One thing I really miss about being a kid is trying to get beer. Getting the beer was way more fun than actually drinking it -- especially since I mostly drank Hurricane 40s when I was underage. I never had a fake ID and while a few seedy, dangerous bars would actually serve me without any identification, the majority of my alcohol between the ages of 16 through 19 came from Good Samaritans -- i.e., random adults we'd flash money at and convince to buy us beer.
To do this, my friends and I would strategically place ourselves outside of an establishment that sold alcohol (normally a pizza shop that offered take-out or a dive bar), wait until someone walked by -- who we instinctively believed would give us the greatest mathematical odds of success -- and ask for his or her help. It was always some variation of: "Hey man (a word like "man" helped set me up as a peer rather than just some kid), could you help us out with something? All we need are a few 40s -- and you can keep the change." And the most amazing thing about this strategy was that it actually worked. More often than not, we'd walk away with enough alcohol to make the night a memorable one. All it took was a little bit of balls and a lot of persistence. Sure, we got turned down fairly often but, if we hung around long enough, there was always someone who was willing to help us out. And the wait was exhilarating. You never knew if you were going to get stiffed by the person who took your money, or if the guy you approached was going to be an off-duty police officer. That was the thrill of it.
At the time, I always viewed the Good Samaritans as cool dudes, people who remembered what is was like to be young and did what they could to help us make the most of our youth. (Note: Only once did a woman by us beer, and it was very clear -- when she started showing us her Karate -- that she was mentally ill.) A few times I even vowed to myself that I would do the same when got to be really old like the people who usually ended up buying us beer -- like in my 30s or whatever. But time has given me an entirely different perspective on the situation.
These Good Samaritans were either so down on their luck that they really needed the seven to 10 dollar commission that came with buying us beer or had been so beaten down by life's cruel wrath that they simply didn't have anything left to lose. And based on the number of Good Samaritans we came in contact with who wore the redneck tuxedo and sported heroic mustaches, I'd say most fell into the latter category. As for my youthful vow to help any thrill-seeking kids who I came across, well, fuck 'em. I mean, I wish them all the best of luck, but, fuck 'em just the same.
This next part's for all of the Good Samaritans that helped my friends and me when we thirsty for cheap malt liquor. If you happen to be reading, which is highly unlikely for a number of reasons. For one thing, very few people are reading, save for a few friends and that loyal boy from Indonesia who regularly emails me about these posts. For another, most -- if not all -- of these Good Samaritans are probably dead, given their lifestyles, the location of the bars they frequented, the fact that they never thought twice about purchasing alcohol for 17 year olds, etc. But, if by some miracle you are reading this, THANK YOU.