We have reached the midst of winter when it is socially acceptable to cower in dark snug pubs, or lounge about on the couch with a beer in hand and the cat at your feet. But whilst it may be cold, just like in summer, autumn and even spring, it's important to heed that well-known piece of advice:
"Stay off your internet, phone and your socials after you've had a few drinks, it will only end in tears!!!"
Or words to that effect!
It’s hard, I know.
There was the time I accidentally "liked" an ex-boyfriend’s current wife's mum's photo of her garden.
Once I was online shopping to buy a couple of t-shirts with cool designs on them but when I opened the delivery I discovered that they were baby clothes.
There was also an incident whereby I uploaded an Instagram photo of my darling cat with X-Pro II filter and added the hashtags #pussy and #xxx. Some "interesting" profiles started following me.
Clearly, the advice to lock up your phone and turn off the Wi-Fi can indeed be sound. I'm sure these types of awkward moments have happened to you after a few quiet ones? For some reason, a deliciously hoppy brew brings out the liquid courage, and the confident assertive Celia – whom I wish existed in other situations such as asking my boss for a pay rise, or singing in public - starts to emerge.
Despite all this, I’ve also had some fun, non-awkward moments as a result of pairing ales with the internet. Here are some memorable beer-induced experiments that I have conducted for your benefit to prove that alcohol and your smart phone can live together in harmony.
Beer: Torpedo Extra IPA (Sierra Nevada)
Decision: Organise a 20-year primary school reunion on Facebook.
Method: Take a sip of your old friend Torpedo, and reminisce on old friends from the past. Realise that it's been a whole 20 years since you left primary school and decide this is a reason for a reunion. Create event, and invite friends on your Facebook that you went to primary school with. Search for the others you've lost touch with. Tip: Try and guess what they look like 20 years older as a guide when pressing, "Add Friend".
Result: Whilst only one male came, you delight in catching up with old school chums and reminiscing about the time Sophie sharpened Shane's finger with a pencil sharpener.
Beer: Murray's Fred IPA.
Decision: Acquire tickets to a sold out Melbourne gig.
Method: Sit and think about how you really like that sweet band that busk around your hometown, whilst simultaneously delighted by the balance of bitterness and malty sweetness of your Fred IPA. You Google and see they have a show soon but it's sold out. Direct message the band and ask nicely. Be honest about how much of a fan you are, but don't overdo it, you don't want to sound like a weirdo. Within the message, instead of using actual emoticons, finish each sentence with descriptions of emoticons. For example, "I look forward to hearing from you. Wink face emoticon."
Result: Acquired tickets and attended a wonderful musical experience, and love the band for being so nice to you.
Beer: Pernicious Weed (Garage Project).
Decision: Buy a vacuum cleaner online.
Method: Enjoy the delightful hoppy glass of beer, and get excited by the grapefruit flavours. Go online and impulse purchase a rather expensive vacuum cleaner.
Result: Sure, you have to charge it for 17 hours for it to work for 20 minutes but by gosh you feel like you're one of those guys on the morning breakfast shows demonstrating how easy it is to suck up errant kitty litter, grapefruit peel and other pernicious weeds from your kitchen floor.
Beer: Arrogant Bastard Ale (Arrogant Brewing)
Decision: Tweet one of your favourite Arrogant Bastards, Ricky Gervais.
Method: Watch TV show "Extras" and find that you really enjoy it. Especially paired with a glass of bitter, caramelly, punchy beer. You never really use twitter but you compose a tweet to Ricky Gervais because you want him to know how much you enjoyed the show.
Result: Ricky Gervais replies with a smiley face emoticon. Not the emoji but the one that looks like this :) You live off this little interaction for years, you even include it in an article you write for a craft beer magazine.
So while it’s still probably socially unacceptable to ask your boss for a pay rise whilst under the influence, always remember that there can be some joy as a result of pairing your favourite craft beer with the internet. Just try and stay off your ex-boyfriend’s current wife’s mum’s Facebook. It will only end in tears.