The oracle told me I need a vacation.  

They didn’t really tell me that; oracles don’t talk, they gesture. But, I’m not an idiot, I got the gristmill.


So, I went back to my apartment and sat on the couch with the dog, wondering where I should go and, since I was pontificating with a pen, I instantly thought of Penpont, Scotland. Because, you would too, right? It’s only logical.


[He’s lying. And that’s how you establish the fact where an author loses credibility. What really happened was: he came home and sat on the couch and took out his phone and swiped “up” a lot (I only know because I was laying next to him getting my ears rubbed). He put the phone down and then picked up a large book that’s always on the table that is between the couch and the television that he never uses. It must be a book without words because he flipped through the pages very quickly. I don’t read very well but “Gold” is in the second word on the front of the book and it seems to be some person’s name. There’s lots of pictures of carefully placed natural objects in otherwise odd forms that make up something totally different all together. Seems that most of the couches that I’ve sat on have a similar book on their tables between the couch and the television. Anyway, that’s why he thought of Penpont, Scotland. It’s because this person in the book lives there or is from there and does these sculpture things around that area. All I know is that means I don’t get my ears rubbed by him for a week or so. Which, I’ll just chew his shoe or something in protest. He’ll know I’m upset then. Oh, I have to go, the mailman’s outside and he always gives me little pieces of steak or at least that’s what I think they are, that’s what they look like anyway.]


Upon arriving I walked the streets and trails and made my way around the area, making sure to check out these REALLY awesome sculptures along the way made by some guy who must have the same coffee table book that I have because his interpretations are incredible. They’re almost EXACTLY the same as the pictures in the book that is on the table in front of the couch in our living room and between said couch and the television (anyone need a television?). It’s really uncanny.


Anyway, I made my way to a pub, as I’m wont to do and settled in for a pint of beer. I was served by a very lovely chap who was the proprietor of the establishment and we chewed the fat (literally, we had a meal together and it had bacon on it) for a bunch of hours. This is a picture that I took of the person behind the bar.


Another patron came in and sat down next to me and, rather than lie to you about what was said between us, I’m going to recount exactly what was said verbatim:


(It should be noted that I record ALL of my conversations so that I can go back to them and hold myself accountable – that’s why I can do the whole verbatim thing here.)


“Pint of Bitter, please.”


{that wasn’t to me, he was ordering a pint of beer – he got it – and, he started drinking it.}


“Well, you look strange.”


{that was directed to me}


“Do I?”


“Well, I can tell you aren’t from around these parts here, I can tell you that.”


“How can you tell?”


“For starters, there’s 400 people in this town. Right now, there’s 401. That’s how.”


“That’s some good logic.”


“What are you doing here?”


“I thought I’d come and enjoy your country and walk around the outside looking at things and then have a pint of bitter and talk to the locals.”


“Well, go for it.”


“Go for what?”


“I’m local. Talk to me.”


“Isn’t that what we’re doing?”


“Kind of. But, we should probably actually talk about something instead of this whole rig-a-mare-old that we’re doing now.”


“Ok, what do you want to talk about?”


“Well, what do you do for a living?”


“I don’t like that question.”


“Why not?”


“Because it’s kind of like, Are you asking me what I do to earn money or are you asking me what I like to do when I’m not earning money?”


“I didn’t mean to offend you.”


“No! No Offense! I just get confused with how to answer that question in a fashion that you intended on getting the information.”


“You’re a pretty curious individual aren’t you?”


“I get that a lot.”


“I bet you do.”


“Well, to answer both questions: to earn money to live I work at a place called the Three Penny Taproom in Montpelier, Vermont, United States of America and when I’m not doing that I tend to scratch my dog’s ears a lot and play instruments and then hike and run a bunch.”


“How is Vermont? It’s been a while since I’ve been there.”


“It’s great. It’s a really great place to be.”


“What kind of things do you serve at the Taproom?”


“Well, we’re kind of known for our draft list. Our state (and America in general) has a lot of craft beers and we tend to have a lot of them.”


“What are you serving now?”


“Well, off the top of my head, I can tell you that we have Susan from Hill Farmstead which is a really cared about American IPA. It’s really good. We also have a couple of others from the same brewery, which are a couple of Double IPAs (we’re (our state) is kind of known for Double IPAs) like their Society and Solitude #5 and Double Citra that will go on soon. We also have an absolutely true-to-form Biere De Mars from a brewery called Zero Gravity in Burlington.”


“What’s a Biere de Mars?”


“Think of a Saison but a little more crisp.”


“Got it.”


“It’s a French-Style Farmhouse Ale.”


“As I said, got it.”




“What else?”


“Oh, we have a whole bunch of good things coming up. We have a good amount of things like the Auroral from Deciduous in New Hampshire; it’s a Berliner Weisse with mango and lychees. And we have a great Vanilla Porter from Idletyme Brewing in our state.”


“That all sounds good.”


“It is. They’re all good. How about you?”


“Me? I’m good.”


“What do you do to earn money and then what do you do when you’re not earning money?”


“I’d prefer if you’d ask me what I do for a living.”


“Apologies. What do you do for a living?”


“I’m a sculptor.”


“I’ve never met a sculptor before.”


“You can’t say that ever again.”




That’s pretty much when my recorder exploded and then my brain followed. This, of course, never happened but then again, how many of you think the oracle is real? Actually, they are very real and we had a conversation about Andy Goldsworthy this morning so, well, that’s what the oracle told me to write about.


Keep in mind folks that Montbeerlier this year is May 7th! It’s our 7th (Seventh!) year! We’re going to have a bunch of casks and draft and the list inside will be pretty ridiculous. It’s going to be the definition of “epic.” And I’ll be talking a lot about it in the coming weeks so, well, you have that to look forward to from now on.



I love you all.






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