February 26, 2019
As I chatted with you about in our previous Fletcher Flora Cocktail Talk posts that were up here recently, I’ve been reading a three-pack book (meaning, it contains three novels) from this sadly lesser-known pulp/pocketbook star, and in the second book, Let Me Kill You, Sweetheart, you can really see what set him apart, as it has a level of creativity in how it approaches what should be a straightforward murder, with multiple narrators (including the killer, though we don’t know who it is until the last sentence, and the murder victim) and backstories. It’s pretty neat. And, it has a nice hotel bar where a fair amount of action – or in-action – takes place, including the drinking of Miller High Life! Now, way before the MHLife renaissance, my pals and I were big, big fans of the American beer, because it’s nice on a hot day, because it was a sort-of outsiders beer (and we were sort-of outsiders), because it didn’t cost a ton of $$ (and we didn’t have a ton of $$), and, well once we started, why stop? So, seeing a MHLife quote in a book from Fletcher Flora from 1958 was neat. And love that they call it Miller’s High Life. Read it, and you’ll agree:
An hour later, at eleven-thirty, the taproom of the Division Hotel was almost deserted. The only persons present were Bernie Juggins, the bartender, and Purvy Stubbs. Purvy sat on a stool and stared moodily into half a glass of Miller’s High Life that was going flat. He hadn’t drunk from the glass for quite a long time, and it looked like he sure as hell was never going to drink from it again, and for all Bernie could tell from looking at him, the fat bastard might be dead.
–Fletcher Flora, Let Me Kill You, Sweetheart
August 10, 2010
I (as demonstrated before) love me some Miller High Life. One summer, my pal Joel and I used to have a 12-pack chilled for us to drink on the porch every night at 2 am once home from the bars. One other summer (this was before High Life had a little hipster resurgence, too), my pal Erik and I drove up from Chicago to the Miller Brewing Company in Milwaukee and forced some sadsack salesperson to go into a back room and bring out a dusty box of High Life merch for us to wade through (we did buy a lot, admittedly). So, me and High Life have had a long and fruitful drunken relationship. And I’ve always referred to it, bottle, can, or keg, as the Champagne of beers. Now, the below ad is telling me that only bottles fit that description, and only uptight Wall Street types can drink said bottles, while working class chums are stuck with stinky ol’ cans and looking sadly at the privileged others. Damn, is even High Life stuck within some class-conscious vortex of suck? Or am I over-reacting? Should I just get a beer and go outside far away from corporate living and drink it and fill my talk hole with its golden goodness?
September 4, 2009
It could be said that this is the last day of summer (the Friday before Labor Day and all), the last day when, at least out here in Seattle W-A, the sun is still shining brightly and the backyard is still calling out to be sat within and relaxed within and shirtsleeves are still just dandy as attire (with pants, or without, your call), and while there might be a small bit of chill in the air, it’s possible in that summertime way to ignore it (cause really, isn’t summer about ignoring responsibility? Being more grasshopper than ant?). That’s today folks, and on a day like today, though I might sing the praises of high-falooting cocktails, and might even have one later, what I really feel like on a day like today is a cold bottle of Miller High Life. Probably I feel that way cause my old pal and serious bartending angel Joel Meister and I used to drink them like water throughout the summertime months when we were a bit younger–heck, we never had a fridge from late May through August that didn’t contain at least two bottles in it no matter the hour of the day for emergencies–and those were good, memorable months that embodied that whole recklessly lovely tipsy-ness that is summer. What’s all this shake up to? Me giving out a toast to everyone celebrating that last day of summer, a toast in the form of the one and only Champagne of Beers, a toast to you. Drink up pals, and hold on to that summer sun as long as possible.