A few years ago, my friend Brett got married in the Florida Keys. My wife, who was my fiancé at the time, had a wedding in New York City the same weekend, so I was solo. Two of my friends were alone as well. There was Brad. His wife wasn’t there; I can’t remember exactly why. And then there was my buddy Neal—always the bachelor.
When seating charts were being made, Brett and his soon-to-be wife wisely kept the three of us away from the decent people. Sunburned and womanless, we sat together at a table toward the back. The previous night had been a long one, and we spent most of the first course talking about how hung over we were.
At some point, it dawned on us that a guy with a hang over behaves, generally speaking, a lot like a girl who’s on her period. Bloated, moody, unnecessarily hungry, a little weepy—the comparison was and remains solid. And that’s when one of us—I honestly don’t remember who—coined the phrase “Beer-iod,” as in, “Matt’s on his beer-iod, so he’s lying on the couch and eating Doritos today.”
The three of us laughed like children for an hour straight. For the next three days, whenever a guy would look sluggish, or if he’d complain about something silly, like the humidity, we’d ask him if he was on his beer-iod, and this would lead to more giggling. We were convinced that the term would catch on and become a national phenomenon and that we’d have our own sitcom on NBC within a year. “It can’t miss,” declared Neal, drink in hand. “It’s comic genius.”
We lost my friend Neal last week. And when I say “we,” I mean it—the people like me who knew him, and the people who would have eventually known him. I feel bad for those people, because they really missed out. He was kind and smart and gentle and funny and he would have made a wonderful husband some day, and a wonderful father.
I have hundreds of memories of Neal; I’ve been going over them for a week now. But my favorite has got to be our asinine Beer-iod Revelation. Neal had many, many friends, and he shared a lot of jokes with a lot of people. But “Beer-iod,” well—as idiotic and short-lived as it was—it was our thing. Mine, Brad’s and Neal’s.
My friend . . . you will be missed.