state of mind: pragmatic
Break involuntary ties
A secret so the spies could never find us out
Stay for as long as you have time
So the mess that we'll become leaves something to talk about
~ “Casual Affair” by Panic! At the Disco
Recently, I had dinner and drinks with a dear friend. The evening’s conversation took some very bizarre twists and turns before ending with this exchange, “You don’t have to finish your beer. You look like you are going to fall asleep.” – “I know. I want to finish it. But I think I am going to fall asleep. I gotta go home, dude. It’s almost 11.”
While I am not going to regale you with a play-by-play of the entire evening, I am going to share the part of the story where I revealed an extremely embarrassing tidbit from my past. It is something I had kept buried deep in my psyche until last night –
Let me set the scene. I’m sitting at the end of a hotel bar. My friend is next to me. Next to him is a 30-something business traveler, followed by a 50-something business traveler, and then several others eating their late dinners and drinking Manhattan martinis. There are two female bartenders. We are regular visitors. I don’t even have to order. They just verify, “Sam Adams Seasonal? Tall?” as soon as I sit down. There are several TVs above the bar. On the first and third TVs, baseball playoffs; the second and fourth had Thursday Night Football.
3 . . . 2 . . . 1 . . . Roll Imagination Cameras and Action!
Me: I thought Detroit had stripes when they played away.
Friend: Nope. Just the grays.
Me: Really? Has that always been the case? I mean, not pin stripes – but I really thought there were orange or black stripes.
Friend: No, you are thinking of the Cincinnati Bengals. Football. Not baseball. But yes, the other “Tiger” team.
Me (with glee): Oh, you mean the football team that beat the Patriots and ruined their undefeated season this past weekend? Those Bengals? The ones that beat the cheater coach?
Friend (and Patriots fan): Are you actually saying this to me?
30-something traveler: *quietly laughing*
Me: That was the best part of my weekend. Alternating between wanting to throw up and have a heart attack during the Broncos – Cowboys game, I giggled with glee every time a commentator mentioned that Tom Brady and his cheater coach lost to the Bengals.
Friend: Are you serious?
Then Friend and I began a ridiculous conversation about Tom Brady living a charmed life with his pretty face, his beautiful wife, their babies, and that even if he walked into the hotel at that moment and wanted to sleep with me I would respond with, “Well, will you wear a Broncos jersey and let me call you Peyton? Otherwise, no thanks.”
Me: To clarify, I only love Peyton when he is in uniform and pulls his arm back, creating perfect form to make a throw.
30-something traveler and 50-something traveler are now both trying not to laugh where we can hear them.
Me: I am going to tell you a secret. But, you have to understand that this is not something of which I am proud.
Me: So, when I was in high school . . . no wait, it must have been college. Yes, I was definitely in college. So, 1995 or 96.Not sure which. I was watching an NFL game on TV with some people and the officials had to run the chains out to verify a first down. I didn’t understand why they were bothering to run the chains out, when the first down was already marked on the field.
Friend: *confused look*
Me: Yeah, I know. Wait for it. . . I did not realize that the yellow line on the television marking the first down distance was just a graphic.
Friend: What? You are kidding, right?
Me: No, I thought that officials on both sides of the field were holding posts attached to a yellow cellophane ribbon that went across the field so the players knew where the first down line was.
Me: And I was amazed at how tightly they kept the cellophane pulled so no one tripped over it during a play.
Friend: Let me get this straight. You thought that the yellow line was really on the field?
Me (voice escalating in pitch and volume): In my defense, it was the 90s. The graphics weren’t that good and there was no graphic for the line of scrimmage then.
Friend: That’s true; it was before the blue line was marked on TV as well. But, I mean . . .
Me (interrupting): There was no blue line. And it isn’t as if I thought the arrows were real when they were displayed. I mean, the yellow line made sense, so players would know when they reached the first down. It made sense . . . stop laughing.
Friend: You are an intelligent girl. How did you think this?
30-something Traveler (unable to resist participating): I can see the confusion.
50-something traveler: *uncontrollable laughter*
Me: See? Even Mr. Eavesdropper over here gets it. I mean, it was 1996.
30-something Traveler: Right.
Friend (laughing): He wasn’t eavesdropping. The whole bar can hear you.
Me (glancing up at the bar patrons): Then they are all eavesdroppers.
Every guy sitting at the bar is looking at us with varying expressions of joy, mirth, bliss, and glee.
Friend: Well, the story is funny and you are getting worked up about it.
50-something Traveler: I was eavesdropping too. I couldn’t help myself. This is fascinating.
Me: You all see my point though, right? It wasn’t as if I didn’t know how the game was played or something. TV was different then. The graphic . . . I mean . . . It was a viable conclusion to draw. Anyway, the whole point was that I didn’t know why they were wasting time running chains. The game would be much better if the line were actually there.
Me: You cannot tell anyone this story. Blood oath.
Friend: Right. Blood oath.
Me (to 30-something Traveler): You can tell your kids or your grandkids this story if you want. Just stress that it was TV in the 90s. It was a different time then.
30-something Traveler: Will do.
50-something Traveler: *more laughter*
AND. . . . CUT. End Scene. PRINT IT! That’s a wrap, folks.
PERSONAL NOTE #1: Thank you for understanding that sometimes even bad logic still counts as logic.
PERSONAL NOTE #2: Love whomever you want. Homelessness and vandalism be damned.
CONFIDENTIAL NOTE: I miss you and our friendship each and every day. SWU!