Well, the local pub that I frequent is doing a seemingly nice thing for the local food bank – for every 16 oz. item of non-perishable food one brings in, (s)he is given a 16 oz. draught beer of any flavor served (limit one per person per day … damnit!). I write “seemingly” because while, yes, it is providing nourishment for those so unfortunate as to need help during these troubled times, it throws a whole new confusing dimension into the time-honored (and hitherto fail proof) method of introducing one’s self to another: the suave and debonair utterance of the phrase “Howdy! Can I gitcha a beer?”
Prior to the onset of the food-for-beer program, such a query would have been met with a shy giggle, an acceptance, some light-hearted banter over one drink, then another, followed by a more intimate conversation about each others likes and dislikes, playfully arguing about bands and books, mocking disdain at the other’s appreciation of cats, both trying to hide the giddiness inside at having finally met The One, then a walk home through the beautiful fall foliage, hands nervously clasped (after several awkward brushes of one’s against the other’s), a promise to call the next day (“if that’s okay?”), a quick kiss on the cheek and a quicker turn to hide the redness creeping into one’s owns, and, eventually, a lifetime filled with love and happiness.
Well, no more. Now it’s “Howdy! Can I gitcha a beer?” followed by immediate and excruciating internal dread and angst. “Oh my god … oh my GOD! I only have a can of Progresso soup … and it’s GUMBO! What the fuck was I thinking? She’s going to think I’m an asshole. Why couldn’t I have some beluga caviar? Or would she think that’s pretentious? I am tolly SCREWED. That guy down the bar has pasta! Angel hair! I can’t compete with that! Stupid stupid stupid …”
So thanks, pub. Thanks for eradicating my dreams of a joyful future. Thanks for all the lonely tomorrows. Thanks for feeding the hungry with food seasoned with the salt of my tears.
NOTE: By the way, if you’re too nervous about approaching strangers and buying them beer with food, you can donate directly to the Idaho Food Bank.
7 months ago