Author: Jeff Kennedy

Beer Whisperer

So the bartender sits a half-filled pint on the bar in front of me.

“Tell me what beer this is.”

I don’t know his name, but I recognize him from a few neighborhood bars. Both arms are covered in anime tattoos maybe 100 people would recognize. I can name thee of them.

“Kitchen guys changed the keg, but didn’t mark the line.”

So I take a sip of water and then a deep quaff of the unknown beer.

“Kind of a light wheat beer with little bitter aftertaste. It’s a light pale ale.”

A little while later, he puts a full pint in front of me.

“They found the kitchen notes. You were spot on.”

Based on the ads, I guess the local brewer. He laughs and shakes his head.

“Spot on again. On the house.”

Weirdly, a true story.

Swords

I finally climbed through that little wood trap door in the upstairs hallway yesterday. Found a couple random swords in the attic. Not little froufrou epees. Broad swords.

One was just lying there and the other was stuck deep in the stone chimney. Took a hell of an effort to pull it out. 

Forgetting, for the moment, the obvious question of how did two fucking broad swords get into the attic and the related question of, why were two fucking broad swords in the attic, another much more important question springs to mind.

Am I King of the Britons now?

Nostalgia

I don’t get this whole “grow food at home” fad. Farming, I think they’re calling it?

What’s wrong with hunting and gathering? Exercise. Fresh air. That’s the good life. Why risk pissing off the earth gods? Seems to me that you’re just asking for a smiting.

Og and I argue about this stuff all the time. Og’s the guy that tries new things. He’s the trailblazer. Og was the first one to burn food. Now everybody’s cooking.

I guess I’m just a traditional guy. Og seems pretty excited about this new wheel thing. though. It might be worth checking out.

The Guy In Front of Me

So, when the guy in front of me drives into the rain, he slams on his brakes so hard that he nearly loses control of his F150, skidding insanely across all four lanes of 71 Southbound. And, just for a moment, the world turns into a Speed Racer cartoon.

To be clear, he didn’t drive into a volcanic eruption or a tornado or even a thunderstorm. He drove into some light rain.

As he suddenly veers across the lanes, all the rest of us somehow manage to swerve and dodge and miss the collection of large steel tools now flying out of a blue toolbox in the bed of his truck. The toolbox soon follows, narrowly missing my tiny Chevy Sonic.

As soon as my heart starts beating again, I notice that there are many hand signals of displeasure, but I refuse to join them, instead deeply pondering the taste of a cold beer.

What is it about rain that makes Ohio drivers turn the crazy up to eleven?

Celebrity Meeting (Rock & Roll Edition)

In the mid-80s, some college friends and I had had a comedy show on WBGU-FM called “A 1/2 Hour of Static & Fuzz”. It was a ton of work. Writing sketches. Finding sound effects. Recording. Editing. This was the days of reel to reel tape and that meant wax pencils, razor blades, and splicing tape.

I was usually editing right up until air time when I’d wait for the DJ booth’s light to turn green (red meant “on air, no enter”) and deliver the show.

One evening was particularly grueling. (Ask me about the “Tina Louise School of Acting” and “Deep Sea Fishing with Ted Kennedy” sketches some time.) I rushed into the DJ booth about 10 minutes before air time and handed him the tape. He was pretty relieved as that meant he could just put on the show tape and take it easy rather than DJing for another half hour.

There were maybe six guys sitting on a sofa and sprawled on the floor in the DJ booth. They looked kind of familiar, but I didn’t recognize them.

And that’s how I met Michael Stanley and the Michael Stanley Band.

Celebrity Meeting (Playwright Addition)

Year’s ago, I was the Playwright Representative for the Ohio Theater Alliance. The annual conferences were amazing. One year, I had a very, very bad cold, but went to the conference despite being fairly miserable.

Guest Speaker (as I walked up to table sniffing and shivering): Wow. You look really sick. Should you be here? What are you doing here?

Me (staring at Guess Speaker): *silence*

Guess Speaker (laughing nervously and looking down at his hands): Oh yeah. Well. I guess…

And that’s how I met Edward Albee author of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, The Zoo Story, and many other amazing plays.