Growing up

where have you gone, fair queen zima? i used to turn my lonely eyes to you.

For the rest of my life, I will remember exactly where I was when I learned that no more Zima would be made. It was October 20; I was driving on I-24 West towards Nashville, passing Winchester, TN.  I had to pull over and cry.  I felt as though I’d learned my first love had just been hit by a bus.

I met Zima during Spring Break 1993 in Gatlinburg, TN (not far from where a boy named Sue lost a piece of his ear fighting his dad).  She belonged to another boy at the time, but he told me I could give ‘er a whirl, as he had plenty.  So I did.  And then another.  And another.  Having never put an alcoholic beverage into my body before, turning three tricks with the woman I hereinafter have referred to as Queen Zima (pronounced Zeye May) made me…well…refer to a shitty malt beverage as “Queen.”  And ride in the back of a pickup truck barking like a basset hound.  It was zomething different, all right.

At some point, I thought wearing a water polo hat would be a good idea and tried to get a game going in our hotel room’s hot tub.  It wasn’t a good idea.  Frustrated, I tried to shove a bottle of Zima into my left ear.

Then I decided to make a cape with my white hotel towel and play “super hero” with a guy named Jim Bob.  We lay on the carpeted floor in our hotel’s hallway screaming “Wet Avengers!” until someone opened the door and took this picture:

When the cape didn’t help me slip the surly bonds of Earth, I tucked it into my underpants’ waist band to create a loincloth and, wearing nothing else, ran across four lanes of traffic to board a sightseeing tour helicopter ride.  I hopped into the back of the copter with a couple who was touring.  That lasted about 3 seconds.  The pilot asked for $50; I had no pockets, so I had no cash.  I’m sure that’s the only reason I was asked to leave.

Not long after this adventure, my friends lowered me into a go-cart, tutored me on the gas and brake pedals, and let me race several children on vacation with their families.  That didn’t last long, either, as I forgot my brake pedal v. gas pedal lesson, rammed into a parked 9-year-old, and was encourage to leave (actually, to never return to that go-cart track ever.  Luckily, there are 2500 more in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg).

So, my brief, tumultuous, but forever-memorable tryst with Queen Zima will always hold a warm, dear spot in my heart.  It’s just a crying shame kids today won’t benefit from her companionship as I did.

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  1. I’ll be the first to say that I too did a gig with Zima and spring break 1993. Except mine included way to much Jager and sleeping on the cool tile floor of the hotel bathroom. Zima will be missed.

  2. Hi Brenda! You are the first, but I hope there are many with glorious experiences like ours who won’t hesitate to tell us about them!

  3. See, this is why I’ve always stuck with the classics. You don’t see ’em killing off Boone’s Farm, now, do ya? Hell no! That poison will be around forever!

  4. I thought I heard rumblings about them (bastards) taking Zima away. Now I find out it’s true…thanks (NOT! yet another 90s thing that was killed too).

  5. avatgardener

    lawyer laments lost liquor.

    silly student suffers super-hero syndrome.

    disaster-ous debauchery details delineated.

  6. Himself forgets that our first kiss came after a four pack. Actually, we ate an Italian meal, went to see Schindler’s List, drank a four pack of Zima. Then on with the kissing. Because nothing says love like a three hour genocide-fest followed by some college-freshman-girl booze.

    Twelve years later, our relationship, formed in Queen Z’s sparkling depths, is still going strong.
    Farewell to thee, weak malt beverage of love.

  7. Being the beer snob that I am, I totally missed out. Bummer.

    (they aren’t taking away the word “bummer” are they)

  8. shieldmaiden, this is exactly the type of comments i’d hoped to see- zima stories! keep it up…

  9. well, your pictorial pretty much says it all for my experience with “The Queen.” I also still remember the calculation: 6 Queens = 9 Beers (or so it was told)

  10. Remember the practice of putting a green jolly rancher in a Zima bottle? What the hell was that all about? I guess it was just a way for someone already drinking a little girl’s drink to REALLY look like a pussy. I had my fair share, though. (minus the hard candy additive)

  11. Ah, Zima I remember you fondly. You were there the day I decided that a flying car was not impossible and when gravity decided differently. Reality is a bitch.

    Most expensive beer I had…

  12. avatgardener

    I stopped drinking massive quantities before Zima was big. However, I do have an alcohol related tale. Just turned 18, old enough to drink. Part time job; Xmas party, night before Thanksgiving. Chaperone. Long skirt, snap crotch sweater. Open bar. I had one of everything: Black russian, white russian, sloe gin fizz, tom collins, harvey wallbanger, tequila sunrise, old fashioned, screw-driver, rum and coke, 7 & 7, cosmopolitan, martini – shaken not stirred, margarita, daiquiri, gin and tonic, vodka tonic, whiskey and water, and the mistaken beer.
    I was fine (the snaps failed after 2 hours, just tucked into skivvies) the ride home, the night in my clothes (in my bed) and the morning getting ready for Thanksgiving. The smell of the wine with the meal, however sent me out of the room. Followed by peals of laughter.

  13. Pretty Bride

    I was never really a Zima drinker. Anyone else remember Mad Dog??

  14. Since Mad Dog was mostly a homeless guy vintage I never touched the stuff until a trip to Northern Ireland in 1994. I kinda liked it. And it turned out to be one of my better choices on that trip. Its a bit like NyQuil used to be before they took out whatever makes you sleep because you truly do not give a crap if you are sick or not.
    Though I caution against drinking things that make you see vapor trails and then going out after bar curfew to verbally abuse patrols of British solders with machine guns.

  15. Whoops! Forgot to change the handle…the message above is from me. Himself is in the shower and I have taken control of the black talkybox. Yaay!

  16. I never really had the opportunity to have a relationship with queen zima; oh well, one more regret to add to my list.

  17. Mein Tee fracas inzwischen kalt geworden. Es fracas gerade 1.00 Uhr geworden (am Radio waren form Nachrichten). Ich machte mir neuen Tee und dachte mir innerlich: ‘Noch zwei Stunden, dann ist es 3.00 Uhr.’ Auf dem Tisch standen noch anatomy Medikamente. Ich machte mich wieder an style Arbeit.

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