Featuring his #1 hit: I Like Bee.......no....I can’t do it.....

I should probably explain this joke. A lot of my opening jokes are bad. Most are obvious. Some can be obscure. I think this is probably one of the obscure ones.

This is the cover to Country Songs For Children. But it’s not by some generic yahoo who don’t know crap about country.

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No, this is Tom T. Hall’s Country Songs For Children. Mr. Hall is a very famous country singer. Not this new-fangled country rock. He’s more of the Hank Williams/Conway Twitty/George Strait type of country. Hall had several #1 hits. One of his most popular was the song “I Like Beer”. It’s a song about how much he likes to drink beer. And about how whiskey’s too rough, champagne costs too much and vodka puts his mouth in gear. He sings a simple refrain that helps him explain that as a matter of fact, he likes beer.

And that was the meat of my obscure joke: I show a picture of Tom T. Hall’s Country Songs For Children and say it features his #1 hit ‘I Like Beer’. Because, you know....country music.....beer....kids.....it’s funny!

The only problem is, when I have to explain a joke, it explains away the funny. It turns the joke into a wreck. The only solution is to follow Roz’s advice and call 1-800-ASK-GARY!

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OK! I know! That ones obscure too! Unless you live in or near Florida, Kentucky or Minnesota, that is. Trust me though, if you get the joke, you laughed your ass off! And if you didn’t get it, well....you’re jealous you didn’t get to laugh your ass off. So Google it. Search youtube. Inspect your sock drawer. Eat your veggies. Don’t sass your elders. Send otter all the green and white paper that has numbers on it from your wallet.

Anyhoo.....I do believe I mentioned beer earlier in this post somewhere. Many people like beer. Some don’t. And that’s fine. Well, these days it’s fine. But that’s because we have clean water. It wasn’t always that way.

Beer has been around for several thousand years. And by several thousand I mean at least 9,900. That’s the earliest evidence found of brewing operations.

Beer was first brewed in Sumeria, (we think), and was only brewed by women. Because it was seen as a gift from the gods. And only women could brew it. Because....um....rules and stuff.

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Beer back then wasn’t like it is today. It was weak. In fact, most ancient beers were brewed and consumed right away, before the alcohol had much chance to ferment into being. But that’s because beer wasn’t a drink you drank to get drunk. (hey...you use drink drank drunk in a sentence.)

Beer was drunk because the water wasn’t safe to drink. The brewing process killed any bad crap that was in the water and it allowed people to quench their thirst risk free. It wasn’t uncommon for workers to have beer for breakfast. Not with their breakfast, but for breakfast. Because beer was brewed with lots of stuff that was considered staple foods. Beer was thick. it was full of barley. And barley was a staple in peoples diets.

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Sure, beer today uses barley in the brewing process. But back then they would bake the barley into bread, and then use the bread to make the beer.

You know what? I’m just going to go ahead and give you all the oldest known recipe for beer so you can brew it for yourself. If you do brew it, you have to let me know so I can try some. Well....so I can video you trying some anyway.

Good luck following the recipe, though. See, this recipe is old. It’s not so much a recipe in the form we’re familiar with, but more like a poem. Because that’s what it is; a poem to the goddess Ninkasi, the goddess of brewing and beer. Why someone would compose a poem about how to make beer to the goddess of beer is beyond me. But anyway, here it is:

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Borne of the flowing water,
Tenderly cared for by the Ninhursag,
Borne of the flowing water,
Tenderly cared for by the Ninhursag,

Having founded your town by the sacred lake,
She finished its great walls for you,
Ninkasi, having founded your town by the sacred lake,
She finished it’s walls for you,

Your father is Enki, Lord Nidimmud,
Your mother is Ninti, the queen of the sacred lake.
Ninkasi, your father is Enki, Lord Nidimmud,
Your mother is Ninti, the queen of the sacred lake.

You are the one who handles the dough [and] with a big shovel,
Mixing in a pit, the bappir with sweet aromatics,
Ninkasi, you are the one who handles the dough [and] with a big shovel,
Mixing in a pit, the bappir with [date] – honey,

You are the one who bakes the bappir in the big oven,
Puts in order the piles of hulled grains,
Ninkasi, you are the one who bakes the bappir in the big oven,
Puts in order the piles of hulled grains,

You are the one who waters the malt set on the ground,
The noble dogs keep away even the potentates,
Ninkasi, you are the one who waters the malt set on the ground,
The noble dogs keep away even the potentates,

You are the one who soaks the malt in a jar,
The waves rise, the waves fall.
Ninkasi, you are the one who soaks the malt in a jar,
The waves rise, the waves fall.

You are the one who spreads the cooked mash on large reed mats,
Coolness overcomes,
Ninkasi, you are the one who spreads the cooked mash on large reed mats,
Coolness overcomes,

You are the one who holds with both hands the great sweet wort,
Brewing [it] with honey [and] wine
(You the sweet wort to the vessel)
Ninkasi, (…)(You the sweet wort to the vessel)

The filtering vat, which makes a pleasant sound,
You place appropriately on a large collector vat.
Ninkasi, the filtering vat, which makes a pleasant sound,
You place appropriately on a large collector vat.

When you pour out the filtered beer of the collector vat,
It is [like] the onrush of Tigris and Euphrates.
Ninkasi, you are the one who pours out the filtered beer of the collector vat,
It is [like] the onrush of Tigris and Euphrates.

So, there you go. Decipher the formula out of that, brew it up, and let me know how it goes. Me? I’ll just keep on buying my Miller Lite* from the local alcohol pusher here in town.

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Remember, don’t dink if you’re going to drive. And don’t drive if you’re going to drink. And if you must drink and drive, for god’s sake, don’t spill. Alcohol is precious.

* Miller Lite is a tasty substance and I like it I don’t care what you say. Craft beer is crap beer if you ask me. To each their own, drink what you want and I’ll drink what I want so there!