The 40 ounce bottle or beer at its bestI don't know which marketing guru came up with the concept of the 40, but this person is a freakin genius. To be honest, I have trouble believing that a buzz-word talking NYC nerd / marketing god could have come up with something like the 40; it was probably born in the intoxicated mind of some drunk sleeping in a ditch. That drunk is very likely a millionaire now, laughing his ass off at the misery of all the 40ies drinking lost souls around the world.
To make sure we are all on the same page here, a 40 is a 40 oz bottle of beer or malt liquor. What is the difference between beer and malt liquor? Don't ask me, because I don't know, and honestly, that won't prevent me from sleeping tonight (email me if you are an amateur home brewer, like my incarcerated uncle Jimmy, and know the exact technical answer).
The deal with 40ies is that they embody a life style. They truly represent the dark side of the North-American beer drinking culture; that's what makes the 40 so cool and that's why we all love it. 40ies are the drinks of the poor, of the young and of anybody who wants to get drunk cheap. You won't see bottles of St-Ides served in Britney Spears' restaurant (that's actually normal as it doesn't exist anymore, but I hope you are all getting my drift), but I can easily imagine her w.t. looking new husband downing one before their marriage, to make the whole ordeal easier to bear.
The magic of 40ies comes from all the pleasant yet painful experiences that I associate with this bottle format. How can I forget these first alcohol-induced hazy nights, resulting from drinking a full 40 with my best friends at a nearby bus stop? Or the good old times, before any club would let us in (damn crappy fake id's), when we would spend the night downing 40ies in a park. And how much I would like to forget tons of other painful experiences, which would have never been possible without the contribution of a few 40ies. Let just say that an untrained human body has a lot of trouble absorbing two Colt 45 40ies in only a couple of hours.
Montreal has a world renowned 40ies status. Dépanneurs around town (dépanneurs = seven elevens) carry a wide variety of 40ies, a few of which have a 10% alcohol content and can thus be considered as the Titanic of 40ies. In our lovely and cold city, guys and girls alike respect the pre-drinking tradition, which dictates that one must drink before going out to a club, a few forties preferably, and thus save tons of money, by arriving at the club already intoxicated. The only catch is to be able to act not-drunk for 30 seconds so that the bouncer lets you in (don't be fooled, its not for security reasons; clubs obviously prefer sober people, which will spend much more on alcohol).
40ies provide for hours of drinking game fun. One of the famous classics is "strip-spin the 40". It is a simple game involving spinning a 40 in the middle of a circle, preferably one that includes representatives of both sexes. The person pointed by the stopped bottle must either chug a glass from the 40 or take off a piece of clothing. You will notice that, as the game progresses, and either due to the intolerable taste of the 40 or the now elevated blood-alcohol level of the participants, clothing removal rate is greatly increased.
Please, just don't forget that, as with all good things in life, some self-control is always necessary. Don't go spend every cent of your pay check on drinking 40ies. But next time you drop by the corner store to pick-up a sixer of Ex, take a 40 instead, spill some for our homies that ain't here no more, and live like a thug for a few hours.
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