Experiences Versus Consequences
I love walking in the vicinity of parents pointing things out to their kids or sometimes correcting their behavior in delicate kid-speak. I don’t know what one recent little girl did to deserve it, but I overheard her dad say, “Adults think in terms of consequences. Kids think in terms of experiences.” Heavy stuff for an 8-year-old.
That’s the way I feel about getting drunk. I love getting my buzz on, but hate being intoxicated. As adults of legal drinking age, whenever we’re at a beer festival, craft beer bar, or just a fellow beer geek’s house, we become that proverbial kid in a candy store. With childlike wonderment, we want to experience everything on offer, forgetting about the tummy aches we suffered when we overdosed on sweets. Take the Great American Beer Fest for example. There are almost 2,500 beers available to sample… only one ounce at a time. But try to get through them all and you’d end up drinking around 400 pints (though you’d be dead before even tasting your way out of the Pacific region). Even putting the collegiate members of the crowd who drink for sport aside, diehard beer fans still want to experience as many stellar beers as they can, and you can’t blame them. One might never see that rare beer again.
With multi-tap bars springing up in most cities and towns, there’s likely a veritable beerfest near you on a daily basis. Rotating taps equal new hopportunities. Even if you loved the first pint you ordered, there are so many tantalizing options on the board you order a different one the next round, then a third, until you wake up wondering how many of those great beers you barely remember appreciating. And moreover, why’d you eat two bacon-wrapped hot dogs or all those pigs in a blanket some time after stumbling out of the bar?
Hangovers are the consequence of experiencing too much of a good thing. If you ever drink yourself to the point of them, the upside is that it means you still have enough youthful inquisitiveness and vigor to explore the world of beer. The downside is that you’re still a knucklehead who needs to admit you have limitations.
How often do you get intoxicated? Do you catch yourself saying, “I’m never drinking again?” Or have you already accepted that maybe you have to only have a few beers instead of several? Or that most bars will let you order half pints since there’s more than three beers on tap you need to try.