I can’t believe this happened to me AGAIN. After last year’s holiday party, I swore I wouldn’t over-drink. Here I am again waking up on my office floor with a screaming hangover. We planned TheManRoom office holiday party for AFTER the holidays thinking by this time the excitement of the holiday season would have died down, thus giving us a milder party. Boy, were we wrong with that theory.
My first task at hand is to visit the men’s room. I need to rid my body of this excess beer. A trip to the bathroom will also allow me to find and remove any offending works that Adam scrolled across my head in the event I passed out before him.
On the way to the bathroom I see Attila, our 3 year old Rhesus monkey and mascot, draped across the copier machine. His little chest is pumping up and down so he isn’t dead… just passed out. I hit the copy button as I head into the bathroom. It scared the crap out of the little bastard, a little payback seeing he threw monkey crap at me during the party. Thank god he didn’t see me. Trust me, you do NOT want to screw with a pissed-off, hung over monkey.
I was safely in the men’s room… or so I thought. Just as the door closed behind me, blocking out Attila’s screams, I came face-to-face with a new kind of danger… Rosalita.
For those of you who are new to TheManRoom; Rosalita is our 75 year old Mexican cleaning woman. We found out how dangerous Rosalita was a few years back when one of our writers Greg (Prog) was teasing her by singing Sexy Mexican Maid by The Red Hot Chili Peppers. After Greg got out of the hospital, we all agreed not to mess with Rosalita anymore. She does a horrible job cleaning the offices, but no one has the stones to fire her.
Now I am hung over, and once again, Rosalita is screaming in my face with breath that could knock a buzzard off of a shitwagon. She is screaming “Quién usted asesinó” over and over at the top of her lungs and runs screaming out of the bathroom. I looked down at the sink. It was covered in blood. Looking in the mirror I see my shirt also has the same crimson stains. Now certain events of the evening were becoming clear.
My editor Dan and I were arguing over the last Bigfoot Barleywine Ale when Attila grabbed it and ran. Once Attila was in the mix, I said “To hell with it. Let Attila have the Bigfoot, there are plenty of other beers here.” Dan was not going to have it, proclaiming, “I outweigh that monkey 4 to 1. I’m getting that damned Bigfoot.” That is when we all looked at each other with that frightened look on our faces. No, Dan did not go there. He used the “M” word.
Did I forget to mention that Attila hates to be called Monkey? So it took Steve (Hooch) , Joe (3d) and I about a good 5 minutes to get Attila off of Dan and about a half hour to stop the bleeding. As I am splashing water on my face recalling the events of the evening I heard a loud pounding at the door. “Police! Open the door or we’ll break it down.” I can hear some one bellowing. Coming out of the men’s room, I made direct eye contact with a cop that looked like a poor man’s version of Ponch from CHiPs. Our sports guy Neil (Gator) is calmly asking what the problem is. Once the cop sees me, he pushes Neil out of the way, draws his 9mm and commands “Let me see your hands! Down on your knees!”
In all of this confusion Rosilita is still screaming “Quién usted asesinó”. Knowing the situation is now dire as I am on my knees with my hands in the air and a 9mm in my face. I start to remember my high school Spanish.
“Quién usted asesinó” I thought as I said out loud “Who did I murder?” As the words leave my mouth I know it is going to be a very long morning. Jail is not in my future thankfully, but it is going to take a while to explain to the cop that Dan and Attila were fighting over a beer.
The first words of a long-winded explanation is on my lips as the cop asks “Hey whose monkey is that?” Please tell me he didn’t say the “M” word. Everything is moving in slow motion now. I look back and see Attila picking up an empty 22 oz. Barleywine bottle cocking it back to throw. Turning my head forward I see Neil screaming “No!” and pushing the cop out of the path of Attila’s glass projectile.
The beer bottle just missed the cop’s head as his gun hits the door jam and discharges. The 9mm slug flew across the office and pierced a full keg of Harpoon IPA we had on ice for the hair of the dog.
Beer was now spraying across the office like a fountain and Attila’s eyes opened wide, like saucers. He hastily ran over to the keg and started lapping at the beer as it sprayed from the keg.
When all was said and done, the cop left and no one was charged. He wanted to charge us with animal cruelty, but anyone could see Attila was happy and healthy. We promised we wouldn’t file a report about him firing his gun and he forgave Attila for throwing the bottle.
Now with the cop gone, Rosalita goes back to her cleaning, Attila and the rest of the staff take turns drinking from the beer fountain and the interns start searching the web for Paris Hilton sex tapes and Britney Spears nudes. This leaves me free to reflect on the past year and bring you The Year In The Brew III.
The first column of last year was my annual Superbowl column. With my pick of The Steelers to win it all, I am still 100% in my TMR sports predictions within my columns. I did get a bit of email on that column lambasting me for my chastising the Manning family though. Listen, the Mannings are from Louisiana, and if it looks like a hillbilly and sounds like a hillbilly… it’s a hillbilly.
