Tom the Half-a-Life
Half a beer, philosophically, must ipso facto half not be. But half the beer has got to be, vis-à-vis its liquidity – d’you see? But can o’ beer be said to be or not to be an entire beer when half the beer is not a beer, due to some recent imbibery?
Positive? Negative? Is the beer mug half full or half empty? Beer isn’t just something that you drink. It’s something that you do.
I thought I knew beer. It was something I drank once in a while. Nothing special, nothing to write home about. But then I moved to Portland, Oregon, the microbrew capital of the world.
In July 2011, representatives from the Oregon Brewers Festival declared Portland had 40 microbreweries located within the city limits, more than any city in the world and greater than one-third of the state total.
Suddenly I was awash in the stuff. I was drinking a “pint” almost every day of my life. Sometimes more.
Sure, it was nice. The formula is simple:
More Beer = The Good
There was, however, a problem. A big problem. (Surprised?) I don’t like generating cans and bottles. For one thing, in Oregon, you pay a five cent tithe per container. For another, you gots to lug ’em around and shit. And I despise going back to the euphemistically-named “redemption centers” to get those nickels back. Unless you love hacking and slashing your way through a literal jungle of flies with your handy machete. So we’d end up just tossing the empties in the recycling bin, essentially a cash donation to The State. For some reason that gnawed at the very fiber of my existence.
Then, by chance, it happened. I learned of something called The Growler.
It was at that moment I learned that I had been living only half a life. (Prior to that I was merely radioactive.) As is often my wont, I celebrated by bursting into song…
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Recycling Recharge #photography
For eight years we’ve tried not to obtain any AA batteries. Instead we got a fancy charger and four sets of batteries to feed (in an eco-friendly way) our power-hungry cameras. Otherwise I wouldn’t be able to take masterpiece photographs like the one featured in this very post.
Even so, occasionally we’d fail and still somehow end up buying those piece of shit single-use AAs. I couldn’t bring myself to toss them in the trash so I stuck ’em in a jar on the shelf. The thought of my used up batteries leeching chemicals into the Earth thousands of years after I was gone just didn’t sit right with me.
Over time the collection slowly grew. I tried to put it out of my mind. No place local would take them. I had no clue what to do.
Moving day looms large. It’s only three days until I’m supposed to fill that truck. Meanwhile, what to do with my rotting collection of AA carcasses? My choices seem obvious. Pack them and haul them to the new house (even more dead weight up used up possessions) or give up and throw them in the garbage because my body is destroyed from packing and I have no fight left in me.
I guess I could throw them in a fire and roast hotdogs and marshmallows on them. Seems a fitting end. For both of us.
Sometimes the path of giving up and giving in can lead to the ultimate liberation. I should know. I have plenty of experience with both.
Ah, shit. I don’t have the guts to toss ’em in the landfill. I guess they’ll make a nice paperweight in my new office. Till death do us part! Maybe I can be buried with them. “Here lies Tom B. Taker. He’s all charged up about it.”