Sometimes I buy beer — and other things for that matter — for the wrong reasons. Last week, for example, I was in Ottawa, buying wine at the LCBO, when I noticed a display of cold, imported beers.
Some were familiar, some not. Then I noticed an array of tall 500ml cans with some writing under the rim. The word DORKMUNDER jumped out at me. It said THE REAL DORKMUNDER.
Huh? What the heck is a Dorkmunder? I had a mental image of a skinny dork in lederhosen, wool socks, and Birkenstock sandals, standing there with a big stein of beer.
I blinked and looked again. OK, it said DorTmunder, not DorKmunder. But like... that's any better? What the heck is a Dortmunder?
At that point I didn't really care. With a handle like "Blork" I obviously have a thing for silly "ork" words, and I think "ort" words are even sillier.
So I'm standing there, chuckling to myself, when my sweetie comes along and asks what's so funny. I hold up the can and say "say hello to The Real Dortmunder!"
She blinked a few times and could only stammer "Uh... huh?"
"It’s The Real Dortmunder!"
"What’s a dortmunder?"
"I don’t know, but apparently this is a real one."
She thought for a moment and then her eyes widened. "There's a character in the novel I'm reading called Dortmunder!"
"No way!" I said.
So I bought a couple of cans. How could I not?
The beer was DAB, a well known mass-produced German beer. DAB stands for "Dortmunder Actien Brauerei." It is brewed in Dortmund, Germany, which apparently is what makes it a Dortmunder.
Later, as we were sitting on my sweetie's brother's deck, under a hot July sun, admiring the nice view of the Rideau River, she showed me the Novel — An Answer From Limbo, by Brian Moore. Sure enough, there was Dortmunder, a dorky New York intellectual who liked to throw literary parties.
In my hand, at the time, was a chilled can of DAB. Since the novel was fiction, I was quite convinced that my beer, unlike the character, was The Real Dortmunder. For proof, I cracked it open and poured it into a glass. Then I took a long cool glug. Case closed.