First off, I want to assure all Americans that this column gets the highest miles per gallon rating of any column, in print or on the Web.
The reason, as you might expect, is because new technology has allowed me to turn this column into a hybrid, the first of its kind. For the casual reader, the column will continue to provide light entertainment.
But for the intelligent, serious reader, such as yourself, this new hybrid technology (which is Patent Pending) also will allow me to provide profound insights into politics, culture and the very meaning of life, plus the occasional tip on health and fitness. (Keep hydrating!)
A word of caution: To access this technology, you must learn to read between the lines. If insights seem to be lacking, you must read again more carefully. In time, all will be clear.
Don't hold your breath.
And now on to today's topic: beer (which also can help you understand this column's deeper meanings, especially if you have more than one).
My fellow Americans, I've always felt our country has had the ability to tell the difference between right and wrong, left and right, hot and cold.
Especially that last one. Deciding between right and wrong can sometimes be tricky, the difference between my left and right hands I nailed down in college, but I've always been rightly proud of my ability to distinguish hot from cold.
Without getting unduly technical, hot things feel hot and cold things feel cold.
Now, sadly, many Americans are beginning to lose their temperature-sensing ability.
Take the new ad from Coors beer. It shows a young man sitting at a bar with a bucketful of beer on ice. He's busy working the phone to alert his friends about an extraordinary and wonderful event: the beer -- which is, after all, on ice -- has gotten cold.
In fact, he's so excited he's telling everyone it's a Code Blue. Coors, in a bold move to remove all the guesswork from distinguishing cold beer from warm, has improved its bottle with groundbreaking technology: When the mountains turn blue, that means the beer is cold enough to drink, thus setting in motion the Beer-Is-Ready-To-Drink Early Warning System.
His friends are just as excited as he is to learn the beer on ice has actually gotten cold. While details of the back story remain unclear, it appears there was much concern about whether ice would make the beer cold again, as it has for the past 5 billion times.
In other beverage news, Anheuser-Busch, the maker of Budweiser, has been sold to a Belgian company, a terrible blow to America's pride that elicited this real-life headline on MSNBC.com, "Will a foreign-owned Bud still have funny ads?"
Wow, I think that says it all. Despite a deep-seated malaise, America has always known it could look forward to wacky ads from Bud to bring our country together.
And what about those ads that show the big horses clip-clopping through the snow at Christmas? If the Clydesdales get laid off, how would I know it's time to buy presents?
It might be time for me to issue a Code Blue.
Write to Don Flood in care of King Features Weekly Service, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475, or send e-mails to email@example.com.
© 2008 King Features Synd., Inc.