Mike Brown: Some Stuff I Wrote About Beer

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Very rarely does SLUG give me a writing assignment. In case you were wondering about my whole SLUG article process, the recipe is as follows: SLUG asks me what I want to write about. I tell them. Then they have someone draw a cool picture that correlates with my soapbox, or I use a shitty picture that I have lying around.

But seeing how this is the beer issue, SLUG asked me to write about beer. I'm having a surprisingly hard time with it. I think it's hard because I drink a large amount of beer on a daily basis. It's like trying to write 1000 words on how to tie my shoes.

I was explaining my beer writer's-block to a good friend of mine and she told me that I just wasn't inspired enough. She couldn't have been more right. I was inadvertently writing this article without drinking so I took her advice and went across the street to the gas station, got 12 of my best silver, shining, union-made liquid friends and the ideas were flowing faster than that river that freshly brews Coors kegs.

So this article might not have much of a story to it; it's just random things I think about when it comes to beer.

Two of my favorite things in this world are Pabst Blue Ribbon and writing. Beer is an essential part of my creative process. I can honestly say the best shit I've ever written was done when I was hung over. All you A.A. nerds might think I'm using writing to justify my drinking habit, but so the fuck what if I am? It's true. My PBR penmanship is just something that works for me.

I'm pretty sure that all great writers in this world had drinking or drug problems. Hemingway hit the sauce and Bill Burroughs (my favorite author ever) had his heroin. If shooting up could make me write like Burroughs, I'd spike it faster than a phlebotomist on speed at a hepatitis convention.

I'd even request that SLUG make July's issue the heroin issue, where we celebrate everything that's great about opiates.

Now I know that technically alcohol is a depressant, meaning that it is somewhat of a Debbie downer. This is why severe alcoholics shake when they don't have any Indian-killers in their system.

This might mean that I'm depressed from drinking so much booze all the time. But I can equate it like this: The more Irish water I drink the more depressed I get, but my writing is better, which makes me not depressed. So I break even. I'll take it!

Another weird thing about beer is that it's a diarrhea-etic. Which is why bulimics like it. Which is also why beer shits are so greasy and gross.

Last weekend I took a trip to Denver with my Mormon mother to take in some culture at their art museum and enjoy a Rockies game. I don't really like baseball, but I like hanging out with my mom even though she doesn't drink, and out of respect for her culture, I don't drink in front of her. Plus I don't want to jeopardize anything that would take me out of my mom's will; she's very kind and generous.

Now I haven't been to a baseball game since I was a kid, and I must say, even though I'm not a huge fan of our most treasured American pastime, a baseball stadium is one of the most appealing beer-drinking atmospheres a lush could ask for. Especially a stadium named Coors Field. My mom and I were the only people over 21 who didn't have drafts in front of us.

Man, I wanted a beer so bad! You know when you need to pee really bad, but your stuck in traffic or something? It was that same mental frustration with a different tinge of physical discomfort.

So I told myself, "Fuck it! I'm a grown-ass man! I can drink a beer in front of my mom if I want!" Right as I was about to go grab a cold one, my mom leans over to me and says, "Geez! With all these people drinking beer I sure am glad we decided to walk instead of drive!"

The Rockies lost and the yearning for reverse alcohol urination still remained. (Sometimes I think drinking is just peeing backwards). We walked back to the hotel and watched the LA Fakers take advantage of the Jazz by the fact that the NBA is rigged. Paralyzed by the loss, I needed to shotgun a tall boy, bad.

I told my mom I was going to make a personal phone call and stepped outside into the depressing Denver night and headed towards the gas station, planning on brown-bagging it bum-style behind said gas station. But no! They don't sell beer in gas stations in Denver, or at least the one by my hotel.

Needless to say it was a long night. Sobriety is nothing but a lumpy pillow and a starched sheet when it comes to my beauty rest.

I stayed awake thinking about that stupid, stupid gas station that didn't sell beer. How dare they! Then I started thinking about all my informal relationships I've developed with gas stations since I've lived downtown.

Gas stations have their own personalities; some are charming and some annoying. I will gladly walk an extra block-and-a-half to hit the Korean mart for a pleasant, no-bullshit beer transaction than have to go to the Maverick by my house.

Why is this? Well, when I want to buy beer (which is pretty much the only reason I go to a gas station in the first place), I don't want to have an in-depth conversation with the gas station clerk. I hate that.

Like why do Maverick clerks think I'm going to care about how they fucked up their lives so bad that now they work at a Maverick? Can't they realize I'm buying beer to avoid my own problems and the last thing I want to do is talk to them about theirs? And yes, it's kind of a Maverick thing.

7-11s, on the other hand, are usually a lot better. The clerks don't seem to want to talk to you as much. And every 7-11 has the same comforting smell that always seems to trigger my need for a 40-ounce and a Slurpee.

My favorite gas stations are the weird Indian ones that sell all sorts of weird foods I can't pronounce and they keep porn behind the counter. The porn alone shows that these guys know how to put the convenience in convenience store. And I respect that. It's also probably a local business.

So yeah, I hope this article makes you want to drink beer. And before I end this article, I met some dude at the Urban Lounge on my birthday. His name is Chase and he kindly bought me a shot and said that if I mentioned his name, Chase, in my next SLUG article, he would get my name tattooed on him somewhere. I'm requesting the lower back, and this has to do with beer because we were both drinking it when this bad decision of Chase's was made.