You might already know this but much of the US state of Nebraska is under water. A combination of heavy rain and snow melt has swelled the Missouri River over its banks, causing levies to break and unleashing water over multiple counties. Many towns have evacuated residents and declared a state of emergency—and yet, among this story of devastation comes one of joy.
Kyle Simpson had spent the day cleaning up his property on the Platte River, near the town of Linwood. He and his friend Gayland Stouffer were trudging back to their car, via 1.5 kilometers of sodden fields, when Gayland stopped to examine a pile of flood wreckage. But what really caught his eye was a bar fridge, tipped on its back under a tree.
According to Kyle he opened the fridge door and grinned, as reported by the Lincoln Journal Star:
“He just opens it up and says, ‘It’s full of beer,’”
“I said, ‘Yeah, right.'"
"And he reaches in and says, ‘It’s ice cold.'"
The fridge, it turned out, was stocked with two of the world’s worst beers—Busch Light and Bud Light—but they were cold. So naturally the two friends cracked a few cans and took a few selfies and then sat under the tree for a drink.
A short 18 hours later, their photos had made their way to a Facebook page quaintly dubbed “Nebraska Through the Lens,” where they accumulated some 5,000 shares. And that’s how they were spotted by the guy who actually owned the fridge, Brian Healy.
Now here’s where the story becomes an example of full-on serendipity, because it turned out the fridge had actually survived a previous calamity. Brian told the paper that it’d actually survived a house fire back in 2007, which gave the little guy a permanent smell of smoke. And this was why it was demoted from his new house, and became a bar fridge for fourth-rate beers in his holiday cabin.
Brian said his cabin didn’t survive didn’t survive the flood, although it was nice to learn the fridge had. Somehow it'd unplugged itself, escaped the building, and kept its door closed while surging 6.5 kilometres down a river full of rubbish. Then it’d ended up on its back under a peacful tree, in mid-winter Nebraska, which had chilled its contents to perfection.
And that’s how the fridge happened to be there. Full of beer. The story of the little bar fridge that could.
This article originally appeared on VICE AU.