An advertisement created by liquor companies in the form of a mirror imprinted with the said company's logo, slogan and other interesting design. A nice addition to any bar, pub, tavern, fraternity hall or drinker's basement.

Also a useful aid in determining when it is time to stop drinking. When the image peering back at you in the mirror makes you crack up laughing, it's time to stop.

The beer mirror that currently adorns my college dorm room was originally the possession of my friend's father. According to my friend (we'll call that friend Bob from here on out), he recieved it for winning a drinking tournament. It passed to me two years ago thanks to carelessness and good luck on my part.

It started when a group of my friends were hanging out in Bob's basement. Bob's parents were reorganizing the room, causing the various wall decorations to be strewn across the floor. Many of these decorations were beer mirrors comprising an impressive collection Bob's father had accumulated over the years. Also in the room was an old pool table my friends frequented. A bumper on this table was worn down and if a ball were to strike said bumpber hard enough, it would go off the table.

Late in our second game of pool, I was very close to winning, if I could just sink the eight ball. It lay in the middle of a narrow side of the table, against the faulty bumper. I lined up a shot that I hoped would knock it into a corner pocket. For a moment, Bob's warning to be careful while playing for fear of breaking his father's mirrors flashed through my mind. I shrugged it off in a mix of bravado and stupidity (I was only 16 at the time after all) and took a shot. I would have been thrilled that I sank the eight ball and won the game had the cue ball not struck the bumper too hard and slipped over it, careening off the table.

"OH %@$&!!!," were the only words I could manage as the cue ball bounced once off the ground and struck a mirror propped against the wall, causing this mirror to fall over. My friends rushed over to inspect the damage. The mirror had fared well all things considered, and if not for a single large crack running across the bottom portion of the mirror no one could have known it had been struck by a cue ball.

It was at this moment my friend Bob re-emerged from driving his then-girlfriend home. He wasn't supposed to have left, and to have his father discover I'd broken a mirror in the collection would have brought down horrendous consequences on Bob (Bob's father is very proud of those mirrors afterall). After a shaky hour of debate, it was decided that since I broke it, I would do my best to provide a replacement. The mirror would be hidden within a pile of lesser mirrors to buy me some time. According to Bob I'd have at best a week.

My first idea was to hit all the local glass supply/repair places in town. When they all told me repair was hopeless, I next stopped into a number of liquor stores seeking a replacement mirror. From them I recieved outright laughter, as the mirror in question was a vintage Coors mirror out of the 1970s. I was running out of time.

In desperation, I surfed to eBay, hoping that perhaps I would find a miracle and an exact replica of the mirror in question would be available. After about 2 hours of searching, I was about to give up when at the bottom of the page I noticed an a link for an item that had the exact slogan as the one on the mirror. I hesitantly click on the link, praying that I'd found a match. My prayers were answered. With 4 hours left in the auction I placed a high bid on the replacement. After tensly hovering over the auction, ready to pounce on any competing bidder, I secured my bounty and prepared to get my friend off the hook.

The only caveat was that the owner of the replacement could not have it here for at least another week. I explain this to Bob, who by this time was getting frantic. His father was almost finished hanging the mirrors and was looking for his favorite mirror. Imagine that, the mirror I broke just happened to be the favorite mirror of the entire collection. It just figures. The best I could do was try to convince Bob that if he could distract his father for just another week the whole thing would work out. "Good luck," I thought in the back of my mind and was already practicing the speech I would use on Bob's father to attempt to transfer the blame from Bob to myself.

Thankfully, that speech was never neccessary. Bob's mother, hearing about the whole situation, managed to bog Bob's father down in household chores long enough for the mirror to arrive. It came on a Tuesday afternoon, and I rushed it straight from the post office to Bob's house while his father was at work. We made the switch and I drove away with the broken mirror in my possession.

Two years later the replacement hangs in the place of honor among the mirror collection. Bob's father still has no idea his original was broken. I decided to keep the broken mirror for myself and found it was a perfect addition to my dorm room. Hopefully it won't recieve anymore punishment.

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