Sunday, March 30, 2008

The Kubler-Ross model and the sad scourge of swill.

The Wikipedia juggernaut helpfully defines the Kübler-Ross model:

The Kübler-Ross model describes, in five discrete stages, the process by which people deal with grief and tragedy, especially when diagnosed with a terminal illness. The model was introduced by Elizabeth Kübler-Ross in her 1969 book "On Death and Dying". The stages have become well-known as the "Five Stages of Grief".

During the course of my long career in selflessly assisting beer drinkers to overcome their attachment to mass-market swill, I’ve received many comments, and these suggest that the process of surrendering long-held (although sadly errant) beliefs about beer indeed brings many people to a place resembling that of the "Five Stages of Grief".

The five stages of grief that pertain to the tragedy of swill are:

Denial: "It just can’t be happening that my ice-cold Bud Light no longer lights my fire."

Anger: "Why me? It’s not fair that Roger made me drink that good, expensive beer … and now my Silver Bullet tastes awful!"

Bargaining: "Just let me enjoy one more evening at (insert name of preferred dive bar, meat market or sporting venue) so I can give my Miller Lite a proper, respectful goodbye."

Depression: "I’m so sad, why bother drinking beer at all, good or bad?"

Acceptance: "It’s going to be all right, and swill is no longer a part of my life. Thank you, Roger."

You’re all quite welcome, thank you.

It makes me feel good that you’ve navigated these stages of grief, and have come to terms with swill’s absence. Good beers are a bit more expensive, to be sure, but just think of your enhanced self-esteem and increased fluency in the realm of genuine quality.

Pat yourself upon the rump. You’ve arrived. Feel good. Swill won’t be around any longer to diminish you. The monster’s gone; he’s on the run, and your Publican’s here.

In fact, this swill recovery program might prove to be a whole new (and lucrative) revenue stream for me, not to mention the self-help book … and the required drinking materials.

Anyone seen that bottle of Rodenbach Grand Cru that I stashed in the basement?

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