Gut-ter ball

I’ve been awake now for 21 hours. I’ve been working for about 17 of that. The day isn’t over yet (some smartass might say it is just beginning). Since I’m not entirely in control of my faculties, I thought this might be a good time to re-visit the “Get to Know Your Otis” series and answer one of the easiest questions in the lot. (By the way, if you’d like to particpate, feel free to leave a question in the comments section. I’ll warn you though, you’ve got a few folks in front of you).

Now, the question:

Light beer with fewer calories but less taste, or real beer with more consequences but actual flavor? –Marty

Marty used to be a real prick. I’ve always liked him, but there were a few months in 1993 and 1994 that he took the role of “antagonizing friend” to a whole new level. One of his favorite activities during that time was the “poke Otis in the belly and laugh like a doughboy” maneuver.

In those years, my beer gut was a little more pronounced. The boys hooked me on malt liquor, poured Mickey’s big mouths into funnels a six-pack at a time, and watched my gut grow. Then Marty poked at it.

Prick.

Eventually, the gut got smaller (it’s still there, but the navel depth isn’t quite as deep as it used to be).

The simple answer is this: I don’t think a diddly damn about calories when I drink beer. I barely think about the calorie’s evil cousin, Carb. Generally when I’m drinking beer, I have one of two goals in mind.

The most obvious is catching the not-so-elusive buzz. The Bait Shack has dollar draws all day. Shaums has $1.25 bottles for happy hour (if you don’t mind the possibility you might get shanked in the bathroom). In college, I wrote a song about The Fieldhouse’s penny pitcher night.

When I’m going for the buzz, I’m going for the lightest beer possible. Less filling, if you will. My tolerance is such that if I drink a heavy beer, I get full before I get loopy.

However, when I seek the second goal, relaxation, I might go after a Guinness. A nice thick beer tastes, in a word, good. Newcastle makes me warm. A Bully Porter, while making me full after one pint, reminds me of the old days.

The good middle ground is an Unfiltered Wheat (Boulevard’s is the best). It’s one of my favorite beers. However, I’m convinced that the unfiltered nature of the beer allows some medieval poison to remain among the hops. I drink two Unfiltered Wheats and I puke. That sucks when it is your favorite.

Marty isn’t a prick anymore. I saw him a couple of weeks ago and he didn’t poke my belly once (although he did punch me in the shoulder six or seven times while on a puke-inspiring bender).

My only question…how does the guy who has drank more beer with me than any other single person I know ask a question about my beer preference?

Brad Willis

Brad Willis is a writer based in Greenville, South Carolina. Willis spent a decade as an award-winning broadcast journalist. He has worked as a freelance writer, columnist, and professional blogger since 2005. He has also served as a commentator and guest on a wide variety of television, radio, and internet shows.

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