Hunters and Gatherers
I should have just rented a minivan yesterday. Take the kid to school. Run errands. Get a haircut. Go grocery shopping. Pick kid up from school. Take him to soccer practice. Go home. Cook dinner. Fill out new school forms. Lay out today's outfit (him and me). Go to bed ex-fricking-hausted. Being a Soccer Mom is brutal.
At the local Ralph's, I figure being there in the middle of a weekday is the way to go and it seemed hardly crowded at all. The deli line was short, I didn't need to squeeze my way past eight carts every aisle or physically shove aside the oblivious fatty kneeling by the Twinkees. And then I come around the corner and see the mob scene at the check-out. Twenty-four shoppers. Two lines open.
Tempers were hot. Especially the people with four items. "You don't have an express lane open!" they shouted like bleating sheep at the manager as he huffed his way to the front. The Four-Itemers were pulling the "Is it okay if I go in front of you since you have a full cart of food?" move, one which definitely has its place, but not in a clusterfuck of this proportion and after refusing one by pointing out that EVERYBODY behind me had fewer items than I and if I let one go how is that fair, especially when I need to get a future swashbuckling midfielder to soccer practice.
So I finally get to the point where my items are on the conveyor belt and the lady behind me is beginning to do the same when she says, "We finally made it."
AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH. Way to jinx it, honey.
I actually said, "Let's not count our chickens just yet" and I am a prophet indeed because one of the primary bleaters is still in front of me and trying to pay by check and challenging the price of every item and even when it seems the transaction has ended, it hasn't, because the bottled water on the bottom of the cart wasn't rung, so that's separate and ANOTHER check is written, after which the older lady with the skin so white it's nearly translucent decides she needs to read the checker the riot act over the lack of service.
But I made it to soccer practice and immediately went on tilt because...well...AJ's coaches have no idea what they're doing and he's not learning anything, but you know what?...God bless 'em anyway because I'd flip my lid within five minutes of trying to keep 13 five-year-olds in line and they did a great job of that and I'm going to have to accept the fact that the Jedi won't be creating triangles or making over-lapping runs anytime soon.
This Soccer Mom shit is for the birds. I much prefer scouring the phone book for a place to drink beer.
When I got home Friday night after work, Bobby mentioned his beloved Lions were set to take on the Ray-duhs in pre-season, exhibition, gridiron warfare. I could tell he really wanted to watch the game, based on the face paint and powder blue ensemble he was sporting. Trouble was, I am still new to the area and had no idea of a suitable sports bar, the one we had gone to the previous night not being up to par with its ridiculous volume (Steve Physioc and Rex Hudler should not be experienced at 11) and shrieking clientele.
So I found two potential spots and really it was never in doubt where we were going to go, but I asked anyway.
"Okay, we've got 'Peppers Sports Bar and Grill' and 'The Beer Hunter.'"
Five minutes later, we strode confidently into a mammoth sports bar, one that looked like it used to serve as an Office Depot or perhaps an airplane hangar but was now the place where men (and women who look frighteningly like men) come to Hunt Beer. It was packed and the over/under on neck tattoos was set low at 3. Plenty of silver and black in the crowd and they cheered Oakland's wholesale dismantling of Jon Kitna's Lions (pause for reflection on that state of affairs), which was probably just as well. If Bobby had anything to cheer about, the likelyhood of us getting shivved would have risen exponentially with each whoop. Yet, even in a crowd of multiple-silver-chain-wearing Beer Hunters, a certain refinement expressed itself in curious ways, like the run-down slob in the ratty jeans and tattered tee who, after washing his hands in the restroom, used a towel to open the door. Whether he was keeping himself safe from germs or doing the rest of us the favor of not passing them is up for debate.
The food was absolutely tragic, pub-grub with a side of grease. It's not called the Food Hunter, kids. Bobby's medium-rare steak came blacker than Mike Cameron, my parmesan-grilled turkey sandwich had the unmistakable odor of bacon grease and they put the goddamn sour cream directly on the potato skins! Okay, fine, the last is only bad in Bob's World of Bizarre Food Rules. If it wasn't for fried cheese, we'd have both starved.
We forcibly removed ourselves from the bar, happy we could say we had been The Beer Hunter, but in some intestinal distress. As we walked to the car, we hear a guy admonishing another, saying, "You've got nothing going on!" We turn to see the subject of said judgement and it's a feeble guy in a wheelchair. Nice.
Luckily, we had something else going on and maybe I'll get to it later, but I think there was actual dancing to a Journey cover by the live band ("Who's Crying Now") and a debate over the validity of meeting people over the internet, not that I'd have any experience with that. Either way, the SoCo was likely to blame. That and the low-cut tops.