First and foremost, this is to the homie Darren (with 2 R’s) and to that one rainy morning when we had a fuckload of beer in the truck and it was pouring and you looked over at me and said, “let’s get it!”
You inspired me more than you’ll ever know buddy.
I still remember when I was just a young fat ass getting into the beer world…
There I was, 250 pounds, fresh off a job that required me to eat breakfast and lunch everyday, sit on my ass all day and a guaranteed 7 am to 3 pm shift.
Talk about fresh meat.
The first guy I went out on a route with, drank at least 4 Amped energy drinks and I am pretty sure he was coked out his mind as well and moved like a gamma blasted spider monkey all jacked up on Mountain Dew.
He was there dropping and scooping beer with the sheer amazement of a showman and no signs of slowing.
And this is how you should be moving when you have 500 cases of beer or more on your truck and the end of your shift isn’t some safely scheduled time, it’s when you completely empty that metallic beast of a truck and take it back to that God forsaken warehouse from which it came.
Hint, hint. I aint no 8 hours.
It’s a grueling day that starts as early as 4:30 am and that can quickly escalate to 7 pm if you’re not out there moving like a beast.
So back to training day,
He’s all jacked to hell and I’m… Well… I’m there stacking 5 cases of beer at a time on the dolly and huffing and puffing back and forth just trying to help deliver 9 cases.
Needless to say, I sucked.
SUCKED FUCKING DICK.
The truck ride was rough, I was a defeated fat ass boy in the presence of a man amongst men and he was a hardworking man wondering how the hell this potato sack of a human got this far in life.
The day finally ended and I was beat beyond belief.
Day two came around and I was waiting to see who I was going to go out and help, then I overheard the drivers laughing about me.
One said, “that fat ass sucks”
Another, “damn, I don’t need to be carrying around that all day”.
Words that will forever stick with me.
It was another brutal 12 hours for me.
I quit that day.
Fuck that day.
Fast forward a few years later, I dropped 80 pounds and will put any amount of money on myself that I will hang and slam with some of the best beer delivery men in the world.
But this isn’t about how I came to where I am.
That is none of the multiple heres nor theres.
This is more about a call to leadership or lack there of in us older and wiser men with our inexperienced youth.
“If boys don’t learn, men won’t know” ~ Douglas Wilson
It’s the one team, one dream approach to life and manhood.
It is as the 90’s kids learned, “the circle of life”.
Now, don’t get me wrong, just because I had a horrible first go at the beer business and there are plenty assholes in the profession. PLENTY. Doesn’t mean that I didn’t come across some great teachers and amazing men who helped and believed in me when I wasn’t doing either of the above for myself.
I can sit here and write a complete book about all of those admirable men.
But this goes back to us men reaching out to teach the younger men of our generation the lessons we have learned from life and ALSO learning from those young men too.
I’ve been doing this beer business for quite a few years now and I’ve had my share of guys I had to train. Young, old, newbies, vets, etc, etc, etc. But some of my favorites where the young pups. Much like my buddy Darren.
I may have been a little bias to him from the start just because I found out that I knew his dad, and he was one of those incredible men I spoke of earlier. But I quickly found out about Darren’s superb work ethic and contagious electricity that made him one hell of a man in his own right.
The brief story I started with was one of the many things that gained my admiration for the kid.
I’m telling you.
Raining cats and dogs outside.
It was a shitty Tuesday route.
Truck was jam packed with beer.
When I was ready to jump off the truck and run, he looks over at me with his messy wet Wal-Mart Justin Bieber haircut and says, “LET’S GET IT”.
It was that moment that he taught my old ass how to have some fun. It was that young electricity that jolted me into doing my job better and living my life with some excitement.
It gave me this great story.
And the continued perspective on life of teaching and being taught.
I taught him all I could as far as I knew in the beer industry and little lessons in life (if he knew it or not) and he taught me, again, how to live some in a shitty situation.
And that’s how things should be in life amongst us men. I mean, I get the whole alpha male raging hard on from hell persona and I firmly believe that there is a time and place for it. But as far as it being with the younger generation… what do we need to prove to them???
That we’ve been through more bullshit than them and that we hate the world more?
Doesn’t make a bit of sense to me and ultimately doesn’t make a bit of sense in the grander scheme of the universe.
Because these boys are going to have boys of their own one day and those boys of these boys will carry the lessons of what we taught their fathers strait to our old geriatric helpless asses.
And don’t even get me started on the fear I have of my little girls coming home with one of these boys or my granddaughters coming home with a boy of those boys.
“A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.” ~Greek Proverb
But what this all boils down to is that we all have had that one asshole in life that pushed us around and kicked us when we were down and we learned some important and ugly lessons in life… Don’t be that dick.
These boys are our seeds, the shade they will provide one day will be for the ones that carry on our name, legacy, legendary Spurs moments and the vital importance of Kelly Kapowski in all of our youths.
Put good into the universe and let the universe do what it does.