Draft Beer Wisdom

-By Vince Johnson

Many of the smartest thoughts ever spoken originated a great distance from the lecture halls of a university or any other location where huge egos gather to play intellectual games. It should also be noted that some of the most stupid thoughts ever spoken have been orated in vast abundance by politicians awaiting their hallowed paragraph in future history books.

In both cases, neither party will willingly admit that every idea they talk about, was first uttered more eloquently at some ordinary place. Like the local saloon. Some folks call them taverns. City dudes that fly on planes call them lounges. Whatever you call them, the flies on the barroom walls have heard every thought ever uttered a long time before it ever entered the mind of an intellectual or a politician.

What did we have before saloons? Caves of course. If you had been a fly on the wall of a cave long time ago, you would have heard a hairy Cro-Magnon belch and say, “Well, I guess I’ll go out there and invent the wheel.”

Back to saloons. There’s a lot of talk about Michael Vick these days. Some of the intellectuals think he ought to do some time, then get a second chance to play football. How does this go down with those that understand Draft Beer Wisdom? As you might expect, the guys at the bar are talking about something all the intellectuals and politicians don’t even mention. They are talking about Pete Rose. He lied about betting on some baseball games and was banned from his sport forever!

If you don’t understand why guys think about Pete Rose being banned from baseball forever when others are talking about giving Vick a second chance, you would be better off to just forget it. Draft Beer Wisdom is a little too deep for some of us.

There’s also a lot of talk about global warming, hurricanes, the price of gas and tools made in China. Politicians and intellectuals are split on global warming, but few of either viewpoint are short on being certain they are right. As to what we should do about global warming, you might check in at the local pub on a sweltering hot day. The answer is in an icy cold draft beer poured into a frosty mug. If a politician were present, he or she will chastise you for ignoring a coming disaster that will change civilization forever. If it were me, I’d say “I’ll drink to that, and here’s to all those dedicated gents who drive beer trucks in this sizzling weather!”
When it comes to Katrina, it is best if you keep your trap shut. If you don’t believe me, go into a saloon, order a beer and ask “Anybody want to talk about Katrina?” If you get a dose of silence, you can sigh with relief. This means there are no intellectuals or politicians present, and the clientele is ready to talk about something worthwhile.

The price of gas gets mentioned, but it doesn’t get the passion you might expect. At least a year ago, the guys at the saloon recognized that most traffic lights on busy streets were wired by OPEC. I’m talking about those lights that stay red a minute or two longer than they should. You really didn’t think they were there to save on gas did you?

You hear a little bit about Chinese tools. Politicians and intellectuals can’t seem to understand this one. The guys who talk about this over icy cold draft beer know the scoop. According to draft beer wisdom, it’s OK to buy cheap tools made in China. They don’t make tools in America anymore and you have to get them from somebody. And why not? Isn’t it better to do business with a few billion people than it is to go to war with them?

That’s the scoop. Sooner or later, the word will get out and the intellectuals and politicians will stand in line for the chance to explain things a fly on a saloon wall heard long before they were elected.
Vince Johnson welcomes comments. Please send them to,Vince Johnson(vjadtrak@wvi.com)
See Vince in the new book Americans on Politics. Policy, and Pop-Culture.

Copyright Publius Forum 2001