Twenty-four days.

I have to keep reminding myself, “Just 24 more days,” while I grit my teeth.

What happens on April 23, you may wonder? Well, according to the handy-dandy 2005 calendar in the Nexus office, on this particular day, Passover just so happens to begin at midnight. It also happens to be the day after Earth Day, as well as William Shakespeare’s birthday. So, in homage to Hamlet, the so-called greatest play ever written, I’ll be at my house or some local watering hole getting mollywhopped.

But my choice of consuming alcoholic goodness will have less to do with the tragic end of Hamlet and more to do with enjoying a cold one, or 12, on this special day. These beers will have a different zing to them. The hops will be sweeter, the carbonation will be potent, the pour will display a perfect head of foam and the temperature will be so cold I will feel its chilled, liquid goodness flow from my throat all the way down to my liver.

Why will this godlike beverage taste even more… godlike?

Because I will have no apprehensions that an incognito IVFP officer might be lurking on my oceanside balcony with an MIP ticket in hand. I won’t have to pester my roommates to pick me up a sixer after being at work all night. I won’t be left alone to drown my sorrows in a bottle of Maker’s Mark while my roommates are out soaking up pitchers at Sam’s or throwing back tequila shots downtown.

That’s right, your pseudo beer columnist and worthless excuse of an opinion editor will be legal.

You see, being underage never used to be a big deal. During the “adolescent stage,” sneaking 12-packs of Natty into the dorms after a big, bad 21-year-old bought it for you was actually kind of stimulating. Being away from home and having your own cold brewskies instead of sneaking your old man’s coveted brew provided some sort of thrill. That, and disguising your liquor exploits from those sneaky RAs.

But the love affair with shady beer runs and sneaking into dorm rooms quickly wears off after realizing how goddamned inconvenient it is. Then comes the “almost legal stage” of actually knowing a couple of your close buddies from early back who are of that blissful age. Buying beer with relative ease — and legally, no less — is some sort of reprieve from God, “Sean, hang in tough, buddy — you’re almost to the holy age of legal purchasing of hops and barley.” Unbeknownst to me, “almost” is used pretty loosely. “Almost” seems like it has been going on for almost two years now.

Now I’ve reached the worst stage. It’s not even “almost” anymore. I call it the “fuck me in the ass I’m so close to being 21 and I hate my life” stage. Because now, everyone is 21. Virtually all of my buddies who graced the debauched halls of Santa Rosa just two years ago are of that so elusive age of wonder and legality. It’s not easy. After a good run of basketball at the Rec Cen, my roommates take off to Woodstock’s to polish off a couple of pitchers. Watching two of my esteemed colleagues at the Nexus take care of a pitcher of Firestone at Chilitos, I sit and sip on my horchata envisioning that glorious day when I will be able to kick back a few malted beverages with them.

Needless to say, I’m going through a rough patch in my life.

But don’t feel sorry for me; I brandish a certain utopian vision of the future path that lies ahead of me: riding my beach cruiser down DP with a 30-pack of Keystone on my shoulder knowing that the popo don’t got shit on me. It’s throwing down Irish car bombs or soaking in the sun assimilating pitchers of Bud Light at Sam’s. My excitement to reach this day is so profound, I wouldn’t be doing this column justice by putting it in my own words. Instead I’ll quote Morgan Freeman from “The Shawshank Redemption”: “I’m so excited I can barely sit still or hold a thought in my head.”

Thanks, Red.

Wait until Daily Nexus Assistant Opinion Editor Sean Swaby realizes you have to be 25 to rent a car.