If you can satiate yourself with simple pleasures, your chance at a happy life increases. If, for example, a well-timed cupcake can make your day, a contented existence awaits you.

For me, the inevitable sticky hands that result from cupcake consumption ruin this effect; but I have my own simple satisfactions.

During the course of a hot, sweaty day — and there have been plenty of those this summer — my anticipation builds.

“When I get home,” I say to myself, “I know exactly what I am going to do.”

True to my word, upon arrival I march upstairs to the living room beer-fridge, grab a bottle of suds, and return downstairs to my bathroom. Then I strip and jump in the shower.

As the faucet springs into action I twist off the cap and invert the beer bottle so its contents flow river-like into my parched mouth.

Oh, glory.

It’s a beautiful little ritual that cleanses my body of its grime and my soul of its sourness; after a shower-beer I feel both light headed and light-hearted.

Note: I mean “light-hearted” in a figurative sense; in a literal sense the research I’ve done indicates this activity might not actually be that great for your ticker. Consider this a try-at-your-own-risk disclaimer.

Both the highfalutin and the hoi polloi can enjoy the classic beer-in-shower technique , but I don’t want to give the impression that it is all leisure.

If one casually luxuriates in the shower for an hour, serious concerns arise re: energy use and water consumption. If a shower drinker wants to both enjoy the ritual and maintain one’s environmental credibility, efficiency is called for.

But here is the happy paradox: the very efficiency that would seem to make drinking a beer in the shower more trouble than it’s worth, ends up increasing the pleasure of the activity.

By employing quick consumption, the alcohol content of the beer provides the consumer with more bang-for-the-buck. In working efficiently one achieves greater happiness — isn’t that what the Germans have always told us?

I first discovered the beauty of shower-beer towards the end of my career at the University of Lethbridge; it never failed to put me in a great mood for my afternoon classes. Today — maturity prevailing — I am far more likely to use shower-beer as a tool for winding down, rather than revving up.

But regardless of changing purposes, an empty beer bottle in my shower remains the aftermath of simple bliss.