Walking too and from work the last couple of days got me thinking about Snickers…and beer. Yup, the chocolate bar formerly known as Marathon. It wasn’t the perceived energy boost that got me thinking, but one of their advertisements. The star footballer with pin-up girlfriend at his side, sat in the Chairman’s office negotiating his next contract with the club.
You see, I am a man of modest earnings, happy with my modest lifestyle and like to think that an invincible bank account wouldn’t turn my head. If my wife needs the car, then I walk to work, which is great. Fresh air, time to wake up properly and the only exercise I get. I don’t long for a second reasonably priced car or begrudge sharing a perfectly nice people-carrier. This time last year there was a guy driving past me in a black Lamborghini with personalised plate , twelve months on and the same plate adorns a red Ferrari [couldn’t tell you which model]. I don’t begrudge him his prize for being good at making inordinate sums of money, he may even spend the same amount on charitable causes, he’s probably a great guy, but the fact that he floors the thing at every opportunity just winds me up. “Look at me! … hear my roar!”
Player: “I want a boat and a Ferrari . Well actually I want a Ferrari boat.”
(The chairman consults his accountant and nods. Agent hands player a dictionary and he starts to read from it) “Oh and I want an aardvark and a ballerina“.
Chairman: “Why not have two?”
Player: “And I want to change the name of the team to (stares lovingly at his girlfriend) The Gwendolines.”
Chairman: “Sound’s reasonable” (Stares to heaven.)
A Ferrari [to a car lover – and it turns out you can actually buy a Ferrari Boat] is undoubtedly a thing of beauty, a masterpiece of engineering and I imagine they are lots of fun to drive. To us, the us on the outside of the heated glass, the ones that don’t feel the hand-crafted leather seats, the grip on the tarmac and its magnetic effect on the rubber-neckers, it’s more of an annoyance. If he was to drive the car normally then I would bear no malice. Like many negative things, it’s possible for a beer geek to balance things up by thinking of beer. What can I say, it’s my ‘happy place’. But then it happened. I caught a glimpse of myself staring into my beer fridge, ogling the finery with wonderment and smugness. I knew straight away that to write about this petrol-head would turn the spotlight on me, a guy who writes about his beery conquests and publishes it for all to see. Me and the guy revving his engine at the lights aren’t that different. He just wants others to appreciate what he appreciates, he just wants to share the experience with the people within earshot. I should admire the guy. Instead of leaving his pride and joy in the garage until the sun comes out, or his next invite to a track-day, he drives it through rush-hour, from A to B and on roads more suited to a Hummer. He’s enjoying it.
ar-ro-gance (ar’ o gans) n.
The act or quality of being arrogant; haughty; undue assumption; overbearing conceit
Then there’s me. Aside from the truly important things, the love of my life [at the moment] is beer. Reading about beer, brewing beer, drinking beer, talking beer. I also have a ‘thing’ about beer and like to keep some of it locked away, the more precious I perceive it the further I push it to the back of the cupboard. I’ll enjoy it at the right time, hopefully when everyone else has consumed their limited edition bottle and then…. dah dahhhh! I will unleash its splendour upon the good folk of Twitter and beyond, who will tell me “nice choice” and enquire “where did you get that“. There are some that will slowly shake their head before clicking ‘unfollow’.
This is just an elaborate ‘open it‘ post, but one that gave me some much needed perspective on something I should enjoy now and before the moment has passed. Take for example the bottle of Stone Arrogant Bastard Ale I’m drinking on a cold and wet November evening…alone. I bought it back in May and put it straight in the fridge for a special occasion. Everyone else that bought one drank theirs, pairing it with food and sharing their thoughts on Twitter.
So I can tell you that this 7.2% American Strong Ale is packed with flavour, sweet fruits and amazing bitterness and would probably have been even better had I opened it in its hoppy prime and while the evenings were still light. I should have enjoyed it.