Or: Ayn Rand, Saint Nick, and the Peculiar Economics of Canoe Trip Beer
In the off season, I contemplated what to do on the next trip. I'd like to say I asked myself "What would Jesus do?" but in truth I wasn't very religious at the time. Nevertheless, the idea I came up with might as well have been inspired by a tale of loaves and fishes. Since The Objectivist's whole scam stood on the twin foundations of scarcity and greed, I reasoned that a proper response would have to be based on abundance and generosity. In particular, it would have to illustrate the point that some things, like beer on a canoe trip, are not to be treated as for-profit commodities. Not in a civilized society, anyway.
And so the plan emerged... a couple weeks before the next year's canoe trip, I arranged to have eleven cases of Point Special beer delivered to my garage. I had to take the back seat out of my old Honda to make it all fit, but fit it did. And there was enough room for a ninety-six-quart cooler (for future reference, this is the largest cooler that will fit between the spars of a standard seventeen-foot rental canoe). Both days of the trip, our boat, the "Beer Hunter," pursued The Objectivist, and the moment he moved in to sell a can of his warm, skunky swill to a desperately thirsty canoeist, we deftly maneuvered in between and tossed over three or four ice-cold Point Specials.
For free. On us. Enjoy your afternoon.
We gave away about eight cases of beer, and The Objectivist went home with his case of cheap sludge intact. My canoe partner and I went home with our wallets slightly lighter, but also with the great sense of satisfaction that comes from defending civilization from those who would put us back under the Law of the Jungle to make a quick buck. All considered, it was worth it.