It seems like it was just yesterday that I was recovering from eating eight pounds of tasty Thanksgiving food, and realized Actual Greeno was in town from Chicago. So I knocked out a quick post about my King Kong glass, and then jumped in a car to drive out to Springfield and get him. This was of course followed by a delightful dinner in the Short North, a few tasty glasses of Stella down at Mac’s Cafe, and then six hours of bar stool wiseassery at the King Avenue Five.
But it wasn’t yesterday. It was two days ago. Alien abduction-style, I am missing a full day, and it’s all because of the OSU-Michigan rivalry, which goes way back several centuries to a dispute over which state had to take Toledo. Obviously, we lost and we appear to have never gotten over it.
So all of the sudden, it’s the next day and Greeno and I were suddenly sitting in a bar again with bloody marys in front of us, and the entire city was also sitting in bars, acting like that was a perfectly normal thing to do at ten o’clock in the morning. It’s not, you know.
It turns out, this ancient rivalry is expressed in the form of football. Given how excited everyone was, and given what time we were all in a bar, I had assumed it was a big military conflict, something on the scale of the Iraq Invasion.
Football games are quite long, but I think that I did a lot better than normal, for a dude who knows about as much about the game as I do about Harry Potter. For example, I was almost always clapping at the correct time, and for the most part, I could tell you why I was clapping. Sometimes, there was a little confusion with regards to how long I ought to be clapping – I feel kind of silly clapping at a box on the wall for more than a second or two, even if everyone else is doing the same thing.
I remember the effect this game has on the city quite well, from my days as a campus bartender back in the early nineties. A normal shift for a bartender on a day like this is sixteen hours, and one thing I can tell you is that you will be doing yourself and your bartender a big favor if you figure out what the hell you want to drink before you get the bartender’s attention. They’re in kind of a hurry back there, and they don’t think it’s cute or funny when you call them over to observe you as you chew on your lip and think about various drinks and giggle.
You might also think it’s funny to simply order “beer,” the joke being I think that you don’t care what kind of beer, you just want beer. Unfortunately, bartenders do not have the option of choosing for you – there are typically a hundred different kinds of beers back there. It’s not nearly as funny or admirable as you might think. Not very funny, and somewhat time-consuming.
Also, do not drink and drive. That’s true anytime, of course, but even more so on the day of the OSU-Michigan game, since the cops are out in full force and they’re low on cash. They can literally pull people over at random and score DUIs, like plucking trout from a stream.
No, a better solution is to call your wife circa eleven o’clock and admit that you seem to be in a bar again, and just maybe add that a ride home would be super, but maybe not for five or six more hours. Then, forget to eat any meals and try to talk louder and louder each hour.
When the game is over, be certain to notice who won. I’m pretty sure it was OSU because nobody ran outside and started flipping cars over or burning couches. Even if you brought it up a few times, it was like it just wouldn’t take hold.
When my wife arrived, she failed to bring any fried chicken despite my brother’s very clear and repeated requests for it, but that was fine. No problem. I had, after all, left to go out with Greeno something like twenty hours before that, so all in all, we had to admit that she was being a pretty good sport.
Really, it was like some kind of trap. There was no reason to allow or condone my behavior, but she seemed to think it was pretty funny and perfectly fine. In the car, I said, from now on, I’m not going to go out twice at the same time, and I’m always going to remember to eat meals, and once we get home, remind me to post something on Future Tom because I haven’t done that yet.
Then it was eight hours later. Still no fried chicken. Still nobody angry at Tom or hollering at Tom, still a decent weekend. So I just posted something about the time warp I just went through, and that counts as Saturday. Even though Saturday’s almost gone.