Wednesday, May 02, 2012
It's long enough in the past that I can now admit it publicly. Occasionally, just occasionally, even in my first year as a student in Dordt College, some few of us would slip over the Rock and then the Big Sioux River, enter South Dakota somewhat furtively, pull into a small town named Hudson under the cover of darkness, and then belly-up to a bar in a sleazy little tavern called The Buckaroo, all male, a place whose most memorable feature was a huge but strange painting of a cowboy riding a bronc. Drafts were a quarter, I think, a small straight glass of Hamm's.
Sin is supposed to be like that somehow.
Hudson, South Dakota, was definitely over the line for Dordt students back then, and we used to sit there at the bar and exchange stories of how the Dean of Students would sometimes park at the far edge of the Big Sioux bridge just to see who might be throwing down 3.2 beer across state lines. I never saw him there, but we kept our eyes peeled.
And I'll admit that sometimes we'd grab a six-pack for the road, and I'll also admit that not all of those cans were ecologically tossed in recycle bins. Some went in ditches, some may well have made it back to town. I swear I don't remember ever doing it, but some empties may have even made it to campus.
I doubt--I sincerely doubt--that any particular semester has gone by in my 36 years as a prof at this college without there being an empty beer can or two tossed somewhere or left brazenly along some campus curb. Chances are, if you were to stroll through one of the student parking lots right now, early this morning, the sun just coming up, you'd pick up two or three empties. What I'm saying it, it's always been that way.
Until now. Last week on my way to school, I picked up a bottle someone had flung from an open window the night before. In truth, I've picked up dozens more than I ever tossed, if that makes me more righteous.
But the moment I had that bottle in my hand, I realized, once again, it was time for me to go. This world is not my home. What on earth is this place coming to anyway?--just another Vanity Fair?
This empty bottle once held a French import beer. Poke up your pinkie. I'm not making this up. Something called Kronenbourg 1664. Le premiere Biere Francaise. La tee dah.
What's the deal with kids nowadays? Whatever happened to Hamm's, from the Land of Sky Blue Waters? Whatever happened to Grain Belt?--not hooity-tooity enough? Good night, Miller Lite, Milwaukee's Finest, Bud, Pabst Blue Ribbon. . .they're all-American economy beers.
French?--la premiere biere? What's this world coming to anyway?
Tomorrow I'll give my last test ever. Seriously, it's time for me to go.
Posted by J. C. Schaap at 6:35 AM