The not-so-holy grail

Indiana Jones

Hello! Yes Half Bananas is back from the dead, or at least a rather long hiatus. This may be my first post in a while, but hopefully not the last.

So, what’s been happening in your world over the past few months? I hope it’s been full of fun, adventure, and at least a few nice surprises.

Of course most of us don’t lead lives full of fun, adventure and surprise. We may try to, but somehow we seem to end up with days that mostly consist of routine, frustrations and lots of annoyances we could do without. Perhaps we need be on our guard and challenge ourselves to avoid those ruts, brighten up our dull days and boldly go where no one has gone before. Or at least where we haven’t. Easier said than done. But this year I have been making an effort to ring the changes. And if the changes are not answering, well I’ll just leave a message.

But then again, boredom can be a great motivator. It is, after all, thanks to extreme boredom with his humdrum job that Albert Einstein dreamed up the revolutionary recipe for making Marmite. Although sadly for him, some other scientists had the exact same idea and he had to be content with the theory of relativity and all that other sciency stuff. Poor Albert.

For me most days, an adventure is walking to my local store and discovering they have a brand new flavour of potato chips (and it’s on special offer!), or finding out a beer I never tried before is actually pretty decent (and it’s on special offer!). Which leads me nicely onto my main subject.

I recently came across a book entitled: ‘1001 Beers You Must Taste Before You Die‘. Now I like a beer as much as the next person, although I’m not what you’d call a beer connoisseur. Far from it. But it set me thinking about the notion of a challenge of this magnitude, and how it might pan out in reality.

I imagine many people would, if they could, happily spend their days globe-trotting, seeking out amazing ales and other tantalizing tipples. But it does seem a rather arbitrary number. Why not just call it ‘Lots of great beers you must taste before you die‘. Or simply ‘Drink these beers; the reaper is closer than you think!‘. But of course that’s not how marketing works. The number makes it more interesting. Probably.

Like a quest for the holy grail, seeking out 1001 beers to try sounds like a formidable task. Of course unlike the grail, you would at least be looking for real things, not a mythical one. And you’d get to drink them if/when you found them. Result!

A quest of this type might once have involved silly knights, coconut sound FX and encounters with politically aware peasants.

Or then again it might feature an ‘Indiana Jones’ style adventurer, travelling to far-flung corners of the world to taste all the beers on the list. I imagine him starting off his journey here in Copenhagen and finally, after many months of (mis)adventures, triumphs and hardships, he reaches the final location. Dying of thirst, he hacks through dense jungle vines and there, inside an ancient temple, he comes upon the last, legendary ale. He blows away a thick layer of dust to reveal… it’s made by Carlsberg. Oddly, it is nicely chilled and still within it’s ‘use by’ date. He pauses, opens the can and lifts the cold brew to his lips. But then a hail of poison darts shoot from the walls and he falls to the floor, dead, never having tasted the very last beer on his list.

A caption appears on screen:

Carlsberg’s legendary beers, probably available near you. Why not seek one out today?

***

I may have slightly exaggerated the humdrum-ness of my life these past few months, it’s not all been dull routine. It’s not like I was awarded a Nobel prize, or invited to lead the jury at the Cannes film festival. But still, there were quite a few interesting new experiences and challenges.

January was marked by great sadness and a period of mourning, after the passing of our beloved old feline companion, Minnie. She was with us for over twenty years and we both felt the loss intensely.

After many tears were shed, me and Mrs Halfbananas eventually decided we would make a new addition to our little family. And so we found Lulu, who brought all the crazy energy of a very athletic five month old (part Siamese) kitten into our humble home. She loves to play and climb and fearlessly leap off high places, sometimes onto the beds of unwary sleepers (She is now banned from our bedroom). But she is also sweet, smart and very affectionate and we love her to bits.

I caught the flu for the first time in years, not so great with a crazy kitten on the prowl. I’m not sure which strain I had, but I did find myself hallucinating battles between barbecue-grill robots and giant killer prawns, so it may have been Australian.

Luckily I recovered in time for a scheduled minor surgical procedure, my first time with a general anaesthetic. It was fine – eventually (a long story) – an interesting experience and pretty much as people had described it. The morphine tablets prescribed for post surgical pain were not really necessary, but I tried a couple anyway.

I decided this year I had to try and make it to Copenhagen’s wild annual street party, Distortion, for the very first time. It was a great day out with friends during a spell of exceptionally warm weather that we thought might never end (It did!). Perhaps a subject for another post (The festival, not the weather. Although doing an entire post on the weather would be an interesting challenge).

My motivation for attending this well-established feast of youthful exuberance and alcoholic indulgence was not entirely hedonistic. I have a half-baked (or possibly over-cooked) idea for a short story based around said festival.

And then, just recently, I founded my own secret society with some friends. Which of course I can’t discuss here.

But for today I will have to be content with a more modest quest: they have a new beer at my local store. I don’t know if it’s listed in that book, but who cares? It’s on special offer! And I don’t have to risk death to get it. Although I might die of boredom in the checkout queue.

Skål!, as they say in these parts.

 

© Copyright Jason Lennick 2018

 

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9 thoughts on “The not-so-holy grail

  1. Welcome back, nice to read you again Mr. Halfbananas. Me I don’t like beer since I grown up, but I like Gin mixed up with Tonic Water and I found a new one last year called “Monkey 47” Schwarzwald Dry Gin. That’s not the only reason my written english is so dubiously (the spoken is more lousy, but Gin Tonic can make it better)
    Now I lost the idea what to say, so Monty Python shall speak what’s (for me) fact in Life

    warm reagrads thursdaynext

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I don’t know about Copenhagen, but we have at least one bottle shop in town that claims to have over 1400 beer flavors. That might be a good place to start a quest. However, I suspect it might be like cable TV. A ton of options, but few that you’d actually want on a regular basis.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow, that’s a lot of beers Dave! I’m sure you’re right, although I bet many folks would be happy to test out a few hundred of those, purely for research purposes..

      Like

  3. Welcome back! Sorry to hear about your cat – I still miss my two 😔 – but glad to hear the new addition is easing some of the loss.
    I think my lack of doing anything particularly exciting has contributed to my lack of posts too. Although, slightly linked, we’ve opened a pub. And when I say WE, I mean my other half and the micro-brewery he works for. But I cleaned it, so I’m claiming some rights! They have just under 200 beers at any one time, so seems possible that some would be on your book’s list. Plus, they brew one themselves called Schroedinger’s Cat, which I feel is a also relevant link! But I doubt that’s on a the list. Yet…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Haylee! Congrats on the pub, hope it proves a great success. It’s certainly an impressive number of beers, almost too many to choose from.. As for the Schroedinger’s Cat brew, I imagine people will both love and hate it.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Haha! We usually get ‘is it a beer or not a beer?’ 😁 It’s actually one of their best sellers. Thanks for the well wishes, fingers crossed it goes to plan for them.

        Like

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