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What ever became of that addition to my estate, which I had loudly and boisterously claimed I was going to have constructed to increase the size of my house by about a quarter, and make room for a regulation-size snooker table?
Thanks very much for asking. It’s done!
OK, not exactly. We don’t actually have a finished floor yet, or paint, electrical outlets that work, or light fixtures. And I did not succeed in my quest to have fainting couches installed in each room (I’m very prone to fainting, or at least needing a nap). The rest of my family seems to think fainting couches are a frivolous waste of our hard-earned dollars (!!).
What’s more incredible than no fainting couches in a manor as stately and graciously appointed as mine is that no one can figure out where to put the TV.
I know what you’re thinking: “Put it in the TV room.” What, are you nearly 55 years old or something? Do you think this is 1975 and your parents are putting on an addition? Back then people carved out space for their televisions and called them “tv rooms,” but nowadays they call them “home theaters.”
But, yeah, we forgot to include one of those as well.
I recently put an ad in the paper for someone to step up and produce one of those startlingly avant-garde, live theatrical experiences that no one can understand, about a mysterious, dark world that exists in some strange alternate reality, wherein the United States of America is still most powerful country on the globe but, alas, its duly elected leader is a complete and utter clown.
Yes, I know, sounds entirely far-fetched, as many an avant-garde producer of experimental theater has told me over cocktails in chic Manhattan eateries, but I always remind them that the world I’m asking them to create is not one that could ever actually exist on earth. The numbskull in charge of the US in this alternate reality is such a boob that, in the “real world,” he would never be elected even to some obscure county seat, like the Noxious Weed Council, let alone become president of the greatest country in the alternate world. Too infantile. Too crass.
Like, for example, he has examined all the available evidence and has concluded that the best course of action is to increase production of coal while lowering clean air and clean water standards. Because, to hell with cleanliness.
Personally, I’m all for rolling back clean standards of all sorts. I think much of the world is way too clean anyway, and the regulation continuum that supports this over-cleanliness is killing this country’s competitiveness.
OK, maybe this concept is a little too far-fetched for theater-goers to suspend their disbelief about, but it’s exactly the kind of asininity that alternate realities tend to spawn, and it’s this dark and brooding world I’m hoping someone out there is willing to spend a lot of time and money spinning into a completely weird, experimental, theatrical LSD trip that is so confounding that audience members run for the exits, frightened by what they see and demanding normalcy, even if it means the normalcy of the 1980s, when people like Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush were in office.
Now that’s strange.
I consider myself a veteran of Christmas, having lived through 54 Christmas Days with family and friends already, and I have an enormous degree of optimism that I’ll see 100 more years of Christmas Days, give or take. If it all comes to pass as I foresee, it means I’m going to be a real player in Christmas Days to come.
What will this mean for you? Like, no more presents? No more presents is not my style! Instead I’m going to quietly and subtly affect broader themes around Christmas, poking holes in various theories around the birth of Deities and so forth. But nothing about exchanging presents or serving excellent cocktails will be changed.
If I don’t live another 100 years, well, I suppose I’ll have to affect Christmas themes in the afterlife. (But don’t bank on that).
Recent reports in several fake news media outlets have noted the uncanny similarities between you and me, and I totally get why that is. Our world views are both informed by an old-school brand of reach-across-the-aisle politics that’s in terribly short supply these days; as children, we both suffered immeasurably through chronic health issues that made sleep impossible until doctors took the radical approach of amputation, forcing us to go through life without benefit of tonsils; and we both are master beer brewers.
But that’s where our similarities end. Because while you have embraced the “craft beer” movement, I’ve taken the additional step of focusing my attention on the burgeoning world of Art Beer.
Look, I’m not here to complain. Sure, your “golden ale” is perhaps more khaki than gold, but that’s to be expected from the work of a craftsman. And anyway, no one is complaining about the nuances of color in your beer (except that columnist in Brewer’s Quarterly). Truth is, I’ve loudly praised your efforts and have myself called you “innovative” and “thought-provoking.”
But let’s not kid ourselves. A craft beer like your “Old Mr. Brown” is just a Saturday afternoon quaff without any hint of irony. Meanwhile, my “Stout Americain” has far too much character to be guzzled and belched out during a college football game, and provides the kind of social commentary about the relative size of the US waistline that doesn’t just entertain, but also teaches.
And isn’t that what art (beer) is supposed to do? I think so.
Is my art beer without controversy? No. But then again, if it were it probably wouldn’t be very interesting. That’s what I love about art beer: always pushing boundaries, always interacting with person doing the consuming, all while quietly and subtly getting people hammered.