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Ode to Stella


Marietta Graziella:
My beloved Stella Artois.
I first made her acquaintance many years ago in Stratford Upon Avon just prior to a lovely outing of punting on the Thames with a brand new friend that soon after became my husband.  It was a very unassuming meeting.  She being the only one of her kind available on a quiet Sunday afternoon at, of all the unlikely places, Pizza Hut.  I did not allow this lowly beginning to put me off her many excellent qualities.  At that precise moment it was her easy availability that caught my eye.  Not wanting her to think me ungrateful to her for being there when I needed her, I continued to find her whenever possible over many, many years.  She became a trusted friend, although often time elusive in the area I lived.  As time passed I was able to find her more often.  It seemed that she has become friendly with many more people.  That's OK.  We had been friends a very long time and I knew she'd never leave me even if I did entertain others along side her.  She was no attention hound and didn't mind the company.
Preparing for the weekend I decided to go to my local Class V store.  It had been awhile since I spent time in her company and I feared she would feel neglected without my attentions.  Being still rather new to this area I worried that she was sitting on the shelf lonely and desperate, throwing herself at any passing hand just for the comfort of a firm grip about her neck.
To my shock and horror she was not in her usual spot with her friends Tilburg, Henry, and Smithwicks.  I called to her, but alas, she did not answer.  Had she grown so weary in waiting?  Had she fallen in with bitter types?  Had she taken up with some sweet thing!?!   Sigh.  There was not even a calling card left on the shelf to show that she had once graced its ledge.  I paused in a moment of silence and wished her well, wherever she had gone.
Down trodden and dismayed, I shuffled westward within the store in hopes of finding a new friend amongst the riffraff of Bud, Mich, and Blue.  There were many familiar faces as well as a few interlopers pushing their way onto the shelves.  I'd seen their type before.  Seasonal.  Hmph.  Vagrants!  Settling in to tease for a short while then pushing off to warmer climes leaving you wanting.  I'd have none of that.  I was saddened at the loss of my friend but I'd not take up with a transient on the rebound!
Halfheartedly scanning the shelves I thought I glimpsed a familiar color scheme down a few rows.  No, it couldn't be Stella.  This is not where she belonged.  I ignored the imposter and kept hunting.   Up and down the shelves I searched, finding not an enticing label in the lot.  Closer and closer I drew to those brilliantly coordinated colors.  Could it be...?
Huzzah and rejoice!  There she was!  My dearest and oldest of malted friends, Stella!  Moved to a new and somewhat less diverse neighborhood than before, but still in decent company.  It seems that in my absence she had befriended the masses; charmed them, as it were, with her delightful tingle and refreshing crispness, and had to be moved to larger accommodations to fulfill the growing desire of her liquid wonderment.  So brazen and popular had she become that she was now flaunting herself around by the dozen!  This was not like my old friend at all.
Part of me dances with tears of joy at her acceptance by so many.  Finally they see what I have always appreciated and enjoyed.   Huzzah again and welcome to the light!
However, another part of me thinks:  You two timing belch.

Marietta Graziella:
I have had a couple of friends tell me they didn't "get it" about this brief tale.  Hmmm.  I thought it was obvious.

It's about a beer.  Stella Artois, from Belgium.  Hope that helps.


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