Wednesday, June 04, 2008
Many, many moons ago I began the task of collecting beer bottle caps for an art project.
I wanted to do something fun with them like cover a coffee table or maybe a shed door.
But after a few years it got out of hand and my wife told me to stop collecting the caps.
Then when we finally bought our house in '98, I was told to "get rid of them" because, really, where would we store them until the creative muse struck us?
Well the muse finally did strike.
And it was a funny moment at that: my wife and I were sitting out on our deck enjoying a lovely evening as kids played in the Back Forty when she quipped, "we should totally cover that table in beer bottle caps" and pointed to a table she had made out of wood scraps when we had out deck built.
I'm not quite sure what kind of look I had on my face but it was one that got the retort, "Wh-wh-whaaaaat?"
She followed that up and asked where all the bottle caps were, you know, the ones I had transported across the country and into and out of one townhouse and one mill house.
"You made me throw them all out," I said.
"Uh-huh, yeah I vaguely remember that," she said.
"But did you?"
I brandished a sheepish grin.
"I saved a couple of bags," I said.
Then I ducked in the house and retreived a couple of plastic bags worth of bottle caps that had been stashed under our bed (where else does a dude stash stuff?)
My idea was to just put them on the wooden table randomly but that was quickly trumped by the realization that my wife rarely does anything randomly.
So we had to sort them by color or logo.
I have to say it looks pretty good.
And I could show you a picture of it.
But I found this picture infinitely more intriguing - and revealing - by the caps that I have collected.
I mean, those are Mickey's Malt Liquor bees, but then who drinks Mickey's and doesn't buy the big mouths? Right next to that is a Schlitz Malt Liquor (a.k.a. The Bull) cap. Who knew The Bull came in a bottle that wasn't a screw top? Kind of defeats the purpose now doesn't it? I also found a good twelve pack's worth of Olde English 800 caps in there, again not twist offs.
Clearly I was going through some sort of malt liquor phase at the time but I thought I had outgrown that in college (well and there was that one time I wrote a review of malt liquors for Big Brother magazine and felt the need to sample them all being a fan of participatory journalism and all) but that still predates living in the Carolinas by over a decade.
The outer ring of the table is lined with Red Hook ESB caps, which back in the day was a tasty microbrew before one of the major breweries sank their claws in to it. A bunch of Sierra Nevedas, followed by Fosters and, of course, a smattering of High Lifes.
There's also a few Lucky Lager's in there which are notable because they were the first, if not one of the first, to put little puzzles on the underside of their caps.
But then there's about a case or so worth of caps that say nothing but "pure cold" with frosting on top of the lettering and I haven't the faintest idea what beer these caps belong to.
It's something to ponder...