Tickets in hand, I walk with my wife, pushing my daughter’s stroller along the ballpark’s concrete promenade, looking up at each aisle to check the section number. As my eyes drop, someone from a raucous group heading past us, hands me a koozie.
“What’s that?” my wife asked.
I looked at it. Marketing giveaway. “Some website’s handing out free koozies. I’m annoyed.”
“He didn’t give me a chance to say no. Now I’ve gotta’ cart this thing around.”
“It’s a real load,” she said. “What does it weigh? Two ounces?”
“What do I do with this thing?”
“Put it in your pocket.”Koozie Guy: I didn't plan on this, but koozies are ruining me! Click To Tweet
I grimaced. My pockets were sacred places, reserved only for my wallet, my keys, my 1950s era black comb, and some loose change. Now I’d have to shove this wad of neoprene in there? I felt violated.
“Do I look like a ‘koozie guy’?” I asked her.
“Think of it as an investment in your drinking future.”
My Affection for Beer
It’s got nothing to do with beer. I like beer. Everyone knows it. My wife, my daughter, my family, the college buddies whose cars I vomited in. Everybody. It’s common knowledge.
In general, I love alcohol. It really doesn’t matter what kind. I’m not too fond of anything super-sweet or syrupy, or even some of the cocktails my wife drinks, which aren’t sweet, but just don’t appeal to me, the exception being almost any kind of margarita, and frozen drinks on hot days, and usually around the Christmas holiday some kind of special seasonal drink, and – never mind. I suppose there really aren’t any exceptions after all.
So back to my original premise. I love alcohol. Beer, wine, whiskey, rum, and oh, by the way, did I mention I like beer?
I prefer glassware for my beers. There are times when I’ll use koozies and drink out of the bottle, but it’s not my first choice. I’m snobby that way. I like to decant my hops and barley malt before I drink, to swirl the ambrosial fluid around the sides of its container, and savor its aroma.
No, not really, I’m more inclined to chug it, slap the glass back down on the bar, and shout, “Line ‘em up again, bartender!”
I do have to say though that some glassware is kind of sexy. Dare I say erotic?
I know it’s a little beyond the kiln-fired pale, but a tall, lean, pilsner glass or a shapely Weizen glass have been known to turn my head. I have been caught salivating at the sight of a Shaker pint glass. When I’m in the right mood, a big-boned snifter can provide just the right amount of satisfaction. If I’m feeling kinky, if I’m in the mood for something exotic, I know an ornate German stein that gives me goosebumps
Goblets, stanges, chalices, flutes, thistles, and tulips all have a place on my shelf. I’m broad-minded that way.
I think I’m still talking about glassware.
A Neoprene Prison
So I shove the koozie, a whole two ounces of neoprene – how could something so light take up so much room? – into my pocket. For the next nine innings, I was going to have to cart it around. I’d been planning on travelling light. Now I’d have a neoprene lump squashed against my thigh, probably some nasty, localized micro-sweat. I had reserved space in my pockets for my hands. Where are they supposed to go now?
It’s not like you can even use a koozie at the ballpark. You can’t buy cans or bottles: servers foist plastic cups on you. You can’t shove a koozie designed for a cylindrical can over an expanding conical cup. It won’t fit. Not to mention the oversized, compressing forces of neoprene matched against the weaker thin, plastic shell. The cup wouldn’t stand a chance. It’d be a petrochemical-bath! Who could even contemplate it?
I grit my teeth.
When we got home from the ballpark, and I could finally feel the circulation back in my thigh again, I placed the koozie in a drawer at my wet bar and forgot all about it. The nine inning nightmare was over.
One night, in the mood for a brew, I got lazy. I didn’t feel like decanting my malted beverage. I opened the drawer, slipped the koozie over a coldie, and settled into a chair on our patio. Time to relax, or so I thought.
“Hey, koozie guy,” said my wife. “Dinner’s ready.”
I froze. Koozie-guy? Was that me? Had I become one? I tried to take the koozie off, tried to pull it down off the bottle, but it was too late. Beads of condensation had forged an impenetrable seal. I had become… koozie guy.
And you? Are you a part of the growing koozie army?