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Category Archives: voyage
As if drinking PBR didn’t have enough benefits already, what with all the scenester cred trickling down your throat, that earthy taste of recycled bath water and the fulfilling sense of pride you gain in supporting a company who has been able to ride a state fair win for 115 years, we stumbled upon a double bonus benefit Thursday night: drinking PBR can lead to free PBR.
I discovered this last night while killing a few minutes at The Pharmacy bar in Adams Morgan in D.C. with a group of friends as we waited for the rest of our dinner party to arrive (side note: does Ted Leo ever drink here?). We were the only people in the bar except for what appeared to be an off-duty employee drinking tea and reading the Washington Post, and a round of Peebers was ordered. As we were about to leave, a woman who identified herself as a PBR rep walked in and told us she was going to buy our next round. We were momentarily stunned, then immediately sat back down and demanded the free beers we were entitled to as hard-working, blue-collar (or unemployed) Americans.
I asked this girl if she just goes around to bars looking for people she can give free Peebers to, and if so, maybe she could tell us what other bars she’d be at tonight. She said she was just on a work call to check in at the bar.
“But if I see people supporting the brand, I buy them a round. Gotta push the product,” she said.
Then we launched into an extended inquiry into why the PBR brand has such penetration in Savannah, Georiga, where $2 tall boys are the drink of choice for the penniless art student and the nickelless young journalist. “It all has to do with whoever the distributor is,” she said. Apparently no bars in DC yet offer the big tall boy cans, the bartender told us, but the word is that they could be on their way soon. And really, that’s necessary, because there’s nothing to keep your night descending into a pit of drunken hipster ambivalence than when you arrive at a place you ostensibly declare will be the last bar of the night, only to be faced with the absurdly affordable option of one-last-drink at $2 for a gigantic can of blue-ribbon winning beer. This is how many a night have ended at Pinkie Masters or Hang Fire in Savannah, cradling a quickly warming can in one hand while carrying the weight of an argument over the relative crappiness of computer jukeboxes versus real ones in the other.
Then, the next thing you know, you’re walking out of the bar and all the PBR is crying out for sweet release, and you find yourself peeing in an alleyway before you notice the cop rapidly closing in. “But sir, it’s my birthday!” you exclaim, trying to distinguish yourself from the rest of the unholy art-student detritus floating through the streets. And maybe, if you’re lucky, the cop will be sympathetic.
But that was the South and this is DC. So watch out, DC, if you walk too far down the path of tall PBRs, you might find yourself ass down on a sidewalk, explaining to an officer how all the free beers you were handed left you with no choice but to urinate on his fine city.
Tonight I drank a PBR in a building in which both David Lauderdale and Arthur Ochs Sulzberger used to work: The Raleigh Times. There’s nothing like the mighty carcass of a defunct newspaper building full of yellowing old memories of print days gone by to make one feel ever the more wistful for the sad reality that is the fate of newspaper journalism. Plus, it was turned into a bar, in either an act of humble homage or incredible prescience. The PBR was even at the accurate price range for the despondent journalist: $2 a glass.
Even the N and O is noticeably fading away lately, so said Ginny, with a sad sigh. And Raleigh has always deserved — and typically had — a strong paper, as the Times building reminds you with its old issues lining the walls, their headlines blaring for attention over the din of the bar and the fans watching the Hurricanes game.
I can only hope the future bears similar paths for other newspaper buildings should (or when) they become empty, giving at least a fitting use to the remaining ink stains and ghosts of the printed word.
Then I went across town and played “Wave of Mutilation” on a plastic drum set hooked up to a TV for two hours. I even managed to be not terrible at it.
That’s front-page news, in my world.
11/20 UPDATE AND CORRECTION: via David Lauderdale–
11/20 UPDATE AND CORRECTION: via David Lauderdale–
Arthur and I both worked for The Raleigh Times, but not in that building. The late and lamented PM paper (“Evening Hours Are Reading Hours”; “Today’s News Today”) was on the second floor of the N&O building on McDowell Street when we worked there. (Arthur and I were not there at the same time; he was before me.)
Inverted Soapbox regrets the error.
Highlights: First (warm) Chipotle in four months with Adam and Hannah who were in Atlanta for the Coldplay concert; having Cribbs force me to watch the movie Film Geek for no particular reason or because of no specific importance to him.
Lowlights: Paying $260 for new tires at Goodyear. After the aforementioned tire explosion Monday, the Goodyear people of course discovered that one other tire was about to go too. And apparently my car only uses tires made from the rarest gold strands, hand-spun by elves. The lube for my rectum was not included in that price either.
I’m off to Raleigh now with two good tires, and two that will probably melt into a pile of pus on the side fo the highway. FTW!
I left Hilton Head this morning amid a flurry of goodbyes and failed attempts to sell furniture (you know you want to buy a bed from me. Let’s do business).
Good omens: Gas down to $2.04 on Hilton Head, $1.99 in Decatur.
Bad omens: Tire exploding while doing 70 mph on the highway outside Macon, causing a major unloading of contents of trunk on side of I-75 to extricate donut, followed by discovery that the only unoccupied space in the car in which I could place the busted tire was on top of the contents of the passenger seat, therein completely blocking any and all lines of sight out the right hand side of the car. Yikes.