Whine List

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Give beer to those who are perishing, wine to those who are in anguish. (Proverbs 31:6)

Sometimes the only thing that works is a good stiff drink. You’ve done your fasting. You’ve done your praying. You’ve done your Bible reading. You’ve done your believing. And life still sucks. The bluebird of happiness has crapped on the windshield of your life. You’ve got gum stuck on the bottom of your shoe. Your hemorrhoids are burning like jalapeno peppers. Your arches are falling and your hair is falling out. You got a ticket for driving under the speed limit. Your dog vomited on the carpet. The toilet overflowed—twice. You have to get up three times a night to pee. Your pastor announced that he’s gay. You’re growing love handles. And the library called to say you now have overdue fines amounting to over three hundred dollars.

Here the word of the Lord: “It’s Miller time, baby.”

One cool thing about the Bible—contrary to what lots of people think—is that it’s a book written by a realists. Sure, these guys believed in pie in the sky stuff (after all, they are inventing a religion), but they never get religious about it. They never forgot that life, in all its glory, can really suck from time to time.

The proverb above is a case in point. When somebody’s taking the final exit, bowing the final bow, singing the swan song, maybe the last thing to do is go all spiritual on them. If, for whatever reason, they’re checking out of the human roach motel, maybe you should bag the hymns and pious reassurances (like you really know anyway) and instead institute a last rites with some teeth-kicking fermentation. If they haven’t gotten the afterlife tango figured out by then (and especially if they have) why plod through it again? Do them a favor. Give them something to make crossing the bar a sloshing good time even if they don’t know where the hell they’re heading. There’s nothing like a sloppy round of 99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall to usher in the Grim Reaper. The rule of thumb? When death is near, the drink is beer.

Because death is pretty much a one-shot blue-collar deal, beer is the buzz of choice. But if the person in question has to go through some major muck and isn’t lucky enough to actually croak from it, then wine is in order. Death is a one-size fits all experience. Anguish and affliction, on the other hand, comes in many varieties, which is why wine is the perfect match. For example, if somebody is burdened by grief, a Pinot Noir might be a good choice. For somebody dealing with infirmity or pain, I highly recommend a bold Cabernet. For mild depression or melancholia, I suggest Sangiovese or Zinfandel. When someone is dealing with loss, say a job or investment, Merlot is definitely the one. For traumas of all kinds, Port works wonders. Bittersweet anguish occasioned by love gone bad calls for Cognac. And for little catastrophes like broken fingernails, Dijon stains, or nylon runs, a wine spritzer should do the trick. Though finding the right wine can be overwhelming, novices will do well to remember a simple rule: If the malady is light, stick with white; if accompanied by dread, pour the red.

Both beer and wine can be employed proactively as well. Since we’re all going to die someday a six-back on the weekends may be an acceptable application of the proverb. Likewise, since Jesus himself declared that “in this life you have many troubles,” he’s all but sanctioning a couple of glasses of wine at every meal. The fact that he served his disciples wine at the last supper pretty much clinches it. (Considering all that his disciples were about to go through, there’s little doubt that he was serving the Judean version of either a hearty Burgundy or Bordeaux.) At any rate, a glass of prevention is worth a keg of cure.

Cheers. And God bless.

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One Response

  1. Couldn’t have said it better myself!!

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