We all know that my boyish good looks transcend decades but the tale I am about to tell you will have even the most skeptical readers becoming overnight believers. I just turned 27. Yes, quite depressing indeed. Colette and I were at the grocery store. Well we were at another grocery store but couldn’t find the beer isle and had to ask a clerk, in German mind you, where we could find some. He retorted in a myriad flurry of hand gestures and spoken word that they didn’t sell beer. As it turns out we had to go upstairs to "Denner" which is the Swiss equivalent of Rite-Aid.
We strolled up to the beer isle and recognized some familiar faces such as Heineken and Becks. We asked the fellow shoppers what they preferred. They recommended Becks and Heineken as potential choices. I told them that we have those beers in the US and would like to try something a little more local. They steered us in the direction, wrongly I will add, of a Swiss brewed beer called ... well I cant remember what it is called exactly. It really wasn’t worth remembering in the first place. Homogenous is the first word that comes to mind, but in all actuality, might be bestowing it unjust praise. Its funny cause I have only seen it in Switzerland and not Austria, France or any other of the bordering countries we have visited. It might have something to do with the fact that it tasted like an insipid blend of elk piss and formaldehyde than anything consciously imbibable.
Anyways, in all of our travelling haste, we forgot the cardinal rule of seeking beer advice. Ask someone that resembles a beer expert. Beer experts have tell tale signs of beer afficionadoism such as beer guts, dui`s and lack of jobs. No, instead we seek the advice of a demographic that we have been seeking directional advice for all along ... 16-20 year olds. While 16-20 year olds in Europe have fantastic English speaking skills, their taste for beer is less then desirable. And that will be the last time I take beer advise from a kid with braces.
The funny part of the story actually comes when I buy the beer. I stroll up to the counter and plop down my poorly chosen soon-to-be purchase. "Passport bitte" are the words spoken to me. "Vas?" I reply. "Passport bitte" was again spoken. Yes, even I was taken back. It was in these 3 seconds that I realized that I am being carded for beer in a country with a drinking age of 16!