FREE BEER


Ah, the siren song of the kegger.

Oh, yes, that’s right, I have been in the midst of it all night long.  Twelve hour work day which culminated in a party at the shop with not one, not two, but three kegs of beer.

And oh,

about 1,000 Mission hipsters.

Nothing says good times like cheap beer on tap and waxed mustaches.

I should not bitch too much though, I got to meet Gary Fisher, and frankly he had a lovely mustache.

The store hosted a party for Levi’s.  It was definitely a party.  It reminded me of the “good old days” at the Angelic.  There were people wall to wall to wall.  There were people from one corner to the side-walk and overflowing down the street.  And there were bikes everywhere.

The best was the little hippie/raver chic in yoga pants that swung by at 9:15p.m. at the height of the melee to put air in her tires.

And yes, I did go get the shop pump for her.

She was on one of our bikes after all.

I am actually happily surprised at the containment of the party.  Despite having a racing team from Zeitgeist in the store, we managed to keep it all to a dull roar.  There were a few folks that pushed it, one dude who was very into me showing him some merchandise while he stood there two fisting beer out of a plastic cup, then spilled it on said merchandise.

Douche.

I covered up my annoyance at that pretty well.

In fact, I feel surprisingly ok with the whole thing.  Oh, I was more than happy to leave.  In fact, I dashed out without being the last one to close shop and set the alarm and make sure all the loose ends were tucked away.  I did make sure the important stuff was locked and secure, then I grabbed my bike and got on it.

I still had to ride through a bunch of yahoos who had been busily filling their water bottle with beer prior to my leaving the store.  And I nearly got hit by some one who had a long happy hour and was weaving their way home, but I got home.

I only have to be back at work in less than twelve hours.

I still have approximately seven hundred words to write.

On what, fuck if I know.  Beer is not really a topic I give that much of a rats ass about any longer.

I am also hoping that the kegs will magically disappear tomorrow.  I did a lot of crawling around them while I was working today.  They were stashed in the back next to where we keep our food and the mini fridge and microwave.  I got to make lunch and dinner straddling a couple of kegs.

Sexy.

Not.

I have served the beer Gods well.

I am not talking about tonight either.  Tonight was but a small tribute.  When I think about all the kegs I have been around in my life, I am really, really, really grateful that I don’t have to be again.  The Essen Haus, with its 15 plus beers on tap, that was the worst keg cooler ever, ever, ever.  The ceiling on it was so low you had to hunch over to change a keg.  And it was such work to stock it as well.  How many times a night that a keg blew, especially on a Foot Ball Saturday.

How many times running up and down those stairs to flip over a keg of Spaten or Franzikaner or Pauliner or Hopf.  The way they would spray back on you if you ran the lines to quick.  The slickness of the steps going down to the basement.  I am shocked that I never really hurt myself on those stairs.

I did fall down them once.

My feet slipped out from underneath me and my skirt flew up, that’s right, I was wearing a dirndle–the German idea for a Wonder Bra–periwinkle blue with black embroidered flowers on the hem and bodice–and it whipped right up over my head and I slid down on my ass.

My underwear were ruined, it was scary and I had black and blue bruises on the backs of my thighs for weeks.

Then of course, my beer servitude over at the Angelic Brewing Company.

We did not serve beer out of kegs, but straight from the brewing tank.  The tap lines ran underneath the floor up to the bar.  When a tank blew, that was some serious shit.

500 gallon tanks.

I was surrounded by beer for decades.

Tonight’s little showing was just enough of a reminder to me of what I went through, every night, every weekend, for years and years and years.  I counted tills and separated dollar bills and cleaned up spilt liquor and beer and drank my ass off.

Most of the time I did not drink until after the tills were counted and the deposits made.

Those routines actually served me really well tonight.  And I did my best to keep my opinions to myself about where things were going to be located and thank full I was listened to.

The person running the event wanted to put the keg next to the brain, our main computer and nerve center, credit card machine, soft good merchandising, the printer, the phone lines, the scanner, the modem, all the serious electronic gadgetry that the business runs on.

I was not happy with this lay out.

Number one, this is where I work, I can spend hours at a go in that desk chair ringing up sales, talking on the phone, interacting with vendors, basically doing my job, and the last thing I wanted was to have to sit in a beer stank for the next millennium.

The floors are old wood, any splash back on those kegs it was going to settle right in and be really gross to work from.  Plus, any beer getting slopped about on the brain would have made my life a living hell for the next month.

I said something once and my opinion was over rode.

I said something twice and the same thing happen.

I walked away, had a few words with the powers that be in the bathroom, took some deep breaths and said, what ever you want to do.  I said, I have had a little experience, decades, of working in bars and restaurants and breweries, and I don’t recommend this set up.

I was heard, maybe, but it was not acknowledged.  I gave up.  Then two of my other co-workers saw what was happening and intervened, neither of whom had any idea that I had been fighting the good fight and had surrendered.

The beer was moved.

I will be returning to the scene of the party way earlier than I want and there will be plenty of things to clean and straighten, but at least my work space won’t smell of free beer.

And neither will I.

 

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