Saturday, August 23, 2008

Five People I'd Love to Have a Beer With

I was just recently asked this question, "If you could have a beer with any five people; living, deceased, or fictitious, who would they be and why?" A hard question to answer, I even have honorable mentions. Being in a Deadwood frame of mind, three characters come to mind; Calamity Jane, Seth Bullock, and Al Swearengen. It was difficult to narrow it down. In short, here is my attempt to answer that question.

Out of the gate I'll say the late and great Kurt Vonnegut. For starters, there is no author on the planet I have read more of. Of my large book collection, no author takes up more room on my shelves. Though, his books don't stay long as I am always re-reading my favorite passages, if not entire books. American literature was certainly changed for the better with his arrival and surely there is an unfillable hole since his departure. Talks of politics, society, humanity, all over good beer. What could be better? God Bless You Mr. Vonnegut!

Here's the thing, Vonnegut is a no-brainer for me, come to think of it, this guy is too. The Eyeball Kid, the Nighthawk at the Diner, Mr. Tom Waits. I'm hard pressed to think of another musician that has his unique brand of gusto. I heard an NPR interview Tom Waits did on Fresh Air a few years back. This man is a walking, talking metaphor. In the same interview, he also gave me two (amongst numerous others) of my favorite quotes of all time. "Music is a powerful thing. It can often be beautiful melodies telling you terrible things." And, "If you hit your baseball into my yard, you have to earn getting it back. You have to share some stories." Based on his songs and attitudes about life itself, how could having a beer with this guy be boring?

On a different end of interesting, I would love to share some suds with Robin Williams. How much fun would that be? I'm not sure how much beer I would be able to drink in this case. In fact, I might miss quite a bit if I were to drink too much. This guy is so quick that even lightning stands back and says, "What did he just say? What did he just do?" Every time I see Robin Williams perform I am in absolute awe of his wit and genius. He is nothing less than a hero to me.
In all the books I have read there have many characters I have loved. Holden Caulfield, Simon from Lord of the Flies, Atticus Finch, Kilgore Trout, Max from Where the Wild Things Are, to name a few. Seeing that some of these characters are underage and some just not the go out get a beer type, I'm going with someone different. From Joseph Heller's Catch 22, Yossarian. I also think he would be the most likely to come out with me too. Let's face it, he would be much more content going out for a beer with me than partaking in bombing missions. Though that would make him sane, therefore, he would have to fly. Which is insane. Which would mean his only clear choice would be beers with me. But...I think you get it. At least I hope you do.

Lastly, though certainly not leastly (it's a word to me), I think a beer with this guy would be very fitting. One Irish guy to another, my last pick would be Bono. To dismiss him as a pompous self righteous rock star would make whoever is labeling him as such those very things (minus the rock star). He has, perhaps more than any celebrity, an honest and earnest desire to not only change the world, but save it. How could anyone really be against that? Or him? Say what you will about the music of U2, after all, there is no accounting for taste (I'm a huge fan by the way), but Bono really is making the world a better place. If for nothing else, his tireless efforts. He's using his celebrity for good, he's living the Spider-Man mantra, "with great power comes great responsibility," and he also exemplifies the "Golden Rule." He makes my Irish heart proud. We need more rock stars like him. We need more people like him.

There it is, my wish list of beer buddies. Some variety, but for those who know me, probably not a surprise. That's me, right now, in the middle of everything.


a vermonter lost in another world said...

like your list - you're definitely a literary kid - and yes to kurt vonnegut.

Anonymous said...

Robin choice EVER!