This story has nothing to do with beer, sorry folks.
This is a tale of epic proportions. It is a story jam packed with action and adventure, suspense, drama, and comedy. It is a story about raw human emotion — fear, anxiety, anger, compassion and happiness. It is a story interlaced with values. There are many morals to the story. There are victims, there are heroes, and there are villains. And the best part is that the story actually does end happily ever after.
The story begins on a warm, sunny California evening. Our main character, Wenchie, made the decision to venture into San Francisco, via public transportation from Berkeley, to attend a “Meet The Brewer” event with James Watts of BrewDog at The City Beer Store.
This was the first time that our Wenchie had ventured into “The City” in at least 3 weeks. So it was a big deal for her to be there.
The event itself was a smashing good time. Wenchie got to see many of her NorCal beer friends that she had not seen in quite some time. Some of her old HopPress teams members were there, her good friend Joe Tucker of RateBeer was there, lots of other Bay Area beer bloggers, brewers, and fellow beer evangelists were there.
Wenchie enjoyed several of BrewDog’s most highly coveted ales. But what really made the experience epic was that she has the opportunity to drink the beers with the very dapper, extremely witty, and slightly incomprehensible BrewDog founder, James Watts. The night was perfect. But, ultimately, people started to leave and and eventually Wenchie was left to her own.
The responsible person inside Wenchie said to go home. And so she attempted to leave San Francisco, walking back to public transportation. Along the way she passed “The Cat Club”, where the doormen tried to lure her in for a night of debauchery and dancing. She politely declined.
But upon turning the corner, Wenchie realized that she had forgotten a beer at City Beer Store that she had promised to a fellow beer geek on The East Coast. And so she made a quick heel turn and proceeded to return to City Beer Store. But not without passing “The Cat Club” again. And again, she got tempted by the doormen. But again, she politely declined.
After securing her beer for trading, Wenchie found herself yet again passing by “The Cat Club.” The third time must be a charm because this time she stopped and inquired about exactly what was going on inside. The doormen told her it was 80′s night and, being a huge fan of 80′s music and an even bigger fan of dancing, our Wenchie found herself being lured into a world of strobe lights, disco balls, costumes, and insanity.
Being the Internet addict that she is, Wenchie made sure to tell her Twitter friends exactly where she was and what she was doing. But that would be the last that any of them would hear from her for at least 12 hours. Wenchie tucked her phone away into her backpack and handed it over to the coat check girl at the club.
That night, Wenchie had the time of her life. She danced like no one was watching. It had been a long, long, long time since she had been told that she was attractive. And that night, people told her how awesome her hair was and how pretty her eyes were. And she felt good about herself. For once.
She also met so many amazing people. In fact, one young woman noticed how much fun she was having on the dance floor and encouraged her to stay. Wenchie said that she had to leave into order to make the last train home. Unfortunately, the amazing young woman had celiacs disease, which meant she was unable to drink. But fortunately, she had driven to the bar from the East Bay. She offered our Wenchie a ride home, so that she did not have to pull a Cinderella and leave the club at midnight.
Sometime during the night, the phone was lost. There is no way to know when or where it was lost, but it was lost. To no avail, our Wenchie desperately attempted to call and text her phone from her roommate’s phone.
By the next day, the phone appeared to be dead.
The loss of her phone devastated our young heroine. You see, most people do not understand what it is like to live a day in the life of The Beer Wench. Whilst she puts on a fantastic facade, her life is not as glamorous as most people think. She gave up everything material and blew through her entire meager savings to become a craft beer evangelist and fine beverage revolutionary. Although she is known to travel extensively and drink some of the most coveted beers in the world, Wenchie lives a very simple life. And she lives day by day, never knowing where she will be the next day. And never knowing how long she can survive this lifestyle before she is ultimately defeated.
There are some people that envy the life of Wenchie. Some people love to criticize her for her choices in life. But those people do not understand the sacrifices that she had to make in order for her to have the experiences that she has had. These people do not know how poor her living conditions are. Those people do not know how much she fears, every single day, of going broke and having to give up her dream. Most people don’t know how lonely her life is and how most of her nights are spent home alone.
Our Wenchie has two material items that are worth more emotionally than they are economically: her phone and her laptop. These are two items that she cannot live without. Everything else, ha. She doesn’t even own furniture or sleep in a real bed. In fact, the only piece of real jewelry she owns is her gold class ring from The Ohio State University. That is it. No lie.
So when our poor little Wenchie lost her phone, she was emotionally devastated. Being unemployed for over a year, there was no way she could afford another phone. But despite her internal devastation, she kept her wits about her and was determined to figure out a way to make things work.
Her awesome roommate, Debra, offered to stop by “The Cat Club” after work to see if they had found the phone. But before she could do that, something rather extraordinary happened. The 13 year old son of the man who found the phone turned the phone on an texted Wenchie’s roomate.
