Books: Drinks for the Little Guy

Okay, so maybe I’m biased because I’m an old college buddy with the author of this book, but can I just tell you that this book was a pleasure to read?

Sean Carswell. Good old Sean Carswell. When I knew him he was a cranky college student with long shaggy hair that perpetually hung in his eyes while he stole gas from stations throughout NC for his mud brown car of death, cursed a lot and basically entertained us all during the semester he was with us.

This book is typical of the Sean I remember. It is a tale of a bunch of construction workers who spent all their off time drinking, smoking weed and going to strip clubs. Then one member of the group mysteriously disappears without a word and those left behind ponder his disappearance and wonder if he’ll ever come back. That’s exactly how WE felt with Sean left GWU.

It’s no surprise that it’s well written – Sean did a brief stint at a college in Arizona teaching English. In fact, one class project involved his students writing letters to me in Virginia. No joke. I got about 20 random letters in the mail from his students asking about my life and sharing stories of their own about life at a college in Arizona.

Another fun Sean memory was from our college days. He didn’t last long at our college – this FL beach boy just wasn’t cut out for the mountains of NC at a Southern Baptist college. But one weekend I got a call in my dorm room. “Jaynee, it’s Sean.”

“Sean! How are you?”

“I’m doing great – I’m on campus.”

We met up and the whole gang had a good time catching up with him. He had hitchhiked from FL all the way to our college. It took him almost a week, but he made it. When Sunday rolled around he prepared to hitch back to FL and I refused to let him do that.

“Let me drive you part of the way,” I said. He balked, saying he didn’t mind hitching and didn’t want me to have to drive somewhere and then drive back by myself.

“I don’t mind,” I said. I went to my dorm room and grabbed my keys and wallet and we hopped in my car.

Five hours later I pulled into a gas station in Macon, Georgia. While I loaded my car with gas (which I DID pay for) he took his stuff from the back of my car. We hugged goodbye and he went off to approach a trucker about getting a ride. During that five hour drive he would periodically point to something and say, “That’s the little shed that I slept in on Wednesday,” or “I slept in that cow pasture – it really smelled like s***.” With Sean you could never quite tell if he was serious or not so to this day part of me thinks he did sleep in that shed or in that pasture, but the other part of me thinks he was having me on.

In any case, the book was great, I totally recommend it, and if you buy it it’s your chance to support the independent writer who does it for no other reason than because he loves it and could care less about making money. At least, that’s the Sean that *I* know.

Updated: Funny side note – apparently “Drinks” was recently sold to a movie production company in Hollywood. So much for caring less about making money. :lh:

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