Thus begins ones of the most famous literary works of our times, although not when the piece was first published. No, Melville's infamous Moby Dick was pretty much panned when it came out, a convoluted mess of a tale, and was out of print by the time the Herminator passed on. And - full disclosure - I never finished this book. Convoluted is not even a strong enough word to describe it, but the reason for me not finishing it was more because, honestly, we all know how it ends. Ahab wastes a whole life looking for a white whale, he finds his white whale, and it promptly dunks on his whole excursion, killing him in the process. A modern day metaphor is born as the white whale has become synonymous with the pursuits of many a "sailor". It's it not surprising that I have referred to the floors at Broken Goblet as my white whale, or the website as my white whale, or countless other things, but I digress.... let me take you down the rabbit hole.
Ishmael was technically the "humble narrator" (read in your very best Clockwork Orange's Alex impersonation) of the story. Many would call Ahab and his ivory peg leg the protagonist and the whale his foil, but deep-thinkers and philosophists would say that, no, ISHMAEL was the driving force of the story, and the rest were simply set pieces in a grand Michael Bay popcorn romp. Regardless of your position on this - and why would you have one, you are reading this on a goddamned beer website - there is some wild connections that you might draw between some of these story points and BGob if you've had as many drinks as I have. Consider this - Ishmael was a very biblical name, especially in the fire and brimstone old testament parts. In the good book, Ishmael as a name was used to symbolize outcasts, exiles and the like, and was literally banished to the wilderness of BEER-SHEBA. Whoa. Ishmael in Moby Dick was a wanderer of the sea, collecting insights and learnings and just trying to make sense of what was swirling around him. Most importantly to this silly exercise , Moby Dick was really the story of this dude Ishmael who first-hand watched a guy named Ahab engage in a monomaniacal quest to solve a problem at all costs, and in the end, the only one who came out alive was Ishmael.
Unsurprisingly, some of the....
(wait WHAT?!? This is flipping stupid, Mike! Please stop drinking.
Everyone reading this)
Ahem. Unsurprisingly, some of the correlation I am trying to get you to follow me on revolves around our floors. Without rehashing the whole therapy-inducing episode, we opened our doors with a , umm, less-than-desirable floor presentation. As Jay constantly chided me - who the F--K looks down all the time? You know who? Ahab LaCouture, that's who. I was OBSESSED with the floors. Obsessed with the way I was spoken to by landlords leading up to their reveal. Obsessed with the way they deteriorated. Obsessed with how they look in photos. I concocted conversations in my head, I dreamt of billboards on I-95 highlighting this, and mostly I hated myself for allowing this to happen. I would apologize for the floors to guests coming to look at renting the space BEFORE they ever even mentioned it. I actually started referring to the floors as my White Whale, incorrectly assuming that the listener knew what I was talking about, which would then force me to explain the metaphor, and which is why you have been reading all these ramblings about Moby Dick. Even now, as I gaze out at our newly refinished floors, I ask myself if I handled this correctly. I cost our business 2 days of being open, I cost Farmstead Foods a day of sales, we spent lots and lots of money actually paying a company to do the floors, lots and lots of energy moving stuff, and clearly I wasted a whale's worth of mental energy. And here is the thing - I knew how this was all going to end. I knew that, eventually, I would force the business to spend hard-earned and much needed cash to fix this mess, and it would probably only really matter to one person - me. The only saving grace in this case is that life did NOT imitate art this time, and we will survive. I wont die of asphyxiation under a layer of epoxy and paint flakes, having accidentally become stuck to the floor, although that would be a fitting end to the tale of Ahab Lock. And probably a mildly amusing video from the security cameras.
The point of this decidely un-beer-like personal blog post is to say that I have been quite the Ahab in the last few years. The website - the gravel pile - the parking lot - the floors - and more I care not to share. Broken Goblet has always been a bit of a theatrical experiment, with equal parts comedy and drama shaping the very core of our business, from the name change to the aforementioned gravel pile. I mean, take this blog - how many brewery blogs are like this? And in this performance, I have kinda taken on a role that I regret. I need to be more Ishmael and less Ahab. I am extremely lucky that there are some people that help keep me in check, like Jay and Bub and Kate and my wife to name a few, and like the last chapter of Moby Dick, they ride in like The Rachel to rescue me on the reg, and I appreciate it.
We are about embark on some huge changes at Broken Goblet, really exciting stuff on the rolling and churning horizon, and I commit to trying my damndest to be more Ishmael and less Ahab. I have a feeling that other white whales may emerge in the coming months, and I hope to tackle them better. This new fancy website is the first step in that, and I am really happy that I didn't set out with my legal harpoon and rather phoned a friend. Perhaps it's a good omen.