Button Brewhouse – Marana, AZ
Located at 6800 N Camino Martin, Suite 160, Marana, AZ 85741
Opening date TBD
The 4th and final chapter of my story, “Beercentennial Man.” Read Part 1 here, Part 2 here and Part 3 here.
I arrived in Marana, a town just northwest of Tucson to find the Button Brewhouse building. Construction on the place was well underway when I arrived. The patio was fully built and the sign was hanging on the front, ready for the brewery’s opening sometime in 2017.
I knew my pal Mr. Button was inside, held hostage in his own brewery by ClassyBot, a liquid metal cyborg who looked exactly like me and wanted me dead so he could take my place. I walked into the unfinished brewery, ready for anything.
The brewing equipment in the back was all fully installed but the taproom still needed some work. I walked past a large pile of old appliances that were ready to be thrown out. There was a stove, some cracked microwaves, toasters, broken laptops, a couple of busted up kegerators on wheels and a bunch of other crap. I figured it must’ve been stuff from the previous tenant in the building.
Button was in the middle of the taproom amongst boxes and tools, tied to a chair with duct tape over his mouth. I ran over to him and ripped the tape off, taking a bunch of his beard hair with it.
“Are you hurt, Button?”
“Shit! Yes, you just ripped half my beard off!”
“Oh. Damn. No, I meant ClassyBot. Did he hurt you?”
“Actually no, he’s been treating me pretty well. He apologized for kidnapping me. He only did it because he knew you would come save me and then he could murder you. Oh and he went and got me a sandwich ‘cause I said I was hungry. It was a good sandwich too, none of that Subway bullshit. We talked a lot about me starting my business and how I’m excited but also nervous. He gave me some good advice ‘cause he downloaded a whole bunch of info for entrepreneurs onto his hard drive. And you know, for a robot he’s a really good listener and he seems to genuinely care about me getting the brewery-”
“Hey, so, I know you’re doing a whole thing right now but…is there any more of that sandwich left?”
“What? No, I ate the fucking sandwich! Did you really stop listening to me right at the word ‘sandwich’? You know what, never mind, just get me out of this chair before ClassyBot comes back and kills you.”
I was about to untie Button even though I was a bit upset that he didn’t save me any of that damn sandwich.
“Classy, look out!” he yelled.
Something hit me in the back hard enough to knock me off my feet. I turned around and saw the pile of old appliances by the door fused together into one giant robot like the world’s most fucked up Lego creation. The kegerators were its legs, the stove was its body and the fists were toasters. I tried to get away but got a toaster punch right in the face. The appliance bot was faster than me because it was on wheels and ‘cause I was fat.
“Don’t do this, ClassyBot!” Button shouted as loud as he could. “Please stop hurting my friend!”
A bunch of extension cords slithered like snakes out of the appliance bot’s body. They moved all on their own somehow toward me. The cords tied themselves around my wrists and ankles.
“He’s not your friend anymore, Button. I’m the only friend you need.” ClassyBot walked into the taproom looking damned good in a suit and tie, eating the last few bites of what looked like a really good sandwich.
“Why are you doing this, ClassyBot? You don’t have to kill me. We can co-exist. Do you know how great the world would be with two dudes who look like us?”
“I never asked to be you! I mean I’m kinda glad I am because, seriously, this is some amazing fucking hair! But I didn’t want to be implanted with the shit memories of your failed relationships. I didn’t want to be given your impulse control issues or have to feel what you feel. You’re such a moody bitch sometimes, Classy!”
“But you’re made of liquid metal now. You can literally look like anyone. You can be anyone. You can give yourself some killer abs in less than a second. I would love to have that power.”
“That’s the difference between me and you. I’ve accepted who I am. But instead of just wallowing and letting myself lose the will to live I’ve chosen to become better. You don’t even realize how much you have at your fingertips. The Arizona craft beer community loves you and you just push everyone away any chance you get. Poor Button here doesn’t know what it means to be let down by you yet. And thanks to me he’ll never have to.”
“ClassyBot, if you really care about me and want to be a part of this community then you have to spare Original Classy’s life,” Button said. “Yes, he can be an asshole sometimes but he doesn’t intentionally try to hurt people.”
“I do care about you, Button. And that’s why you’ll see that life will be so much better with me around. I have immense power now that I want to use for good. Hell, I learned how to create and control ApplianceBot remotely. I can process information so quickly that I’ll be at the forefront of creating new technology and finding ways to overcome incurable diseases around the world. Other Classy’s only major achievement in life is knowing the lyrics to every single Coldplay song, even the B-sides. There are other bands besides Coldplay out there, you know! I want to know what the hell a Radiohead is. Why didn’t you ever listen to any Radiohead, you dick?!?”
ApplianceBot picked me up and held me with his arms made of external hard drives and Rokus and shit. ClassyBot walked over and turned his hand into a metal spear. He stabbed me in the abdomen and left the blade in. Button was yelling but I couldn’t make out what he was saying.
