ABYM #49: Never Spill Your Beer

Posted: February 16, 2012 in ABYM Rules
Tags: , , ,

This is a rule that most people learned in college/early 20’s, yet I doubt that most people really knew how important this skill was going to be.

I sure didn’t.

As a quick refresher, the concept of not spilling one’s beer extends to not only exerting constant vigilance over one’s container (against ill-willed miscreants at the local pub) and protecting it from the bumps of careless strangers (I paid $12 for this beer I’m not going to let some drunken Cubs fan spill it all over the floor), but to a much more important skill. This skill is something I like to call the Statue of Liberty.


The Statue of Liberty is when you are holding your beverage and slip/fall on something (ice, rocks, stairs, sleeping drunks) and your entire body spins around and flails yet your beer (and it’s beer holding arm) remains firmly thrust into the sky like the torch of sweet Lady Liberty. You may be cut, bruised, and ashamed; yet among the rubble of your fantastic fall rises an exemplification of balance and agility that far surpasses any judgment you might receive for falling in the first place. If you have developed this skill once, it stays with you. It’s better than riding a bike, because this is something so innate that your body does before you even know it.

and…..now to bring it back to the jungle

Besides the obvious benefit of not spilling your beer, there are a lot of other things that you want to have complete motor control over when you trip on logs, wet rocks, loose rocks, animals, jungle-y weeds that you can make rope out of (they are real btw), big rocks, gravel, or your own feet because you were looking at all the aforementioned rocks and not watching where you were going.

If you have read any of my previous entries you can probably guess one thing that you don’t want flailing around……


Your trusty machete.

If properly cared for, even a slight slip up can cause some serious slicing. Your amazing ability to not spill your beer translates to you not cutting your arm off (or the arm of the guy behind you.)


Your rockhammer.

It takes more than one hand to count the amount of times I have injured myself with this thing. While most of the injuries were finger or foot based, had I not had such excellent beer saving skills I may have injured more critical body parts in the many times I have fallen while holding this.

In addition to endangering yourself and others, a lot of times you are holding stuff that is more valuable than dangerous.


Your expensive geology compass.
Your $300 geology compass can take some serious hits, but if you just pretend it is a beer in your hand you can avoid field testing its durability.

Your $375 dollar handheld GPS.

This has about the same width as a beer bottle, so your hand won’t get confused.

However, the most important piece of equipment you will need to do the Statue of Liberty with is….

The differential GPS that costs twice as much as my car.

This thing is a badass. It doesn’t lose signal under trees, around cliffs, and takes crazy accurate GPS measurements. The trick is that you have to walk around with this oriented as vertically as you can, held steady out in front of you as you walk outdoors. This is the same outdoors with all the snakes, holes, crazy plants and animals as the rest of my job. It’s not terribly heavy, but because of its shape its like walking around with an extended steel ladder at arms length for 8 hours…..except that you can’t afford to replace the ladder if you should break it.

Hence the Statue of Liberty move. This is the creme de la creme of situations. Your body and mind are on a team and know how important the thing you are holding is. As such, they will allow any and all bodily harm to occur to the rest of you as your hand holds this awesome piece of equipment in the air. When I was forced to pull the move today as a large silicified boulder cut loose from beneath me in thorn ridden, dried out brush, I got the look from one of my ayudantes that any person who has ever had a magnificent beer save has gotten. That unspoken look, communicable in all languages, crossing borders, religions, ages and ethnicities.

The look that says…

“Nice save bro.”


* (Photo Credit: thecampussocialite.com)

**(Photo Credit: Alicia Hurst)

  1. frank Cantor says:

    Awesome, I have done the beer save move in both bars and the field. Not in such jungle conditions at all.


  2. Bill says:

    Sam i use that same style GPs equipment everyday, Walking on a sideslope holding the survey pole straight and staring at the screen to see how far away you are is always fun…

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