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Tuesday, April 20, 2004


When life gets a little too mothertruckin' much, we seek out distractions. Sometimes it's simply a good movie, or a cold drink, or a big laugh with friends. Since I don't feel the need to belabor the bs, I've decided to dedicate the next few blogs to the best distractions around. Since I'm looking for as many distractions as possible, please use the comments section to submit your favorite memory related to the topic of the day, which today is...

I like beer.

Tom T. Hall said it made him a jolly good fellow, and while I don't like to mimic, it does pretty much the same thing for me. Only twice in my life has beer resulted in violence or the threat thereof. The balance of the beer drinking time has been pretty good.

There have been many nights of beer drinking. A few stand out as among the best. Those are the ones that are distracting me today.

In that I don't feel much like romanticizing the hops-driven joy of my young adulthood, I won't spend hours crafting an essay on the best beer times. I'm living a bullet-point week, so here's the sharpest bullets in the armory in no particular order.

* A ski lift not too far from Dillon, CO. Somehow the group of guys who became brothers to me over five short years in Columbia, MO had packed nearly a twelve-pack in their ski coats. The conversation escapes me, but the laughs still make my belly hurt.

* A sunny deck in St. Louis, MO. For some reason, we're drinking Busch beer and making fun of my friends inner-city, postage stamp-sized back yard. Someone suggests a backyard game of softball and I nearly spit my cheap beer all over my shirt. Later, the same guys take me out for one of the most fun nights of my life.

* On a deck again, this time in Greenville, SC, celebrating the birth of a child. We smoke cigars and later make up stupid games to distract us even more (see picture below). I posted about this picture once before. I said it reminded me of the good times. It still does.

* In the pouring down rain, in the middle of a soccer field, tarps engineered to direct the rainwater away from our heads. Hours passed in laughter and after two years of darkness, I again found the power of friendship.

* On the edge of the Grand Canyon, still younger than the legal drinking age, and handed a beer by my dad for the first time. It wasn't like I really needed a beer, or that I had a particular hankering for beer with a Grand Canyon label. But it was neat to say my dad bought me my first beer on the edge of nature's startling enormity.

* Under a Hawaiian sunrise, on a sailboat, with a beautiful girl.

* In the middle of my driveway with a man I always admired and a man I'd just met, singing songs in front of drunk people.

* Sitting in the back of my new SUV in Charlotte, NC, on the verge of listening to two nights of good music. A friend got harassed by some cops. We pretended we didn't know him and that was okay.

It occurs to me that I could sit here and hit bullet point after bullet point and not finish for days. That's either a sign that I use beer a distraction too many times or that I need distractions too often.

So, here's your assignment: You ever drink beer with me and consider it a great distraction? If so, tell me about it. And if not with me, just tell me about one of your good beer drinking distractions.

Coming soon...music.


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