Eastbound and Down

I was living out a mini version of the movie “Smokey and the Bandit” as this was being written. You may remember the film, starring Burt Reynolds, who once dumped a glass of water on a friend of mine’s head when they were both on the old Johnny Carson show. I am not making this up but it’s a story for another time.
For those too young or with movie viewing taste a quick plot summary of the 1977 film.

Coors beer is, due to federal liquor laws and state liquor tax regulations of the time, not sold in the East. Burt and crew are challenged to smuggle a truck load from Texas to parts east on a short deadline in exchange for a lot of money. Burt (The ‘Bandit’) drives a Trans-Am (see: Muscle Car-1970’s) to foil the Smokey’s (See: State Troopers-Jackie Gleason) attempts to stop the beer run. Hilarity ensues.

A while ago when my adult children visited from Connecticut they were all agog at the washtub full of Pottsville’s finest I provided for a backyard Bar-b-q. Come to find out that America’s oldest brewery does not distribute its Yuengling Lager in the Nutmeg state. Why this is so I do not know but my kids were more than happy to take the leftovers north with them.

A shameful confession at this point. Although I have lived in NEPA for almost half my life I have never developed a taste for Yuengling Lager. I do recognize its ubiquitous nature here however. I have an acquaintance who single handedly keeps Dick Yuengling and his family wealthy. He drinks it warm which is also a story for another time. But in Connecticut (State Motto: No Yuengling here, please) if you go in a bar and ask for a “Lager” you will not get much more than a perplexed look.

So it was as I head north on a vacation that the trunk of my Pontiac (NOT a Trans-Am, more is the pity) is stocked with Yuengling (Yuengling: German meaning ‘Young Man’. Pronounced “Ying-Ling’) Lager. I could set up a roadside stand in Hartford and make a killing but this will all go to the next generation of Rising’s. I don’t know if Smokey is going to stop me or not but if he is I am prepared. I’ll dump a glass of water on his head.

“Keep your foot hard on the pedal. Son, never mind them brakes.
Let it all hang out ’cause we got a run to make.
The boys are thirsty in Connecticut and there’s beer in Plymouth.
And we’ll bring it back no matter what it takes.”-Theme From Smokey and the Bandit with some revisions.

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About James Rising

A recovering radio addict wrestles with the written word.
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