cutting through the beer haze like the flick of a wet towel


Senior Member
He pushed open the door and walked in. The scene struck him immediately and forcibly, cutting through the beer haze like the flick of a wet towel: the baby, naked and screaming, blood running from his nose; Sandy holding him, her sleeveless blouse smeared with blood, looking at him over her shoulder, her face contracting with surprise and fear; the diaper on the floor.
Source: Salem's Shot by Stephen King
Context: Roy, the husband of Sandy, just got home. He hadn't been drinking in the local pub for the past 4 hours.

What does the bolded phrase mean?

Thank you.

Edit: he had been drinking. It was a typo.
Last edited:
  • Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    Something in a locker room situation. A towel is held at one end. The other end is dipped in water so about six inches is wet (or it can be completely wet, which makes it heavier). Then you flick it at someone like a bullwhip, but underhanded or sidehanded. If you're hit just right, you are struck "immediately and forcibly" and will have a painful red welt for hours.

    I see "cutting through the beer haze" much like this wet towel cutting through the steam haze in a locker shower room.
    Last edited:


    Senior Member
    British English
    You say that Roy hadn't been drinking, but your quotation suggests that he was rather drunk. He was in a "beer haze".

    When he comes home, he is so shocked by what he sees that it sobers him up.

    edit: Copyright explains the "flick of a wet towel" image very well.
    < Previous | Next >