A Tract (self published, in E-form) By Chudley Smythington-Smith-Smythe-Smith
The very worst crime imaginable happened tonight. Come with me on wings of fancy and picture this, dear reader: It’s Tuesday Night, and you’ve been out for a lovely evening somewhere, a trivia night or several cleansing ales with choice friends, perhaps a pub night or a meal out. The food was top-drawer, maybe you won that trivia – bally good for you! And you come home, ready for maybe one or two more cheeky beers before you go to bed.
But what’s this? Though the fridge door and the bottom two shelves are full of bottles and cans, there’s nothing to slake one’s thirst! Oh sure, there’s plenty that you technically could drink, but not really: it’s all stuff you’ve been saving. There’re a few that warrant proper tasting and review, and you’re in no condition to take notes, presently. Move aside the natural wines, the champagne and prosecco, and there are a few generations of Ramjets, or some 7-year-old imperial stouts, some forty-dollar Belgians, a Cantillon and some sours that you’ve been saving, a few special-occasion numbers and some absolutely end-of-line, one-of-a-kind brews. And you know what makes it all the more galling? Because you just won trivia, you actually have a half a slab with you, but it’s not adequately chilled.
No table beers, nothing that’s simply ready to go. The injustice! It’s so unfair! Could anything be meaner or more cruel? Can you honestly think of anyone, barring stout Promoetheus or steadfast Sisyphus who has suffered as much as you in this moment? This is literally the worst thing that has ever happened to anyone, anywhere, ever.
Now I’m aware that obviously you, gentle reader shall empathise. Yes, one could pour a cheeky whisky while one waits for those beers to come back to an appropriate temperature. Yes, one could merely make a cup of tea and watch something and go to bed. Yes, dash it all, one could simply say to h–l with it and drink one of the fancy brews, or pop a bottle of something and just let it hang around for a day or two until one gets around to polishing it off. But you won’t be perfectly satisfied without one more, and I don’t think anyone could begrudge a midnight tipple on a Tuesday night. After all, who has anything important to attend to on a Wednesday morning? To paraphrase that great leader and People’s Queen, Marie Antoinette – ‘let them drink barrel-aged imperials.’
I will be strong, dear reader. I will drink my free cold-but-not-quite-cold-enough craft beer, and I won’t complain, because I know life is hard for all of us sometimes. I’ll supplement with the last of my Talisker Distiller’s Edition, and you won’t even hear me complain that I’ve finished that too. One could break a pencil over the stiffness of my upper lip. In the end, we all need to make sacrifices on occasion, especially in these unprecedented times, and we’re all in it together are we not? I hope that my tale of terror doesn’t chill you to the bone, that you don’t fret overmuch for me, bless your heart, and that you get off to sleep without much fuss tonight after reading this harrowing account.
But for those who smirk cruelly and unsympathetically, I hope you do remember only this: such horrors could just as easily happen to you.