Monday, May 4, 2009

No. 33

Beer: Pabst Blue Ribbon
Date: May 3rd, 2009

Place: Bukowski's Tavern, Cambridge, MA

I should have seen it coming from a mile away.

A fantastic beer bar lives just around the corner from us. It is called Bukowski's - named after the author and not a simple misspelling of the '98 cult bowling film.

It's a 21+ place that makes you feel like a total badass when you walk in to get a burger, and to get that burger you have to prove you've lived through a minute or two of Regan, twelve years of Bushes, a Clinton scandal and one hundred days of Obama. Even to think of the fries you must have some street cred.

They had a drinking club - the Dead Author's Club - where if you drank all hundred plus beers in a year then you'd get a mug and they'd engrave your favorite author on it and since we're in the cradle of education there are plenty of people who'd drink all those beers not because they like beers but because they'd like to prove they love books. Turns out, so many people did the deal and got the mugs and then got jobs or just ran out of money, being literature students and whatnot, and moved out of town that Bukowski's reportedly has a warehouse full of those mugs that are engraved with Tolstoy, Joyce, Dickens that they can't get rid of because they made a promise that if you drank the beers and got a mug you could come in and get a beer in your mug and if they threw out their mug then they'd be breaking a promise so they just stopped the club are are trying to figure out what to do with it.

In the meantime, there is a wheel you can spin, and then you are required to drink and buy whatever beer the wheel lands on. No complaining allowed. Which is mostly all I've done when I've spun the wheel. I've traded a cider and then complained about a Coors. But there's just something about leaving beer choice to fate.

The scary part is that there are a few $15 beers on the wheel. Which are fun to drink, but less fun to pay for. I convinced our waiter to give me a pass if I landed on a fifteen dollar beer. He didn't look happy about it, but he knew that I've lived through
Regan, twelve years of Bushes, a Clinton scandal and one hundred days of Obama so he let me have an out.

What he said: If you land on a fifteen dollar beer, you can spin again.

What he thought: Punk.

Fate and logic and universal irony and a bit of an unfortunate spin left me savoring my second Pabst Blue Ribbon of the year.

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