In March of this year I declared, amidst an earnest effort to get healthier, that I was no longer drinking beer. Beer, as you know, has carbs, and carbs, as you also probably know, are the enemy. Thus, my old beer drinking habits and my new healthy lifestyle were rendered wholly incompatible.
This decision was immediately met with skepticism from my friends and family, who unanimously determined my beerless proclamation to be bullshit attention seeking.
People would ask me: “How do you plan on surviving without beer?” And I would smile and say: “Easy, I’m just going to drink liquor instead.” A foolproof plan, or so I foolishly believed.
Except, as I quickly realized, exclusively drinking hard liquor is not always practical or appropriate. By default, trips to breweries became more miserable than they already were. Beach and pool days became logistical nightmares, juggling water bottles filled with whiskey or tequila, mixers, and plastic cups while engaging in desperate, futile attempts to keep my ice from getting sandy.
After work happy hours turned into debaucherous, all night rampages followed by tense meetings and scornful glances from management the next morning. My healthy, no-beer lifestyle had put me on a dangerous path, a spiraling, liquored-fueled descent into madness, and possibly unemployment.
One morning, post-one of those aforementioned work happy hours, I awoke nude, handcuffed to the bedposts in a suite at the Hyatt Place hotel. It was a Tuesday morning, and I knew my boss would be livid if I tried to call out, as she had specifically warned me that after five prior instances, the old “handcuffed and abandoned in a luxury suite at the Hyatt” excuse was no longer going to fly with her.
As I lay there, screaming at the top of my lungs in the hope that room service might hear my cries and come rescue me from bondage, it crossed my mind that maybe I should just quit drinking. Liquor simply wasn’t working out for me, and with beer still off the menu (because I am always watching my figure), that left wine, which seemed like even more trouble and effort than liquor, and Listerine, which I have had mixed experiences with.
I spent a week in sobriety, exiled and miserable. I became more productive at work, and found myself leaving the Hyatt at more reasonable hours and in much more coherent conditions. People started talking to me again, and I hated it. But what could I do? The liquor train had betrayed me, and beer still has carbs.
One night, while chained upside down and dangling in front of the bay widows of the Hyatt luxury suite, hot candle-wax dripping slowly down my naked body, I confessed my dilemma to the flavor of the night, a vicious four-foot-eight sorority dropout who had been booted off campus for running an illegal import-export operation out of the Zeta house.
“Is something wrong?” she asked, unfurling one of those leather whips with dense little knots at the tip. “You seem really clear-minded, and it’s kinda freaking me out.”
“I’m fine, I just haven’t had a drink in more than a week.” I flinched as the whip cracked against my chest. “You know, healthy lifestyle and all.”
She seemed confused. “I thought you were still drinking liquor?”
I shook my head solemnly. “Me and liquor had a falling out. We ain’t cool no more. It felt like my life was starting to go off the rails.”
“Stop talking!” shouted one of the businessmen we had charged fifty dollars each to watch.
My captor shot him a disapproving look and then turned back to me. “You know, if liquor isn’t working for you, there are other options.”
I sighed as she rotated the giant, circular wooden torture rack to the upright position. “Don’t say wine, I don’t want to start pounding wine all the time like some kind of weirdo.”
“Not wine.” She smiled, pulling a small blade out of her leather corset and running it along my trembling body. “Seltzers.”
“Cut his dick!” shouted another one of the businessmen in the audience, an older man with thick glasses who had jumped out of his seat in excitement.
“I already told you, that’s extra, so either pony up another twenty-five or shut the hell up!”
The businessman furrowed his brow and sat back down, defeated.
“Seltzers?” I stuck my tongue out in disgust. “You mean like Truly? No way, that stuff is truly terrible.”
The audience groaned. Someone hurled a ball-gag from the back of the room, which bounced off my face and onto the floor.
“No, not Trulys,” continued the dominatrix. “White Claws.”
“Never heard of them. And you say they are better than Trulys?”
My captor grinned as she snapped a white rubber glove over her hand. “I can guarantee you that they truly are.”
The audience groaned again. Someone yelled for his money back. Someone else flung the hotel nightstand Bible this time.
Intrigued, I went to the Target the following weekend and picked up some of these mysterious White Claws. The label on the rectangular box said three grams of carbs per can – a tolerable amount – and five percent alcohol to boot. Not a bad deal for the health-conscious such as myself.
But would they pass the taste test? I have often said that the flavor of Truly, regardless of whatever the labeling on the can claims to be, is very similar to licking a granite counter-top, albeit less refreshing. Judging by the similar packaging and presentation, it seemed plausible to me that White Claw would be equally unpleasant.
I will never forget that first sip. It was the Black Cherry flavor, so exquisite, so pristine that I finished the entire can in a few deep gulps as several families shopping for groceries nearby stared on in disgust. One woman shouted that I shouldn’t be drinking in a classy joint like the Target, but I was already entranced and well on my way to polishing off my second can.
That magical seltzer had its claws in me.
By the time the security at Target came and dragged me away, I had destroyed one twelve-can variety pack and was clawing my way into another. The delicious taste, combined with the light, crisp, and boozily refreshing nature was unlike anything I had ever experienced before, and I knew at that moment that I would never drink anything, not even water, ever again.
Fast-forward a few months and I’m a changed man. The Claws have made me a better, more complete person. I’m social, I’m cheerful, and most importantly I am healthy. The Claws have allowed me to have the body I always dreamed of. My plumage has never been brighter, and my spirited and elaborate mating dance now attracts larger, more desirable mates from the flock. At the office, my coworkers tell me that I have a nice, fruity odor that is much more pleasant than the musky tones of stale Evan Williams they had come to expect.
Some people will tell you that light beer has the same amount or fewer carbs than White Claws. Others will tell you that Truly’s, or god forbid some other ratchet off-brand seltzer is better. These people are wrong and should not be trusted. For there is a reason that White Claws have ascended to meme status during this hallowed, fucked-up summer of 2019…
It’s because they mix so well with vodka. Catch me at the Hyatt.