Sunday, September 16, 2007

Beer.

This is the short story of how I became a female beer drinker – a thing much maligned by many of the young lay-dees of my acquaintance. The attitude, so frequently held by girls in regards to beer is very much: ew, horrid tasting smelly boy drink, one can’t drink that it’s yucky, it’s just not feminine, ew. I must own that I have limited respect for girly-girls and may sometimes be crueller to them than strictly necessary. Life is not all sweet pink things and, in the great cause of alcohol, there is no room for dismissing something because it does not suit your sense of aesthetics.

Historical note: I come from a family who are well fond of the bottle so long as it contains something alcoholic. We have many high-functioning alcoholics and a genetic predisposition, on both sides, for sturdy livers. This being so, alcohol has always been a part of my family life and, indeed, I have often found that I much prefer my family when a) I am drunk, b) they are drunk, c) we are all drunk together. By family I mean my extended, as well as my immediate, family group.

The first time I got drunk, as documented by my parents in my baby-book, was when I was eighteen months old. I got into the sherry bottle when nobody was looking and, apparently, glugged it down before my ever watchful parents noticed what I was doing. When they finally did notice my ever practical father decided that the best way for me to learn the lesson of alcohol was to just let me be. As ever, he was quite right; I’ve never touched sherry since. I can’t even stand the smell of it.

After that, I had more or less free access to alcohol. I was not encouraged to drink but it was not prohibited and there was always quite a lot of alcohol in the house. I didn’t really take advantage of this when I was a child or a young teenager. My parents’ attitude was so relaxed that it was simply a non-issue. I could if I would but there was no challenge to it so it wasn’t all that appealing. Besides which spirits both smell and taste awful. Later, when I was fifteen or sixteen, my parents continues with their ideal of responsible alcoholism by purchasing grog for my underaged self and friends – for whom the liberty of it was so extreme and frightening that the kindness was rarely used.

When I was still 17-18 and regularly hitting the nightclubs of my small shithole of a town my drink of choice was vodka -cheap, greasy, disgusting vodka – especially that of the establishment (whose name I now cannot recall) that had a charming happy hour of $2 basics. I cannot count the times we took advantage of those $2 basics. It was long enough to get it down to a fine art where we’d have about ten or so drinks (oh for 2 bucks you weren’t expecting full shots, were you?) in an hour. The more people in the group the better this worked. That was all good for a while but, as with all things, times change.

Between the ages of eighteen and twenty-one, I drifted, really drifted. I did nothing (literally) for about two or so years. At eighteen you see, a year and a half into my first attempt at university, I dropped out. For quite a while I did nothing but live off my parents, my friends, and the few grand that I got when my grandmother died. I also attempted, almost, to get crap jobs and spent rather a lot of time at a local sleaze bar. It was at this time, at the Rising Sun – after all, who could know? – that I became a beer drinker.

Why beer, you ask. Well, it wasn’t just any beer. It was the shittiest of shit beers – VB - and it cost all of $2 a pot. This is getting drunk at its finest and at its cheapest. This is the art of drinking merely to get drunk – and listen to really shithouse cover bands and flirt with too old miners and bikies (okay, not so much of that, those are people you don’t fuck with on any level) and low class loser boys. This is alcohol for its own sake and sometimes nothing can taste better than that.

Now you might ask why, when I could probably regularly indulge in more expensive drinkies, is it that I continue to indulge beer. I admit to getting the taste, aside from a childhood shandy or ten, from need and penury but what non beer drinkers don’t understand is that beer is a many splendoured thing. There is, I can quite understand, a beer for every occasion and a large quantity of them are incredibly tasty. Beer is something that can be drunk and not just sipped and is quite a lovely way to while away an hour or three.

We are now midway through a sunny Sunday afternoon in spring and I, for one, am dreaming of my first beer of the day – to be had in just an hour or so – on a day that just seems to have been made for sitting out of doors with schooners and cigarettes.

24 comments:

Martin Kingsley said...

Agreed. Beer - a fine invention.

Orientation week this year, at La Trobe, was a fine week for beer-drinkers everywhere. You would have been proud: My philosophy became, "Attend the morning's first information session, knock off to the bar as soon as possible." So much beer, I drank. I drank more cheap Toohey's on-tap in that one week than I had in the previous eighteen years combined, and the majority of it on the Wednesday.

It's a glorious thing, and a smooth ride into inebriation, especially as compared to the bastard of a thing a thirty dollar bottle of vodka is between a couple of people. Jesus I have never been so ill in my liiiife than after one of those. Brr. Never again.

TimT said...

*Cries openly*

On behalf of all beer drinkers, dear lady, I thank you.

Also, what the hell are you talking about Martin? You never share a bottle of vodka!

Martin Kingsley said...

Thankfully, it wasn't my bottle, or my money, which mitigates the circumstances a little. :-P

phishez_rule said...

