While at work yesterday, I had didn’t have time to get lunch. I really wanted to get my favorite iced tea at a popular mom and pop eatery. The line was long. I knew I wouldn’t have time for my tea if I were to get in line. So as I’ve done in the past at airport security lines where I might miss my flight, I kindly asked someone — a female college student who was up next — if I could jump in, that all I was going to order was a drink. It would have been a 20 second transaction. I told her I was pressed for time. Her reaction to me was if I asked her to cut off her arm for me. In a snotty way, she basically rejected me. I don’t remember the words, just the attitude.
I’m always looking for crafty solutions or alternatives to get what I want or need, be it a professional or personal pursuit. So I simply went to the dude who made the juices, told him my predicament, he gave me a cup, I paid him even though he wasn’t sure how much the tea cost, and he told me he’d cover the rest if he was wrong. And just like that, I was in and out of there and thanked him very much.
Situations like these can really piss me off and remind me that not everyone is nice. Again, such was the case at a local grocery store the day before that. Similarly, all I needed to do was run in, grab a gift card, go to the “under 15 items or less” line and buy it. I figured three minutes tops. Usually if I have one or a few items, most people with a full cart will give me the courtesy to get ahead of them and vice versa. It’s called humanity and common courtesy. In front of me were two early twenty-something local yokels buying up a few cases of Bud and Bud Light (I won’t even comment yet on their choice of beer). Again, here I was with one tiny item and waited like what seemed an eternity to buy it. Perhaps because I’m a Gen X’er and these kids grew up in a different time, disregarding me was nothing. Or maybe these ‘Git Er Done’ kids just wanted their cases of Bud and start a-drinkin in the parking lot. Who knows. Who cares.
While I am in no position to judge anyone’s choice of beer, I do admit I am a beer snob and would much rather buy a local craft beer not only because it tastes better, but it supports the local economy. While I’m not crazy about where I live, I do care about it. These two greedy events reminded me of why I drink what I drink and why I buy what I buy. First, I always try to buy local, whether it’s cheese, beer, or iced tea. Second, I try as much as I can to be informed of what’s behind the scenes of that Coors Light you’re drinking or that American Apparel sexy underwear you’re buying.
I am in no way preaching to anyone. Buy what you want. Drink what you want. Eat what you want. While some may crave the thrill to debate back and forth over a drink, usually it turns into a decibel-rising pseudo-melee. I am the last person who wants to talk about what you think about Libya or the Pope. Especially over a beer. Buzzkill. I lived in D.C. Been there, done that. For you younguns who don’t give a shit about anything but yourselves, go ahead and enjoy your experiences. I was probably like that too. But if you do care just a little bit about your beer choices, young, old, or in between, support your local economy and try something from your area. Try the smaller guys if even they’re not local too. As I’ve recommended before, watch the documentary “Beer Wars.” If you have Netflix, it’s on Instant Play. Make your own conclusions.
One last recommendation: be nice to people and they will be nice to you. Hey, they might even buy you a beer!