Sunday, October 18, 2009

Got Much Luv For The Hooptie

Hooptie
1. An old piece of crap car.

Features include: a plume of blue oil-soaked smoke coming from the exhaust - general odor of beer vomit and french fries - a Kraco stereo with a 10 year old Nirvana cassette stuck in the player - flat white, flat blue and Bondo red in color.

Warning! For historical accuracy, some quotes in this post are R rated! I apologize to the vocabulary-sensitive readers out there, but these are actual quotes from real situations.
The above definition comes from www.urbandictionary.com, which if you have never spent (wasted) any time reading explanations of terms you may have never heard of, or heard but never understood, check it out. Hilarity guaranteed. My recent experience with a hooptie is as follows:
The weekend of October 10th I was in Athens for the wedding of my friend Dustin from Terrapin. The wedding was at a really cool farm out in the country, and the couple were wed under a gigantic ancient oak tree. The ceremony was out of the ordinary in many ways (the officiant was the owner of the expansive 5 Points Bottle Shop in Athens, fresh form receiving an on-line minister title from some alleged "church" in California, for example), which set the tone for things to come.
Since the reception was being held at the brewery, with special beers galore, I dropped my car off at the hotel (picked up a 6-pack on the way), and got a list of local cabs from the front desk. Now I wasn't about to call the first cabbie on the list. They're probably the busiest and will take the longest, right? Plus, everyone calls the first one. Maybe these guys on the bottom need some business. I'm always looking to help the underdogs of the world. So I call the number next to "Mark - taxi" at the bottom of the list.
"Hello?" No mention of this being a professional taxi company.
"Yes, I need a taxi to the Holiday Inn downtown Athens."
"Uhhh, I'm not working yet."
"Oh, OK. When do you start?"
"Well, not for like 45 minutes, maybe an hour." It must be nice to write your own schedule. This guy was a real go-getter.
"Alright, thanks. Bye"
Grunt.
So that was such a great experience, I called the next to last number on the list. With a name like "Much Luv" how could I go wrong? Ring, ring, ring.....
"Hello, Much Luv!" By the sound of the woman's voice, apparently there is a ghetto in Athens. Who knew?
"Yes, I need a cab to the Holiday Inn downtown." Long pause.
"Uh, yeah, I'm gonna need like 10-15 minute to get a hold of the driver." That is not a misprint. This woman didn't say "10-15 minutes". I guess plurals are obsolete now.
"OK. So about how long?"
"I'd say about 20 minute baby. Whas yo name?" Great. Now I am going to be late for the reception. Good thing I stopped for that 6-pack. That's a lesson for you folks out there. You never know how long something is going to take, so you better have some beer on hand just in case. When have you ever said, "Oh my god. We have too much beer!" Never. You may be thinking, "Why doesn't he just call another cab company?" Well, I already had the ball rolling with these people, and I assumed it would have taken just as long with someone else. Plus it was Saturday, so there was football on TV. About 15 minutes later I get a call:
"Hello?"
A man's voice this time, "Yeah, dis Greg? Dis Much Luv."
"No, this is Fred." Long pause.
"Well OK Fred, where you goin'?"
"I need to get over to Terrapin."
"The beer makin' place?"
"Yep, that's it."
"OK man. We be dere in about 20 minute. If you goin' by yourself, I gotta charge you 'bout twenty dollar." Well now I am going to be late, so I am not in a postion to haggle. I need this guy to get moving, and fast. So, fine, twenty bucks for a ten dollar cab ride. I told him my room number, hung up the phone and opened up another beer. Georgia was getting manhandled by Tennessee. About fifteen minutes later I get another call.
"Yo' man, we down front. I can't get the god-damned limo in the driveway, so we just park on the street. When you come out the front do', just look to the right." Like I could miss a limosine in front of a hotel. Thanks, Much Luv. Thanks for the help. Well, twenty bucks for a limo ride isn't bad. I guess I'll arrive in style.
So as I head out the door, I get a call from my friend Bob. He is working, and he is having some sort of crisis with a keg acting up or something. I am trying to help him, but as I get closer to the limo, I sort of stop paying attention to the conversation. The limo, which appears to be being driven by a wino of some sort, is from the early 80's. There is rust around the window trim and door handles, a mirror was missing from the passenger side, the wheel wells were dented, the widow tint was peeling terribly. Thirty feet of dilapidated hooptie, tires needed air, wino driving, needing badly to be put out of its misery. This thing was a piece of shit. I walk around to the entrance, still on the phone with Bob, and when I opened the door, all I could say was, "Bob, I gotta call you back....or something," and hung up immediately. The interior of this car was filthy. The carpet had dirty, oily streaks covering 80% of it. The seats were ripped. Where a TV monitor used to be recessed into the console there was a huge smashed out hole. Now a 17-inch home TV set was somehow wedged in there and wired up. Here is this guy sitting in the limo smiling up at me, white tank top, fake diamond ear rings, and not wearing any shoes. He is acting like this situation is normal.
"Whas up, Fred? I'm Much Luv" he says as I get in and sit next to him. His woman is at the other end of the limo, ten feet away at least. She was wearing a black tank top and dirty pink sweat pants. There was a Bravo movie on the TV. How do they get cable? Not only does she not have any use for plurals when she talks, she seems to have no use for a bra either. Anyway, that's not important to the story. Much Luv gives me the bro' handshake. You know, where your elbow is at a 45 degree angle and your thumb is facing back at you. And then you do the little mini-hug. Yeah, we did that. And damn did Much Luv have much BO. Much stank if you ask me. So I say, "What's goin' on man?"
"Oh, you know. We just doin' what we do baby. Tryin' to make a dollar." OK, so now I am pretty sure he is a drug dealer. Who rides around in a dirty-ass, busted up limo with a bra-less girlfriend, BO just kickin', no shoes, watching Bravo? What is the focus of your evening, when this is considered "doin' what we do"? So then he yells--this is my favorite part--at the top of his lungs to the scraggly-haired wino behind the steering wheel, "Go left up at the light, Doc!" As we pull up to the light, the driver is still in the right lane. Uh oh."God dammit, Doc! You make a lef' here. I done told you (....incoherent mumbling to himself....). Now someone is gonna come and take that lane like.......oh shit! Here come someone now. You dumb mutha fucker!" That was a real conversation. I had not gone a block from my hotel yet.
The wino, Doc, does not seem bothered by Much Luv's manner or tone. He calmly says, "I was gonna make a left from this lane 'cause the car's so long."
"Well OK then. Just don't miss this light. This man got somewhere to be!" I think he was referring to me. My guess is that he refers to himself in the third person. He would have said, "Much Luv got somewhere to be!" if he had somewhere to be. From there on out we just made small talk, he yelled directions to Doc, and I watched that Bravo movie until we got to Terrapin. Longest fifteen minutes of my life.
As it turned out, I was not late after all. In fact, there was a large number of people getting out of their cars as we rounded the last curve towards the brewery. Some of them looked at the white limo slowly approaching in the distance, and got out their cameras. They must have figured that this was the bride and groom, I guess. But as we got closer, and Doc methodically wheeled the enormous car into the parking lot, I could see the peoples' expressions quickly go from excitement to pure bewilderment. In short, they were totally puzzled. Eventually they looked away out of pity, I guess. I mean, who goes anywhere in a car like that? Then I get out. My friend Steve's wife, Melissa, was standing there She was one of the few people who didn't avert their eyes. She said, and I quote, "What the fuck is that?"
"That was Much Luv, and I need a beer. And a shower. Can I get a beer in a shower?"
The reception was great, of course. There were probably 8 Terrapin beers, a keg for Stone, Lagunitas, Left Hand and Bell's each. There was a special cask, cellared bottled beers, etc. Spike broke out some special things from his personal stash....you get the picture. It was, surprisingly, rather low-key though. Maybe I left too early, but everybody enjoyed themselves in a responsible manner. Odd for many people in that group to say the least, but it was a wedding, and nobody wants to be a bad memory for the happy couple on their wedding day.

