The Monthly Editorial Blog By Schlafly Beer President Tom Schlafly
The St. Louis Walk of Fame on Delmar in the University City Loop includes some distinguished poets who have at one time or another called St. Louis home: Maya Angelou, T. S. Eliot and Eugene Field among them. It also includes the eminently quotable Yogi Berra, who’s almost as famous for his aphorisms as for his baseball skills. Someone who is not included, but in my opinion deserves to be considered, is James Milton Campbell, Jr., aka Little Milton, who penned one of the most memorable lines in the history of music, “Hey, mister, your wife is cheating on us.”
Little Milton was born in the Mississippi Delta in 1934. In 1952 he caught the attention of Ike Turner (whose name is on the Walk of Fame) and later moved to St. Louis, where he performed with Fontella Bass (whose name is also on the Walk of Fame) and with Oliver Sain, whose band played at my high school graduation in 1966 and at the belated celebration of my 50th birthday at The Tap Room in 1999. Little Milton died in Memphis in 2005 from complications following a stroke.
I was reminded of Little Milton’s trenchant lyrics back in November when General David Petraeus resigned from his position as director of the CIA. Alert readers (ARs) will recall that Petraeus, who had been married for over 38 years, admitted to having an affair with a woman named Paula Broadwell, who was also married. The affair came to light after Broadwell suspected another married woman named Jill Kelley of also having an affair with Petraeus. Broadwell reacted by sending threatening e-mails to Kelley, who turned them over to the FBI. One has to wonder whether Broadwell, perhaps channeling Little Milton, also sent messages to Mrs. Petraeus, complaining, “Hey, lady, your husband is cheating on us.” The episode confirmed once again that truth is at least as strange as musical fiction.
Having lost his job at the CIA, Petraeus now has plenty of time to reflect on his behavior. Perhaps he can find comfort in the words of Sir John Harington, the inventor of the flush toilet: “It is better to love two too many than one too few.” He might be consoled by the wisdom of Mae West, “To err is human—but it feels divine.” He might also ponder the comment by Zsa Zsa Gabor, “I know nothing about sex because I was always married.”
The remainder of this column is intended solely for adult readers (also ARs ), not because it deals with human reproduction—it does—but rather because it relates to beer. As we all know, sex education is deemed perfectly suitable for students in elementary school, but promoting beer to an audience that might include adolescents is totally verboten. If, therefore, you happen to be under the age of 21, please stop reading now.
As most remaining ARs realize, Schlafly Beer celebrated its 21st birthday on December 26, 2012. Thus, according to my calculations, the first baby conceived by one or both parents under the influence of our beer is likely to celebrate his or her 21st birthday sometime in the fall of 2013. The obvious way to recognize this individual would be to buy him or her a beer on his or her birthday. The problem, however, is that this person is not yet old enough to drink legally. As a socially responsible company we are not allowed to market to this person, whoever he or she may be. We can, however, reach out to the conceiving parents, which is exactly what we’re doing.
If any of you amorous readers (yet another kind of ARs), think you may be the parents of the first baby conceived under the influence of Schlafly Beer, we encourage you to share your story by sending it to email@example.com. I’m not exactly sure what kind of recognition we plan to give to the individuals involved (conceivers and conceived) and would welcome recommendations on this point from other ARs. Depending on the response, we may post parental recollections of moments of conception on line and let ARs help us decide what kind of recognition would be appropriate. It might even be worth posting maternal and paternal memories separately and comparing them for consistency. Embarrassed offspring will not be allowed to comment until after they’ve celebrated their 21st birthdays, by which time their parents’ stories will have gone viral and it will be too late.
My guess is that these stories will include details about numerous catalysts for romance beyond Schlafly Beer. Many will undoubtedly include the role of certain music that’s still meaningful for parents and not yet revealed to their children. Who knows? Some couples may even have been listening to Little Milton on that special occasion 21 years ago.