Wassup, Mr. G? What’ll it be?"
"A Bud. A Bud Light, please, Mr. Barkeep."
"So now, how do you like that Belgian beer?"
"Don’t get me started. Is nothing sacred anymore?"
"Well, it’s hard to turn down $52 billion. That’s what that Belgian brewer InBev is paying for old Anheuser-Busch, isn’t it?"
"Yeah, but it shouldn’t be about the money."
"I know, but Bud is the all-American beer, the King of Beers. The Busch family’s been making it in St. Louis since the 1850s. You don’t get much more true-blue and all-American than that. The logo’s even got an eagle on it. Do you think that’s one of those famous Belgian eagles?"
"Hold your horses."
"And speaking of horses, did you know that the Budweiser Clydesdales were introduced in 1933 to celebrate the end of Prohibition? They even delivered a case of beer to President Roosevelt at the White House. That’s honest, American history."
"So, I take it you’re not happy with the sale?"
"I’ve got a history with Bud. You know I work at Friday Fest in Fort Pierce on
the first Friday of every month. And, what do I do? I pour beer. What kind of beer do I pour? I pour Bud and Bud Light. Sometimes hundreds of cups of beer. Sometimes, I think, maybe thousands. Bud is sort of the official unofficial beer of the Treasure Coast. If you go to a street festival anywhere, you expect to see a beer truck selling Budweiser. It’s almost a tradition."
"I hadn’t thought of it like that. You hardly ever see other beers, like Miller or Coors."
"That’s right. Miller is owned by South Africans and Coors is owned by Canadians."
"I didn’t know that."
"It’s like nothing much is really American anymore."
"Swiss and British-Dutch."
"You’ve got your all-American 7-Eleven."
"You don’t say? How about Holiday Inn?"
"Frigidaire. Invented in Indiana in 1915."
"Stouffer’s, Baby Ruth, Carnation, Gerber baby food."
"All of them?"
"I’ve got one I know is American: Church’s Chicken."
"That may be the strangest of all. Owned by Arcapita, a company in Arab Bahrain. Guess what Arcapita used to be called."
"I’m afraid to guess."
"The First Islamic Investment Bank."
"You’re depressing me, Mr. G."
"Now you’re starting to see how I’m feeling. You know, right before the Budweiser Belgian deal, the historic Chrysler building in New York City was sold to Abu Dhabi. Oil money, you know."
"Sad. It’s very sad."
"It is that. The America we knew is disappearing, bought up by folks we don’t know and who don’t know us. It’s all about the money."
"Speaking of money, do you want to pay me for that beer? We’ve got to make the Belgians happy."
"Nah. I think I’ll have another."
"Another Bud Light?"
"No, I think I’d better learn to change with the times. I’ll have a Corona."
"You want a slice of lime with that?"
"Was it grown in America?"
(Michael Goforth writes for the Scripps Treasure Coast newspapers.)