Simon Crothers channels his childhood with a visit to the bottle-o.
As we travel through the passage of time we engage in a series of personal evolutions and stages of growth. Our roles in this world change, our responsibilities grow. Our sense of imagination and natural curiosity start to dwindle.
A by-product of our acquisition of knowledge is that so many questions we had as children can be answered – for some this is a more efficient process than others. This also leads to a gradual dissolving of the infantile moments of pure joy we once experienced almost daily. The purest joy that enveloped us at the sight of a mud pie or a bubble of snot out of our noses that caused hysteria among our siblings yet prompted our parents to seriously consider having us examined. These were the moments that appeared insignificant to others but were fleeting moments of joy that we carried around with us.
These moments have not been lost forever, we hear of people talk about their wedding day, the birth of their children or their child’s first steps and with these significant moments returns the pure joy. But why do these moments need to be so substantial in our lives?
Where is the pure joy that emerged when we unwrapped our presents at Christmas and rushed outside to share our prizes with the other kids in the neighbourhood? Or even in the anticipation of waiting until Christmas morning to dive under the tree to unwrap presents before our parent’s sense of sight began functioning? We want these passing moments to occur daily! We want this joy in our hearts to burst out like an over-carbonated can of hoppiness. Can we do it? In the words of outgoing president Obama, “Yes we can!”
Consider the joy that emerges when you walk into your local bottle shop on a warm Saturday afternoon and they have a beer you have never tasted. Not only that, it is affordable! You feel the joy begin to bubble. On closer inspection, it is in one of your favourite styles … and from one of your favourite breweries. Oh my! Let’s give it a go.
Upon payment, you are informed of a current special where if you buy four different beers you can get a 10% discount. Holy Moly, hold it in. You select another three beers to nurse home and hide under the tree (or in the fridge). The joy is building. Will you start your tasting adventure straight away or wait until you have established a nice little beer tasting nest for yourself in the afternoon?
Hang on … let’s invite our mates and tell them to bring four beers they have never tasted, let’s make an afternoon out of this! Calls are made, the afternoon is set. The joy is lifting the lid. Memories of Christmas morning begin to resurface and you want to pre-emptively unwrap that can of Modus Operandi Former Tenant Red IPA early. (Not that you were chugging finely crafted IPAs at 4:30am when you were 8, but you get the metaphor.)
Consider now the purest of joys you experience when you finally get to taste that beer. The fine malt characters, the hoppy aromas and bitterness. You begin to truly appreciate the craftsmanship that went into making that beer … and now you get to drink it. The joy thus froths over! It is something you must share with your mates. You want to Julie Andrews its praises from the top of the Austrian Alps. It is so different to that cheap pair of VBs your grandmother bought you and you want everyone to experience it with you.
Some people will appreciate what you are experiencing, some won’t. In fact some people prefer grandma’s VBs and that’s OK. But for you in this moment, you get to bathe in the warmth of that pure joy tailored just for you. Perhaps next week you’ll visit that brewery you’ve heard about … joy bubbles activated!