Notes From the Beach: Dear Beer Cozy People, Leave Us Non-Beer Cozy People Alone.

Before we get started, let me address the not yet voiced objBeer Cozyection my one reader has while it’s still in that incunabular lizard brain outrage that takes form when wrong-headed conventions are challenged. It’s “Cozy.” Not “Koozie.”

As a reddit page entitled “Koozie or Cozy,” because of course there is a reddit page entitled “Koozie or Cozy” the word “Koozie” is a trademark like “Kleenex.” And while it is perfectly acceptable to colloquially refer to a class of anything by a trademarked name of a prominent or exemplary member of that class – around these part the question “What kind of Coke do you want?” is acceptably answered by “Sprite” or “Mellow Yellow” – it does hint to the listener that you spent most of high school English period out back smoking with the janitors.

So, just to give my quotation mark button on my keyboard another click in a post where it’s already seen more action than it’s used to, the correct term is “Cozy.” Object all you want, but I’ve appealed to authority and reddit nerds have spoken.

Back to the point, I understand that some people are annoyed by the cool sensation of a cold beer in their hand, that some dislike the condensation that forms on the outside of a can in the warm summer months – it might get water on your perfect pants etc. – and want to be shielded from whatever ill effects contact with moisture may present. I’m not one of you. 
Yet the cozy users cannot accept that anyone wouldn’t share their phobias. Repeatedly I’m handed a beautiful can of chilled hoppy goodness. I’m grateful, but over time I’ve been nursing this frustration at being handed a solid foamy or collapsable (as the industry apparently refers to the cloth ones) prophylactic as if I’m incapable of enduring the pleasure of a cool drink in my hand. I know the intent is one of kindness, but my frustration has become a kernel of spite.

I’ve allowed that the cozy dispensers might be worried that I might set my can down and leave a ring on their wooden coffee table or whatnot, but that makes things worse by moving the intent from assumption to insult. I had a mother. I know what coasters are.

On the ledger, internet has probably been worth it. It gives voice to the masses, lets people who don’t know each other trade accusations of Nazism on Twitter, lets people let other people know what they ordered and at what restaurant, boobs, allows for the mass dispersion of pictures of babies in Star Wars onesies. I’ve heard it gets used by doctors, scientists and such too. But there have been downsides. YouTube videos of people talking about the video game they are playing, not all boobs should be shown, and sites that, for very little money, will customize for whatever event or advertise for whatever company or cause on your very own, personally designed within the narrow parameters allowed by the producer, beer cozy.

Thanks to the popularization of these design your own party favor sites, cozies flourish. They’re like tribbles.

I’m a big fan of capitalism. I admire people who recognize an underserved niche and fill it (twss). At the same time, I’m not a big fan of waste. Look at the cozy in the picture above. It says “Whitney” (actually it says “WHITNEY,” but I didn’t want to yell at you) with a clock on what I assume to be the apex of an a-frame roof. I’m guessing that Whitney is a bank, but it could just as easily be a school, a maker of fine rooftop clocks in the Olde World Tradition, or a celebration of how much time and effort was saved by the invention of the cotton gin. We have no idea. Some marketer with a budget flushed it all away. Quick question – how satisfied are you with the last purchase you made that was inspired by a cozy? I’ll wait.

I don’t have much of an issue with event specific memorabilia. You want to print up a bunch of “Waikiki Winter Wipeout” (that was a real thing and more than worthy of it’s own post – later) beer sleeves, knock yourself out so long as you aren’t pushing them on me. But keep in mind that your efforts to remind people of your wonderful moment may eventually morph into a cautionary tale.

How many times today – not just ever but today – has somebody decided to relax with an ice cold beer, inexplicably wanted to insulate themselves from that icy cool sensation, and slipped an old cozy on their can that reads “Blessing the Marriage of Payton and Brittney” or some such and thought to themselves, “Wow! She really cleaned him out in the divorce. I guess that’s why you don’t pay hookers with Amex.”

I’m venting to cool the embers of my kernel of spite mixed metaphor. In all honesty, I recognize that a beer offered is offered in kindness and that unnecessary accoutrements are well meant. I recognize the spirit of giving and all that. But the tension is building. Be warned.

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