Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Barqs Root Beer Challenge

During high school I worked at a shop that sold bikes in the summer and skis in the winter. We were located about a block away from a monstrous gas station with an enormous convenience store. I'd bike over there to buy pitcher-sized sodas for everyone and end up spending my day's wages on a Zippo with a clipper ship embossed on the side, plus backup wicks and naphtha to fuel it. I didn't have a lot to spend my money on back then. One day they were running a sale on Barqs root bear, which may now actually be defunct since I haven't seen it since. It came in a nearly all silver can that looks exactly like Coors Light, which I think is why it was so popular with the Wisconsin high school crowd. In my thriftiness, I picked up two 12-packs of Barqs for $4 and put them in the shop bike basket. I pedaled back and drank three or four cans in the next hour. My boss told me to slow down, and I suggested that I might have to break into the second 12-pack by the end of my shift. So he suggested that he'd give me the $2 to pay for the 12-pack if I could actually drink the entire thing. Now $2 12-packs is a great deal, but effectively getting a case of Barqs for $2 was a real steal. About a half-hour before the end of my shift, and on the verge of throwing up, I went back into the break room and hid all the root beers I'd been unable to finish. I don't remember collecting on the bet, but I'm pretty sure there's still a few root beers hidden in the vents back there.

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