The Rubber Fitting
(Based on a true dream)
I LIVE IN STYLE. STYLE, WYOMING. But that's not where I was last night. Nope. I was doing naked somersaults down the main highway into Madness. Madness, South Dakota. That is the steepest road I have ever traveled. Of course, I shouldn't have been running so fast. I was just so damn excited about tasting the new beer being served at this brewpub located in the heart of Madness. You see, beer is kind of a passion with me.
Republicrats dominate the whole town of Madness. Though incorporating the names of the two most popular parties within their own, Republicrats actually mock both Republicancy and Democratism. They simply feel that government should be run in a decent, humane fashion. But I've always hated that word. Fashion. My Uncle Irene once prattled on and on about how the Republicratic Party was made up of old souls . . . mystics and psychics mostly, but some witches, too. That's just plain crazy.
Anywho, I finally reach the brewpub by morning and the whole place is surrounded by children throwing Frisbees, not to each other . . . just throwing them. I head straight to one of the outhouse-sized shacks (there are many, and of variable size) to have a morning taste. As I walk in, this Jamaican boy is leaving with a freshly filled foaming mug of ale. As he passes by he blurts out, rather smugly, ''Gahd en dee Devil — you know dey bote da same guy.'' He scurries out letting the door slam behind him. At first I was quite surprised, but later felt it was only natural that children should drink beer. Better than all that sweet stuff, right?
So, I fill up my glass — oh, this was cool! You fill your own vessel and not from the top. There are these beautiful glass steins with dime-sized holes with a rubber fitting on the bottom. When you push it down on the copper pipes coming out of the bar, the rubber fitting opens as a beer flow device is triggered and your stein is filled from the bottom. Kinda sexy. When your glass is full you simply pull it off the pipe, the flow device cuts off the beer flow, the rubber fitting seals itself again and you're off to the races. Normally, these were three-legged races, but today they had obviously been replaced with Frisbee tossing.
The pub supposedly changed hands a few months back. It was purchased by a couple of cockatoos from Piedmont. I had heard that before they took over, the place was a dive. But, as of late, business was soaring. They do have one unusual design concept in one of the larger shacks or ''sub-pubs.'' There's a dried birch log set into two of the walls about three feet off the ground and running the entire length of the bar. One can perch on the log and sip beer from these small, white, plastic troughs mounted above the bar at a comfortable lapping height (cuttlebone extra). Most unusual, but not nearly as fancy as the ''bottoms up'' glass filling.
You know what though, about the new owners of the pub? I hate to sound prejudiced or cynical, but I mean. . . Piedmont?!
Previously published in Spine Weevil (spring 1992).