As usual, here I sit in front of my computer staring at a virtual page with virtual words plastered across it. Suddenly, I think of the masters, namely Hemingway. I can’t help but wonder how many words he penned sober and how many under the influence of mind altering liquids.
This leads me to think of my own life. How many words have I penned sober, and in the days of yore when I was known to tip a grog or twelve, how many did I pen while gassed?
Once again (as ideas are wanton to travel from point A to point B and continue on unabated), the word “buzz” bounces off my four walls several times and then into my brain. At once I am weighed down with that nagging question of the ages. “Buzz,” I think–that all important state of mind. It’s not a ball, and it’s not a cold. So why will the human race go through so much to catch one?
The first evidence of a fermented beverage was found as residue in a clay pot 9,000 years ago. At that time they would combine honey, rice and fruit. I don’t have a clue about the finished product, other than inebriation was sure to follow. Additional proof that the more things change the more they stay the same, and also that the “buzz” would never go out of style.
Down through the ages mankind, thirsty for different tasting “buzzes,” develop different tasting drinks. Beers and mead were always ready for a good time. And then came the fermentation of grapes which we all know as wine. This beverage was so important during weddings in biblical times that it warranted the attention of Jesus. In the French town of Cognac, the Dutch would transport wine long distances. In order to make more room, the wine would be distilled, concentrating the beverage, allowing more to be shipped. Once it reached its destination, the wine could be reconstituted and enjoyed by all.
It was soon found that the distilled wine was enjoyed much more than its diluted cousin. This distilled wine or burnt wine which translated to brandy wine was later shortened to “brandy.” Then after a second distillation the beverage adopted the name of the town from whence it came, “Cognac.”
During the middle ages, more alcohol than water was consumed due to the bacteria laden H20. Even kids could walk around snockered.
Sea faring ships carried more beer than water for the same reason. British sailors were given a ration of one gallon of beer a day.
During prohibition, organized crime was centered around the illegal sale of alcohol. Moonshining rose in popularity and profitability, especially in the Appalachian region. In fact, my bride hales from what one Parisian paper dubbed as the “moonshine capital of the world,” Franklin County, Virginia.
There are alcoholic beverages still made today in some primitive cultures that are not fermented with sugar or yeast but human saliva.
I am still confounded as to why the human race will go to such ends to achieve that grand ole pastime of “gettin high”. Oh well, some things just aren’t meant to be answered.
Now, where was I? “Buzz”, “Buzz”, “Buzz”, Hemingway……..now I remember. I was writing a story.