Monday, September 08, 2008

"Beer Barrel Poker"

I wrote this a few years ago. I thought it might be appropriate to dig it up now.

"You wanna stahp in here for wan mohre?" Ryan's midwestern vowels at this point of the night were longer than his drunken steps as we hit every bar on the way back from Miller Park Wednesday. "What's in here," I asked. "It's Morahns. It's pritty goood."

I okayed like I had a choice. When the sons of Chief Wisconsin set their minds to a-drinkin' There ain't no sort of sense that can stop them. And, because you're their guest you are obliged to one more than the rest.

Moran's was a typical Irish pub with a small gathering at the bar of assorted locals and invading Yankee fans celebrating their great victory over the Milwaukee Brewers with whom they shared the same record. They brimmed with pride because E-Rod the Great had hit his 400th HR in pin stripes. The two factions associated with the requisite politesse that Colonel Hogan showed Sergeant Schultz in Stalag 13. I entered and my Red Sox jersey stopped all conversation. The Brewer faithful saw me as a liberator: the Simon Bolivahh of the baseball world. But, I was just a humble servant on a mission from Gahd.

I surveyed the scene and approached the nearest gaggle unfettered. "Oh Christ! What are you doing here?" Some guy probably named Vinny cleverly quipped. "I was invited," I said. the first volley missed, or better yet, was deflected by inebriety. Subtle Street was not the route to get to these guys. A couple of local brew-bibers that resembled Rob Deer stood forward to defend the enemy of their enemy. "Can you believe awl of the Yankees fans here? Oh." He asked me with a sarcastic stretch at the "Y" in Yankees. "You're mistaken," I began, "that symbol on their hats isn't for the Yankees." I paused. The MFY turned a collective ear; they belched, and waited. "That's the Chinese character for fourth place." Bullseye! Heads hung and the retreat was sounded.

I threw my arms up and said "thank you."

"Ryan, let's go."
"Why? Let's have wan drink."
"I don't think it's a good idea." I looked around the bar. "Besides, my work here is finished."
"You're right. Let's goh, oh."

We staggered away with a small victory, somewhat saddened for picking on such easy prey. But, that's why I'm here.

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