I consider Guinness to be the very nectar of the Irish gods. What sane adult wouldn't want a Guinness? If not the liquid soul of Ireland, the black beverage crowned with creamy foam is at least a goodly lubricant of all the poetry, humor and spirituality of the Irish people.
I have heard that Guinness makes a fine lunch, too - probably better than my usual salad, which lacks a frothy head, as much as I shake the balsamic dressing bottle.
To see Mr. O'bama knock back his Guinness in four slurps, well, it was one of those moments that made me proud to be an American. One of you conservative fellahs is going to say that he needed a Teleprompter to do the slurping but nothing spoils the moment for me.
Why, I feel like going down to the nearest Irish pub to recreate the scene. There's just one little problem. I don't like the taste of Guinness. I just like the idea of Guinness.
That is the special sorrow for people like me. I expect that millions of us are out here suffering silently. We have been pressured by society into liking certain cultural icons that we don't actually like.
As this syndrome has never been described before, it falls to me to name it - Wish We Did Syndrome. I know the WWDS sounds like the call sign of a country music station, but our hearts have been cruelly broken, too.
Every WWDS sufferer will have his or her list of things that they would really like to like but don't. Being a vintage journalist, I am also ashamed of not liking Scotch whisky.
A fine single malt whisky is said to be a glorious thing that opens up the heavens so that choirs of kilted angels sing for the drinker. Not for me, they don't. Scotch tastes like cough mixture to me, although apparently it is good for coughs - also porridge poisoning, damp knees and sporran chafing.
Still, I would like nothing better than to sit back in a dimly lit club with a glass of scotch or Guinness in hand, listening to really good jazz. This is America's authentic art form, a vibrant strand plucked from the nation's rich cultural tapestry.
You guessed it. I don't like jazz either. I know jazz is wonderful, but to me it sounds like forgetful musicians trying to find their way back to the tune after several glasses of scotch.
At least it doesn't move me to dancing, which, being rhythm-challenged, I don't like doing. Sure, I would like to be a good dancer, with women marveling at my moves, but I couldn't dance if my pants were on fire. Women are left to marvel at my inertia.
With the rug safe from me cutting it up, I would like to be a bird watcher, traversing forest and field with binoculars on the trail of the tufted titmouse or the common loon, the only bird known to nest in radio talk show studios.
The sheer eccentricity of the pastime appeals to me, yet once again the reality is not so appealing. You watch the bird. The bird watches you. That's it. Time to go home for an acceptable drink.
One note of hope for WWDS sufferers: Tastes do change. For years, I wanted to like lasagna but didn't. There is social pressure to like lasagna because it is a food often volunteered for potluck dinners. I am sure someone will helpfully bring a lasagna to a Memorial Day picnic near you. Lasagna is cheap, familiar and feeds lots of people.
But it seemed to me a primitive food on the evolutionary tree of pasta, not yet one thing or the other, neither strands of spaghetti nor pieces of penne. I just didn't like its sprawling, saucy attitude.
I got over my distaste eventually, although even today I don't clap my hands in glee and shout "lasagna, lasagna" when the casserole dish arrives.
It's time for WWDS sufferers to come out of the shadows and form a support group. Why, there is probably some poor unfortunate in Pittsburgh who wants to like football or hockey, but doesn't, and is crying out for sympathy and understanding.
Unfortunately, nothing can be done in such extreme cases of deviancy, but for everybody else help is at hand.
Of course, it may require a field trip to Ireland, where the Guinness is said to taste better. I know a fellow named O'Henry who would like to lead it.
Reg Henry writes for the Pittsburgh Press-Tribune.