10 Cases of Beer: The Logistics
10 Cases of Beer: The Logistics
4:45 PM PST. A big guy is pacing around our offices yelling, “Where is Mark Driver?” with a thick Mexican accent. My brain races through events of the past 2 months that might have a large Latino stalking me at work. Hmm. I don’t remember running into any parked cars. I didn’t screw anyone’s wife recently. I don’t owe anyone money. No one mistakes me for a Cholo since I let my hair grow out. The email death threats have slowed down since I stopped making fun of Jesus. As far as I know, the City of Santa Monica doesn’t hire thugs to beat up people with unpaid parking tickets (that law doesn’t get phased in until 1999). “What the fuck,” I think to myself, “teeth can be replaced.” I follow the sounds of my name and find him. “I’m your guy. What’s up?”
“I have a delivery for you.” A delivery? I didn’t order anything. Even if I did, the only way of paying for it before my next paycheck would be an old out of date checkbook from high school still sporting a Georgia address.
“What is it?” I asked.
“Beer. Lots of it.”
Like a rat to the piper, I followed him out to his car, and true to his word, there was 10 cases of Budweiser in the trunk. All for me. I helped him move them inside, stacking them high and mightily on a hand truck. If you’ve never seen 10 cases of beer outside of a liquor store, in a normal environment for you, let me just say, it’s a beautiful sight.
“Where did all this come from? Is it paid for?” I asked, still fearing that someone had played a joke on me and I was about to get handed a bill for $100.
“Yes, it’s paid for. Phone order from a San Francisco store.” Checking my email confirmed that fact that one writer by the name of Chuck Hill in Northern California freely and of his own volition, mailed me a month’s supply of beer as an incentive to make me work harder, write more, and update the Crash Site more often. Well, it worked. So if you enjoy this junk, you’re gonna get more. Don’t thank me, thank Chuck. If you hate this junk, then you’ve gotten awfully far into this article for me to value your judgement and you can fuck right off.
But 10 cases of beer. That’s a lot of fucking brew. It came chilled, so there was no option but to keep it refrigerated. Completing that task was a mental process that nearly left a scorched cortex in its wake. How does one fit 10 cases of beer into a normal refrigerator? Here’s a case by case play by play.
Case 1: Easy enough. Cracked one with the delivery guy in lieu of tip I didn’t have. Tried to explain the Internet to him. Offered beer as peace offerings to other Big Gun employees who weren’t fortunate enough to get 10 cases of beer delivered to them. Case 1: gone 15 minutes later.
Loaded the rest into the Poopship and steered it home. Couldn’t find nearby parking to the apartment. Had to walk past scores of homeless folks, gang bangers, cops, and nosey, cranky neighbors to deposit 9 cases of beer in home, same question asked by all: “Where’s the party?”
Case 2: Bottom shelf. Simple, just replace the empty case of Pabst. No problem.
Case 3: Bottom shelf. OK, not too bad, month old Chinese food in plastic bags removed and thrown away. Space cleared.
Case 4: Bottom shelf. Large jarred pickled foods in way. Sauerkraut from first trip to LA supermarket 3 years ago. That shit doesn’t go bad, does it? Girlfriend identifies it as same sauerkraut from previous apartment. Busted. Four quarter filled jars of jalopenos consolidated to form one new jar. Five dill pickles eaten to make empty jar. Case 4 slides right in.
Case 5: Bottom fruit drawer. Empty. Perfect fit.
Case 6: Bottom vegetable drawer. Full of decomposing spinach, flaccid celery, black onions, and an inch of yellow juice. Dumped, rinsed, and filled with beer.
Case 7: Bottom shelf. Case 7 cracked open to exploit one beer space between Cases 2-4 and shelf on door. 9 loose beers across bottom front, 2 in butter shelf on door, one in door, wedged between mustard and extra spicy mango pickle.
Case 8: Middle shelf. Now it gets tricky. Many spur of the moment decisions whether to keep or pitch possibly edible food. Many judgement calls. Losers: Old eggs, stale tortillas, soft apples, plastic package of half eaten hummus, jar with an inch of grape jelly, empty honey bear. Case 8: tight fit, upright, left side.
Case 9: Top shelf. Gin, tequila, vodka, and rum moved to freezer. Instant space for one case.
Case 10: Initial plan: Drink it all. Rejected: health reasons (possible oncoming cold on horizon). Secondary plan: call friends over to drink it. Rejected: wanted to finish reading Slapstick. Tertiary plan: Condiment consolidation. Pro: beer stays cold. Con: lots of work. Accepted. Result: entire door heavy with beer.
So I’m set. No more beer runs for a while. I can spend the money left after rent on new food now. I suppose it’ll have to be canned food for a while, maybe some grains, nothing that needs refrigeration. Perhaps I’ll get a ‘Cooking with Beer’ cookbook. Maybe I’ll have a big party. Conduct beer experiments? Nah, who am I fooling. I’m gonna sit on my ass in front of my keyboard and drink until my beer runs out, or my liver falls out, whichever happens first. So, Chuck got this month, and I thank him, but who’s getting next month?