What is so good as freshly-brewed beer? "Country soup," James Joyce called it, because
it's rich and dark and full of vitamins. Take a deep swig you'll not be needing a sandwich today! A pint of the
true stuff is a meal in itself.
What is so good as beer shared with friends? It's old friends we're talking here, dear friends, tried and true.
They might not be the best of people or the wittiest. But they've proved themselves. They denied knowing you when
the police came looking. They burned your papers when you were on the run and could not. Many a time they gave false
evidence in court for you. As you, of course, did for them.
Now you're old and so, alas, are your friends. Death looms over you all, smiling in a way that makes one reflect
uneasily on how many sins are encompassed in this very room. Murders, rapes, deceptions of all kinds even a deathbed
repentance couldn't get any of you off the hook. Nobody dies slowly enough to repent of all you've done.
All the more reason to pour yourself another beer! Forget about Hell and consequences. Focus on all those good
memories. The lives despoiled, the fortunes stolen, the virtuous maidens seduced and abandoned Those were the
days, weren't they? Those were the days.
What is so tasty as the beer of life? It's a heady drink indeed.