It's best if you're hungry. And if it's warm out. Beer on a full stomach is gross, but when you're empty in there, and the sun is shining at three-quarters day, it's like God himself comes through the radio to announce, "Pull over and buy yourself a tall boy beer." That's what he makes 290 or 71 (beautiful, winding roads that drift through the Texas Hill Country) at 6pm for.
I go into the Short Stop or the Friendly Mart, and there they are- in enormous open bins in the middle of the store, laying together- stacked perfectly against each other like teeth in a nicely-orthodontured mouth. The shiny cans I love are bathed in a mountain of ice, begging me to take them home like dogs at the pound.
This is a strange thing about Texas. I'm from Arizona, and we didn't have these open beer bins there, suggesting that though it's illegal, why not take one for the road, y'all! If you wanted a single, you had to actually open the cooler door (GASP!) and break a six-pack. And there's a certain shame and stigma in breaking the sacred six rings. It says, "I'm tearing apart the natural order of the regular beer drinker- the one who buys the whole six-pack, and WAITS til she gets home to drink it." If you break the rings, you aren't waiting, and you've breached civility. Go ahead and just throw litter out of your car while you're at it.
But here in Texas, no one cares about this silly shit. Being maverick is celebrated. At my favorite convenience store, they sell single tall boys, giant hunting knives and miniature glass figurines. You take your pick, Maverick!
When I take my tall boy to the counter they ask me if I want "Daisy Dukes" or "Hip Hops". Daisy Dukes are the tiny brown bags that barely cover the whole beer, and hip hops are the big bags that hang halfway down your beer's ass. I'm a Daisy Dukes girl- I like the classy look of a brown paper bag, but I don't want a mouthful of it.
So I plunk down my $1.83 and I'm out the door- following God's orders on my way to a dinner party in Dripping Springs, or the junk stores in Llano, and God stops talking through the radio and the country music comes wafting out of it instead and swirls around me like campfire smoke, and I lift my beer to my mouth when no other cars are around, or when other cars are around if I'm feeling particularly ribald, and I sing to the music and feel the beer tingle in my empty stomach and flow down into my legs, and I can't help but smile and feel pretty happy about having simple good times and shitty taste in beer.