Scene: College-town bar in Coastal California. A white-boy reggae band is about to take the stage. The establishment is 90 percent boys in Volcom hoodies, jeans, flip flops, and flat-billed baseball hats, and 10 percent girlfriends that got dragged along in smaller, tighter versions of the same Volcom hoodies. The house is packed.
Those that know me well know that this is not exactly the type of environment I find myself in often– nor by choice, ever. But I’m on a mini-vacation and my present company is awesome so we stay and enjoy the unfamiliar scene.
Looking around the room, I notice that nearly every single person is gripping the same beer. Right as I notice this, a boy comes up to me and my friend, double fisting one half-full beer and one full beer, offering us the full one. It’s a Red Stripe, and so is every other beer in every other hand in the place.
We oblige and accept the beer after the bar tender (who we made friends with earlier) gave us a nod that it was in fact directly from him and definitely un-roofied (or at least that’s how I read that head nod?)
I take a sip, and read the label: “Brewed in Jamaica” and everything comes together. I realize I am smack in the middle of an Onion article I read a few years ago: “Bob Marley Rises From Grave To Free Frat Boys From Bonds of Opression.” These are Californian quisi-surfer frat boys who only drink Red Stripe because it’s brewed in Jamaica! Hahaha, I judged them. Oh, those silly followers. I said aloud to my friend, “God, can you believe all these people are drinking the same beer because it’s from Jamaica?” obviously trying to get her to laugh and judge them along with me. That’s when a boy in front of me, with his hands in his pockets and his flat-billed hat sticking out of his hoodie says, “Um, yeah, that’s because it’s on sale for a dollar and no other beer is so…….Yeah.”
Oops. Immajerk. I sipped my Red Stripe in a shamed silence, but then drank enough of them to make my way to the floor and “dance” to the all-white reggae boy band– and actually have a fantastic time.