Beer Me?

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Just went to the liquor store, was offered a sample of a beer that I’ve had a hundred times before, pretended I had never tried it, sampled it, lied right to someone’s face (“Next time I will definitely buy this!”), paid for my actual booze and drove home. Not a particular unusual set of events. Sadly not an uncommon one either. But it struck me on the way home how little sense the whole thing makes. I guess it’s sorta like eating the tooth-picked food on the sample trays at the mall when you know damn well that you’re not getting Japanese food. But you somehow justify eating the extra food because it’s free. Maybe I should feel more ashamed about this at a liquor store, but DayOldDonuts means never having to say you have dignity. Also, hey, it’s FREE BEER.

Still it’s a pretty strange scenario. “Hey you want some free beer?” Well I was going to just buy this beer in my hand. “Well just try this Dixie Cup of our beer anyway.” Alright you got me, tough negotiator you are. (drinks beer) Hey that’s pretty good. “So you want to buy some of our beer?” Nah, I’m still going to have some of this beer I actually picked out, but next time. They know you’re full of shit too but really what are they going to do other than thank you for trying it. No, thank you for giving me this free beer, I sure wanted to get started on my buzz before I made it home. Sometimes they’ll let you try multiple styles. But who’s got the time? I need to get home and drink these beers and this guy is trying to get me to stay and drink beer. The fucking nerve.

Anyway, this whole thing did give me a little insight (GO TO AA NOW) to one of the things that always struck me as really odd: why do stores sell single cans of beer? I mean I’ve admitted to drinking free samples, but I’ve never drank and drove (like literally driving a car while drinking a beer). And isn’t that the true purpose for single cans of beer? For some people a tough day at work means a drive straight to the bar. But a tough day at work on budget is apparently driving straight to the package store? That’s a ballsy (sad) move assuming that you’re taking the can on the road with you because you just can’t wait. I guess if you want to be safe you can chug the beer in the package store parking lot. But nobody likes litterers. I honestly hope these people are out there so I can feel better about myself for at least waiting until I get home. ( Too selfish? Not even true. Didn’t you just say you were taking down samples in the store? What a piece of crap!) On the other hand I hope these people aren’t out there so I can actually make it home without getting blindsided by solo can Stan.

I struggle to believe the only reason for single cans of beer is an absurd lack of self control. But what else is there? My second completely reasonable assumption has to do with husbands trying to keep their wives from finding out that they’re drinking. I imagine a case of beer at the bottom of the fridge might draw some attention. But then where are you hiding these beers? Are you keeping them in the car or sneaking out to the garage later? What happens in the summer when they get warm? Why are you still with this woman?! So naturally you are chugging solos in the parking lot or on your way home. I suppose a women could be hiding her drinking habit from a guy too but the gut would probably give it away. And let’s be honest you unabashed female drunks out there, solo cans of beer are not meant for you. That’s what one-hitters of Yellow Tail are for.

I’ve also considered the possibility that some people just don’t drink beer that often so they don’t want the extra beer sitting in their fridge. But is 6 beers really too many? If these beers are for yourself, you only have the one beer, and you don’t want to drink 5 more immediately? I’m sorry, I’m just not sure I can comprehend this. No, I’m being serious, what are you doing here? If you’re satisfied with one beer and that’s enough for you for the next few months then I think I need to study you. Or it’s possible you actually just don’t enjoy beer. No need to lie to yourself. We’re not here to judge (Bullshit, that’s all we’re here to do! And who the hell is we?!) I’m talking to myself again) If you’re not a drinker and you got the one can of beer for a guest, well, you sir are terrible host.

Don’t think I haven’t remembered the poor and homeless. If you think I haven’t seen a dirty homeless man brown bagging a tall boy then you madam have forgotten that I once lived in Worcester, MA. I understand that if you have insufficient funds and an alcohol problem that single cans are a must. And I’m sure the stores in poor urban areas make a killing on them. But I don’t live near homeless people anymore. I’m sitting pretty in Suburbia. And you can find cans of beer in the same stores that are selling expensive bottles of wine. So what the hell are rich suburbanites doing with cans of beer? This isn’t a sampling thing either. While craft beer stores will allow you to split out six packs and take singles as a way to try new beers (which is fucking infuriating when there’s only 5 beers left and you have to pay the single beer price for each instead of the 6 pack price. Assholes.), this is different. And while we’re on the subject, what’s the deal (no Seinfeld voice needed) with craft beer 22 ounce bottles costing nearly as much as a six-pack? The beer is so great you’ll pay $8 bucks for one, but not great enough that you might want six 12oz bottles? Anyway, this sure as hell isn’t the case with the big domestic beers. No one has ever walked into a liquor store and said I think I’m going to try a can of Bud Light for the first time, and maybe a can of Miller. It’s preposterous, and another dead end to my search for an answer about these individual cans of shitty beer.

I’ve heard cooking with beer mentioned as an excuse: I only need one can for a certain recipe. I’m not sure how having 5 extra beers is a detriment to someone who is clearly already drunk when they think a can of PBR is the key to culinary success. I imagine the real answer as simple and depressing as it functions as the fast food of alcohol. Get that fix on the go, maybe on your lunch break, maybe before you go home and face your accidental children. I’m not sure what’s worse the guy (or girl) who’s such a drunk that they need a can of beer in between destinations or the pansy who can’t handle a six pack in a reasonable time frame. Alright I’m sure the drunk driver who is endangering all of our lives is worse. But I certainly don’t want to meet either one of them. Unless it’s so they can explain their reasoning for needing solo cans of Coors fucking Light. And then jumping off a bridge.

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