Beer keeps spilling over the news, from drenching hearings for a Supreme Court Justice, to filling a governor’s infamous college yearbook, but I have story that’ll warm your heart


Yes wine may be giving suds a run for its money, but when it comes to TV, America is still one giant beer fest.  Can you imagine a Super Bowl without “Bud?”


“I liked beer.  I still like beer,” Supreme Court Justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh famously testified last year at his not so bubbly Senate hearing.


Then there’s Gov. Ralph Northam’s infamous medical school yearbook bearing this sudsy quote: “There are more old drunks than old doctors in this world, so I think I’ll have another beer.”  Maybe someone else put it on his page next to the guys in blackface and KKK garb.   Another who done it!


Now here’s a story about a friend of mine’s annual beer fast that will make you smile as if you’ve had a few yourself.


Belly up and I’ll tell you how my friend Gary proves each year he’s no alcoholic, just like they do in the U.K. every “Dry January.”


In the mid-1980s, SuperWriter Gary Greenberg was crashing at his parents’ oceanfront condo in Fort Lauderdale while writing a novel about his nearly two years of backpacking adventures around Europe and the Middle East.


“I was playing rugby with the Fort Lauderdale Knights and drinking quantities of beer that most rugby players would consider moderate, but excessive by most other people’s standards, including my mother,” he said.


“Convinced I was becoming an alcoholic, she bet me a nickel (her standard wager) that I couldn’t stop drinking alcohol for a month.


“I took the bet and picked February 17 to March 17 because a) February is the shortest month, and b) I could break my beer-fast on St. Patrick’s Day, arguably the best drinking day of the year. I’ve done it ever since. My mom calls it “Jewish Lent” and I’m sure she’s very relieved that I’m still able to do it.


“I eventually switched to January because the Knights moved their annual rugby tournament from the beginning of February to the end, and I couldn’t see playing several rugby games over the course of a weekend and not drinking beer. Meanwhile, not much was on my January drinking social calendar.


On the last day of my beer-fast for this year, I talked to my mom, who’s now 92, and I reminded her that she never paid me that nickel she owed me from 30-some years ago.


“Must be a lot of interest on it,” she said.


“Yeah, it’s got to be at least a buck by now.”


“Maybe so,” she said, “but think of all the money you’ve saved on beer.”




Gary Greenberg



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