Monday, September 10, 2007

Report from the Great American West, part 3

As those who read these pages well know, the Peter McManus Cafe is my watering hole of choice. I was there yesterday for the semi-annual stick ball tournament. While I don't participate in the games themselves (blessed with poor hand/eye coordination specific to sticks and balls), they were offering free beer, barbequed chicken and ribs. I did participate in these things and managed to stay quite a while.

People often suggest that the PMC is like the bar in Cheers, the television show. And it is, to a degree. I mean, everybody knows my name and vice-versa. But I don't correspond to any of the characters on Cheers. I am, I must tell you, my own man in this regard.

I bring this up only to suggest that everyone needs a place like this. Or most people, at least. So it was with some delight that I found myself in my friend Earl's version of same, accompanied by Mammoth World Celebrity Bike Tour teammate Dave, Year Of... West Coast Correspondent Aimee, and Earl himself. The bar's ceiling is adorned with hockey jerseys (which is okay, even if you're not a hockey guy), and other sports paraphernalia*. Parts of the layout are odd, but the waitresses are pretty attractive--and that can go a long way towards rubbing down the sharp edges.

One of them was also an expert in sleep apnea. I felt like I was getting some traction with my insistence on pronouncing the term as "slee papnea" (a subtle distinction, I'll warrant, but not lost on the expert herself), but I didn't have enough time to make it really stick, if you can envision the implications of the phrase "make it really stick."

And despite that, we all had a lovely time, drinking some beer plus one shot each (except for Dave, who is, apparently, in training). In a perfect world it would have been karaoke night and I would have gotten up first and done a "Mack the Knife/My Way" double set, if for no other reason than to leave Earl with no material. But it wasn't.

At the end of the night I desperately tried to pick up the Check, but my buddy Aimee beat me to it.

* Paraphernalia is an odd word. The urge to leave out the R is always with me, just like Picasso was always with Rauschenberg. It comes from the Greek parapherna, meaning, if I have my Greek right, property unrelated to a dowry.

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