“What are you doing to me?” I asked the handsome cyborg.
“I’m taking everything from you. I’m going to drain you of all your blood and inject it into myself. I want so badly to be human. I want to be the person you never bothered to be.”
That’s when I realized what I needed to do. ClassyBot didn’t just know me. He was me. So I had to do something he would never expect of himself.
“Okay, ClassyBot. I won’t fight you anymore. You’re right. You should be the real me. I just want to ask for one last favor.”
“I swear, if you ask me for a fucking sandwich right now-”
“No. I just want to say goodbye to Button. I want to give him a hug and thank him for his friendship. Please…let me have that.”
ClassyBot waved his hand and ApplianceBot let me go. The extension cords untied themselves from my wrists and ankles. ClassyBot took his spear hand and cut Button loose from the chair. My friend walked over to me and hugged me.
“I’m sorry, Button.”
“You don’t have anything to be sorry about, Classy.”
“Yes I do,” I said as I reached for the designated wing fork I always carried around in my suit jacket pocket. The one I used to eat boneless chicken wings because eating wings with your hands is for assholes. I stabbed Button in the stomach with the fork.
“BUTTON, NO!” ClassyBot yelled as he ran toward me with his hand still shaped like a blade.
I pushed Button out of the way and grabbed one of ApplianceBot’s toaster fists. The handsome cyborg tried to stab me in the face but I blocked and caught his metal spear inside the toaster.
“You’re bread, motherfucker!” I said as I flipped on the appliance.
ClassyBot’s body exploded and his head went flying through the air. The liquid metal fried and disintegrated. The head landed at my feet and its hair still looked fabulous.
“I can’t believe what you just did. You were willing to hurt Button to save your own sorry ass. I’ve seen so many amazing things in my short life. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Lake Havasu. C-beams glittering in the dark near the Kartchner Caverns. Tits. But I never thought I’d see that. Time to die.”
ClassyBot’s eyes closed. I walked over to Button to make sure he was okay.
“Hey, wait,” ClassyBot’s head said behind me. “Just one more thing. You meant to say, ‘You’re toast,’ just then right? And not, you know…bread?”
“Yeah, I kinda fucked that up.”
“You idiot.” The head’s eyes closed again and stayed closed for good this time.
ONE HOUR LATER
The paramedics left Button Brewhouse after patching up the stab wound on the man that gave the business its name. I kept my distance, not wanting to confront Button after what I did to him. But I couldn’t avoid him any longer. I sat next to him in one of the new taproom chairs still wrapped in plastic.
“You’re a fucking asshole, Classy.”
“I’m so sorry, Button. I didn’t know what else to do. I knew that would throw ClassyBot off guard. If it makes you feel any better I stabbed you in the exact same place that Rosario Vargas stabbed me last year. And I’m okay!”
“Do you want me to thank you for stabbing me so well that I didn’t die?”
“Well you when you put it that way-”
“You could’ve killed me! I know you’re a loner who comes and goes without having to answer to anyone else. And that’s great if it works for you. But I have a family. You can’t gamble my life on a hunch. You have to be better that that. I risked my life for you earlier today because I trusted you to save me if things went badly. You came through like I thought you would and I appreciate it. But I guess I never thought I’d need someone to save me from you.”
I was devastated. Maybe everything the robot said about me was right.
“I really am sorry, Button. I’ll leave now. And you won’t have to see me again.”
I was about to walk out of the brewery with ClassyBot’s head under my arm when I heard Button call out to me.
“Wait, Classy, don’t go yet! Look, I’m really pissed at you right now. I can’t do anything about that. But…I know I won’t stay pissed forever. So go on whatever adventure you’re going on next. And I really hope you can come back here when we’re ready to open Button Brewhouse.”
“Really? You’re still willing to invite me to your grand opening after everything that happened?”
“I am. No matter what you’ve been a big supporter of me and my dream. I’m not gonna forget that. And I believe you’re still a good guy. You just have to get a little better at being you. We all do, I guess. Just give me some time and then we can grab a beer and shoot the shit like old times. That’s what friends do, right?”
I went in to the give Button a hug as he reached out for a handshake so his hand ended up on my stomach. I tried to high-five him but he was giving me a fist bump so he basically just punched my open hand. I ended up going back in for a hug but I was too close so I just put my arm under his and cupped his shoulder but managed to get the other arm around him in the awkwardest bro hug ever. I’m not good at showing affection. Shut up.
I walked out of the Button Brewhouse taproom still holding ClassyBot’s deactivated robot head.
“I’m sorry you didn’t get to experience the good parts of being human,” I said to what was now just another inanimate object. “You deserved better. I’m going to find whoever did this to you. And I’ll make sure this never happens again.”
I looked closely at the metal neck stump and saw something stamped in very small print. It said “Made In Japan.”
“Alright then. First things first, though, ClassyBot head. Let’s go get a sandwich.”