Nothing goes better with a 95-degree day than a good old-fashioned beer festival — which is how I spent the day roasting in a black uniform just to make a few bucks and observe the behavior of the upper crust of the beer connoisseur community.
At 40 bucks a pop, most of the lightweights and bar crabs would naturally be eliminated from the crowd — except for about a dozen of them who obviously saved a few payday bucks to hang with the big boys and girls. They didn’t last long once they found that Bud Light wasn’t on the menu.
Having spent years moonlighting at various establishments such as Good Ol’ Days and Scooters (remember Scooters?), I’d seen my share of nickel-pitcher commandos whose motto was fight or — well, most of them ended up either fighting or puking in the bathroom.
What I found was, among other things, this: The difference in the lightweights and bar crabs compared to the refined beer connoisseur is about two hours. I’m kidding. It’s more like three hours.
I’m not knocking refined beer connoisseurs — not too much. The problem is that in order to enjoy the humor of those engaged in festive beer drinking, you need to be festively drinking with them. Otherwise, the clichés are dull, repetitive and not well-delivered. I’m not talking about the clichés among the festive beer drinkers themselves, but the clichés the festive beer drinkers save up for the cops.
How many times should I have to hear “I didn’t do it!”?
Okay, twice, maybe three times, and you get the courtesy laugh. After that, all I can do is muster a blank stare and drool — a sure sign of heat stroke.
“Hey! You guys gonna give me a breathalyzer if I drink too much?”
“Hey, you guys gonna give yourselves a breathalyzer if I drink too much? — wait, I mean if I drink too much?”
“Hey, you guys gonna lock me up for breathalyzing too much — uh … ”
“Move along please.”
Let me point out, the organizers did have Safe-Ride people there for free rides home to those who drank to the point of bad clichés. And there were many cabs available.
It was so hot …
Did I mention the 95-degree heat?
After three hours of festive behavior, some of the weak and sickly-but-festive participants began to show the wear and tear of the day, which was evident by the vomiting in the parking lot. (I told you these people were refined. Anyone else wouldn’t have made it to the parking lot.)
The end of the night came with cooler temperatures. No one was more appreciative than the cops who always wear the Kevlar vests. On hot days, most of the heat trapped between the vest and your body escapes up through the front of your collar, making your chin melt. By the time I got home, I looked like a Salvador Dali rendition of Jay Leno.
Now don’t think it was all painstaking work. Many of the festive gals, after a few samples of beers with odd names, wanted that photo op with the cops. It’s ain’t all bad. They put their arms around us, smiled for the picture and then asked: “What happened to your chin?”
As the beer festival patrons left, they offered goodbyes and advice on how we should do our jobs, namely stop writing tickets. And, in a really festive flash, they were gone — except a few who found it hard to leave with all that beer left, or those who couldn’t find their way out of the portable toilets.
Once rescued, they disappeared into the sunset, in the back of a cab, waving to us. I think they were using all their fingers, but I’m not sure.