Vince Capano is a two time winner of the prestigious Quill and Tankard
writing award for humor from the North American Guild of Beer Writers.  

Vince's column is now  a regular feature of
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Vince's  Adventures in Beerland
Hoppy Holidays Indeed!                         by Vince Capano        

It was that time of year again.  The malls may have opened at 4 AM but most gift givers
still struggled to find the perfect present.   Now I did say "most' because this Christmas
was one in which every gift I got was just right.  I didn't receive one clunky tie, boring pair
of socks, or a sweater destined for the back of the underwear drawer.   This year Santa
brought great beer swag galore. After all, what’s not to love about my very own “beer
watch”?   It may be a perverse pleasure but I defy anyone who is semi-sober not be
charmed by the face of this marvelous handcrafted timepiece as a mug is fills up and then
empties its “beer” contents every 30 seconds.  Not only does it keep almost accurate
time, it never spills a drop.  

The watch was a perfect match for my new “beer hat".   You know the one - two cans in
the holders on the hat’s side; connect the flexible straws and you're ready for any
drought, desert trek, or upcoming dust bowl visit.  While I agree that a beer hat may not
the height of fashionable sophistication, it is  eminently practical for hands free beer
drinkingwhen toasting with a holiday martini.

Combine the hat with my new beer T-shirt and you have an instant Project Runway
quality ensemble.  The back side of the shirt has the word "beer" printed on it in twenty-
seven different languages making it suitable for international travel, while the front side
boldly proclaims that “beer is not just for breakfast anymore”.  Now before you say that's
just another trite adolescent saying,  please notice that the mid-section of the shirt has a
plastic glass shaped pouch filled with a squishy substance that is supposed to look
something like real beer.  I'd be willing to bet that this shirt will be in such demand that its
designer could probably retire early....if he didn't have to eat or live in a house.

Of course what better way to look at my garb than in the warm glow of my amazing new
“magic beer mug lamp, 30-watt bulb included.   Even more, according to the side panel
on its box, the “magic beer mug lamp” is also suitable for basic hypnosis thanks to the
ever cascading bubbles that flow in the mug and form the phrase "You are getting
thirsty... very thirsty."

Having put on a few pounds recently I especially liked my gift of the Official Beer Lovers
Weight Loss Program.  It was a case of Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale with an easy to
follow set of complete directions.  Each of the five steps in the program was appropriately
illustrated, clearly showing how to use the 24 bottles of  beer to achieve “all your weight
loss goals”.  
Step one– remove bottles from case.  
Two - place each bottle on floor.  
Three - pick bottles up and replace in case.
Four – repeat as needed.    
Five - drink when done to replenish fluid loss.

Fortunately I was able to recover from the stress of this workout by sitting in my gift of an
inflatable plastic, Guinness chair.  As I nestled in the welcoming confines of this sumptuous
lounger I could hear the soothing sounds from my new “Tranquility Beer Fountain”, a 42-
inch high metal sculpture of unidentifiable beer cans over which pours a recycled stream of
pseudo beer (patent pending).   While the thoughtful giver of that gift forgot to include
the required number and size batteries I didn’t have to worry since another friend had
given me a pack of batteries with a note that read, “gift not included”.  

I liked my new “Got Beer” welcome mat too.  After all, who can deny the incredibly
profound depth of that age-old query?   I'm sure that several of my more introspective
guests will stand for hours outside my door contemplating the levels of meaning and
cosmic significance of that question.  

My final gift was a string of Budweiser can Christmas tree lights. The Bud Lights (lower
carbs than regular lights) box  included a "bonus" light set of glowing Guinness and Bass
cans.   Attached to the cord of this set was a mail in coupon for a free (shipping only
$19.95) official Guinness Black and Tan spoon.  I can only surmise that "official"means my
spoon was forged from ancient Celtic iron ore by legendary craftsman hidden deep in the
bowels of the Guinness plant itself.  

You'll  have to admit that all my gifts would fill even an  Ebenezar Scrooge with holiday
cheer.  So I raise a glass of my favorite winter beer, Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale, in
thankful tribute to Santa.  After all, what goes better with Ho-Ho-Ho than hops-hops-hops?
Hoppy Holidays, Indeed!
Vince Capano