By John Petersen
36 years ago on my 1st trip to Japan (USS Proteus AS-19), I managed to not only smuggle this little gem aboard ship but get it all the way home upon my transfer back to the states from Guam (kept it well hidden..). After all these years, it sits, as yet unopened, in an inconspicuous corner of the bookshelf in the living room.
Unopened. 36 years. Have been married 30 years. My oldest child is 30 years old. I am actually apprehensive of even thinking of popping the tab, for only God himself knows what may spring forth from its sudden release. What happens to simple Japanese beer after all those years contained in airtight confines? Does it become lethal? Does it breed microbes that, if unleashed, overtake civilization in the scope of the black plague? Should I report it to the CDC as a potential bio-hazard?
It has a decent layer of dust on it and it’s surrounding area on the bookshelf as the wife, my self, and pretty much every other family member is afraid to touch it, fearing to do so may set off an explosive reaction. It, therefore, reigns supreme over our darkest fears and anxieties. The wife suggested I ‘give it a little shake’ to see if it still sounds like a liquid. I’d rather pull a pin and hold it close to my chest (is she trying to delete my presence?).
An exceptional wine, bourbon or whiskey improves with age, this is known and accepted with anticipation. This simple little barrel-shaped can, most likely un-lined with whatever they line beer cans with these days, would be the ultimate exception.
A 10.1 fl oz can of what used to be a good, refreshing beverage for a liberty hound Asia sailor, now holding supremacy over an apprehensive lower-middle-class family. This will be endowed to my kids in my will, for they will be forced to suffer the unknown horrors of life that the little shits continuously presented to me during their upbringing.
Maybe one of ’em will have the fortitude to open it…