“Bartender,” I said, “What would you recommend for a thirsty man?”
“This is your lucky day,” he replied. “We serve Cigar City Hunahpu’s Imperial Stout here. It is the perfect beer and ranked as the number one beer in America on rankbeer.com. Let me read you what one reviewer had to say about it.” He brandished his iPad.
[The] pour is marvelous. Oil slick, syrupy, jet black that sits still in the glass capped by a thin ring of rusty head. [The] aroma is sublime with huge dark chocolate, coffee, smoked peppers, vanilla, cinnamon, and dark rum. [The] flavor follows suit with subtle, toasted oak, bourbon, and mild pepper heat showing their presence along with dark fruits, cinnamon apples, and chocolate cake. [The] palate is simply perfect with silky carbonation, coating mouthfeel, and lingering finish of cocoa, wood, and spices.
“Well,” I responded. “That sounds pretty amazing, but you know, I am not much of a beer man. I have tried it a couple times, but never really acquired a taste for it. What else have you got?”
“That’s it,” he replied.
“That’s it what?” I asked.
“That is all we serve, Cigar City Hunahpu’s Imperial Stout. Did I mention that it was Double Barrel Aged?”
“You are telling me you only sell one beer?” I asked. “Have you been taking lessons from an English Cheese Shop?”
“I am telling you that we only sell one beverage. Period. And what does a cheese store have to do with anything?”
“Sorry,” I said, “I forgot where I was for a moment.”
“Besides,” he said, “we are serving the perfect drink here. The recipe hasn’t changed for hundreds of years! Why would anyone want anything else? It has been a huge hit for our entire chain of fine drinking establishments. Did you know that you could go to any ‘Fox and Flagon’ anywhere in America, and be able to drink this fine aged beverage?”
“Along with other fine beverages, right?” I enquired.
“Nope,” he replied, “just this one. We take pride in the fact that all over America people are participating together in raising a glass of the finest of Cigar City: Hunahpu’s Double Barrel Aged Imperial Stout. We have build a real community around it.”
“So you don’t serve anything else?”
“What,” he exclaimed, “and break the sense of community! That would be so wrong.”
“What about those like myself who have don’t really care for beer?” I asked.
“We are convinced that anyone who really takes the time to get to know our Imperial Stout won’t want to try anything else. There are some weirdos who only stop in once or twice and don’t come back. But they don’t really know what they are missing. It’s perfect beer, people! What don’t they understand!”
“Here’s the thing,” I said. “I am a diabetic. Alcohol sends my blood sugar crashing. Sugar sends my blood sugar spiking. Plus, my body is really sensitive to caffeine, so that rules out a lot of other drinks too. I am looking for something with a bit of flavor, cold, wet, with a little bit of fizz, so it doesn’t feel like I am drinking plain water.”
“Hmmm,” he replied, “as much as I want to try to continue to sell you on the benefits of Cigar City’s finest, you really are a hard luck case. You know, you might want to try the variety store next door. I am told that they sell Caffeine Free Diet Coke there.”
“Thank you!” I exclaimed. “That is exactly what I am looking for!”
Update: Look for my “explanation” of this allegory in a new post on Monday.