Sunday, February 05, 2006

Believe it or not, I actually have the TV on and tuned to the Super Bowl. I haven't watched one all the way through since we lived in Boston (make that 1991 or earlier), and the last time I saw even a few minutes of the big game was at a friend's Super Bowl party in Michigan in, I think, 2003. Or maybe it was 2002. All I know is that it was one of the years before Janet Jackson's wardrobe malfunctioned, and I was not one of the people following the football action; I was sitting in the kitchen eating great potluck food and talking politics. (One interesting thing about activist gatherings: Some people love sports and some don't, but it doesn't seem to break down along gender lines.)

Anyway, I'm only catching fits and starts of this one, mostly in solidarity with all of my friends who are Pittsburgh fans, because I'm dashing in and out of the kitchen to do what I need to do in order to cook dinner. Rick is doing homework upstairs; although I don't know whether football alone will lure him downstairs, the Rolling Stones may eventually do the trick.

But here's what I want to know: I know that Super Bowl ads are usually mostly good-humored, tongue-in-cheek tributes to masculinity. But why do the purveyors of light beer spend so much money on this event? I mean, what's so macho about light beer? (Besides being a partisan of McEwan's Scotch Ale myself, I have several female friends who rarely drink alcohol of any kind, and only occasionally indulge in beer, but won't touch the "light" stuff -- they prefer the nice heavy dark imports.)

Maybe this has all been turned on its head. The message I'm getting: Real women drink porter or oatmeal stout at room temperature, while real men drink ice-cold, mildly alcoholic fizzwater that possesses less flavor than your average vodka and soda. (Don't tell me the breweries are marketing the stuff to the guys who count carbs. The whole point of the exercise, if you'll excuse the expression, is to wash down a bag o' chips per head. And along with the carbs comes the fat, in the form of not only the chips, but the onion dip and guacamole.)

I guess I just don't understand these secular sacraments. (Okay, I admit it -- I'm currently sipping a vodka and Polar Diet Orange Dry, which is not something you'll be served at the finer cocktail bars in town So I'm not being an alcohol snob -- just honestly curious.) As for the beer: I'm saving the imported dark brew for Darwin Day, which is a week ahead of us. That is, as soon as I remember to score some in the supermarket, since I keep forgetting that I live in a state that prohibits the sale of beer in liquor stores.

Don't ask ....


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