by W. F. Strong (adapted from folklore)
I think we’re in need of humor more now than ever before. So I thought I’d share with you this bit of classic Texas folklore. You may well have heard it before and, if you have, I’m sure you won’t mind hearing it again. If you haven’t heard it, well, you’ll have the pleasure of hearing it for the first time. Nothing better than novel humor, providing it’s well told. I’ll do my best.
A Texas Cowboy who had just recently moved to Montana walked into a bar up there and ordered three mugs of draft beer.
He took a seat in the back of the room by himself and commenced to drinking all three beers by taking a sip out of each one in a consistent sequence so that he finished them all at the same time.
Then he walked back up to the bar and asked the barkeep for three more.
Well, the bartender, wanting to be helpful, said, “You know, partner, a mug of beer can go a bit flat fairly soon after it’s drawn. You can buy ‘em three at time, if you like, but I can bring ‘em out to you one at a time to keep ‘em cold, fresh and crisp.”
The Texan replied, “Well, you see, I do it this way because I have two brothers. We were always close until a few months ago when we all, sadly, had to leave Texas for a while because of job transfers. One went to Georgia, the other to, sorry to say, New York. We agreed to always drink as I’m doing now to honor our good times together until we can all get back to Texas. So, I’m drinking one beer for me and two for my brothers.”
The barkeep was touched by the man’s custom and pushed three mugs of beer to him, and said, “This round’s on me.”
The Texan took a liking to the place. Felt like home. He came in there all the time afterwards and always followed his three beer tradition. The regulars became aware of it after a while and admired his unique commemoration. Sometimes bar patrons would even hoist a beer up in his direction and offer a toast. “To the brothers!” they’d say.
One day, the Texan came in and ordered two beers, sat down and began drinking them in turn. Everybody noticed and the bar got quiet, unusually silent.
The bartender felt he should say something so he walked over to the cowboy’s table and said quite sincerely, “I’m sorry about the loss of your brother, truly sorry.”
The cowboy looked confused a minute and then figured out what the bartender was thinking. He laughed and said, “Oh, no, no. Nobody died or nothin’. It’s just, you see, me and my wife joined a really strict church last week and I had to swear off drinkin’.”
Then it was the bartender’s turn to look confused.
The Texan explained, “Well, that didn’t affect my brothers none.”