Stubby holders should come with instructions

Not all nations have stubby holders

Stubby holders should come with instructions.

Follow me through on this while I tell you a true story.

Not all countries in the world need stubby holders. In England, for instance, where tepid beer is a delicacy, you couldn’t fill a fridge with the stubby holders in the entire country.

If you asked for one they’d give you an ashtray.

When I arrived in Australia (yes, I used to be a Pom) I dutifully rendezvoused with a family I had been assured would care for me in those first difficult days.

They were going to a christening. They apologised for abandoning me, told me to make myself at home, and left.

Five minutes later they were back.

“Fred and Miriam say there’s no way you’re missing out on the celebrations of their first-born, even if you are a Pom.”

I’d never seen such hospitality.

So they took me too.

I never saw the baby.

I never even heard a baby. Maybe I smelled a baby but it could have been the barbecue (that was something else I’d never seen).

There were all these adults milling around in the back yard, laughing, talking.


Fred introduced himself by shoving a can of beer in one hand and a stubby holder in the other.

I’d never seen a stubby holder, either. Round thing, made of polystyrene; thickish walls to it. It seemed like a bloody funny idea to me, but everyone else was using them. And, yeah, I could see it would keep the beer cold — and you’d need that in this climate.

So when in Roma, you might say…

I stripped the ring of the can and I poured the beer… into my stubby holder.

Oh yes… they have a hole in the bottom, too.

I didn’t notice at first, but beer was pouring all over my Jesus issue sandals.

And my socks.

It was the first celebration I’d ever been to where the silence was total.

Deafening, except for the dripping of beer over my feet (I’d reduced it to a trickle by shoving my finger in the hole).

The place erupted like a coven of kookaburras. “Look at the Pom, look at the Pom!”

It was about then that I noticed everyone else’s stubby holder had beer cans in them.

A few instructions on the outside and my reputation in Australia could have been entirely different.