The electronic marvels of television have introduced all of us to many fantasy lands of one kind of or another. Television has brought into our homes visions of mythical places different from the real world we live in.
Disney animation has taken us to places like “Never-Never Land,” “Toyland,” “Tomorrowland,’ “Frontierland.” Even the adults have been introduced to places like “Shangri La,” “Utopia,” “Deep Space,” or “Zombieland.”
One thing that remains consistent in all of these places is that each of these places are better than the lives of 8-5 humdrum jobs, dirty laundry, bills, aches and pains, and crabgrass.
In the past couple of weeks, as summer approaches, there have been many more beer commercials. These short ads captivate me and bring to a place where I want to spend the majority of my time. I call this Beer Land. I, along with millions of men, have been whisked off to a place with short 30 second commercials. But we all get the picture.
There are basically two settings for Beer Land. One of them is where a group of handsome men are sitting in a sports bars obviously watching an exciting sporting event when something rousing happens, and the handsome men break into cheers with glasses clinking and men giving each other guy hugs. Those rooting for the other team are getting out their wallets and ordering another round, but it still is a picture of absolute camaraderie.
The other inhabitants of Beer Land are men just coming from work. (They never seem to go work, nor do they ever actually work, they are always coming from work.) They seem to travel in packs, and only travel with other men and all have flannel shirts or no shirts at all. They are all over six feet and really buff! The only women they consort with are those who bring them more trays of beer and smile all of the time.
In Beer Land, they all have macho names like Duke, or Bronc, or Buck. They never call each other by name, but you can tell by looking at them that there are no Oswalds, or Malcolms, or Gaylords in Beer Land. It is always dusk in Beer Land. The sun is neither rising nor is it high in the sky, it is always setting – a brilliant orange- on some lake or ocean.
What do the men in Beer Land do if they don’t work? Well, they dig a lot of clams and hold lobsters up for the rest of the men to see, and then they sit around outside eating crab claws and clams and slap each other on the back. Then one will show up with a big washtub full of beer and crushed ice, and they will laugh and gesture and pour each other beer.
The men in Beer Land don’t talk much, and when they do, the only thing they know how to say is: “It just doesn’t get any better than this.”
Other than the chairs in the sports bar, there are no chairs in Beer Land. In Beer Land, all the guys are sitting on rocks or logs or sit up on deck railings. I would like to live in Beer Land. But I am too old and short, and I want to sit on something soft. The guys in Beer Land don’t even have beer bellies to show for all their good times. Besides that, I have only one flannel shirt, and the Beer Land guys always dress as if they were just coming in from a logging party or splitting wood.
I guess I will have to wait for Mineral Water Land.