For those of you who are too young or who don’t enjoy watching movies; you may not know of an actor named Kevin Bacon (yes you can find him on both Wikipedia and Google). He is a talented actor and has been said to have worked with just about everyone in Hollywood…or someone knows a guy who dated a girl and has an aunt whose husband was an extra in “Footloose”. See, I just connected some guy to Kevin Bacon in only 5 steps!
The reason I am writing this article about beer vendors (mostly being spotted at sporting events) is because just like Kevin Bacon, they can be connected to a large amount of people in a mere few hours. How this happens may be different from the “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon” game, but let’s try out a scenario and see what happens.
First off, let’s create the situation; you are sitting in your seat at a sporting event and you are thirsty for a beer (maybe it’s a really hot day). You raise your hand up in the air to signal to the beer vendor that you want a beer. The beer vendor (who works his/her butt off for you so you can have that beer) walks over and takes your order. Let’s say you just want one beer, but there is an issue; you are not in an aisle seat and need to get the attention of the people between you and the beer vendor.
Bingo! All of those people are the people who are potential numbers in your degrees of separation from the beer vendor. How does this happen you ask? You hand a $5 bill (probably costs more, but that’s beside the point) to the person next to you and as they pass your money towards the beer vendor, so too is your beer passed towards you. The anticipation of this transaction is so worthwhile that many people tend to use this method multiple times during a single game.
So here is the issue; your dirty money (oh yes, full of bacteria) touched all of those hands who also touched your cup of beer. Luckily the people (including the beer vender) did not touch the rim because that creeps you out right? Well, it does not matter because unless you carry a straw with you at games and drink beer with it, you will touch your cup and have many bacteria transferred over to your hand. Think of it as a baseball trade, but without either side totally getting rid of their player/bacteria, plus you get a little something that you can share.