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!)