Ended Up With A Nice Little Saturday

Until about 7:00 this morning, we were getting ready to head to Kansas City for a two day softball tourney.  But then spring in the Midwest happened.  Turns out rain for two days and then snow overnight followed by more rain today cancelled the tournament.  It was almost 70 down there a few days ago and is supposed to be warm again next week.  Which is good because we have to go back down there next weekend for another tournament.  Now whether or not you agree with youth sports being an addictive chemical fed to parents to bleed them of cash is immaterial to my story but is a point I felt that needed to spelled out nonetheless.

But here’s the thing – driving to KC takes us about 3 hours.  And we needed to be at the fields 75 minutes prior to our 1:00 game.  So – quick math – we thought we’d leave no later than 8, make some time for one stop, and bingo bongo we’re at the fields a little early.  Except the weather happened.  But we were already up – on a Saturday – just before 7.  Yes, I realize some of you are smirking and saying, “yeah doofus, go back to sleep.”  Well, my body just doesn’t work that way.  Anymore anyway.  Like joint pain, hair loss and college tuition payments for our oldest, it’s just the way it is now.

So we’re awake with a whole Saturday morning unaccounted for.  So I suggested, “Hey, wanna go get breakfast somewhere?”  Mom gave the thumbs up so we headed out the door.  So, just follow along here.

Lots of options available.  There’s a local bagel place that’s pretty good.  You got Perkins of course.  But we headed down the street to…Panera.  Mom got an ham & egg sandwich – no cheese.  I got a steak, egg and cheese sandwich on an everything bagel.  First time I’ve had it.  Pretty good.  Nothing special, but yeah I’d eat it again.  But, truth be told, breakfast sandwiches are amongst my favorite foods.  Not totally sure on the approval rankings as of today but nachos, donuts, cheeseburgers are the other front runners.

Regardless, we get our drinks and proceed to do the following.  We grabbed a paper off another table.  The actual paper, not like a shareable Panera iPad.  An actual physical newspaper.  I grabbed the sports section and Mom went right for the word jumble. Then two things happened.  1) I had to put on my +1.25 readers because I can’t see shit, 2) Mom got a pen and filled in the jumble even though it wasn’t our newspaper.  It was just a random paper that somebody left there or that Panera was providing to its customers.  Either way I thought it was inappropriate for her to fill out the jumble.  Who does that?  What if somebody else wanted to figure out the jumble?  Too late motherfu*%er, Mom ruined it for everybody.  So yeah, we were at a freaking Panera early on a Saturday morning and I was reading the newspaper wearing  my readers and Mom was doing the jumble.

But then we left Panera and went to Bed, Bath & Beyond because we evidently had yet to prove to ourselves that we’re no longer 22.  But you gotta draw a line somewhere.  And my line is evidently waiting outside a Bed, Bath & Beyond at 8:50 on Saturday morning because the store doesn’t open until 9 as you notice the grandma parked next to you doing the same thing.  That’s my line.  We immediately left.  Felt like I needed to go home and rewatch The Dirt just to remind myself that we used to be cooler, younger and far less concerned getting new towels.

So anyway it was a weird morning.  Like the interlude of spanish dinner music in the middle of Sleezebeez’ underappreciated hair metal hit Stranger than Paradise.  But you know what?  We still ended up with a nice little Saturday…



Scenes from Round 1

If you’re a college basketball fan, and I am, then this may sound completely normal to you.  If not, well, whatever I guess.  When I was a teenager I used to think one of the coolest things ever would be a chance to be on the NCAA men’s basketball tournament selection committee.  Your job is to literally watch a boat load of games and seed the field of 64.  Yeah, awesome.  However, short of that ever coming to fruition, I thought it’d be pretty cool to have tickets to one of the regionals and go and watch the whole set of first and second round games.  And, as luck would have it, Des Moines is hosting a regional for the second time in in the last few years.  And, for the second time, we have tickets.

Turns out it really is awesome.  But it was even more awesome this year than the first time.  Why?  These were available:Defleppardbeers

25 oz. beers for $11.  I know, bargain.  Not only did it make the Bradley-Michigan State game really fun, it allowed the Nevada-Florida game to be tolerable.  When you’re agnostic towards the 8 teams in your regional its easy to make friends.  Also, because of the lack of balance in bathroom equality, you end up spending a fair amount of quality discussion time with strangers.  At some point in the recent past it became standard operating procedure in the design and construction of entertainment venues to have two women’s restrooms for every men’s restroom.  Typical of intersectionality, this line of thinking isn’t interested in equality, it is interested in revenge and reparations.   So not only are the women’s restroom superior in number – and I assume odor – they are larger.  The natural result is long lines resembling the bread lines in the old Soviet Union.  But since AOC and nearly the entire field of Democrat presidential hopefuls believe soviet style central government planning is peachy keen, maybe it was good practice.  Regardless, the length of the lines do give you a chance to visit with the gentlemen positioned close to you in said lines.

For instance, the Michigan State guy behind me got in line with not one, but two 25 oz Miller Lites.  That’s a guy who doesn’t really want to waste any unused space in his bladder.  He also spent a fair amount of time explaining that Sparty fans really travel well but airfare was $1200 from Detroit to Des Moines last Sunday.  Not being a guy who regularly checks airfares, I took his word for it.

The Bradley fans however showed up in force.  Neither Michigan State guy or I were sure how far Peoria was from Des Moines.  Luckily, the two Bradley students in front of me did.  Turns out it’s somewhere between 4 and 4.5 hours depending on your appreciation for speed limits.  Bradley actually led at halftime.  And this was the game immediately after Minnesota beat Louisville.  So the Gopher fans were engaged in some serious Midwest Power Drinking.  I told the Bradley kids that if they held on to win the game, they’d have to fight the Gopher fans for beers at the bars downtown.

Bradley kids weren’t impressed. “Ah, dude, we’ll be fine.  They’re gonna need to keep up with us.”

To which I responded, “Whoa, whoa, whoa there private school.  Slow down son.  You don’t want to challenge the Gophers to a contest in beer consumption.  Yeah, yeah, yeah you guys are from Illinois but your fan base isn’t ready for this.  You guys don’t have a football team.  You haven’t been conditioning since August for this kind of event.”

Bradley kid laughs it off.  But I wasn’t done.  “Look at Michigan State guy here.  He’s holding 50 ounces of beer in a line for the bathroom.  You what that means?  He’s gonna finish one in line to free up a hand, then he’s gonna finish the other on his way back to his seat while he stops at the beer stand for another 25 ouncer.  And he’s just loosening up for later.  He hasn’t even really started yet.”

Bradley kids are laughing pretty hard but I think I made my point.

I think the total count on Nevada fans ended up at two.  Sure there were more than that sitting behind the bench but I only saw two in the beer lines.  Which is my metric.  So maybe Wolfpack fans don’t have the same appreciation for giant beers that I do.  But that’s weird.  Like the casting for the Stalkers in The Running Man.  Anyway, we’ll see who shows up Saturday.  I’m guessing the Gopher contingent is growing not only in number but also in their liquid exuberance.