It’s February 14, 2014, my friends and I think it would be a good idea to head to the local bar to make fun of the lovers who would be sharing googly-eyed stares and getting all cuddly.
To give a little backstory, I wasn’t always the nicest kid around. I was often mischievous and a sucker for a good prank. Despite all my juvenile vices, alcohol had eluded me. For some reason, the lure of booze was yet to appeal to me, until that very day.
So while I and my team of bandits were rolling our eyes at the cringe-worthy scenes you can expect from a typical Valentine’s Day, the waiter walks up to us and asks — What would you like to have? We have Star, “33” Export and Heineken?
As usual, we responded and asked, How about Malt? And then he said something we hadn’t heard often — Malt has finished, we only have beer, for now.
Now we had a decision to make.
A decision we didn’t really flinch at.
My friend, Seyi, quickly replied saying — bring Heineken, 6 bottles.
We all grin at each other and share a collective look of excitement. The kind of look you give right before that special first time if you know what I mean.
After a few minutes, the waiter brings 4 bottles of Heineken and 2 bottles of STAR.
Weirdly, we were so oblivious to the different brands that we barely complained. I reached for a bottle of Heineken, and as we all went in for our first gulp, we expected the worst.
We had all heard about the famed bitterness of beer. However, while most of my friends’ initial reactions to their first taste of beer were indifferent, I found the taste weirdly satisfying.
It wasn’t just me, however. My friend, Seyi also seemed to really enjoy his bottle of STAR.
My other friends barely finished their bottles, but I ordered one more Heineken, and Seyi, one more STAR. This promptly led to our friends giving Seyi the nickname — STARboy and for me, they thought the tag, MR. Heineken was promptly appropriate.
What followed over the next few years was an obsession for beer, particularly of the green bottled variety. This craze for beer reached its crescendo when the movie, Kidnapping Mr Heineken, premiered in January 2015.
You can imagine how I dragged all my friends to see it. Just like the beer, they weren’t very excited about the movie, but it didn’t stop me from raving about it. Seyi, on the other hand, was dethroned from his title of STARboy when Wizkid came on the scene, and even the Canadian singer, the Weeknd has taken a stab at the name.
Our 8-year battle on who loves the better beer still continues to this day, but Seyi often loses the argument every time I mention the Champions League.
To this day, I still love beer, even though I don’t drink as much. And to think it all started with 6 goofy young men looking for trouble on Valentine’s day.
While others found love, we found beer.