A cowboy at a bar in Great Falls, Montana, orders three mugs of beer and sits in the back room, drinking a sip out of each one in turn. When he finishes them, he comes back to the bar and orders three more.
The bartender tells him, ‘You know, a mug goes flat after I draw it. It would taste better if you bought one at a time.’ The cowboy replies, ‘I know, but that’s O.K. I have two brothers, one in Billings, the other in Helena . I’m in Great Falls. When we left home, we promised that we’d drink this way to remember the days when we drank together. I drink one for each of my brothers and one for myself. ‘The bartender says, ‘I think that is a nice custom.’ The cowboy becomes a regular, and always orders three mugs and drinks them in turn.
One day he comes in and orders only two mugs. All the regulars take notice and fall silent. When he comes back to the bar for the second round, the bartender says, ‘We don’t want to intrude on your grief, but we want to offer our condolences on your loss.’
The cowboy looks quite puzzled for a moment, then a light dawns and he laughs. ‘Oh, no, everybody’s fine,’ he explains. ‘It’s just that my wife and I joined the Mormon Church and I had to quit drinking. Hasn’t affected my brothers, though.’