or, The Islands in Spring Valley, mon. Or ‘Summertime in veddy, veddy, upper, upper northwest, dahling’, if you prefer.
me: pressed for time and feeling like I’d like to be invisible buying my frozen pizza and $12 Pinot. Feel better immediately when I arrive at the express line behind a woman with a six pack of red stripe and a hunk of Edam. Basic food groups covered, and neither one of us has a People or Us Weekly.
cashier: asks her if Red Stripe is good. His accent betrays his Jamaican heritage, at least to my ear.
she: says yes, it’s her favorite. She used to teach elementary school outside Kingston, nice smile, starts to leave. Not sure if there was bait in the water, but she’s not taking it regardless. Not spurning, just swimming past.
he (to her): “I was just playin’. I’m from Kingston, and I was just checkin'”. Bags the Red Stripe with near reverence, and pitches the cheese in on top. “hey, come back for a minute.”
he (to me): “you don’t mind, do you?”
he (to her): “did you know that if you ever have a stomach ache you should drink a hot Red Stripe and you’ll feel better?”
he (to me): “you believe me, don’t you? I tell you, mon, I was really achin’ one day, I drank a hot one, you know about the same temperature as this (fondling my ‘fresh off the shelf’ bottle of Pinot), and jus’ one hour later i was eatin’ french fries.”
me: “really? I wonder if it’s just Red Stripe or any kind of beer?” (My inner homebrew chemist is starting to wonder.)
him: “really. works every time. sometimes it takes 2 beers.”
me: “so one for the gut and one for the head? Sounds like perfect medicine.”
Google search turns up nothing. But it might be the corn…