Some beers are very complex. Occasionally, I’ll have difficulty pinning down a flavor or putting a brew into words. However, beer is always accessible and approachable in ways that many parts of life are not. Something that happened the other day really got me thinking of how simple the pleasure of beer really is, and I wondered if a degree of my sanity is maintained by the ostensibly innocuous act of slaking my gullet with a beer or two. There’s really no caveat that can lead me to what I’m about to write, so I’m going to launch into it.
Andrea and I run. We try to exercise and take good care of ourselves, so we find ourselves running around town. Often times, when we are not running at the Rose Bowl, we jog to the park where I can do pull-ups and the like. I never thought that I’d see some abstract and somewhat ridiculous art while running–but there I was.
Lap 1: I see what looks like an old guy in a diaper with wings on his back standing behind a woman in a dress, who is sitting on a bench with a man beside her and a dog on her lap. Meanwhile, the photographer is taking a picture of the scene. Already this was strange because it was maybe more surreal that most things I’ve seen (even during my days of hallucination). I happened to be listening to Helter Skelter while I was running, too…that didn’t help me from feeling like was tripping.
Lap 2: I thought I had a better handle on the picture when I passed the second time. The old man had a bow and arrow…ah! He was cupid, but why was he old? It must be old cupid shooting the man and the woman so that they’d fall in love. Right?!
Lap 3: I saw the peanut butter come out. Apparently, the peanut butter was being placed on the cheek of the woman. Why? I figured that out when I saw the dog going to town on the cheek of the young lady. Was the picture getting clearer or more convoluted?
Lap 4: I gave up trying to figure out what was going on so I just decided what the scene meant. Apparently, love (or cupid) is old/old-fashioned. Love has missed its mark and created the oddest of situations in which the owner and pet have a love relationship (what’s happening with the rest of that peanut butter?).
Is this just some random mumbling? I suppose it is in a way, but it did get me thinking about beer. Whenever I drink a beer one time, it’s immediately approachable. The more “laps” I take on the beer, the more I get it. Beer just isn’t one of those abstractions. It’s accessible, meaningful, and not enigmatic. As a bonus, no dogs have to lick your face for you to say something meaningful about your brew. Thank God that beer is not abstract. Can you imagine how painful it might be to try to keep pace with the example above?