Although a short story, I hope this is a profound lesson teaching moment.
My Uncle Sonny (Chuck Haile) was a prolific beer drinker. When I say PROLIFIC, I mean he had a beer in his morning, noon and night. In fact, late at night if he didn’t finish his beer, instead of pouring it out, he would set it in the refrigerator and throughout the night when he got up…he’d grab that beer and finish it off. He owned several bars in Blytheville from the late 1960’s until the early 1980’s. He owned the bar NOT for profit, but so that he didn’t have to go buy his beer…he just got it out of the cooler, and his beer of choice for MOST of his drinking years was Schlitz and he also had lots of Schlitz advertisement products like shirts, pants, license plates and bar advertising. Unfortunately, Uncle Sonny passed at the early age of 55 years old back in 1985.
But my Uncle was a character…he was bigger than life to me and I always looked up to him. So years gone by we always remember him fondly and always laugh about that nasty tasting beer he would drink.
Back in 2012, I rode my motorcycle over to my younger brother’s house to play pool with him and my other 2 brothers. My brother has an actual billiard room with a wet bar that is raised up higher than the floor by two steps. So when I got there, we are all sitting at the bar and my brother says, “Look what I found”. He brought out a full six pack of Schlitz beer in the little cardboard carton…pretty cool and immediately brought back memories of my Uncle.
He offered everyone a beer and we began to play pool. I had just popped the top on my long neck beer and took ONE (1) sip out of the beer. The swig of beer was not even enough to clear the neck on the bottle. Shortly after that sip of beer, it was my turn to shoot, so I grabbed my pool stick and stepped down. But I missed the second step and instead (without looking) stepped down on the floor, but thinking it was the second step. I went crashing down side faced first with the pool cue in my right side and hitting the floor with my left shoulder.
When I hit the floor, I heard a POP. I lay there and my younger brother came over to check on me. I knew there was something bad wrong, and my brother leans down and says, “You’re not gonna sue me are you?”. I laughed (kinda) and said I needed to get to the couch as soon as possible as I felt faint…I could not move my left arm or shoulder. Once they saw that I was hurting pretty bad, they wanted to take me to the hospital. I would NOT go. I don’t like hospitals and I don’t like doctors, and my wife was in California visiting with our son.
I finally asked my brother to take me home since I obviously could not ride my motorcycle. So he took me home and I gotta tell you, doing ANYTHING with one arm broke and no pain pills, is not an easy task. I had to sit up all night long and finally by morning and in severe pain, I somehow (I still don’t know how I did it)…I got a shirt over my head, somehow buttoned my pants and drove myself to the emergency room where they confirmed I had broken the shaft of my humerus, and the ball head on the humerus in 3 places.
I could imagine telling the nurses and doctors in the emergency room that I had only one sip of beer and them thinking I was not drunk. I wasn’t gonna give them that satisfaction!
Although I still remember my Uncle Sonny with very fond memories, the moral of this story is Schlitz is dangerous! And, “When you’re out of Schlitz, you’re out of beer” was the slogan of choice for Schlitz…my slogan is now, “When you’re out of Schlitz, stay out of Schlitz.