I don’t like beer. No I really really don’t like beer – it’s nasty. To me, it tastes like dirty underwear smells (and please, let’s not pretend we all don’t know what dirty underwear smells like – everyone has from time to time been in the presence of funky undies).
My Dad used to tell me that when I was little, I loved beer. I loved it to the extent that he was unable to open a bottle of beer at home without me coming up and demanding my share. I have vague recollections of this. (My Mom and Dad got divorced when I was about 6, so this is the farthest end of my misspent youth.) I even vaguely recall really liking the taste of beer.
Sometime between those early moments of my childhood alcohol-tinted memories and by the time I reached 18 (the then-legal drinking age in Michigan), I lost those special taste buds that allows one to actually like the taste of beer – I lost my beer buds.
That is not to say I was a teetotaler. Hardly. I had my drinking years – okay decades, but I enjoy those icky sweet girlie drinks – and let me tell you, you can get just as roaring drunk on sloe gin or Midori as you can on wine or beer.
Losing my beer buds has been more than just an inconvenience for me too. I worked for many years in Frankenmuth, Michigan performing with the Fischer Troupe in Gay 90s revues. Frankenmuth is a little bitty town with 2 famous chicken restaurants, Bronner’s (the largest Christmas store in the nation – I think), and 3 breweries. The town is a tourist magnet, and every summer they have the Bavarian Festival – when the only alcohol you can get in town is beer and wine (I don’t like wine either, but that’s another blog). I had to face hordes of drunken tourists totally sober. Arghhhhhhhhhh and Aieeeeeeeee.
Also in Michigan at that time (I don’t know if this is still true), you could not buy liquor at the grocery store. You could buy beer and wine, but not liquor. So that’s going to put a cramp in a drinking girl’s style. And with beer, all you need is a cooler and a bottle opener – I need the booze, the mixer, ice, possibly a blender, and of course, a swizzle stick.
I’d blame Frankenmuth for the loss of my beer buds, simply because you haven’t lived until in the middle of a hot humid summer (summer in Michigan is like trying to breath through a hot wet hanky) you are suffused with the smell of rotting hops from three breweries. Ewwwww – dirty underpants town.
But the truth is, my beer buds were already gone by then. Whence did they go? I feel cheated when I see others savoring a cold brewski on a hot day; I feel stupid that I can’t hold forth on the difference between and preference for beer, pale ale, stout, and whatever other permutations of beer are out there. And I feel so plebian when I have to confess my total inability to discuss intelligently the attributes of such international libations as Fosters, Harps, Guinness, Pacifico, Asahi and Red Stripe.
And can someone be a true Michigander without ever having sampled Pabst Blue Ribbon, Hamms (the beer refreshing), Schlitz, or Old Milwaukee?
Ah, tongue how you have failed me. I am on the beer bud disabled list.