music the ancient past

Silver Jews / 27 goes into 50,000

In the Sil­ver Jews song "Trains Across the Sea," there's a line that goes: "In 27 years, I've drunk 50,000 beers, and they just wash against me like the sea into a pier." That's 5+ beers a day from birth until your 28th birth­day. If you start at 16, you're drink­ing a 12-pack a day to get there. (I didn't account for leap years, actu­al­ly, so you'd have 2–3 days to let your liv­er recov­er dur­ing those 11 years).Recently, I came across a diary I kept in 1994, the year I moved to Cal­i­for­nia. I was clear­ly obsessed with the Sil­ver Jews at the time, and I'd done a lit­tle math in the mar­gin to cal­cu­late how I matched up to them, beer-wise. (I was 22 at the time). Shock­ing­ly, I found that I had to cram rough­ly 40,000 beers into the next 4.5 years. That's a lit­tle over one case per day, every­day, i.e. a true 24x7 sort of endeav­or. Did I make it? Short answer: No. How­ev­er, I did pre­dict that I'd be get­ting there by the time I was 33, my cur­rent age. Am I there yet? In my esti­ma­tion, no. Prob­a­bly not, any­way. My revised cal­cu­la­tions put me at the land­mark some­where around my 43rd birth­day. I'm com­ing for you, Dave Berman! Watch your back!