Thursday, July 30, 2009

This Teachable Moment Is For You

Six days ago, when President Obama described the "Incident" (I opted for the capital "I" because judging by the amount of press this has received, it is the second most important story of the past 100 years - surpassed only by the death of Michael Jackson) as a "teachable moment", I found myself fighting hard to suppress my gag reflex. All kidding aside, if "teachable moment" does not win the award in aught-nine for most pretentious turn of phrase, it is at least on the medal stand.

And then our C-I-C explained that the dictionary definition of "teachable moment" is, "inviting the fellas over for a couple of beers". Suddenly, I realized that my life has been awash in such moments. While this is not as true now as it once was - given Margaret's somewhat dim view of such self-help courses - it leaves me a bit bewildered as to why I was not a better student, particularly as a collegian. Jeez, one of my Farrand Hall neighbors studied abroad at Oxford on her way to earning multiple advanced degrees and authoring books I could not fake my way through comprehending - and I am confident that I had significantly more teachable moments than she did.

This evening, the Prez, the Prof and the PoPo shall gather for an intimate evening of conversation and beer (after the obligatory photo opportunity of course - scheduled to take place in time to make the network evening news) at the White House. I would ask an indelicate question, such as how it is Professor Gates and Sgt. Crowley are traveling from Boston to D.C. for the get-together. I care not at all whether they are coming together or separately. My concern is far more selfish: are you and I paying for it? Buying a fella a beer or two is one thing. Paying for him to travel several hundred miles for the opportunity to drink it is another thing altogether.

Given that Professor Gates and Sgt. Crowley are both from the Commonwealth of Samuel Adams, I would have not been surprised to have learned that the beer of the day was something from the Adams Family of brews. That is apparently not the case. Yesterday, in an announcement as ripe with tension as that surrounding President Clinton's naming of his dog, the Prez announced that he shall be drinking Bud Light. If Bud Light was still an anemic, putrid-tasting excuse of a beer made by an American company whose long-time success in the face of its atrocious-tasting products had long stumped me, then the Prez's decision would make sense politically - if nothing else. But Anheuser-Busch is not an "American" company any longer. A-B was purchased last year by a Belgian company so now we can blame the Belgians for churning out this junk. Do not misunderstand - I love the Clydesdales as much as the next guy but not even they would drink Bud Light.

The New York Post reports this morning that Professor Gates favors Red Stripe, which is a quite tasty Jamaican brew, while Sgt. Crowley favors Blue Moon, which is a Colorado-based creation. Memo to Sgt. Crowley, if it is Rocky Mountain-based beer you fancy, then pour the Blue Moon down the sink, which is where it belongs, and trade it in for any of the ones brewed by the New Belgium Brewery in Fort Collins. While I favor "Fat Tire" myself, experience has taught me that you really cannot go wrong, regardless of what brew you choose.

I know not whether tonight's pow-wow shall last long enough for the trio to watch a bit of baseball together but I suspect it might - for President Obama has shown us already that (bad beer choice notwithstanding) he is a bright man. Our Prez, the #1 Chicago White Sox fan in America, is hosting a couple of fellas from Red Sox Nation on an evening on which the first-place Yankees make their first visit of season to Chi-town to play the Sox of White. Hmm, methinks that the Prez has found a common ground for he and his two guests even before they arrive in D.C. this evening.

Cheers Gentlemen, from America - a place where everybody now knows your name.

-AK

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