I first heard that phrase in the summer of ’86. For the second straight year, my Uncle Mike and Aunt Connie had driven my brother and me to St. Louis to take in a few Cardinals games. That particular day, we were in the Busch Stadium nosebleeds for an afternoon game in the middle of July. The Cards were losing, everyone was sweating, and our section was getting rowdier by the inning. Anyway, as a fellow made his way up the steps with a tray of beers, he tripped upwards, spilling the four cups he was carrying onto the ground. Hence the chant, repeated in the same semi-drunken stupor in which “Let’s Go, Cubs!” is chanted at every game at Wrigley. I was thirteen then, but the memory of that moment is still as clear as day.
If only I’d actually learned the lesson of the chant.
Because I wanted to make sure that Brandon and Caitlyn retained their deposit, and because no one I spoke to knew of any other accommodation, on Wednesday I returned the keg of Ghost River Pale Ale that had been hibernating in the church fridge since the end of Brandon and Caitlyn’s reception Sunday. The last time I'd seen the keg, it seemed to have at least a gallon or two of beer remaining inside. Like a fool, however, I did not bring with me any of the empty growlers that had collected at my house over the last few weeks. I tried to console myself by saying, “It’s been three days, it’s gone flat by now, it’s no good, it’s no loss.”
But I needed to know that for sure. Although I had no cup, glass, or bottle with me, I just couldn’t resist (once I pulled into the Ghost River parking lot) pouring just a small bit of bachelor-no-more beer into the only receptacle I could find—a Tupperware sandwich container. Tilting the plastic square circle toward my lips, I sipped.
Of course, the beer was still in tip-top shape.
Opportunity = missed.
Beer = wasted.
Dave = ashamed and embarrassed.