June 1, 2008

Priorities, People of America

There are at least two things I don't quite get about my adopted home, the United States of America: religion and hockey (in Canada, they're one and the same thing).

Last night I had occasion to serve as doorman/bouncer at Brass Bell Music's Battle of the Bands, a judged competition* between seven local high school outfits, the first prize for which is a slot at Summerfest. I did it as a favor, but I didn't mind because the kids are usually pretty good, and there were some really fine bands playing there last night. Plus they're a good gang of folks down at Brass Bell.

James, who works in accounting, pleaded with me for several days to take his place at the hall entrance collecting the six dollar cover charge. After I finally relented, on the condition that I didn't have to wear a bright green Battle of the Bands polyester t-shirt, James sent an e-mail to Tristann, who owns the store, indicating that I had "enthusiastically volunteered" the substitution. Wiseguy.

I'm not sure why James needed the escape route; maybe it had something to do with being annoyed at a bunch of teenage brats yelling "BULLSHIT!" at him over the cover charge last year. I didn't get any of that, only one punk who tried to get in without paying by deploying the old "I'm just looking for my friend" ruse.

Hey kid, I was born at night, but not last night.

"All these other people, who are doing exactly what you're doing right now, paid six bucks," I informed him. "You don't need to be a dick about it," he said. "Sure I do." He paid, and made quite the little hissy show of it. "Best six bucks evar," said Tristann.

The only other problem was, the fourth game of the National Hockey League Stanley Cup Final Series was on at the same time as the Battle. Fortunately the event was held at the Shorewood Legion, and "Legion" means bar and television set (singular, as it turns out).

Everybody has done this when, for example, you have to attend a wedding reception during the World Series or something, and you case the joint in advance to find out where the teevee is.

Turns out there was a Brewers game on last night as well, but the bartender assured me that the Legion patrons wouldn't be paying all that much attention to it, so whenever I wanted to come downstairs and check on the hockey game, she'd flip over to NBC for me.

The series, between the Detroit Red Wings and the Pittsburgh Penguins, has been some superb hockey: constant end to end action, great goaltending, and outstanding bodychecking. While Detroit won the first two games at home, the Penguins edged out a hard fought 3-2 win in the third game, so last night's contest was a bit of do or die for Pittsburgh before the series returns to the Motor City.

I checked in on the game a few quick times during the first and second periods. They're a very nice bunch down at the Shorewood Legion. One of the bartenders even stood a couple of the other Brass Bell boys a shot of Jameson's (I ain't mentioning no names). I'll have to head back for the Friday Fish Fry some time.

So anyway, the Brewers game safely over and the doorman/bouncer gig more than well in hand with only two bands left to Battle, I figured I could catch the last few minutes of the third period.

It was 2-1 Detroit, with the Red Wings in the midst of killing off a penalty in the face of a ferocious offensive attack by the Penguins led by 20-year-old Sidney Crosby of Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia, the best player in the League and who many consider the heir to the great Wayne Gretzky.

And you know what? One of the patrons grabs the remote and changes to the channel to ... not the NBA, not the Sports Illustrated video swimsuit edition, not even NASCAR: Women's College Softball.

Women's. College. Softball.

Somebody needs to explain this phenomenon to me one of these days. And also that whole Obama thing.

* I didn't hang around long enough to find out who won, but I was rooting for that one punky all-girl band.


Tom said...

Women's College Softball.

I'll give you one name: Jennie Finch.

Enough said.

illusory tenant said...

You are truly incorrigible.

Anonymous said...

The "Obama thing" is about a beautiful individual finally healing our nation's deepest wound.

illusory tenant said...

Let's hope so.