Thursday, April 04, 2013

Blogging and Days of Beer

I used to post every day, then every other day, then about every third day. Now it seems lucky if I get a post in a week. It's not that I don't enjoy blogging, but so many things consume my interest these days and I've also been working quite a lot on fiction. When I'm writing nonfiction, it lends itself well to blogging, but fiction tends to take me away from it. Not sure why that is. Below is a little piece of nonfiction for you, a small snippet from Days of Beer, my memoir if you will. (It's edited slightly to fit with this post.)

One day, when my son, Joshua, was about seven or eight years old, I opened a bottle of St. Pauli Girl in his presence. St. Pauli Girl is a German beer of exquisite bitterness. Josh, who always wanted to drink whatever I was drinking, naturally asked for a sip. Where before I had always refused to let him drink any beer, I now encouraged him to take a swig, figuring one swig would be enough forever. Holding the bottle in both small hands, he lifted it to his mouth and took a swallow.


The minute that bitterness hit his tongue, Josh’s eyes squinched shut and his face screwed up with a look of shock and dismay. He immediately tried to “chew” the taste back out of his mouth, but St. Pauli Girl is not a lady to be forgotten so easily. I soon took pity on him and gave him a drink of milk to cleanse his palate. He never asked to taste my beer again.

Several months later, Josh and I were at a quick stop store and I saw they had Mountain Dew in the original green bottles, the one with the hillbilly on it holding a jug of moonshine, for which Mountain Dew is named. I bought a bottle for nostalgia sake and offered Josh a sip. At first, he refused. I encouraged him. I could see him looking at me with a speculative light in his eyes; no doubt he was remembering the last time he’d trusted his father’s offer of a drink. But he finally agreed to a tentative sip, and immediately his eyes lit up.
“I like that beer,” he said with a smile.

(BTW, Ty Johnston has a review of Micro Weird up on his blog (http://tyjohnston.blogspot.com/2013/04/books-read-in-2013-no-19-micro-weird.html), and Randy Johnson mentions it on his (http://randall120.wordpress.com/2013/04/01/new-in-the-house-112/), as well as having reviewed it on Amazon.  Thanks, guys!) 




31 comments:

Merisi said...

Clever kid! :-)

laughingwolf said...

a gooder!

mountain dew is ok...

ever try ginger beer? love it! kinda like root beer, but lemony/gingery....

Tom Doolan said...

I used to steal sips of Coors when I was 6 after my stepdad's softball games. I would go home plastered. That might explain a few things...

Charles Gramlich said...

Merisi, indeed!

Laughingwolf, I do like root beer. Don't know I've ever specifically had ginger beer.

Tom, I tell a story in Days of Beer about bumming my dad's brews as well. :)

Sean Patrick Reardon said...

St. Pauli, brings back memories. Almost as bitter as a skunked Molson.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Mt. Dew, the beer!

Cloudia said...

Sweet Lil memory :-)

Aloha

Charles Gramlich said...

Sean, yes, exquisitely bitter

Alex, I'd drink it.

Cloudia, yes. Josh was even cuter in those days.

Richard Godwin said...

Charles I think if you came to England you woud enjoy a pint of the Dog's Bollocks. When we were at War wiht Artengina we had a pint called sink the Belgrano.

Richard Godwin said...

That's with by the way. I blame the beer.

Angie said...

LOL! I majorly empathize with Josh; I can't stand the taste of alcohol either, and never grew into it.

In my family, kids could drink alcohol whenever they wanted, at any age, just for the asking. (Italian, fairly traditional.) I had my first sip of my grandfather's beer when I was about three, or maybe four. Ick! I never asked to try beer again.

I drank a few other things periodically because it was a "grown-up" thing to do, and kids always want to be grown up. I never did get a taste for the stuff. (Although wine and cocktails were better than beer, not having the bitterness on top of the icky alcohol taste.) After trying for a couple of years in my mid-teens to make Irish coffees with the coffee part strong enough to drown out the Irish, I finally figured out I didn't have anything to prove, that torturing myself was stupid, and quit.

Not only did I not turn into an alcoholic, BTW, but it didn't stunt my growth, either. I'm 5'11", despite not only periodic (full, and full strength, from pre-school age to about 17 or so) glasses of various alcoholic whatevers during my childhood, but also a childhood (from the time I was two or three) drowning in coffee, which I liked a LOT more than alcohol. :)

Angie

ivan said...

Hm.

Five years of straight drinking beer in the Air Force.
To have become an alcoholic wss a high achievement.
No wonder that at the age of 73 I had developed duodenal ulcers....But the creature didn't kill me. Just made me like "The man from Madras"
Crikey. Lightning still seems to shoot out my

Riot Kitty said...