In February, we outed SAB Miller, or South African Brewing. Miller, we have no problems with a South African company. Just be up front about it. Miller goes so far trying to push the American image with it’s Fred Miller commercials and NASCAR sponsorships. For the last time, Miller, I am telling you be black be proud.
In my column High-end Fare, Low-end Beer, I was proud to take a swing at PETA. I got a little bit of email on that column as well. My offer still stands. Drop all of your save the whales or save the chickens causes and actually help people. PEOPLE. Strange notion, huh? When the last child is fed and safe and tucked away in their bed I will take up your vegan cause with you.
The only good thing about PETA is they convince coeds to protest naked. Note to coeds: you don’t have to join PETA to protest naked. I am sure that the guys at NORML wouldn’t mind you taking off your tops for their cause.
In May, I took my annual look at the world of beer in cans. Once again trying to convince you people that there is no difference between bottles and cans and in some cases cans are better. My advice falls on deaf ears as I have found out. One reader adamantly stated that he cannot drink out of cans because it gives him heartburn. I believe it is actually brain burn. I can’t think of anything in aluminum that would cause acid reflux.
June’s column touched upon a great beer with some interesting bottle art. Avery’s Imperial Octoberfest: The Kaiser, has a picture of Kaiser Wilhelm on the bottle. While some people may find the image of a German officer shocking, there are much more shocking and sometimes dangerous images tied to products.
One brewer that never shocks but always entertains is Boston Brewing’s Jim Koch. I met up with Jim at the Bell In Hand Tavern, the oldest Tavern in America located in Boston’s Faneuil Hall. Jim gave me a great history lesson not only about beer but also about our founding fathers as we sipped his Samuel Adams Brewer Patriot Collection. I can’t tell you everything we talked about but one thing I can tell you is we will be visiting with Jim again this year.
Actually, TMR was back at Boston Brewing a few months after their interview and I have to thank them publicly for the hospitable treatment we received there. They made all of us feel like a part of the Sam Adams family. We also discovered the ultimate Black & Tan – The Rasinette. You make a Rasinette by adding equal parts of Sam Adams Chocolate Bock and Sam Adams Utopia it tastes exactly like the movie treat but with a kick.
The big kick in August was the kickoff of our Beer Dream Team. With the addition of five additional writers, we are now able to cover every aspect of the beverage industry. We are expecting a couple of celebrity guest writers this year along with some great new content from The Dream Team. With the addition of this team I am still free to pursue my favorite beers as I did in September with my column “Everything Old is New Again”.
I love old school beers, or as I like to call them, “grandpa’s beers”. The research for this column brought me face to face with my old foe Haffenreffer Malt Liquor. Pabst Brewing has done a great job reproducing Haffenreffer along with a few other bonfire beers. I actually think the beer tastes better than it did back in the day. I am very curious when people say “back in the day” what day are they talking about. Maybe the day I wrote about wine for the first time?
My final column of the year was a journey into new and uncharted territory for TMR. I did my first column about the evil liquid that some people call wine. I was very surprised at the plethora of positive comments I received about the column. I will definitely do another wine column, most likely during the dog days of summer when a crisp cold Chardonnay is just as welcome as an IPA.
So once again, my predictions for 2006 came true… with the exception of one. Daunte never handed off to Ricky. Ricky did make it within one game of the Grey Cup, the closest he has been to a championship game in his professional career. Watch for my Dolphins in the playoffs in 2007.
While we are on the subject of football, the NFL is showing some life again and has Prince playing the halftime show. I know he isn’t the most masculine example of a human being, but the guy has poked more ass than a liposuction needle. Even more importantly, the guy rocks. I saw him in 1982 and it was one of the best shows I have seen in my life.
My wish list for 2007? Can Latoya Jackson and Jack Osborne shoot each other in the season finale of Armed & Famous? Law enforcement has hit a new all-time low. What is next for reality TV? Executions? We came pretty close this month with the news outlets showing Saddam with the noose around his neck.
This year Britney Spears will implode and her album will tank… and suddenly her sex tape will surface, reviving album sales.
Fidel Castro will not read “The Year In The Brew IV.” Cuba will become the hottest vacation destination in the world. I will finally have cheap Cohibas.
The Rolling Stones will release another horrible album, which will be a live album from last year’s sucky tour and lead to another over hyped tour.
Well that is the year in a nutshell, as well as our hopes for the next year. I want to wish a happy new year to my editors Dan & Steve. Thanks for having the vision of Suds. My coworkers here at TMR & my day gig, I am looking forward to another great year with all of you. Barry, Kenny, Neil & Lenny you guys still suck. My wonderful wife Christa, I love you so much honey, thank you for being my best friend. My kids Joe and Amanda, I love you both. Sis and the rest of the Owens clan I love all of you dearly.
And most of all, Mom & Dad, I miss you so much… everyday. Thank you for everything.
– Bruce G. Owens, Jr.