22 August 2005

Beer

How many gallons of this amber liquid have I consumed in the last thirty five years? Surely enough to fill an Olympic sized swimming pool! They say that beer has been around for at least 6ooo years. In recent times, getting legless on ale has been a very rare event for me. Mostly it's a social thing - some lubrication - and when life has serrated edges, somehow three or four pints smooth away the sharpness. I have been in thousands of pubs and in my view "the pub" is something the British Isles should champion more loudly. Nowhere else in the world will you find such a phenomenon. The pub is communal and open to all from the most miserable gits in Christendom to those who are the life and soul of every party, from rich bastards with flashy cars and vulgar personalised licence plates to happy "losers" with nothing but coins jangling in their pockets.
Sadly in corporate Britain, we have seen so many great pubs closing in recent years and the rise of of homogeneous themed places where staff wear uniforms and beer isn't necessarily the top tipple on the drinks menu. Looking at my watch it's time to go for another bellyful of beer... "And it's guzzle, guzzle... as the beer goes down the muzzle..." or "I want a beer just like the beer that buried dear old dad..."
...So here I am back at the keyboard, four pints later. Met some chums. Laughed. Ogled. Tackled the weekly quiz. Put the world to rights. Why is it that the "authorities" always emphasise the bad bits - drink driving, fights, alcoholism, marital problems, obesity, liver problems.... you're only "allowed three units"... relaxing licensing laws will result in "Armageddon on the streets"? Beer is like mother's milk for grown ups. Let's chill out, enjoy our pints and support our local pubs - with apologies to American readers - especially those poor sods residing in Utah!

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