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By John I. Blair

There’s a balalaika band
In a bar in Silverton Colorado,
High in the Rocky Mountains;
And in the summer season
They strum the songs of Belarus
As plangently and plaintively
As they would in Minsk.
One day I staggered into that bar
As sick as any horse
And collapsed at a corner table.
My wife was with me, watchful at my side,
But simultaneously seeking sustenance.
“What beer can you bring me?”
She begged; and the barkeep
Pointed at a pile of potables.
“Is that Rheingold?” she marveled.
“Right!” he responded,
At which remark she bagged a bottle
And began to belt out the Rheingold song,
“My beer is Rheingold, the dry beer!”
Soon she was joined by the jovial waiter
And the buxom barmaid.
Around the room they roistered,
While I reclined, repentant
Of ever coming to Colorado,
And wondering at my wife,
For reveling in Rheingold
While I was expiring in the corner.
Later we learned the boisterous barkeep
Was native to her neighborhood in Brooklyn;
And he, like her, had heard
The Rheingold song from infancy.
So I forgave them both forthwith,
Did not die (despite expecting to),
And made it down the mountain
Once again, bearing as baggage
A beer hall brag to bore
My bosom buddies beyond belief.

©2003 John I. Blair

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