Ah yes. I never used to drink beer as a youngster. I was purely a bourbon and vodka gal. I grew up in Vic, so all there was to offer was VB, which I cannot stand.

But when I got to uni I learned. Beer is cheap. And I used to get freebies from a mate. And I'm just not the girl to turn down free alcohol

Steph said...

What did you call Vodka? Bite your tongue!!!
I wish I could drink beer, it's a cheap night out. Unfortunately I'm allergic to wheat, yeast and gluten (No it's not some wanky fad I have Coeliac disease) so I cannae drink it even if I could stand the awful taste....however, good for you. I'm all for people getting magotted on the cheap. :P

nailpolishblues said...

Steph - I do adore vodka but the vodka they were using was really only a grade higher than metho. A painful bitch to drink, to be sure. Woe on the coeliac - nasty thing to have - as my cousin found out when she was travelling in India...

Phish, you and me both. Free is a lovely thing.

Tim, it's okay - there, there *pats* there, there. I have now had several beers and can barely type but FUCK DO I EVER FEEL AWESOME!!!!
P.S. Bet you just love the girly-girls though. I am lol-ing to myself.
P.P.S. Lady?

Martin, I bought a $30 bottle of vodka today. It's Stoli though. And no, I'm not sharing it with anyone.
P.S. It's not hard to drink more in O-week than you have in your entire life when you're only 18 anyway. Just saying.

Dale Slamma said...

I recommend pirate rum, the good and dark one to have on occasions where beer is not appropriate, such as right now, in my bedroom and earlier in the drive through. I was not the one driving. Oh dear looks like a weekend in western sydney has turned me into bogan only with proper rum.

nailpolishblues said...

Rum usually makes me gag :(

I like to avoid the west. It frightens me and make me think of Queensland in all sorts of bad ways.

Martin Kingsley said...

Odd, the last time I was in the bottle-o, they were charging $30 for stuff that was definitely not Stoli. Then again, I have such vague recollections of that night, for all I recall, I could have conquered and claimed Taiwan for my own, so I doubt my memories of prices can be trusted.

And granted, this is true what you say, but luckily for my masculine ego, it was a fair amount of yeastilicious liquid ambrosia by anybody's reckoning. It was only months later I realised on recall how completed gimbled I was. Good times.

nailpolishblues said...

I like that idea - let us conquer and claim Taiwan as our own! I call for volunteers [I even know the perfect song for this..]!

Gimbled is lovely, I shall add it to my lexicon.

nailpolishblues said...

Oh, the Stoli was on sale. Only a 700ml at that.

Martin Kingsley said...

Taaaiiiiiiwaaaaan, here we coooooome, nananananaaaaah.

Aye, gimbled is a wonderful bit of language I've borrowed permanently from the Irish.

nailpolishblues said...

Ah, what's not to love about the Irish? Lovely accents, Guinness, dodgy light-fingered ancestors. A truly wonderful group of people.

colonel eggroll said...

I'm a beer drinker. Because it's cheap and like you said, there are some pretty good ones out there. I really like blue moon, and sometimes I buy cherry Lambic--veeery tasty.

Mish said...

I started off on VBs too. I think that if you can tackle VB, you can pretty much handle anything.

Nails, I so have to get you to try some European Firewater. I don't know if you ever did get to try some at the housewarming party a couple of years back. Or was it last year? Blah.

nailpolishblues said...

The name alone is terrifying! I don't remember trying anything like that.

Yes, VB has a way of making other beers seem so much nicer. I wonder how Victoria managed to fuck up beer? Then again, XXXX...

TimT said...

Surely you jest - VB is completely adequate. Tooheys, now there's a vile brew. And Fosters! Fosters is admittedly good for the joke quality (it featured nicely as a running joke in the Bazza McKenzie movies, amongst others) but it tastes like crap.

TimT said...

Also, I should note that in Victoria's defence, the other main Australian beverage, Carlton beer, is named after a Melbourne suburb.

nailpolishblues said...

Adequate...ye-es. If needs must.

Tooheys and VB have one major thing in common, for me at least, I very quickly reach the point where I can't drink any more of them. Like 2-3 schooners. Tragical because they are so very cheap.

You forget Cascade - they're pretty major.

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Winter said...

I've come around to being a beer drinker too. I've tried to convert some of my friends, but they're very "beer is gross" types.

Martin Kingsley said...

I am laughing ever so hard at the rehab-promoting spam program. Even if it's a real person, it might as well be a soulless robot. Ahh, the funny is never-ending.

nailpolishblues said...

Dearest 'addiction rehab' - not everyone who drinks is an alcoholic. Fuck off and, preferably, die. You are being wildly inappropriate with your pathetic spam. I do not find you useful other than as a means of entertainment.

Word verification, Martin. What a jerk.

Ahem.

Winter, I'm sure if I wasn't such a massive alcoholic that I couldn't find my own arse with my two hands then I might try and convert people. Clearly, though, I am too busy with the drinking to do anything else.

Gee, that spam really irritated me.

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