With springtime finally gracing Borderland with sunshine and milder temperatures, seeing the snow melt away is good enough for most area residents.
But the dwindling snowbanks yielded something of a buried treasure for two local men–a fully-stocked beer fridge.
Residents Carl Busch and Ken Heine were breaking up a veritable mountain of white stuff in front of Busch’s home on Saturday when Keith’s shovel hit what he described as a “metal box.”
“I heard a clang, and I could see it wasn’t a rock or a fire hydrant,” said Heine
The pair cleared snow away from the object and soon discovered they had struck gold–or rather, Blue.
“I couldn’t believe my eyes, eh?” said Busch. “What in the heck was it doing there? How did it get there? And most importantly, who would be crazy enough to lose track of a fridge full of beer?”
“It was like a dream come true. Happiest day of my life,” noted Heine. “Don’t tell the old lady, eh?”
After cracking open a couple of cold ones, the longtime fishing buddies then took some photos of the Labatt Blue stash and sent them to friends, some of whom posted them on Facebook.
Before they could each get to beer number two, trouble started to brew.
A pot of gold had turned into a bone of contention as several pickup trucks–some familiar and some not–pulled up to Busch’s home.
“All of these people came out of the wood work, claiming the beer fridge was theirs. You know, if just one person came and said, ‘Hey that’s mine!’ I might have believed them and turned it over to them–or at least split the beers with them. No questions asked, eh?” said Busch.
“But the fact that five or six people–some of whom I have known for years–came by and they all laid claim to it, well, we called shenanigans,” chimed in Heine.
“I mean, my Uncle Larry doesn’t even drink Blue; he’s a frickin’ Crystal guy,” he added.
Busch and Heine called a timeout and, dragging the beer fridge with them for safe keeping, had a quick huddle behind the smoke shack to discuss their options. While it was evident in the photos they shared that the fridge contained mostly Labatt Blue, there was one bottle of brew at the back of the fridge that was not like the others.
“So I thought, ‘A-ha!’ That’s how we’ll be able to tell who it belonged to. Without opening the fridge door, we will ask those guys what brand the orphan beer is,” Heine reasoned.
“Yeah, like that song on Sesame Street. ‘One of these things is not like the others.’ Except secret,” added Busch.
The game plan worked. While those who had showed up to claim “their” fridge guessed every brand from Corona and Rolling Rock to O.V., Labatt 50, and even the discontinued beer alternative, Zima–the last of which drew guffaws from most of the guys.
“Nobody got it right,” said a coy Heine. “Nobody guessed the hidden beer.”
Citing the informal law of “finders keepers, losers weepers,” Busch and Heine kept their fridge and even now, won’t reveal which the brand of the lone beer bottle which was not Labatt Blue.
As to how the fridge got buried in snow and where it came from, it remains unexplained. Busch and Heine have been speculating over its origins ever since Saturday afternoon–two bottles at a time.
“It’s one of life’s little mysteries,” said Heine, staring dreamily into the distance.
“Climate change,” offered Busch. “Definitely climate change.”