2 Beer Guys Blog

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Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Mishap in Ieper!!!

Those among you who know a bit of the history of the world will be aware that Ieper has seen some of the most brutal fighting in the first world war. I am always ambivalent when I go to Ieper. For one: it has been the scene of incredible heroics in the face of unspeakable horror, I am quite humbled by that.
Also, it has been the place where life turned to a new chapter. It pains me to say that this has not been the most fortuitous episode in my life. And it had every occasion to be just that. Life is a fickle mistress and she is jealous to boot [that's why I don't invite her in very often, there's always something she'll gripe at].

Some ties had remained from my stay there and it was my great pleasure to visit a former colleague who has taken ownership of a local bar. This is not the kind of establishment I prefer to frequent. Not because there is no atmosphere, far from it [read on!], rather the choice of beer is modest and aimed at the sturdy beer drinker. What they lack in quality they -more- than make up for in quantity. The establishment is frequented by many English speakers who come for their regular pilgrimage to the Menin Gate. Every night, at 8 pm sharp, EVERY night, buglers play the Last Post as a tribute to the fallen heroes of the first world war. Your actual goosebump moment. I have never been there and stood there by myself listening to the players. The space under the gate is -packed-. If you have the opportunity: go there. You won't be disapponted.

So, I am at the bar, right? A place of merry banter and rambunctuous fun? Most certainly.

I was smitten.

It happens.

I am a man and therefore a dolt by genetic disposition. But on this occasion, you know, I praised the Schrodinger cat that decided at the critical moment to rob me of a full set of chromosomes. How do I put this in terms that will not offend family America and places where very religious people frown deeply at everything by default. There was music. A man played the bag pipes, an instrument I have come to greatly appreciate. He had not come alone. A troupe of dancers made merry as the music was playing. Among their number a creature could be discerned who was gifted with such measure of pulchritude as to gobsmack the most perilously inebriated man.
She danced in tune with the music and in concert with her friends and in such a way as to entice the Dark Lord to take away sin from the world. Aldous Huxley would have called her 'pneumatic'. She was bedight in clan colors. Don't ask me what shoes, I don't know ballet shoes from hiking boots, a clan tartan, a black top and a half open back. Strangely, although the top had no straps, it stayed robustly in place. The lizard brain would have liked to comment on that but I'll demure and suffice to remark that her ample personality alone was enough to prevent a wardrobe malfunction. For a great personality she had: her smile made the room seem dim, the dimples in her cheeks augmented a -devastating- charm that was lit by two pools of blue that I wanted to draw closer to mine so that I could look deep into them in search for her inner child. All this magnificence framed by a shock of black hair made me realise just how much the concept of sexual reproduction agrees with me.

I said I was smitten.

If ever there was a time to let nature take its course, for me, this was it. However, a friend of the house [the bar] came in, we were introduced and we had a conversation that started with formula one, went to Richard Feynman and ended up with the Large Hadron Collidor. I'm not kidding, this really happened. How I end up in these kinds of conversations I have no idea, that's what it is.
So, that's when the mishap happened. You wondered when I was going to get to that right? Mishap translates as accident [ongeval] in Dutch and when you're from around here you'll say: malheur. And it so happens that I had the Malheur 6 to end a most agreeable evening. A modest yet quite pleasant beer, fruity flavors, nice hops, a golden hue with a cheerful head. The younger, less ambituous brat of a most distinguished family. Together with far too much Duvel to be a responsible adult. But hey, Duvel is a staple food in my neck of the woods, a person has to eat, right?

I want to go back there soon. Maybe there'll be a guy playing the backpipes.

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