Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Day 22:The world in a bar with a PBR

     world in a bar with a PBR

It is a ribbon pinned blue-flavored flat ironed bonnet that looks like it just received first place in the fecund sow division at the local 4-H county fair. A boysenberry pie splattered in the antebellum center in the first draft of the confederate flag. A smurf-colored sunflower sun fertilized in a compost bin in the back of an illicit Meth lab, a Magna Carta seal sprouting out of an old 7-up bottle somewhere in the dregs of Yoknapatawpha county.

It is an ocular planetary patch Odysseus’s southern Cyclops mistook for a monocle, an inexplicable notarized blotch occluding the sight of a perpendicular red-safety belt form eternally fastening around the clutch of the can.

If William Faulkner gave moribund Emily a rose, the PBR seal might serve as a surrogate homecoming corsage.

It is Blue collar quaff. The hard hat lunch pail assembly line elixir. Established in 1844. Nature's choicest products provide its prized flavor.
Only the finest of hops and grains are used.
I drink copious amount of craft beer. Beer with applauding hops. Ales that harbor their own ballpark area code.  Stouts that explode with fist-pummeling vigor the second it attacks the tip of your palate.

But I also drink a shit-ton of Pabst Blue Ribbon.
I have drinking traditions.  Every winter since my liver still had a halo over it I used to plant Moosehead (Rick Baker’s favorite beer) in the first snow and go outside and crack one open and  pretend I am wayfaring across the Alaskan tundra searching for Chris McCandleless’s corpse.  In spring nothing beats sipping Old Speckled Hen or Abbots’ Ale while reading Chaucer or Shakespeare. In early summer esp. when watching the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness  I drink a blithe concoction known as the Pimms’ Cup (Girlfriend of dreams to DVB: Pimms’ me!   DVB to Girlfriend of dreams: Pimms’ you from behind, baby!)  In late-august canoe outings I imbibe Leinenkugel’s  Summer Shandy and Summer wheat.  In the autumn I love earthy stouts correlating with the stain glass shingles of transitioning  leaves and usually once every autumn I’ll venture deep in the woods with a six pack of Busch (the orange flared hunting can edition) and scale an abandon deer stand off of Kickapoo creek usually while quoting Whitman aloud:
There is that in me—I do not know what it is—but I know it is in me.

Wrench’d and sweaty—calm and cool then my body becomes;
I sleep—I sleep long.

I do not know it—it is without name—it is a word unsaid;
It is not in any dictionary, utterance, symbol.

Something it swings on more than the earth I swing on;
To it the creation is the friend whose embracing awakes me.

Perhaps I might tell more. Outlines! I plead for my brothers and sisters.

Do you see, O my brothers and sisters?
It is not chaos or death—it is form, union, plan—it is eternal life—it is HAPPINESS.
Throughout the discourse of the year you’d be hard pressed not to find the recently flattened cardboard of a recently drunk twelve pack of Sam Adams seasonal sampler in my kitchen trash.

Still, almost daily (at least it was daily 22 days ago) I would drink a shit ton of PBR.
There is something about the beer that reeks of illegitimate Trailer park arcana, abandoned fourth of July folding chairs, NASCAR, southern drawl and of course, Kid Rock. When I first started seriously drinking beer I wouldn’t touch  Pabst Blue ribbon with a  go-go gadget thoroughly sterilized bionic arm. The first time I ever saw  anyone drinking a PBR was down at Sullivan’s, circa 1999. It was a trashy girl wearing a tank top who had just gotten back from a Dwight Yokam concert. I’m pretty sure she was drinking one through a straw. 
Still for years, there were certain PODUNK beers I ignored. Old Style because it had Cubs connotations (something all devout White Sox fans are extremely Cubs-choking cognizant of ) and Pabst Blue Ribbon, because people who drank it were full of so much white trash one would run out of twist-ties if  they tried to collectively bag them all up. When being poured the light watery pilsner looked like it just perspired off  the coppery brow of C3PO after  doing sit-ups.
I vowed I would never touch it in a million years. There were other cheap beers with proaic labels. beers like Ice House and Old Milwaukee.
Gradually it began to seep its way into the last call minute-hand of my happy hour narrative. There were stories of the old PBR plant in Peoria Heights. Stories about how every week the checks would arrive with a six pack gratis. Stories about the yeasty interior, about how the foreman didn’t mind if you helped yourself to a bottle now and then while loading the docks. Stories about how, after the fire that decimated the brewery and management decided not to re-open Peoria as a whole boycotted PBR. It was a cardinal sin to slink inside a Tavern and order one knowing thousands of your blue-collar brothers were out of paycheck.
Sometime around 2005 it became a noted hipster beer. Sometime it became culturally chic. Sometime around eight years people who talked about Jack Kerouac and Cronenberg in a noted effort to get intellectually laid starting PBR ASAP’ing. Sometime around 2005 I had a random mad lib make-out session with an auburn hair girl with dimples who now has her doctorates in Social work who, On her MYSPACE profile, under where it said, “who’d I like to meet,’ she pithily replied, "The world in a bar, with a PBR."
And so we drank insane amounts of this White Trash libation.  At our poetry readings we decimated warehouse cases. A cheap swill, a twelve pack will cost you less than eight bucks most places. It has a lite taste but is full bodied and smooth. It is always refreshing. It is a great afterhour beer as well as a morning, 'beer-I-had-for-breakfast-wasn't-bad-so-I'll-have-one-more for dessert' pick-me up. It correlates well with sunsets, tepid angst-laden couplets and most literary incomes.
So PBR me. ASAP.

In 18 more days.

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