October 02, 2005

Look, Don't Touch

-Caught a glimpse of Robert Redford sitting in the stands at Fenway while I was watching the Yanks-Red Sox game on TV Friday. My first thought was: Damn, Roy Hobbs looks old as hell. Forget wrinkles -- dude’s face has canyons running through it. I obviously don't begrudge him that -- Redford turned 68 in August, so it’s a given that he’s going to show some age. The problem, though, is that he’s still dyeing his hair bright red, and the contrast between his aging gentleman’s face and near-fluorescent shock of locks is enough to give you chills. Like, in a bad, heebie-jeebies kind of way. Frankly, it makes Redford look kind of creepy, like an elderly woman at the mall confusedly pushing around one of those huge granny carts. Come on, Roy. Age with dignity! (Or at the very least think about dyeing that hair a different color.)
-Later on Friday night, I was watching the game at a restaurant with the sound muted and the close captioning on. At one point, the TV announcers made mention of Sox pitcher Bronson Arroyo, and where Arroyo’s name should have been, the caption read, “Awry grow.” I immediately thought back to the time several years back when I was out at a bar watching a Cardinals game, and with Placido Polanco at the plate, the caption referred to him as “Policy Language Co.” Seeing such frequent and odd misfires by the captions makes me wonder just how this system works. Is it actually a human typing in the names, or is it done with voice recognition software? If it is a human, apparently being a knowledgeable sports fan is not a prerequisite of the job.
-Speaking of Yankees-Red Sox, Joe Torre was crying like a homesick kid with a skinned knee when the Yanks clinched the AL East on Saturday. I know it’s a great feeling to win your division, but spare us the melodrama, Joe. Seeing you weep like a little sissy for no apparent reason is not good television.
-I know I shouldn’t really be thinking about the upcoming NBA season with the baseball playoffs about to start, but for some reason, this little dust-up between Kwame Brown and Gilbert Arenas got me pretty excited for pro hoops.
-Back to Friday: I was out at a bar late that particular evening with some friends and decided to throw a few bank notes into Big Buck Hunter, which a friend of mine recently proclaimed “the new Golden Tee.” I don’t know about that – in my mind, Golden Tee is still king – but I will say that I have seen a number of establishments that have lost their Golden Tee machines in favor of the Big Buck, which is an interesting trend. I think it might have something to do with the fact that we Americans prefer, at least ever so slightly, shooting things with a shotgun as opposed to bashing them with a club.
Anyhoo, so there I was at the bar playing Big Buck Hunter, and I must say I had it going on. At one point I registered a triple buck – meaning I hit all three bucks in the round without shooting any of the doe (which is a no-no). Perhaps the triple buck is common for some of you veteran players out there, but it was the first such achievement of my young career, and I was pretty happy with it. As I stood there figuratively popping my collar, a guy walked up from somewhere to my left.

Nice shooting, he said. My name’s Cow.

A pause, and then he added: I got the most bucks.

I took this to mean that he was the leader atop the game’s scoreboard. I told Cow that I was impressed and stood there awkwardly, half-expecting him to offer me a bottle of sarsaparilla. A few minutes later, he walked out of the bar, never to be seen again.

(Note: It has been suggested by at least one person that this individual introduced himself as “Cal,” which I heard as “Cow.” But I am quite certain that he introduced himself in the bovine form.)

-That was by no means the most bizarre thing that happened to me this weekend. This next tale has nothing at all to do with sports, but I feel compelled to share it nonetheless. I was out at a Lower East Side establishment Saturday night for a friend’s birthday celebration, and sometime around midnight headed to the bathroom (located in the back of the place) to do a number one. Everything came out fine. However, on my way out of the restroom, I was walking past a line of people waiting in line to use said bathroom when one of those people reached down and groped the area of my pants that held my wallet (the wallet was located in my right front pocket). Before I knew what was going on, he then reached, let’s just say, a bit closer to the middle of my pants.
I didn’t even think – I just flipped. I shoved the guy away from me and immediately started screaming at him. F-bombs flew forth from my pallet like daggers from a ninja’s sheath. I kept going at him – screaming, yelling and pointing – for what must have been a minute.

But an odd thing was happening. He just kept backing away, curled up into some standing variation of the fetal position. He wouldn’t even look at me. So I added “coward” to my tirade, and kept going. But it was pointless – he wouldn’t even look my way; didn’t say so much as a word. The three other people standing back by the bathroom were silent as well, I think making sure to stand aside in case I was going to start swinging.

I walked back towards the front of the bar, still furious, and started telling every friend of mine who would listen. I looked back towards the bathroom, and this weird incarnation of a human was still standing back in the corner. He soon started talking guardedly to the guy standing next to him, whom I gathered from the look of things to be his friend. I continued to wait, and when the friend walked out to the front of the bar, I approached him. “Look man, you'd better get your boy out of here,” I said. What the man said back to me was surprising. “I’m not with him,” he said with a faint hint of a European accent. “He tried to touch me as well.” A moment later, he walked out of the bar.

But the perpetrator was still in the house. A few minutes later, he had stumbled out to the middle of the place and parked himself within about 5 feet of our table. He just stood there, swaying vacantly, and it was at this point it dawned on me that he was high out of his mind on something. That granted him no amnesty or sympathy from me, however. I walked over to the bartender (there was no bouncer at this place) and informed him that there was a guy wandering around the place touching other men. The bartender looked concerned, and started to walk out from behind the bar to investigate. But at that precise moment, the perp made a swift and decisive move towards the front door and slipped out. Apparently he was more alert than he let on.

As I turned around to head back to my table, I realized I was face-to-face with three guys, significantly older and bigger than I. They had apparently overheard my conversation with the bartender. “That guy came over here and started looking at us funny,” said one of them. “We almost laid him out.”

His bald friend, whom I now recognized as having been standing nearby when the incident had gone down near the bathroom, said, “I can’t believe you were as calm as you were. I think I would have hit that guy.”

“Yeah, well, I don’t want to go to jail,” I said. (I’m terrified of jail, in large part because of the fact that it’s my understanding that people do worse things than grope you in the slammer.)

“You don’t go to jail for that,” he responded. “That’s self-defense.”

Shortly after that, I bid my newfound (and acquired through most unusual circumstances) friends a good evening, and went back to my section of the bar, where the story was spreading quickly among my friends.

Later in the evening, as the bald guy I had talked to earlier made his way out of the bar, he walked over to me and extended his hand. “Have a good night, dude,” he said. After a moment’s pause, he added: “Watch out for your package.”


Blogger jimmyrad said...

Kudos, OCC, several nice tales.

1st off, Big Buck Hunter is indeed great, but I agree, it's no Golden Tee. THough many of these damn Texas around here seem to think otherwise.

2nd off, "Watch out for your package," is a fantastic way to bid someone adeiu. I will be trying it at my 1st oppurtunity. I'm thinking at about 5:30 pm when my boss leaves would be oppurtune.

3rdly, I don't know how complete an answer this is, but the CC'ing that goes on for primetime shows on network television is actually done by individuals. I believe they are given scripts, but a decent amount of lines they just have to hear for themselves. Watching ESPN CC makes me think they use a computer program of somesort because they seem to err quite a bit. Usually not as funny as Bronson Arroyo, though.

2:46 PM, October 03, 2005  

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