That is hilarious! I remember being in the car with my cousin when he was maybe 4 or 5 and I was 9. He bumped his head and my uncle gave him a swig of beer.

And now I wonder, where was the seatbelt, and why the hell was there an open can of beer in the car?! And yes, this was in the South.

Travis Cody said...

When I first moved out on my own and could spend my money to stock my fridge with whatever I chose, I used to buy beer. My buddies would end up drinking most of it, because I'd crack one open and realize after a couple swallows that I didn't like it.

I tried several brands and never did find one I could enjoy drinking. Eventually the novelty of being able to buy my own beer wore off, and I'd tell my buddies to bring their own when they came over.

Bernard Lee DeLeo said...

A picture or a sip is worth a thousand words. :)

Prashant C. Trikannad said...

Nice story, Charles, thanks for sharing it. The only alcoholic beverage I've ever had all my life is two sips of beer at the age of 16 and I hated it. I once refused lime cordial thinking it was alcohol!

the walking man said...

I am glad i never offered any of my beer hound kids a taste of my Bourbon!

Charles Gramlich said...

Richard, I have blamed the beer for a long time. It seems we should have that logo emblazoned on a t-shirt

Angie, I still like the taste of beer these days but my body doesn't handle alcohol like it used to so I very seldom drink. On the other hand, I've never been a coffee drinker, although I get caffiene through colas. I like some wines and mixed drinks but am not a huge fan. Dry wines really taste foul to me.

Ivan, I once thought being an alcoholic writer was my highest inspiration. But my body refused to go along.

Riot Kitty, it was rule of the day when I was an older teenager that my brother and I took beer with us in the truck anytime we were going to work on the farm. Down south, of course.

Travis Cody, dark beers actually often taste really good to me and I enjoy them quite a lot. I didn't like the taste of most beers when I was young but I did enjoy the coldness of it in hot summer.

Bernard, yeah, Josh had no words after that sip. He couldn't get his mouth to straighten out. :)

Prashant, I didn't like my first taste of beer either, but I came to enjoy it over the years.

Mark, yeah, my son went through a strong beer phase so I know where you're coming from.

Ron Scheer said...

Nicely told. I'm from German stock, and beer was routinely given to kids old enough to swallow. Growing up on a farm, driving cars and trucks started when your legs were long enough to reach the pedals. It was a different time.

eric1313 said...

Nice. Reminds me of old stories.

Too much Mt. Dew in my time... Drinking a Pepsi right now. I need to drink water and start doing that last year or something, but it is difficult.

But at least you post once or twice a week +/-, and you provide a lot of people with a wealth of information about the business end of publication. Not too many people interested in talking about that. Especially people who are in to sci fi and fantasy and horror, amongst the mix.

The Golden Eagle said...

No wonder he was wary the second time!

David Cranmer said...

My posting is just the opposite. Doing more than I have in a long time. Kinda relaxing after a long day at work.

SzélsőFa said...

how sweet!
i mean bitter.

:)
poor kid.
:)
thankfully the story ends well :)

laughingwolf said...

there's also an alcoholic version:

http://down---to---earth.blogspot.ca/2012/01/making-ginger-beer-from-scratch.html

Charles Gramlich said...

Ron, my mom would allow us an occasional swallow of beer but not very much. We got lemon/whiskey toddies when we were sick, though. :)

eric1313, thanks, man. I still like to keep an emphasis on writing on the blog, and at least on related issues. I used to love Dew more than I do now but I drink one on occassion.

The Golden Eagle, smart kid!

David Cranmer, I guess we go through moods. We've both been doing it a long time so no wonder there are patterns.

SzélsőFa, I don't even like St. Pauli Girl much myself.:)

laughingwolf, I saw something at the store the other day called genuine moonshine. ALmost bought some. Kind of wish I had now.

Oscar said...

My blogging is like yours, started out every day, then drizzled on down to once or twice a week due to other things that take up my time.

jodi said...

Charles, It took me forever to get over that first taste my Dad let me have. Stil more of a Wino n vodka girl. Mt Dew is too sugary !

Lisa said...

I read my old posts at Live High and they were so good, I felt like I was reading a really good book written by someone so interesting and vibrant. I miss that person :(

Snowbrush said...

He would do better to stick with the real thing, no?

Erik Donald France said...

I love it ~!

The weird thing about Mountain Dew is -- it has caffeine yet is not a dark drink.

Very funny on the St. Pauli . . .

Charles Gramlich said...

Oscar, too many of them, and sometimes I hardly get back around to even comment to the commenters. As you can see from me being late on this one.

Jodi, Dew is a bit sugary for me now, though not when I was a kid.

Lisa, they were good indeed!

Snowbrush, real Mountain Dew maybe. :)


Erik, almost had a mountain dew today as a reminder. had a DP instead.