Sunday, January 4, 2009

Papa's Treat

I started cleaning out the basement yesterday, my project for the winter, when I came across my old copy of "Green Hills of Africa." A superb book, stellar, sparkling writing from the beginning to the end, Hemingway at his absolute best.

Regarding this blog, I immediately recalled a passage in which Papa lovely describes German beer with "silver foil" around the neck. It took some skimming, but I found the passage. It's as good as I recall:

"Hey, M'Cola," I said. "Beer?"

"N'Dio," he said with great force, and from the chop box one of the natives had carried on his head produced in its straw casing, a bottle of German beer, one of the sixty-four bottles Dan had bought from the German trading station. Its neck was wrapped in silver foil and on its black and yellow label was a horseman in armor. It was still cool from the night and opened by the tin opener, it creamed into three cups, thick-foamed, full bodied.

"No," Pop said. "Very bad for the liver."

"Come on."

"All right."

We all drank and when M'Cola opened the second bottle Pop refused firmly.

"Go on. It means more to you. I'm going to take a nap."

"Poor old Mama?"

"All for me," I said. M'Cola smiled and shook his head at this drinking. I lay back against a tree and watched the wind bringing the clouds and drank the beer slowly out of the bottle. It was cooler that way and it was excellent beer.
Described like the true hard-core alcoholic that he was. Just reading it that leaves you dying for a cold one.

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