Friends! vs. friends

I have two friends who are like brothers, but not like a brother who gives you a kidney punch as he walks by. They are like brothers who would donate a kidney to me if I needed one. Those are Friends!

But my Friends! don’t live in my town, so I have developed friends that live in my town. I want to be clear. They are not Friends! They are only friends. Here’s the difference …

I’m going to see my Friends! next Monday. It took some coordination to select a date that all three of us could make. There was never any discussion about only two of us making the date. It was all three Friends! or no deal.

Last spring, I wrote my first Brew Review post after my in-town friends and I went on a road trip to Indiana for a brewery tour, beer tasting, and lunch. It was nice. It was time for us to hit the road again. I spoke with one of my friends recently, and we agreed that we should visit a Chicago brewery, and maybe one we would get to by riding the water taxi on the Chicago River. Woo-hoo! Now that’s living. Yesterday, one of my friends suggested April 27th as a brewery visit date to our group of four friends.

It would not be impossible, but it would be problematic for me to do April 27th as I value my marriage more than beer. It’s my wife’s birthday, and two of my kids have stuff going on that day, so I felt it prudent to suggest another date, which I did. Nope. The other three can all make April 27th, so they scheduled the brewery tour that day.

That is the difference between Friends! and friends. Friends! would look for a date when we can all go, like this coming Monday when my Friends! and I will enjoy a meal and a beer. My friends did not. The Four Muskebeers will only be three on April 27th. The joke is on them though. Since I tend to drink lightly, I am the usual designated driver. Enjoy your brewery tour, my friends. Drink up. Oh, sorry, one of you won’t be able to.