Tuesday, March 13, 2012


This is not the entry I had promised, that is still to come, but one I had to get down in text while still fresh in my mind.

The rain stopped and the clouds parted, making for a really nice day. I had to go for a walk, that wasn't all that voluntary, along the state highway that goes through town. With nothing else to occupy my thoughts, I started to examine the flotsam and jetsam at the side of the road. When I was younger, this scene would enrage me and this posting would be an environmental rant against the lazy bastards that can't bother to place their rubbish in the trash can. But my brain started to catalog and analyze what I was seeing, looking for patterns, trends and the ultimate causality.

I noticed that a good portion of the trash discarded along the side of the road was empty water bottles and cigarette packs.

I wouldn't expect smokers to respect the land around them, since they don't even respect their own bodies. Too often I see the still-lit butts of cigarettes go bouncing off the road after being ejected from a smoker who is fine filling their lings with tar, but declines to sully their ashtray. As one of my friends is fond of saying, "The world is their ashtray." And it's also their trash can, presumably.

At first the water bottles surprised me, thinking that people who are health-conscious enough to drink water would have a healthier outlook on littering. But then I realized these were the same people that are duped into paying for something that comes out of their tap all due to the "convenience" of the packaging or the "purity" of the water. If you hadn't heard, the term "spring water"doesn't mean that it has to come from a spring. It's been proven that some of these bottles are filled at a tap, just like yours. Do yourself a favor, get a hard plastic or aluminum reusable bottle and a water filter. You'll be fine and can turn all that money you save into beer funds.

But this wasn't supposed to be a rant about smoking and bottled water. It was what else I saw amongst the soda bottles, energy drink cans (I lift things up and throw them out...out my window), gum packaging and empty CD cases. There were just as many beer cans and bottles as there were cigarette packs and water bottles. Okay, not very surprising but there were two things that came out of examining what was being chucked out of the vehicles that frequent this road.

First, that people drink AND drive at the same time! I doubt people finish a beer at home and then take the empties to throw away along the roadside. That would be too much work when you can throw them into the neighbor's yard just as easily. Well, unless you're trying to hide your drinking from your spouse or parents. I guess shouldn't be shocked that some people will pop open a brewskie on their way home from (or to) work.

The second point didn't really shock me either as much as reaffirming what I had always suspected: macro beer drinkers are slobs. Not ONE bottle or can was from a craft beer...unless you count Yuengling Black &Tan, which I don't. I know that craft beer is a small percentage of the overall beer sales, but with the amount of bottles and cans I saw, there should have been at least four or five, if you do the math. Nope! Not a one! And does anyone want to hazard a guess as to which two brands dominated the bestrewn landscape? I'm betting everyone can get one of them, but probably not the second...at least not as their second or third guess.

The easy one to guess is Budweiser. It IS the best-selling beer in the country, so statistically it should have the most. But neck-and-neck with Bud, scattered amongst the budding crocuses (croci?), wildflowers (weeds?) and grasses (more weeds?) was bottles and cans of Heineken. It must be very popular with a local group of drunken litterbugs since the quantity seemed out of sync with its market share.

Miller, Coors and Keystone all had representation, but not nearly to the numbers shown by the top two. Oddly enough, I didn't see one Corona container.

This reaffirms my pride in being a craft beer drinker. So many craft breweries are doing their part to make their facilities green and drive awareness of social issues like the environment, the homeless (people and pets), disease research and historical preservation. It's gratifying to see that this sense of community trickles down to their consumers.  

Cheers! Prost! Sláinte!

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