A BCC alum, who wishes to remain anonymous, writes in with a question for the ‘nacle:
My grandfather is in his 90s. He is a lifelong, devout church member and temple goer who has spent much of his retirement years doing genealogical extraction work, tending to in his magnificent garden, and reading biographies of Church presidents. His default mood is one of stern sensibility; his life has been characterized by a studied avoidance of capriciousness.
Recently, he surprised Grandma with this announcement. “I want to know what beer tastes like.”
Needless to say, this was a completely unexpected departure from his established record of strict religious orthopraxy. Even more surprisingly, Grandma, for what had to have been the first time in her 86 years, went to the store and bought him one.
She brought it home and cracked it open for him. He took a sip.
“I think it’s spoiled,” Grandpa said, and threw it away, abruptly ending his bizarre twilight rumpsringa.
“Well, there’s forty cents wasted!” Grandma exclaimed.
My question to you, ‘nacle saints: Do you get a pass on the WoW when you hit 90? And which is the greater sin: Grandpa, who has shown faint hints of senility, drinking a sip of beer? Grandma, who shows no signs of senility, buying it for him? Grandma buying such crappy beer for him? Furthermore, do I need to call Grandpa to repentance? Or should I buy him a bottle of some respectable import so that his indulgence in sin won’t be wasted on such inferior booze? Or both?
(Incidentally, to add to the family scandal, when Grandma recounted this to several of us during a recent visit, one cousin unthinkingly blurted out “You can’t even get a Natty Light for 40 cents!”—inadvertently incriminating herself by her knowledge not only of the current retail price of cheap beer, but of its street name.)
I welcome your thoughts.