Friday, October 24, 2008

I won’t find you, but Beer Karma will

I have written recently of my experiences with the mysterious and mystical entity known as Beer Karma. I have spoken of those who have respected her and found favour with her and have been thusly rewarded. I have also spoken of those who have tempted, teased or tormented her and have been thusly punished. This morning I bring to you a tale of both.

Whilst searching the shelves of my local beer purveyor for some Oktoberfest specials to fill up the beer crisper, I spotted an elderly lady wandering the aisles with a puzzled look. I sensed that Beer Karma was testing me and so I offered her my beer knowledge based assistance. By the way, I had already moved a poorly placed stock trolley left unattended out of the aisle and so I had a small Beer Karma Credit in hand. (Yes, there IS such a thing.)

“What are you after?” I ask politely.
“Ooh, I’m looking for some stout and they told me it was over there and I couldn’t find it and then they told me it was over here and I can’t find it,” she says. (The ‘Ooh’ was like a frustrated shrug, I don’t want you all to think it was an ‘Ooh’ Big Boy if only I was seventy years younger kind of ‘Ooh’. OK?)
“A particular stout?” I says.
“Yes, that Guinness in the tin” she replies.
“Well, those are back over the other side of the shop – what do you need it for?” (As in cooking or drinking – I wasn’t testing her faculties or her sobriety)
“For cooking” she says (See, glad I asked?)
“Well, for what it’s worth there’s a Cooper’s Best Extra Stout here and I’ve used it a bit in Beef & Stout pies and the like” I offer knowlegably. But not smugly.
“Oh, that’s not the price is it?” she says looking at the large print tag.
“No, that’s the price for a dozen, the ‘each’ price is here in micro fiche size print that Atom Ant would struggle to spot”. (She didn’t laugh. I guess she was too old to remember Atom Ant) (Or TV) (Or what I’d just said)
“Well’, she says, ‘that’s cheaper than the other stuff and it’s Australian, so that’s good”. (I didn’t tell her the Guinness was probably brewed under license in Laverton)
“Thank you so much, dear” and she was on her merry way.

Feeling well pleased, I moved on. It occurred to me that I should know the price of the Guinness in case it was on special or something and so, on my way out I made a quick detour. Passing by the slabs I spotted Oetinger Pils for $30 and popped one onto the trolley. I checked the Guinness and paid for my lot.

I loaded the beer into the back of the wagon and just gave a quick look around the car park in case my newly made beer friend was still around. I was going to give her the good news on the Guinness and invite her to the next Ale Stars. (Shandy, you’d love her)

Couldn’t see her so off I hop. And then I’m two minutes away and I thinks to meeself ... “Do you remember taking the slab from the bottom of the trolley before you put the trolley back in the trolley bay?” I ask myself. “No. No you don’t remember doing that” I reply. Bugger, I says. Loudly. I hang a U-bolt and head back. (Five points and a pick of the board for anyone who sees the end of this story coming) I take no more than two minutes to get back. No slab in the trolley bay. (Worked it out yet?) I go back into the shop. “I don’t suppose some honest soul just brought my slab back in here, did they?” (Last chance to guess) “No.”

So, dear friends, somewhere out there is a Beer Bastard. And I will never find you. But you are still a bastard. You knew that beer wasn’t yours. You probably stopped, looked around, reminded yourself that it wasn’t yours and then half-inched it. Yoooooou bastard. How very, very dare you!!!

I am a dickhead. Dickhead Dickhead Dickhead Dickhead Dickhead Dickhead Dickhead Dickhead. It was my fault and my fault alone that the slab was left behind. But you could have taken it back inside and asked that it be given to you if left unclaimed. Like a twenty dollar note you find on the street. But you didn’t. You made your choice. You had the chance to do the right thing. And you didn’t. And you made me angry. But only for a minute. Because I know something that you don’t know. I know Beer Karma.

Something will happen to you. You might go home and drink one of MY beers. And if you are the VB swilling, wife beating, swearing-in-front-of-the-children, nipple-pierced bogan Neanderthal that I think you are, you might spit out the first sip of MY fine German pilsner and proclaim something like; “Vat tastes loike shit!!” and I hope you choke on it or drop the bottle on your fat uneducated big toe.

Or, you might be all of the above but drink no-name boubon-and-essence-of-cola-flavoured-chemical out of 440ml cans, in which case you will find that there are no instructions on the label of MY beer to assist you in transferring the contents of MY beer bottles to your fag choofin’ toothless lips.

Or, if Beer Karma is in a particularly playful mood, you just might find that you absolutely, positively fall in beery love with the previously untried taste of MY beer and then something funny might happen. You may never want to drink a VB or a Knob Jockey Bourbon & Cola again. You might be swayed to the ‘Dark Side’ and decide that you will drink different and flavourful and imported and hand crafted lagers and ales and wheat beers and farmhouse beers and Marzens and Vienna lagers and APAs (get someone to spell that for you) and pale ales and pilsners. And that, me old dishonest mucker, will cost you more money than you will be capable of earning in seven lifetimes. And Centrelink won’t give you more in Idiot Benefits. I asked.

So, enjoy MY beers. Tell your mates how you came upon these fine beers. Which are MINE. Tell them all how some dickhead left them on a trolley in the car park of a beer shop. Tell them that you just thought that you would help yourself to them. MY beers. But remember this.

Beer Karma is a heartless and unforgiving bitch when crossed. Beware, the bitch bites.

And to the lady with whom I shared a good Beer Karma moment, I hope the casserole you make is the best that you’ve ever made and that the find folk at Cooper’s have gained a new fan of their beers. As for me, I have my Beer Karma credits and I’m just fine, thank you for asking.

Prof. Pilsner

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