Day 273: No Beer for You

76944123On Thurday night, despite having remembered to tote around a reusable plastic beer mug, I did not drink a single beer.

What happened on Thursday night is that I went down to the street party for the Junos (Canadian Music Awards) where there were free parties, bands playing all down the street, and a noticeable abundance of plastic beer cups.

In the main event tent, as predicted, there was a beer garden, doling out said cups filled with Whistler Brew. Alas, when I attempted to use my mug, I was shut down. I was actually surprised. I’ve been on a streak of agreeable servers and deli attendants who filled my containers and cups without question. What do you mean “no, you won’t do it”?

Their excuse wasn’t even a good one. They said if I didn’t have a cup like everyone else, security would think I smuggled my alcohol in. What? Do I look like I’m 19? I haven’t smuggled alcohol in anywhere in 10 years! Ok, maybe 5, but really. Why the heck does the bar tender care what the security guy thinks of me?

I debated the issue for about 5 minutes before giving up and selling my $7 (!) beer ticket to someone else.

Maybe I was over reacting, but who sets these rules? No beer unless it is in a flimsy, disposable plastic cup.

I’ll admit that I did go to a similar gathering a few weeks ago and forgot my reusable mug. And I’ll also admit that I cheated a bit at that event and reused a plastic cup that one of my friend’s had ditched. However, that particular cup came home with me and ended up in the “non curbside pick up plastic” pile. And when you wake up in the morning and realize that pile is a little bit bigger, it isn’t a good feeling. It’s like a recycling hangover.

So that was why, this time, I held my ground. No more using disposable plastic – even if it had already been used once.

Thanks to my patient friends who stood and waited while I had my eccentric confrontations, first with the beer guy and then with the pizza guy (who ended up giving me a slice in my hand and promising to reuse the cardboard box and who was definitely smirking at me when I left). It made me realize that things are so easy when you have your little routine of shops you go to and people you buy from, but that it all gets thrown out of wack when you go into the larger city and people just think you’re purposely being a difficult customer.

Ah well, I saved a couple bucks, and I’m probably better off with one less beer in my stomach anyway.

10 Comments

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10 responses to “Day 273: No Beer for You

  1. wow! you’re stories are great readings. It must feel great to live every little thing differently for a purpose.

  2. I found your story really interesting, and it made me feel good. Not because you’ve been rejected in a way, but because it always feels good to see people fighting for their cause, it is always great to realize we are not the only ones who live the same experience.

    Here’s one of my own… well, I want to share, I hope I won’t take to much space.

    Anyway, my great (hem… not!) experience has been with Tim Horton’s and the roll-up-the-rim contest which, as you probably know, uses tons of disposable cardboard cups. Personnaly, I don’t care about the contest because your chances are so slim, and the environment is just more important. So, one day, I was in this little town where the only coffee available is at Tim Horton’s. Therefore, I decided to go for it with my reusable mug. Even if I presented my mug and said I did not need a contest cup, the clerk insisted on giving me the cardboard cup I was suppose to receive with my coffee. BUT I DID NOT WANT IT! The person behind me said : “Well, then, I will take it…” And he received it… without coffee. The same person got another one when he bought his own coffee… I was stunned.

    It made me sad too. Around here, at this time of the year, the sides of the roads are filled with “Timmy’s” cardboard cups.

  3. Monica

    We tried to do you proud (yes, you’re getting in our heads).
    At the Junos at GM Place, we dutifully brought our beer cups back for another round, but were denied too! No reason. They just said they couldn’t.

  4. Not that it is an excuse, I’m sure its more about making a bit more money…but not reusing a beer cup is probably due to health concerns. Same reason why you can’t reuse a plate at a buffet.

    • Ah Tim Hortons. I love them, but they gotta stop it with the packaging. We used to actually eat there a lot, but we had ongoing battles with overpackaged sandwiches, so we haven’t been lately.

      Good try Monica. I think Ryan is right, it’s a health and safety thing. I think we’re a little paranoid in this country. Why not just have a sign that says “if you use your own mug and get sick, it’s your own problem”?

      You can’t reuse a plate at a buffet?! Really? I’ve done it, but I guess I was unintentionally doing it on the sly.

  5. A health and safety thing? How bizarre! Most coffee shops in Australia sell reusable mugs and encourage you to bring them. And oh, beer. I drank too much of it last night so next time I should try your approach!

  6. pauline

    its too bad festivals etc haven’t caught the “green bug” more!

    we live in guelph and attend the HILLSIDE music festival regularily! its super eco-friendly – you HAVE to buy a reusable beer mug if you want beer (plus its actually cool to bring your old ones back every year!), they sell stainless steel water bottles (thus eliminating the plastic water bottles), provide take-away food in reusable plates, utensils etc and even have a fill your own water bottle station. volunteers wash all the dishes so they can be used for the whole weekend!

    another pretty cool thing is that the roof of the main stage is actually a LIVING roof – providing oxygen etc for the earth!

    its truly amazing!

    thanks again for all your efforts guys! keep it up!

    pauline, maddox and jonah

    • That sounds like an amazing festival! I have heard of ones where you must buy a reusable mug (and then you can sell it back at the end of the day if you want), but I’ve never seen a whole festival with people washing dishes. That’s awesome!

      I assume the venue has a permanent stage and that’s how they can have a living roof. There are some great incentives in Ontario to have a green roof on your own building, and it’s cool to see that people are taking advantage of that.

      I know it’s weird about the cups. Hospitals I understand – we don’t want to be reusing needles etc, but cups. . . bringing your own actually saves the vendor money!

  7. Franki

    I’ve been meaning to check out your blog (I read about you in the MEC catalogue) and this entry really caught my eye. We went to visit our friends in Germany and we had lunch at a little sausage kiosk thingy in the centre of town. Well, not only did we NOT get said sausage in a shedload of packaging (the Germans seem to think the bun will suffice for transportation so they are miles ahead there) but we also had a beer and 2 glasses of wine. Which was served in actual GLASSES. You paid a small deposit for your glass and when you finished drinking out of it, you gave it back and they returned your deposit, which I thought was the best thing ever.

  8. g

    I had a similar experience. My high school principal wouldn’t let me bring my reusable water bottle with me for the graduation which was outside and in hot weather. She said I had to take a disposable plastic sealed one because she was worried I would try bringing alcohol to the graduation ceremony… Really? Of course my first objective is to get drunk in front of my parents and grandparents and then stumble across the stage to get my diploma… Just Kidding. I just decided to not drink water and it worked out fine. I just think its funny and sad that that happened. People are so worried about teenagers bringing alcohol and other drugs that they require them to only bring food wrapped in sealed packaging to school functions.

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