Archive for the 'McNeils Brewery' Category

Synchronicity In Drunken Motion

I have a friend. speedWay readers know her by the moniker Absynth Eve. My friends in Vermont know who I mean. But seem to not understand why me & Absynth Eve hang out.

Absynth Eve is my friend.

My old friend; we met in 1994. I was selling beer & Jagermiester shots from a cooler on the sidewalk in front of the Burger King adjacent to the Glenn’s Falls Civic Center arena in upstate New York.

It rained torrential that Halloween night. But I was sheltered by the part of Burger King’s roof that hung out over their sidewalk. The Burger King management had seemingly no qualm with the unlicensed vendor who boisterously hawked booze on their premises. They were too over run with their own customers to care.

A giant digital clock above us kept revelers assiduously aware of the time. The revelers were duly appreciative; lest we become inadvertently too drunk or stoned or spun kookie on shrooms to keep track of the time for ourselves.

Phish would play at 9PM sharp. And it would be legendary. So no one wanted to miss even the first notes of the gig.

Sometime after dark — maybe around 7 — a young lady approached me. She was soaking wet and looked a bit shaken.

“Everything OK?” I asked.

“No!” She explained. “I just got into a car accident!”

“Oh shit. Were you drunk?” I queried.

“Shit yes I was.” She assured me. “Good thing I wasn’t actually driving!”

“No kidding.” I agreed. “I try not to drive drunk. Though I do so enjoy a cold behind-the-wheel brew!”

“Me too.” My new friend winked. “Except I like to have a beer in one hand & a shot in the other. You know. Smoke a joint maybe & pop a few shrooms. Steer with my knees…Which is exactly what I was just now up to. But someone crashed in to me! What should I do?”

Like is this girl for real? I wanted to know.

“Hold on!” I protested what appeared a hole in her story. “You said you weren’t driving.”

“Not actually driving.” She corrected me. “I was in the drivers seat. Beer. Shot. Bong hit. Popped a couple shrooms. Dig? All of the sudden I needed to use my knees to steer because my hands were full and — even though the car was parked — the shrooms made it go vroom!”

Ah yes. I could see it happening.

“Shit girl.” My voice filled with admiration. “You got so lit up that you crashed your parked car?? That is WAY cool!”

I gave her a beer and a shot. And — having been slooped on booze myself at the time — forgot about the whole encounter. Until a half-decade later. When I made a new friend at the Bar back home in Loserboro, Vermont. We chatted about some things and got drunk. At some point I mentioned something about the time I sold beer in the rain outside the Burger King at the ’94 Halloween Phish show.

“Underneath the huge clock?” Absynth Eve asked, eyes widened with surprise.

“Yeah. Right there beneath the clock. Freezing cold out, but no one gave a fuck. The beer business boomed. Oh yeah,” I added. “I sold liquor too.”

“Jagermiester?” Sophie asked.

“How did you know?”

“You gave me a shot.”

“No shit?”

I wasn’t surprised. I’m not shall we say profit savvy with fun things. I like to give fun things away.

“No shit.” Said Absynth Eve at the Bar in Loserboro while we chatted & got drunk when we thought we’d first met back in 1999. “Don’t you remember me?”

I wanted to. It’s always good to remember things about a new lady friend like their names and when you first met. I strained mentally until the words flew like snarfed beer from my mouth:

Oh shit, I exclaimed. “You’re the girl who crashed her parked car!! Yo I got mad respect for you.”

It was all over after that. In the near-decade that has passed we have been some things. Tremendous allies. Near mortal enemies. Fuck buddies. Ex fiances. Sages. Fools. Healthy advesaries. Petty rivals.

Kindred spirits.

Partners in the crime of survival.

Friends.

To this day & always.

And if you don’t like it you can KISS my fat black ass.

Bur probably you won’t get the chance; you probably won’t see me around.

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Dear Drugs: THANK YOU!! for a real good time..

Fact:

Without illegal drugs, my life, up till & including tonight, would have sucked toast. Way bogus. I mean bad; a total waste of time.

It would have all been so stupid!!

Shit yes. I have problems. My life has been hard. But when I’ve needed them drugs have been there for me. When I had nowhere else to turn it was drugs that saved the day.

Even when my life sucks directly because of drugs it still beats the sad crap out of how bad life would suck with no drugs at all. I will go so far as to say I feel certain I would’ve killed myself long ago if the drugs weren’t on my side.

Why? Because drugs gave me something to live for. A reason to stay awake for another day & night when the sun comes up each morning. Yeah & you know what?

Drugs give me Hope!

Mostly they’ve helped me celebrate life with people I love. I am going to die one day. When I do I’ll look back over this 1 & 3/4 decades-long drug binge and congratulate myself for a job smashingly well done. Yeppers kiddoz! My first hit of weed was the smartest choice I ever made. Until I finally got to check out some of that L$D!!

And when you go without food — due to smoldering abject poverty — for a day or few you will thank Adolph Hitler, Sweet Mother Earth and maybe even Jesus — that evil cocksucker — for all the amphetamines.

So thanks again drugs. Just sorry you had to wear off so soon. Ya’ll come back now y’hear!

Ok. Off to sleep.

NOT!!

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.