Beer Go Up

Ray wears a T-shirt that says Beer Is The Reason I Get Up Each Afternoon. That’s because Ray makes the beer at Mcneil’s Brewery. Ray enjoys the beer he makes at his brewery. So much that he long ago hired other folks to actually brew the beer — so he can better concentrate on enjoyment.

The man is a drunkard. But not a fool.

Ray is divorced with grown children. He takes milk thistle for his liver and rides his ten speed bicycle to stay trim. Ray plays cello — sometimes with a jazz band. Sometimes with a symphony. An admirably fair employer; On my first day working for him, years ago, he said “Mike E: I don’t mind if you drink on the job. As a matter of fact I encourage it!” He fired me, of course, but only after I didn’t show up to work for 3 weeks.

One time Ray’s daughter suggested that he had drank more than plenty already. Ray was very, very drunk that day. But — as evidenced by his prodigious swigs from a fresh-poured 4-pint ale pitcher — he disagreed.

Ray thought in fact he had yet to drink quite nearly enough.

An age-old struggle ensued: between a drunk and the daughter who wanted him to hang his beer-pitcher up & call it an afternoon.

Going for the daughter was the fact that he didn’t have far to go: Ray built himself an apartment right upstairs from his bar. Going for the drunk was the fact that he is far too large for his daughter to carry.

“Dad.” Said daughter. “It’s time to go home.”

Drunk said “But I am home!!”

“No dad.” Daughter corrected him. “All the way home.”

“Close enough!” Drunk slurred.

“Not for me.” Daughter insisted.

“Yeah — but who the hell are you?” The drunk asked.

She answered. “I’m your daughter.”

“No you’re not!”

“Am so.”

“Prove it!”

“No.”

“Well but.” Ray looked bewildered for a long moment. Until he remembered. “You don’t have to prove anything to me! Do you?”

“Nope.”

“Because you’re my daughter.”

“Exactly.”

He put down the pitcher. Dejected. The drunk knew he was beat.

“I have to go home now.” Said he.

“You have to go home now.” Said she.

Everyone in the crowd who gathered to watch nodded their heads in agreement.

Ray threw his head down and wrapped his arms in a giant bear hug around the bar. Like a protester fearlessly hugs — and often chains their self to — a soon to be felled redwood tree.

“I’m not going.” He defiantly cried. “You can’t make me!!”

His daughter reached toward him. Ray gripped the bar with all his might. But her hands passed straight over him. Ray gritted his teeth for the Showdown that never came. He assumed his daughter would forcibly ply him loose from the bar. Instead she skillfully un-plied his mind.

She grabbed the half-full beer pitcher. Ray opened his eyes. She raised the pitcher up in front of her own eyes, slowly. Ray followed the beer pitcher droopingly, first with his eyes, then he raised his head from the bar, stood wobbly, stared hypnotically deep into the beer. And held his hands out to Receive it.

She stepped back. Ray stepped forward. Beer steps back. Ray step forward. Beer step. Ray step. Beer go Ray go. Beer go up stairs.

Ray go up stairs!

The crowd goes wild.

Beer is the reason.

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11 Responses to “Beer Go Up”


  1. 1 fatsavage January 27, 2007 at 12:12 pm

    Nice story – slightly out of character because it’s mushy and sweet. However I make exceptions for daughter stories.

  2. 2 Mike E January 27, 2007 at 12:13 pm

    Yikes: Mushy?? Sweet? You must’ve read the wrong speedWay!

  3. 3 ninkasi January 27, 2007 at 5:34 pm

    Ray is a great brewer with a big personality…………his Alle Tage Altbier was the first altbier I ever had and I loved it. Hope he’s doing well.
    My best memory of Ray is at the Burlington Brewer’s Fest, Ray is in a tie dyed lab coat with at least 10 picnic taps duct-taped to his waist. He’d pour you your beer just looking at the color of the beer through the lines…………priceless. (Not sure what he did when he had to pee though.)

  4. 4 Mike E January 27, 2007 at 5:48 pm

    How did he pee indeed. Ah…did you happen to try the Blond that day?

  5. 5 jayherron January 27, 2007 at 6:07 pm

    Great story Mike E…kind of inspires me to tell you about ol’Grier. Will have to think you that one for a while.
    There used to be a bar around here called the OP (STOOD FOR-THE OTHER PLACE) and it wuzza ruff house-but in a rural county with only two places to quaff down a few-one of those being the OP,well…if you were there at closing time you had 2 choices out and home you go-or stay the night behind locked doors. That my friend was the best time to be there-sleeping on the pool tables and in between havin’ a good ol’ time!
    Not a bad story at all-thanks!

  6. 6 Chris Matthieu January 28, 2007 at 3:10 am

    Have you guys heard about Chug’d? It’s supposed to be a Web 2.0 Beer site. Whatever that means.

  7. 7 pippi January 28, 2007 at 4:03 pm

    It took me as a sweet and mushy story, too.

  8. 8 Xela January 30, 2007 at 6:45 pm

    Not mushy but schmaltz-y, for sure. I took this to mean that you are having a relatively stress free day but it seems most speedway regulars prefer the angst-ridden, chronically stressed, paranoid, Gonzo pundit side of you. I’m glad that you found yourself in a mood that was conducive to some lighter weight subject matter. But ya know, some people would find the story a bit sad, depressing even? Alcoholic father so easily manipulated by world weary daughter that has tested every technique in the book to keep Pops from drinking all night…Or am I the only one to see that angle? Sure would love to be sittin’ at McNeills right now having a beer with my boy, Mike e. Unfortunately that warrant will probably keep me away for a while…

  9. 9 Mike E January 30, 2007 at 8:33 pm

    Xela:

    #1: Fuck The Police

    #2: I guess the alternate Angle you & I see is one that you’ll only catch, in writing, after you see it in person??

    Good Luck

  10. 10 durwood February 1, 2007 at 6:01 pm

    Mike EEEEEEEEE,

    NOT mushy. A spot on excellent portrait of the man, the drunk and his daughter.

    And I know the Dude, so I oughta know.

    whats the deal with these people anyhow.

    Durwood

  11. 11 Mike E February 1, 2007 at 6:41 pm

    I think the Deal — and this is fascinating — is that my blogland folks literally didn’t read the same story as ya’ll honky locals. We all read the same words. But they spoke to different needs.

    Such tidbits will gigantically help me get real good at fiddling with the brainz of my readers. Thanks for all the comments.

    YO: Frikkin nice to see you Durwood dood!!


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