Brothers Drinking Custom (13)

A reader e-mails from Vancouver with news from his local pub. A man walked in several weeks ago and ordered three pints of Guinness and sat in the back of the room, taking a sip from each one in turn. When he had finished all three pints, he returned to the bar and ordered three more. The bartender told him, "You know, a pint goes flat after I draw it, and it would taste better if you bought one at a time." The man replied, "Well, you see, I have two brothers. One is in America, the other is in Australia, and I'm here. When we all left home, we promised that we'd drink this way to remember each other. So I drink one for each of my brothers and one for myself." The bartender admits that this is a nice custom and leaves it there. The man becomes a regular in the bar and always drinks the same way.

Then one day he comes in and orders two pints. All the regulars take notice and fall silent. When he comes back to the bar for the second round, the bartender says, "I don't want to intrude on your grief, but I wanted to offer my condolences on your loss." The man looks puzzled for a moment, then a light dawns and he laughs. "Oh, no, everybody's just fine," he explains. "It's just that my wife had us join that Baptist Church and I had to quit drinking. Hasn't affected my brothers though."

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