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Sunday, April 29, 2012

Pouring beer and breaking hearts

Yesterday I volunteered to pour beer at the 49th Eeyore’s birthday party at Pease Park. It was my second year as a volunteer and what a rough gig it is…you show up early, get your volunteer wristband and t-shirt, enjoy sampling the variety of local microbrews as you hang out and listen to music…check out the costumes (or lack of costumes) and get hugged, get loved and get buzzed while giving away cash for good causes.

Unfortunately, some volunteers find it so rough that they actually don’t show up for their shifts. While I will never understand that kind of ingratitude, I can see how it tempting it would be to just get pretty wasted and sleep away the afternoon.

Being the hard working volunteer I am, I arrived for my 5:30 pm shift and promptly found out that the favorite brews were already tapped out or close to it. Eeyore birthday partiers are fairly easy going…at least they appear to be until close to closing time.

During brief lulls, I enjoyed people watching. Smiling, I felt very connected to the present. A fellow came by and told me that I had “good energy.” A teenage boy smiled and said “You look happy.” It was all good for the first couple of hours. The beer was selling fast.

By 7:40, people started complaining that beer ticket sales stopped…by 7:50, we had nothing left to sell. Then it was crazy time. The line of hungry ghosts reaching out to me with tickets as I tried to explain the situation was profound…I could not give them anymore IPA or Fireman’s 4 and I felt bad that they were so inconsolable. I was apologetic but it was no use.

I left the beer area for the brewery employees to break down. I had to leave the scene to protect myself from the heavy disappointment in the air. I noticed how my sandals were soaked with beer. Although I enjoyed this gig for most of my shift, I resolved to do something less chaotic next year. As an empath, applying henna to girls’ foreheads and arms during the morning shift would likely suit me better.

I could start early, stencil some beautiful ladies, then enjoy the perks of being a volunteer and not worry a bit if I happen to fall asleep to the drum circle’s lullabies. Goodnight, ghosts. Exchange your tickets early and be happy where you are.


  1. Hi, Melanie--glad to see your blog on our Story Circle blogroll! I've enjoyed reading it. Gosh, is Eeyore's party really 49 years old? Seems like yesterday when I went to my first one, when I came to Austin in 1973.--Susan Albert

    1. Thanks, Susan! I'm glad you stopped by. I would've loved to have been at Eeyore's party in '73 (but perhaps not as an 11 year old...).