Our toenails are painted glossy lipstick red. Sundresses and sandals have emerged from their long hibernation. The sun tea jar basks on the front porch. We are ready. We have been ready. But it wasn't until this week, until the night we sat on our bumper in the Ted Drewes parking lot and tried to eat an All Shook Up faster than it could melt that the season was consecrated by a concrete. Summer is here! Cue Alice Cooper.
Opening ceremonies are held in a friend's backyard, and consist of a handful of people sitting around in lawn chairs, drinking beer. We brought a six-pack of Odell Brewing Co.'s Easy Street Wheat, so named because brewers "take it easy" and skip filtering the beer, from Schnucks. Don't think Hefeweizen though, this is an American-style wheat beer, with none of the sometimes cloying banana flavor of that other unfiltered wheat.
You can taste the wheat, its slight sweetness kept in check by subtle hops' bitterness, its grassy, floral nature brightened up with citrus notes. It has a clean, dry finish that is especially welcome on a hot day. The name fits: This beer goes down easy. Unlike a lot of craft beers, you could (and we did) sit around all afternoon drinking this one. We are rolling with laughter as a friend recounts his recent trip to a local sports bar where, much to his surprise, he was greeted by a young lady in her underwear. His waitress, too, had on just a bra and panties.
He points out that when you are seated at a table and your server approaches, you are face-to-crotch with that person, a fact which is inescapable when she is wearing nothing but her drawers. He does an impression of himself ordering: holding a pretend menu, stuttering, eyes raised to the heavens, which has us in tears.
By the time our host starts pouring tequila shots into Solo cups and handing out lime wedges, we are already drunk on sunshine and beer. Viewed through our Wayfarers, the world is amber-hued and benevolent. What could be the harm?
We wake up in a suffocating bedroom, with hotly blushing skin, cotton-mouthed, slow-witted and deeply regretting having put off calling the A/C repair guy for so long. Waiting for summer to arrive was like waiting for him to call -- all breathless anticipation. Yesterday we swooned at the scent of self-tanner and bug-spray. Now, without respite from the suddenly full-blown summer swelter, we wonder if things aren't moving a little fast.
It's too hot to put on clothes, which causes us to have pangs of sympathy for the girls who wait tables in lingerie. The whole situation seemed a lot funnier from the patron's, um, point of view.
Seen from the perspective of someone forced by circumstances beyond her control to hang out in her underwear, it seems like a bum deal. (Literally.) Dealing with demanding customers is challenging enough, doing so while practically naked is a bad dream we have sometimes. At least strippers don't have to refill your Diet Coke.
Barring unforeseen cataclysmic financial hardship, Drink of the Week will not be applying for a job at that establishment, but we can relate to them on a certain level. You gotta make a buck. And doing so is not always easy, nor fun, nor dignified.
If you're lucky enough to live on Easy Street, then you don't have to worry about such things. You spend your days hanging out in the backyard, where the sun is warm but the breezes are cool, and scantily clad ladies bring you cold beer. For the rest of us, Easy Street is an excellent beer that we might splurge on when we find it on sale at the grocery store, if we have something to celebrate.