This time it wasn’t intentional. They swear it. The recipes remained the same; they would just tweak it a little bit to give people that little bit extra more of what they wanted.
The people wanted beer.
And the people drank a whole lot of beer and the beer companies sold a whole lot of beer and if you think about it that’s a magnificent situation considering the amount of people who were happy. The beer companies had to wise up a bit though; they had to do some things that seemed anathema to their success. Like, they had to do commercials about getting exercise and only drinking so many beers even though everyone knew that everyone else was drinking so many beers. They knew that because everyone was drinking so many beers with everyone else. Even the beer makers were drinking the beer, maybe even more so than the others because they would go to work, try some beer, make sure that the beer had that little bit extra more in it, and then they’d make a whole bunch of money because so many people were drinking the beer, and then they would be so happy about all of the people drinking the beer–this was making them gobs of money–and they would get off work and go drink some beer to celebrate beer.
Commercials were made because people who made the commercials loved drinking beer too. The people who made the commercials would have to drink the beer so that they knew what they were advertising–the commercials didn’t have to be that convincing because it was beer–and they would make so much money and then they would get off work and would walk past the store and see an ad–their own?–and think oh my god I need that product. Then they would go into the market and buy the beer and then they would get home and drink it. They always wanted that little bit extra more though. They’d tell the beer companies and it would go like this:
Ad guys: Hey we want that little bit extra more.
Beer guys (adding that little bit extra more): okay
And then there would be commercials telling all the people who wanted that little bit extra more that, for a limited time only, the beer had that little bit extra more.
So everyone was drinking beer. They loved it. They really loved it.
Here’s the thing: (and you gotta believe me when I tell ya)
fucking everyone wound up with gout
The American health care system didn’t see it coming. How could they? They were trying to figure out all the other goofy shit going on. The media, also impacted by gout, had a hard time figuring out how to cover the phenomena.
A COUNTRY OF OUCHIES, WHAT’S NEXT
The government put out a PSA that said to go buy Ibuprofen but then things got out of hand when everyone in America saw this as a wild conspiracy. Rumor was that the American government had been paid off by Big Pharma (extra wrinkle: who had been paid off by Big Beer?) to get everyone to get gout so then everyone would have to use Ibuprofen and let’s be honest the government has done things in the past that were way more fantastic, fucked up and unbelievable than that.
Pretty much everyone had kids. Like, they already had them or were having them.
So, there was all this yelling and all these punishments being threatened but the kids thought it was hilarious or didn’t care and just kept running around. This caused so many headaches. You know what gets rid of headaches.
The pain went away after about a week for most people because that’s normally how long a gout flare up lasts when treated with Ibuprofen. People remembered the pain but more than anything they really needed a beer. The beer companies were thrilled that they could get back to work. The recipes remained the same; they would just tweak it a little bit to give people that little bit extra more of what they wanted.
CM Steven is a former touring drummer who never had a drum throne of his own. He has written a novel about touring the country as a drummer without having a place to sit. CM Steven was published once when he was a child and has been published once as an adult.