Sometime ago (I’ll admit I don’t remember) I was telling stories to my lab about the olden days, and how a beer that they had never heard of was once the most (or second-most) popular brand in the USA. It had something to do with being careful about changing things (like a standard lab protocol, or a brewing recipe …).
So what does the lab do to celebrate my 25th anniversary of moving to the University of Kentucky? What else – search through the dusty back corners of Liquor Barn and find a twelve pack.
Just goes to show – the lab maybe does listen to the boss (at least some of the time.)
Ah yes, the old Schlitz beer. Not to be showing my age, but I do recall an old story about two minor league baseball teams in the Midwest. Seems two old baseball managers who had been great adversaries in their younger days were drinking a couple beers and reminiscing about various and sundry exploits. So the first starts to tell the story of how when he was still a young coach with his team they came to host a rival team who’d picked up the contract of the aging Mel Fammy. Mel Fammy had pitched for years and was something of a legend, but now was winding down his long career. No longer able to pitch in the big leagues Mel was making occasional starts in the minors and happened to get the call on a hot August afternoon against our story teller’s team.
Now the senior manager of this club knew well who Mel Fammy was and knew his tendencies. He knew that Mel was a big fan of Schlitz beer and was not shy about drinking a few from the bench while his team was up to bat. So on this hot summer day our manager sends a complimentary pair of bottles over to the other dugout every inning so Mel could slake his thirst. At first it seemed counterproductive – Mel was really tearing it up and no one could hit anything off him. Down by a couple of runs going into the bottom of the ninth our team’s prospects were dim. Next Mel staggers out to the mound, belched loudly, and nearly fell down. He tossed a several pitches in the general direction of home plate, but sadly none of them across it. Batter after batter drew a walk. And finally the opposing manager could stand it no longer and pulled old Mel. But the damage was done, the bases were loaded, and the winning run standing on third. Their reliever faced the heart of the order with no outs. A simple single ended the contest.
The senior manager, smile on his face, picked a cold bottle from the cooler and walked over to the visiting coach and offers him the beer. “Here’s one for you coach – it’s a Schlitz – the beer that made Mel Fammy walk us.”
I set out on a journey that morning to find the beer that reminded the old man of his youth. I spent a lifetime in that liquor barn (approximately 45 minutes) and I even had to ask an employee along the way where to find the relic. I recieved a funny look as if to ask why are you interested in such a product. Eventually it was found and the rest is history. For that one day the old man was beaming with youthful exuberance and was not plotting countless experiments for his lab minions to perform. It was a good day.