All the time he was alive, my father kept his recipe a closely guarded secret. He wouldn’t even tell it to me, his own son. “The time will come,” he would always say. “Now run along and do your homework.” He kept saying that till I was 54.
But finally the sad time came when my father knew he didn’t have long to live. On that memorable day, he called me to his bedside and told me, “Son, my time has come at last, and I’m leaving the brewery in your hands. You’re going to have to be the guardian of our sacred brewing tradition. So get a piece of paper and a pen, because I’m going to tell you the secret recipe. No, that’s a thermometer. I said a pen, you moron. Got it? Okay. Here it goes. There are only three ingredients. It’s barley, hops, and wa——”
And then he died.
What could I do? I had two of the secret ingredients, but they were useless without the third. So I found the top brewing experts in the world, and we set to work to find that missing ingredient. Was it barley, hops, and watermelon? That tasted a little odd, and the seeds were offputting. Barley, hops, and wasabi? The survivors considered that experiment a failure. Barley, hops, and wart of toad? I’ve been trying to forget that one for years. Barley, hops, and walrus? That one wasn’t very successful either, and who knew those animal-rights people cared that much about walrusseses?
And then, one day, purely by accident, we hit on the third secret ingredient. Man, were we slapping our foreheads! It was so simple! I won’t tell you what it was, because it’s still a secret. But it goes into every last can of Canabeer, the purely adequate macrobrewed beverage with only three ingredients, the last one of which is a secret.