It happened a few days after the Super Bowl. There were signs and omens that Sunday, when the overwhelming rush of corporate greed flooded the televisions across the land with hype that went beyond hype in its attempt to create a mythology that could justify all the gastronomic over indulgence that went on all day, awaiting the start of the Big Event that occurred sometime around 6:30 pm, EST.
I had a job to do. To watch the national roll out of Budweiser Black Crown in a coveted ad time spot during the game. Some 6% swill thought up by the enterprising folks at A-B Inbev, aimed at that very important 21 to 34 year old demographic. But I was not drinking any kind of beer. In fact, I had not touched beer for days. I had what I thought was a touch of the flu, if only that had turned out to be the case!
The truth was, I had contracted a virus, via an injury in my right toe that lead to a full diabetic attack that caused gangrene, and lead to my toe to fall off a few days later. Emergency surgery ensued, and with the skills of gifted podiatrists, 97% of my foot was saved. Although I was in a state of total delusion for nearly a month, during my two months in hospital, where the kind and patient dedicated workers at the Drake Center went about the slow arduous task of repairing a broken human being who, in the beginning stages, was very close to death.
I did not have time to think about beer, although during this extended stay, nurses, aides, and doctors became aware of my 18 years as a professional beer writer, which eventually lead to a therapist who asked me what was my favourite beer? Well after sampling many thousands of beers, this is a question that has no answer. Although this was my reply:
“If I appear dead, make sure I am by putting a glass of Aventinus under my nose. The aroma of that magnificent weizen dopplebock could surely revive me.”
What a heavy time period this is for me. Still recovering, I am at least back home, where I await the full repair of my right foot, so I can walk again, minus a toe. As the great Van Morrison once said in Till We Get The Healing Done: Till You Deal With The Poison Inside, Sometimes You Got To Just Sit Down And Cry.
Amen to that brothers and sisters, amen to that.