COORS LIGHT—Best enjoyed when it’s free

My Fellow Inebriates,

Our next-door neighbor has a sign on his lawn that reads:


along with some gardening implements and…a chainsaw.

Amazingly, since yesterday the free hoe and spade have disappeared, but the free chainsaw remains.

This is astonishing given how many tween- and teenaged boys walk this road to and from school. What one of them wouldn’t want his own chainsaw? Especially without having to undergo the red tape involved in requesting such a tool from one’s parents.

That the chainsaw is a hedge trimmer shouldn’t limit its appeal. Are potential miscreants concerned, perhaps, that it’s broken and not worth the hassle? Or is our neighborhood gentler than I thought?

MayJune2011-001-free-rocksI don’t want a chainsaw—OMG, can you imagine?—but when one is lying at the foot of a grass-mounted sign that says “FREE,” the urge to take it is strong. Researchers have demonstrated that people will avail themselves of free things even if they have absolutely no use for them. In a famous study, people were invited to take “free rocks” from a sidewalk stall, and many of them did just that. Because they were free.


This is exactly why I had a COORS LIGHT the other day. It was free. Somebody said, “Hey, do you want a beer? Sorry, it’s COORS LIGHT.” And of course I said yes.

Straw-yellow and blandly corn-flavored with frothy foam, its aroma wafted a veritable periodic table of unwanted metals. Cold temperatures are indeed a friend to COORS LIGHT; while cold it is mercifully flavorless, but as its temperature increases, so does its ability to deposit lingering, unwelcome aftertastes.

But I’m being a douchebag here. COORS LIGHT has no pretensions of “sessionability” or even quaffability. It’s a straight hockey beer and fully capable of delivering refreshment after you’ve, say, trimmed the hedge, cursed your crappy hedge trimmer and resolved to buy a new one, then left it on your lawn with an open invitation for anyone, including neighborhood children, to take it home.


AMSTEL LIGHT—Calls for diplomacy

Today the kids decided I needed a bath. Luckily they’re not totally unsupervised; our mother intervened. She said they could do it as long as the bath was pretend.

That our bathing simulation wouldn’t occur near running water was a relief, but Miss P’s choice of a saucepan wasn’t exactly comforting.

Nevertheless, she made it work.

Ahhhh. Let’s talk about that AMSTEL LIGHT.

However did such a beer (ABV 3.5%) gain entry into LBHQ? The best possible way—borne by friends who joined us for Thanksgiving dinner. (Over-generously, they also brought a bottle of wine, a tray of cupcakes, two large chocolate bars, and a bouquet of flowers. How my parents merit that sort of treatment I don’t know.)

Okay, so when I said I was going to review AMSTEL LIGHT, my mum threatened me. She said, “They are very good friends of ours and if you trash that beer just because it has a low alcohol percentage…you just wait.”

For what?

Let’s face it, 3.5% alcohol is a travesty. “My fellow inebriates,” I said to my mother, “expect complete honesty.”

“Your fellow inebriates,” she said, “can’t even realistically expect you to stay on topic.”

Just the facts then:

Appearance: straw-yellow, like the urine of a well-hydrated bear, with no head (the beer, not the bear)

Smell: Grain, inoffensiveness

Taste: Corn, grain, slight Dutch-style funk

Body: Light, airy, strangely unfizzy

Impression: What the hell?

AMSTEL LIGHT reminds me of the time my parents went to see Avatar and they took Scarybear instead of me (he rode in a purse). I thought I was invited, right up until they got in the car, and then there I was, left behind with the kids and the babysitter. Kind of disappointed, but at the same time not disappointed about being spared a confrontation with my long-standing fear of blue people.

While I very much doubt any of my hobo friends would buy AMSTEL LIGHT, in terms of its potential to shine a small ray of happiness into an alcoholic’s life, AMSTEL LIGHT obviously runs circles around O’DOUL’S. And that makes it okay.

“Faint praise,” said my mum. “You’d better hope our friends don’t read your review.”

“Or what?”