriend in that you just can't leave them somewhere alone in a strange place for a significant stretch of time, much less forget where you left them, and expect them to be fine when you get back to her. Leave your lady on a ledge in the garage for a half hour and see if she's just as fine as when you left her there (when you found her again) looking for the charcoal fluid.
Working on that house, yanking moldings off the floor walls, hauling paint into the house, kicking up dust, mowing the lawn that looked like a field of green wheat it was so high... I truly and without impedance understand why real men (usually with the title 'Uncle' in front of their name) had a fridge full of beer in their garage. I filled our new friedge with that whole case of beer, taking up all the room in there gloriously. As I admired the rows of liquid gold so well lit by the fridge light, it reminded me of beer fridges of my relatives. ("Ahhh, I get it now. Keep a shitload of beer in another fridge so there's more room for actual food in the food fridge... GENIUS!") Those old school jukebox-shaped fridges from back in the day, with the cooler door handle latch. You knew you were opening up something serious opening up the beer fridge.
And when Uncle Frank told you to get him a Pabst from the garage during the family holiday get together, well, no nephew worth his new Keds bungled that mission. You can make cousin Brian spew milk out his nose at the kiddie table via a strategically placed sweet pickle up your own nostril all you want, or toboggan down Aunt Nancy's sweet steep staircase on a beach towel while the Aunts sit at the dinner table and smoke those chocolate colored Kool cigarettes while they gossip about everyone else's kids. Hell, you can climb up on to the roof of the sunroom addition via the 3-faced piping TV antenna next to the house so you can jump off the roof and play stuntman. But when it's Go Time for the suds, and Uncle Ken and Uncle George, in their red holiday cardigans send you...not tell or ask you... to get some beers for them, well, that was the High Life to me.
It was my first taste of it and I didn't even know it.