I was thirteen.
I was cast as a nineteen year old.
The casting director
was my thirteen year old friend who wanted beer.
I was cast
to walk into a liquor store and purchase a six pack.
He wanted Heineken.
We had just enough money for Red White & Blue.
Yes. Red White & Blue—
a brand of beer originally brewed by Pabst.
It was very patriotic.
It saw its best sales during World War Two.
It is a dead brand now.
Current Pabst executives consider resurrecting it, but don’t.
I was cast to be a nineteen year old
because I was six feet five inches tall at thirteen.
My friend was barely five-seven
in his stocking feet.
My friend thought I would do this bit of theater
for three of the six cans.
I did this bit of theater
for his Ron Santo autographed baseball.
The liquor store clerk
never looked high enough to see my young face.
My friend and I ran into contract difficulties
while making this a recurring role.
The next time he cast me to be nineteen,
I asked for his Ernie Banks autographed baseball card.
It would have been easier
to pry St. Peter’s bones away from the Pope.
copyright © 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney