Viewing the skinny MinnesOOtan walking off the plane at Philadelphia International Airport this past Friday was like watching a fish flop back and forth hopelessly on a shoreline, gasping for water after a strong wave threw its soon-to-be bird food body out of its natural habitat.
My eyes immediately darted back and forth looking for some sign of familiarity.
Although I am 31 years old, I’ve only been on a plane twice alone. Once was to travel to my adoptive home of Las Vegas, city of all things not real. Well, maybe they were real but sheer size had me leaning towards silicon. There I met up with my many invisible internet friends that I have spent many-a-nights huddled over a post, a tourney, an girly chat box conversation, a dial-a-shot. This time even though I had met them nearly six month prior, was less apprehensive. Gone were the log-on nicknames and other monikers, well maybe not all of them but instead of approaching a name tag, you could be friendly with the person behind it.
This trip was different. There would be no casinos, no vastness of Vegas to lose myself, and for a little while, possibly no Malvern.
After my ears finally popped and I regained a sense of balance, and figured out no one that would call me by the name that makes Omaha players on Full Tilt lick their chops (I’ve probably lost over $X,XXX there, cover your eyes honey if you’re reading this) I decided the luggage claim would be where the adventure would begin…
Two hours go by and pleads to the short, paunchy blonde stuffed in her police uniform added to my sense of dread. She’s never heard of Malvern. Calls to information came back with similar answers. Ah! The cab stand would know! But, again I might have just spoke in Swahili, as no one had heard of the fabled residence of the Boathouse.
One more trip back to the gate… and a gentleman in a muscle shirt that forgot about the BALCO labeled syringe sticking out of his arm was making his way in the opposite direction. The big, friendly smile told me that the weekend was set to begin.
After acquiring a lovely Veneno, the three of us pleaded with Dollar Rental Car to make receiving a vehicle similar to getting your wisdom teeth extracted with a chain saw.
They didn’t disappoint.
But, it didn’t matter. Our sights were on a shot of SoCo with the humble hosts of this party, and seeing friends that aren’t readily accessible for a game of Chinese Poker or just to shoot the shit about Norte Dame’s chances to cover vs. Michigan State every day.
After entering the Mecca of SoCo’s basement, I was met with a ringing greeting by the people who know me by a fantasy fictional character’s name. For some reason, Al came up to me with the face of a mother who’d lost his child at Macy’s toy department. So, to play along I made sure to rub it in a little bit about forgetting about me at the airport, when truthfully I was more mad at myself for not bringing a cell phone or at least having a number to call someone.
Cheer to you Al, because of yours and BigMike’s planning, seeing everyone at the Boathouse slapped a smile on my face that wouldn’t leave until I heard the Vikes fell short to Urlacher and those other folks who follow him around with similar football jerseys Sunday evening. But, if I do come for a repeat performance, please tell the airport to have a fuckin pinball machine or something to do.
After a couple of shots and a beer expertly suggested by StB, I was approached by a suave looking NewYorker who must have smelled blood, and he quickly relived me of my first five dollars of the weekend via Roshambo. While chatting with a *ahem* semi-sober JoeSpeaker a wonderful half pound bacon cheeseburger soaked up the booze and travel weariness. BG soon came thru the doors to inform us it was time for the blogger tourney back at the hotel!
(Tomorrow Part Two of Three since this is getting long enough today and yes we’re going to the Wawa. Also, hopefully answer the question... is there anything Pauly wouldn't bet on???)
Thanks for dropping by, now if you’re a Twins fan. The magic number is zero.
Bring on A’s or Yankees!!!!!! Hmmmmmm, I seem to know fans of both teams. This could get ugly for my virtual wallet.