He told Debra that his dad had found the phone but was not going to give it back. This angered Debra and she unsuccessfully tried to convince the kid to return it to its rightful owner.
And then things got even more intense. The kid used Wenchie’s phone to post random messages on her Facebook wall. “XTMYNOIWRNTR”. Wenchie’s friends thought it would be funny to chide her and call her a drunk. But Debra would not stand for such insults. She told everyone that the phone had been taken and the culprits were not willing to give it back.
This is when things got really exciting. The boy saw Debra’s post and decided to friend her on Facebook in order to chat with her about the lost phone. He told her that his dad was “cheap” and refused to give it back. This angered Debra and she threatened to file a police report. This did not seem to frighten the boy, so she actually called the San Francisco police department, who informed her that Wenchie needed to be the person filing the missing phone report.
Wenchie called up Debra from a payphone in Oakland. Apparently, payphones have gone the way of the dinosaur because it took Wenchie 20 minutes to locate one. Her roommate updated her on the situation. It must have been the payphone booth, but at that moment, our Wenchie transformed from a devastated young girl into a super hero on a mission.
Wenchie picked Debra up and the two sleuths set out to find the phone. After a dinner of greasy food and unsuccessfully trying to get an Internet connection at a fast food restaurant, the two drove around until they found a Wi-Fi hotspot. On the side of the road, Wenchie was finally able to activate MobileMe, a tracking device she had purchased from Apple. MobileMe was able to give the two private eyes almost the exact coordinates of the phone.
Knowing the last name of the family and the zip code, Wenchie proceeded to use yellow pages to look-up the exact address where the phone was located.
Wenchie also reached out to her friends on Facebook. Told them to text her phone to inform the possessors that she was going to file a police report if they failed to return it. Since his profile said he was born in 1986, the girls assumed that the boy was about 24. So they decided that scare tactics would work best and began to threaten him with the police.
In the meantime, the girls went to their local police station in Berkeley — where they were automatically and very rudely rejected. So the girls called up San Francisco PD. At first, the SF cops were unresponsive and, it was not until Wenchie revealed that the case was pretty much signed and sealed, that they agreed to help. So much for tax dollars.
The dispatched told the girls that once they reached the address, they should call the SFPD for a civilian car to come and assist them with the reacquisition of the phone.
As they drove closer and closer to his house, the girls continued to try to get the kid to meet them with the phone. They did not want to get the cops involved, especially since the cops had been so worthless up to that point.
Eventually, the boy confessed that he was only 13 and could not leave the house at 9:30pm at night. He informed the girls that his dad was asleep and his mom was away, and that he could meet them outside the house. Although the girls did not know the number of his house, they pulled onto the street that MobileMe indicated and, ironically, parked right in front of the exact house.
The kid came outside as promised, apologized for his father, and returned the phone.
The two girls returned back to the East Bay with the phone. And everyone lived happily ever after. Well, everyone except for the father who tried to keep something that did not belong to him.
The moral of the story? There are several.
Moral 1: When one puts so much value into an object, one must take extra care of it.
Moral 2: True friends are there for you you when you need them the most, even when it may be extremely inconvenient for them.
Moral 3: When a material object has the ability to devastate your world, you need to reprioritize your life.
Moral 4: Age has nothing to do with values.
Moral 5: You can’t make new friends if you never leave the house. And if you never leave the house, you will always be alone.
Moral 6: Apple is fucking awesome. Social Media is fucking awesome. Technology FOR THE WIN.
From The Author
Just when I thought that the younger generations consisted of spoiled children with a sense of entitlement and lack of respect for adults and authority (trust me, I substitute taught Middle School…. kids are not what they used to be), I was proven wrong by one really strong kid. This young boy defied his own father’s wishes for the greater good of someone he did not know. Not because he had something to benefit from it, but because he knew it was the right thing.
The right thing. Imagine that. Someone in today’s material driven, capitalistic society actually did the right thing. And he was 13 years old. Thirteen freaking years old. Makes you feel kind of ashamed of your own selfish and hedonistic nature, doesn’t it?
The bottom line is that, this boy has made a tremendous impact on my life. Not only did he return one of my most important possessions in life, but he has inspired me to be a better person. He had nothing to gain and everything to lose from returning my phone. He will suffer for days, weeks, and maybe even years to come, for betraying his father’s wishes. And for this act of courage, I am eternally grateful.
To the boy whom this story is about, you know who you are, you will forever hold a place in my heart. I look forward to seeing the person whom you develop into and hope that you will never let go of your values and your subconscious drive to do the right thing, regardless of what your elders tell you. And: “This above all, to thine ownself be true.” — William Shakespeare.