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Bell's Hopslam and I Are Doing Fine
Thanks for asking.
I’ve probably never been discriminated against in any meaningful way not directly related to my appalling teeth or behavior, which is an obvious advantage in the pursuit of tangible pleasures and comforts, and it’s also psychologically and emotionally liberating. My many overlapping privileges provide a measure of protection against paranoia. Throughout my adulthood there’s usually been a pretty clear reason why things have turned out one way or the other for me: when nice stuff happens it’s because I didn’t squander my good fortune and when I wake up covered in garbage and scabs, well that indicates I may have misplayed my hand the evening prior. Of course my kind are subject to just as many petty indignities as everyone else—it snowed again yesterday, for which I did not care, and sometimes the grocery store is out of peach yogurt so I have to suffer through a week of the vile mixed-berry shit—but on the larger matters things tend to go my way unless I light my own eyebrows on fire just for sport, which I rarely have the energy or eyebrows for these dull days.
The preposterous cruelty and stupidity of the last five years, however, has started to dent the wall of luxury cheeses and bathrobes protecting me from conspiratorial thinking. When you’re born lucky it’s easy to believe the world is generally orderly and sensible, but then your country goes and elects the worst president imaginable and you find yourself belatedly primed to start noticing all the other deadly and tacky cracks in society’s various foundations.
I always knew the world was unjust, of course—I’m not rich, evil, or tall enough to have avoided that conclusion. I guess what I mean is that I used to think all the awful iniquitous shit was fairly straightforward and even predictable, and now I’m willing to believe any damn thing about any damn thing. The QAnon Pizzagate lunacy is false because it’s false, but not because it’s impossible. Holy shit, listen to me! I don’t mean that. I’m just saying jesus fuck man, what couldn’t be true anymore?
So I understand why some people, and especially some groups of people, are reluctant to get the Covid vaccine. American medicine has generally played it pretty straight with vaccines, but it’s fucked around so much with so many other treatments and “treatments” through the years that I understand the hesitancy to just let the man stick you with whatever he decides will be best for his precious stock market. But please! These vaccines are totally legit and you need to get immunized, because I need to drink 11 draft beers before sundown on a weekday.
Tomorrow would be an excellent day for just such a caper, as I’ll be alone and lonely while Emily reports for live office duty for the first time since March. She’ll be back working from home Friday and every day for the foreseeable future, but tomorrow we’ll be in separate rooms for 10 straight hours and I’d really prefer that mine be a barroom. But alas, bars are some combination of closed, dangerous, or depressing depending on your jurisdiction, and I’m not signing up for any of the above.
I could sharpen up the middle of the morning by drinking two double IPA tallboys and eating a pound of spaghetti while lying in bed and getting mad at NPR, as per duty and custom, but I did that a couple weeks ago when Em was at the dentist and it’s risky business to replicate that sort of scam with so many months of winter remaining. Could get dark around here, is what I’m saying. I’ll probably just drink grapefruit juice.
Just as my privilege used to free me from paranoid thinking, my comfortable and careful lifestyle has also prevented me from actively pursuing “self care” type stuff. I totally respect the concept and it’s probably great for you, but it’s not all that necessary for the likes of me. But one nice habit I got into a dozen years ago was buying a couple of daily grapefruit from the fruit cart guy. For a dollar I got a pair of skanky, orange-sized grapefruit from which to wring 6 or 8 ounces of juice the following morning. It was a powerful way to start a day! I don’t live near the fruit cart guy anymore, though, so I’m mostly left with the memories.
First time I had Bell’s Hopslam was at Alphabet City Beer Co., which is a very good beer bar and perhaps the best beer bar if you judge by handsomeness of owner, and why wouldn’t you? It was 2015 or so and I was passing through NYC for a beer tasting event, I think it was a bunch of stouts, but my only firm recollection is of a drunk and heroic young publicist saying “Vodka makes me feel good about myself” at one point. I’ve thought about that most days since. You gotta find something that makes you feel good about yourself! For me it’s Hopslam, which is both bitter and fruit-juicy and tastes like you sliced a grapefruit in half and broiled it for a couple minutes before splorting honey on top. It’s 10 percent ABV, which is just about right for a spaghetti bed party, and the two hundred ninety fucking four! calories per 12-ounce bottle are also quite something. I love Hopslam.
Today’s recommendations are Bell’s Hopslam and one of those vitamin D fake sun lights. We got one and we’re not dead yet. I’m not saying the magic ions or whatever are actively rebalancing our humours, but sitting beside it for 15 minutes per morning makes me feel like I’m trying.