Beer Cozies & Other Parting Favors


Even though practically paralyzed with crustacean fever, I am writing lest I lose my readership and my fellow travelers think I did not have a fabulous time on the shores of Lake Chelan. We leave for China in 26 hours and there are still last minute errands to run. It is hard to be chipper and cheerful at this point. There is a fine line between sharing the fun and sharing the angst of the last week. Most people want to read about fun, even if they get jealous, than about debilitating frustration and explosive tempers. Well, at least I do, but I am having a hard time writing about it due to adrenaline charged, overloaded brain cells. But here is a vignette of fun from last weekend. The angst will be arriving via 767 next week for those in the latter camp.

There is nothing I like better than a party favor (premio – Spanish for prize – in our family) and they were de rigeur at Lake Chelan this past weekend for the Five Family gathering. I brought beaded Brazil/USA Havaianas for the ladies. Princess Ai Lin imported cool-ie-o dragon t-shirts from China for the little boys. Wild Bill, searching for beer cozies, ventured forth to the Variety Store, located across the street from Campbell’s Resort. He did not find said cozies but, not one to come home empty handed, instead sprung for mood rings, conveniently located near the cash register, for the ladies. I could write an entire post on the mood rings but since my children occasionally read the blog, commenters will have to share their feelings/moods in a censored fashion. Mr. Nuts-n-Bolts (formerly Prince Duder) has been spotted wearing his wife’s, however, so the rings must have a certain cache.

On a quest to find a pair of flip flops for Thing 2, I myself ventured into the Variety Store where I found the beer cozies at the display end of an aisle next to the flip flops, beach towels, and sunscreen, pretty much exactly where your average woman would have thought to look for them. Naturally, I had to have an even dozen, Corona for the women (the official beer of the ex-Mexican expat princess) and sloganed cozies for the men.

Herewith a sampling of proverbial wisdom stamped onto plastic foam:

I don’t need the internet. My wife knows everything. (Recipient = Uncle Duncan)
Married men don’t live longer. It just seems like they do. (Recipient = Lab Rat)
He can clean fish but can he clean house? (Recipient = Wild Bill)

Lab Rat offered up this phrase for the beer cozy manufacturers: They have an antidote to sex – wedding cake.

There was some debate as to the pronunciation of beer cozy(ie – alternate spelling). Princess Ai Lin pronounced it coo-sie, rhyming with cootie. I say koh-zee. Ai Lin’s argument was that her pronunciation came from Michigan. Since when does Michigan pronunciation trump the local version? SmartalecAngela and SmartalecShub, former residents of Kalamazoo, will you please clarify? In any event, my research reveals yet another alternate spelling at least:koozie. This may lend credibility to the Michigan version, which is an extreme perversion of a perfectly good word. Go to to read about the thermal dynamics of beer cozies.

My favorite part of the trip was the All Girl Float, an hour in the lake on inflatables, beer in hand, discussing the merits of husbands who babysit, houseclean, cook, pay bills, and remember important dates. Thing 2/Cabana Boy ferried out fresh beer to the Ladies of the Lake, using his father’s Reef flip flop with built-in bottle opener to open the beverages. It was a tender moment and the best party favor of them all.

I am off to wake up the troops. The recycling center opens in an hour and we need to be there. The sun is shining, the bay is glassy, and a robin is eating a worm on the deck, averting his head so I won’t watch him eat his breakfast. The Bear, in a parting favor, has generously offered to service our vehicle, thus sparing me the ordeal of waiting for a QuikLube. I am trying not to cry. My mood ring says green.

Belated Birthday Greetings to Southern Belle (7/28) on her milestone birthday and Maria (7/29)! Maria also celebrated (?) 20 years of wedded bliss with Fernando on (7/27).



Filed under Family, Life, Moving, People, Travel

9 responses to “Beer Cozies & Other Parting Favors

  1. Heidi

    I can’t believe you are leaving already. Next time you are in town, it would be nice to spend more than 5 minutes in the driveway talking with you! Chelan sounds like the perfect way to end the summer! Have a safe trip to China! I look forward to reading about all of the new experiences. By the way, did you ever have a chance to get your hair colored?

  2. Laura

    Hey MK,

    Here is my news, just to entertain you on your long trek around the world:

    Yesterday, while being a nice person and inviting one of Christopher´s ex-girlfriends who is doing an internship at my office, to a quick salad lunch, I was robbed. It´s tough to get one off of this seasoned war correspondent, but these two managed it.

    I have yet to find the right word to express my pissed-offidness. If they were men I would easily settle on ¨bastards¨. Alexander goaded me for hours last night to apply the ¨witches with a ´b´¨ term, (just to bank himself some leverage for future colorful terminology, I suspect,) but so far I´ve resisted. You´re a word maven. Any suggestions?

