One of the more unpleasant, but not at all unexpected, repercussions of having friends and family gather at Rich O's for an occasion like last night's pre-birthday thingy is that I'm roped into being the beer guru for the evening. At least for those VPs in the group that are, as Roger would say, flavor-impaired.
Of course, I'm the logical choice for this assignment, but that doesn't mean that I have to enjoy it.
So, first things first. DooRagGirl left me a voicemail at about 6:00, suggesting that I call Rich O's and tell them how many people I was expecting and ask them to reserve some seating for me. I didn't do that because (a) I didn't know how many people would be there, and (b) To ask for reserved seats, in last-minute fashion, for a Saturday night, in that ever-shrinking smoking section, well it's just not something I'd do. I may be evil, but I'm not an asshole.
I arrived at about 7:30, sporting my new WTF? t-shirt that RockGirl had included in my birthday package. It did shrink quite nicely, RockGirl. Anyway, the only people from my group there were SpoonsGirl and her husband, who were sitting in the red room. I was immediately asked to choose a beer for SpoonsGirl that was not bitter, or hoppy, are those the same thing?
Having my priorities in order, I went up to the end of the bar to order myself a beer first. ActualGeorge was sitting there, and we talked for a bit. I mentioned that it was my pre-birthday thingy, and that there were an awful lot of strangers clogging up the living room area. This is my standard gripe lately, as you all probably know, but for whatever reason FutureDude decided to give me shit about it. He told me that those people were there all the time, and that it pissed him off when I called people strangers. Gee, I wonder how he'd have felt if I'd called them assholes or fuckers like I usually do. My definition of a stranger is a pretty basic one: If I've never seen them before in my life, then guess what? They're strangers.
(SCRIBBLERESQUE PARENTHETICAL THOUGHT: Also, if you crowd into the living room area, and you pile several hundred coats onto the throne, thereby eliminating that seat from the already small number of seats in the place - if, in other words, you don't have enough people to completely take over the area so you use coats to prevent anyone from sitting there and breaking the flow of your little circle-jerk or whatever you're doing - then you most definitely deserve to be called something worse than strangers.)
So, that was just great, FutureDude was on the rag, and I'd managed to piss him off, and I still hadn't even ordered my beer.
Still having my priorities in order, I took care of the biggest problem first. I ordered myself a t Smisje Mustard Ale (54).
By talking to SpoonsGirl and FutureDude, I gathered that she had already asked for a sample of almost everything Rich O's had on tap, and that she was probably about to send FutureDude out to the local liquor store to pick up more stuff to sample, when I came in.
Okay, so the problem wasn't me. Or it wasn't all me. SpoonsGirl was sampling them to death. I pitched a couple of proposals to her - she had already sampled and dismissed them. So I had her try some of my mustard ale and she liked it enough to order her own glass. So, yay! One down.
My sister Dina and her fiancé came in at about this time, and I was once again pressed into service. Dina didn't want to like anything either, but she was eventually, no thanks to me, able to find Lindemann's Peach tolerable enough to drink.
(SCRIBBLERESQUE PARENTHETICAL THOUGHT: When trying a new beer, it is sometimes necessary to do more than simply dip your tongue into it. Beer is meant to be experienced, from the aroma through the flavor to the finish. And sometimes it takes more than one drink before the full experience can be appreciated. To dismiss a fine beer like Bell's Kalamazoo Stout after only a token sip, well it just seems wrong to me.)
My next beer was what was left of Dina's Kalamazoo Stout (354).
(To be continued)