Yesterday was the Decatur beer festival. Great turnout as usual, and the beers were outstanding. Atlanta Brewing Co. really wowed everyone with a cask of their porter blended with their Belgian-style Winter, both aged in Pappy Van Winkle bourbon barrels. The weather was a little chilly, but that did not stop anyone from having a good time. I took a picture for you in case you were not there. These folks do taxes for a living. Awesome people. I want my accountant to appreciate my beer expenditures, don't you? Thanks for reading, and the next time you are in Athens, call Much Luv. The memories are worth twice what I paid for the ride.

The Duvel/Ommegang/Chouffe/Maredsous dinner in Duluth on Tuesday actually has some open seats. I am confused as to why one of the best beer line-ups we have ever featured is lacking in attendance. Duvel glassware and pouring techniques will be available for take-home as well. November and December dinners are still in the planning stage. Have a great week folks!

Oh yeah, I almost forgot! A big shout out to Rich! He is a reader from Atlanta who I just bumped into at Manuel's Tavern on Friday. If you see me out and about, say hello please. I am not hard to find. Just sniff out the good beer, and I am not far away.

From My September Trip-Sierra Brewhouse

From My September Trip-Sierra Brewhouse
This is the top floor of the brewhouse, with buckets of fresh hops about to go into the kettles.