    Anyway, unfortunately for the really, really mean ladies, the head of UN security in Santiago is personal friends with a bunch of high up security muckety-mucks in town, plus he just hired 40 new security officers and they all have far too much time on their hands.

    Long story short, instead of having to wait for a few months for some judge to decide whether or not to take the case, it was moved to the priority list before I could even mutter ¨joder¨ and cancel my bank accounts. The slow but helpful carabineros issued the Chilean equivalent of an APB for the two slick thieves as well as for the rest of their lot. These ladies tried to cash US$2,500 within the hour, but were caught on the bank´s videotape, which is being checked against the tape at the restaurant this unfortunate incident happened at, in the middle of the municipality building just a few short and sorry meters from the head of security for the entire swanky neighborhood. Somebody´s head will roll, and it may not belong to the delinquents but I do harbor an evil wish that their makeup was smudged or hair mussed for the camera.

    The good news is that when they realized my ID card comes from the foreign ministry they freaked (freakearon, as they say here,) and passed a bunch of my documents along with the checkbook from the underfunded peso account on to two of their male cohorts on motorcycles, who had the courtesy of tossing everything into the front yard of the Chilean-Northamerican Cultural Institute (naughty people, but not necessarily stupid,) apparently trying to keep some of the heat off of their backs. So there were a few fewer things I had to cancel and fuss over. I did, however, swab down the checkbook holder with Body and Bath hand gel. Icky to think they had their mitts on it, but I´m too cheap to buy a new one.

    Total loss: about US$200, plus the Uruguyan ostrich wallet my mother-in-law gave me for my 50th birthday, peace of mind although I will get it back, and my pride.

    Total recovery: my ¨village¨ of lovely, helpful, kind and caring friends, family, co-workers, etc. who made me remember that it´s only money. Nobody got hurt, and unlike in Mexico and other parts, the cops aren´t likely to come ´round looking for what´s left.

    Anyway, I tell you this story to remind you that you are leaving the wilds of Latin America for ?????????? Safe journey, and get thee to the internet cafe upon arrival so we don´t miss anything.

    Abrazos/Abraçoes to all,

    La López

  3. KLab

    I mean, these are the important conversations in life — pronunciation and mechanics of the Beer Coozie. [“Koo-Zee”]

    Another precious moment: As her babe is rolling down the hill, and her Corona is bobbling, her sister yells out, “S***, Mere! Get ‘im! Get ‘im!”

    Fond memories. Hang in there.

  4. As the owner of a site that sells only koozies – we call them that, others call them coozies or cozies or beer huggers or huggies, your comments on the pronunciation of the term are of great interest to me. Thanks for the information and the humor. Enjoy your cold ones!!

  5. SmartAlecAngela

    I’ve heard it both ways in Michigan, cozy and coozie. Personally I always say cozy. Coozie sounds strange to me.

  6. stephanie lynch

    I hope the trip to China goes well – long distance travel is really hard. Olivia and I had two long days getting to and from Rome. Hope you all are well and can’t wait to read your first post from Shanghai!

    Flaky Friend

  7. Raftbuddy

    I vote for “koh-zee”. I am not from Michigan, but figure you might need extra opinions. Were the beer cozies made in China?

    My husband also has the Reef flipflops with the bottle opener. Hmmmm… what does this mean? I had pangs that I should have been out on a raft with you for old time’s sake. I could have had a Diet Coke since you know I don’t drink beer.

    Heidi- I don’t know you, but your 5 minutes in the driveway with Expat were more than I got. We just had our annual lame-non-visit phone conversation.

    I am feeling your pain. Hang in there. Know that I will be thinking of you as you fly away from us here on the West Coast!

  8. Heidi: yes, I was hoping for a cul-de-sac blog party with Leezer!

    La Lopez: I will be on the look out for a fake Uruguayan ostrich wallet just as soon as I find the market! Not many people can say they know the head of UN security, in any country, so you are one lucky senora.

    Klab: I did not witness the baby rolling down the hill but am glad you had your wits about you.

    Mr. Liddle: Thanks for writing in! Are you cozies made in China and if so, can you have the factory send them to me directly? Where are you located?

    Flaky Friend: are you home or still in Rome? How was the Pope?

    Raftbuddy: as we traveled past the Wenatchee River, I too had visions of inner tubing 20 years ago. We might have to meet in Leavenworth to repeat the experience. I have to say that after your summer you deserve a trip to China BY YOURSELF.

    xoxoxox to all!

  9. Laura

    Actually, it is REAL ostrich, but in any case a garbage collector found it yesterday and most of my documents (less the cash and dollar checkbook) and returned it along with a sackfull of other people´s similiar stuff near the bank the not-nice ladies tried to cash my check at. After the proper sanitization process and lots of “Praise the Lords” it went back into service.

    But enough about my tales….you arrived/survived the trip/are mucho excited about this new life of yours?


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