Monday, November 03, 2003

More 'Party Animal' Than Most

Weddings are always hollowed and blissful events. There are so many moments in the day, and each moment is so full of cherished memories that I would only humble myself to try and record them all.

. . .save this one.

I work at Steam Whistle Brewery, and we host a number of special events each and every week. None could be more special than the weddings that we take part in. There could also be no more special a breed of party animal than the ones found at the free bars of weddings.

Free bar.

Listen to those words. So special. So sacred. So welcomed.

Free bar.

But all good things must come to an end, and so at 1am the free bar joins all the other cherished memories, however hazy they may have become, and the special day is, for all intents and purposes, over.

For most.

I met this fella attending a wedding a month or so ago, and was just thinking of him today, and thought that I might share my own 'cherished wedding memory' with all of you. Come 1am, he and I had become very well acquainted. He was polite, a bit overweight, and not necessarily someone you would consider handsome--but he was polite and had a nice smile. And he held his liquor reasonably well, considering the volume he had consumed.

When I informed him of the depressing state of affairs concerning liquor laws in Ontario, and that the bar was officially closed for business, he was devastated. He was just the biggest fan of Steam Whistle Pilsner, and could he possibly have just a bit more--between friends.
Always the sympathetic ear, I listened intently to his pleas, and even though I adore and will protect any Steam Whistle fan's right to party--and party hard--while enjoying Canada's Premium Pilsner, the law is the law, and it's a real stinker.

I ceremoniously unscrewed the tap handle from the beer tree, and with a heavy heart, said:
"Sorry, dude. Ontario sucks."
It doesn't, but at the time it seemed like the right thing to say.
Then I jokingly suggested that there were several half-finished drinks sitting on tables all through the event hall; perhaps he should drink those, as they were perfectly legal in the eyes of the law, and only going to be dumped by yours truly into a swill bucket and given to the carp in Lake Ontario (which does suck).

With a glint in his eye like some mischievous goblin, he winked at me, smiled broadly, and tip-toed over to a table with three or more half-full glasses of Steam Whistle on it. Then, like a mercurial Frederick Banting, he began to carefully combine each glass into one. He was being so deliberate and careful--likely because he was roaring drunk and needed to dedicate all his attention and focus to the simple task--that he took on this "MacGyver-like" hero quality. He had been put in a situation where everyone had told him, "It's IMPOSSIBLE! The party is OVER! Do up your tie and behave yourself!"
And he was like, "Fuck you! I'm gonna party until the sun comes up!"

With another wink over to me, his broad smile still beaming, he brought the concoction of beer leftovers to his mouth and slowly began to pour it into his mouth. His brain, I suppose, did not give his body the order to swallow, so his mouth soon began to overflow, sending most of his carefully collected beer down the front of his shirt.
Cup empty, he licked his lips, still smiling, and gave one last wink before heading out the door. He was not, to my knowledge, aware that his blood stream would benefit very little from the beer he had collected. To him, the idea of gathering up unwanted drinks and giving them a home was the reward, not the drinks themselves. A bit like early man inventing the wheel; nowhere to go, but who cares--it's THE WHEEL!

So I ask you, all of you, what good ideas have you had when YOU were drunk lately? Were they as innovated, or as enduring?

Likely not.
Just as everyone who watches teevee isn't Marshall McLuhan; not every drunk is the ultimate party animal.

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