Thursday, May 15, 2008

Nurse the Hate: Hate the Little Things

I am in Europe right now. I love Europe for the care and attention to detail they pay to the little things. It is this attention to detail that improves the overall quality of life. This is one area that could use much improvement in the US. We are all about MORE instead of less but with quality. These Euros really have a few things down. However, there are a few things that really baffle me about the overall lifestyle here.

1) Showers: I have railed against this in the past, and I will address it again now. Why is every shower roughly the size of a phone booth? Why is every shower head located at about mid chest? These Germans, Swiss, and Dutch are very tall people. They are most famous for exporting things like luxury automobiles, fine watches, and jewelery. So these same guys that work all day fine tuning a seven thousand dollar watch never thought, "Hey, we ought to raise this shower head about 2 feet and widen this stall while we are at it."? Confusing...

2) Why is everything closed all the time?: From the time I landed on Saturday afternoon to Tuesday afternoon I was unable to buy a simple list of goods because stores, post offices and banks are apparently NEVER open. Every third day is a religious holiday over here despite the fact that NO ONE goes to any kind of church. I hate to even say it, but if you drop about fifteen hundred 7-11s in here with some well placed 24 hour super center supermarkets and the culture changes overnight. We can get them fat, and spoiled in no time.

3) What is with the Turkish mullet?: Turks are kind of like Mexicans over here. They are living outside the mainstream while nudging themselves slowly into the culture. As far as I can tell, they exclusively run kebob shops and internet cafes. The other thing they do is proudly fly the mullet. From what I have seen here, the latest fashion trend for the young Turkish male is a mullet accented with a cheap gold chain. It is a whole cross section of the population that looks like the male cast of Footloose. That brings the question. Is Turkey a country that looks like a midwestern American high school in 1987?

Random Notes: When did LeBron James start to refer to himself in third person? That is a real J Bag move. Dude, you put a ball in a hoop. On your biggest games only about 8 percent of the population is interested enough to watch. News flash. All that King James hype is to sell sneakers...Is there anything more boring than glam? Every town has a group of guys in skinny black jeans and eyeliner pretending to be the New York Dolls. Here is the glam rock playbook: Look slightly disinterested while playing nearly identical songs. Make sure all stage banter is about how fucked up you are on habit forming drugs despite the fact you have drank about 5 beers and will drive home to your parents house after the show. Wear one piece of women's clothing as a fashion accessory. Dye your hair black. Ready? Now you look like everyone else in this little glam army. Go get em kid.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Nurse the Hate: What's To Hate?

I went out on the town last night at a big wine event where I drank a heroic quantity of wine one ounce at a time. A painful lesson I learned was to never go to a four hour all-you-can-drink event without first eating something. Why they turned a thousand people loose on five hundred different wines without any substantial food is beyond me, but it sure was a good time. And the thing with wine is you never really know how shitfaced you are until reflecting on it afterwards. Like, "Hey, maybe it wasn't such a good idea to try and snip the dog after drinking 2 bottles of Cabernet."

After getting the boot from the venue, a friend and I stopped at an upscale restaurant by my house that serves good food late at the bar. I would have stopped at Taco Bell, but the thought of barfing up a nachos belgrande with a gutful of red wine was too grim to think about. Imagine it. Four in the morning and you struggle to the toilet to throw up in a daze. How bad would you freak out seeing the nachos coming back up mixed with wine so that it looked like a bloody mess? It would have been like hurling out your small intestines. Nobody needs to live through that...

The bar of the Cabin Club was full with their normal crowd, wheel heeled suburbanites in their mid fifties and beyond. This is the kind of place where empty nesters go to "get a nightcap" after having dinner at the country club, or maybe enjoy a well deserved 20 oz steak after a week of pushing papers around at Amalgatech Inc.. It is a "nice" place.

My friend and I ate our food as we watched the Celtics somehow get taken to seven games by the lowly Hawks. Out of nowhere, a fight breaks out between two white haired guys that must have been in (or near) their sixties. It was such an unexpected occurrence that it took me a moment to register what I was actually seeing. "Is that really a fistfight seven feet to my left between two men that look like insurance executives?" Here's what I saw...A guy that looked like an older and shorter version of Ed Begley Jr. was vigorously punching a guy that looked like a 55 year old version of Damone from "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" in the face. This was no pushy-shovey altercation. This was two men, in their advanced years, trading punches like Arturo Gatti and Mickey Ward. It was like a hockey fight, but with good traction.

Now, I don't think the Cabin Club sees too many fights. I say this with complete confidence because the two bartenders, women in their thirties/forties in crisp white dress shirts, stood transfixed as the events unfolded. The host, a thin gentleman in a fetching sport coat and tie, didn't want any of the action either. Since no one from the restaurant was stepping in, the two men continued to exchange punches to the face with loud "thuds" and "thwacks". I did what any sensible over served man in my position would do. I ate my blackened grouper sandwich and watched.

Normally in these situations, both parties are ejected from the establishment. Yelling then ensues out in the street as each combatant comes down from the adrenalin rush while the police sort the situation out. Everyone recaps what the hell just happened from their vantage point, and the cops finally just haul everyone away. Not in this case. It wasn't until Ed Begley Jr's wife jumped on his back that the punching stopped. It must have been a good 25 seconds after the fight first started. After that, he just sat down at one end of the bar while Damone sat at the other end. The bartenders sheepishly tried to look busy wiping down the bar and pretending that this whole event had never happened. Nobody got thrown out. No one from the restaurant yelled at anyone. The plan appeared to be that if we pretend it didn't happen, then it didn't happen. "Another J&B Mr. Grimes?"

People say the suburbs are boring? Let me tell you this. That was the best bar fight I have ever seen. I have never seen more solid punches landed in a fight in my life. If that had happened at "the trendy night club", it would have lasted about 4 seconds until the bouncers beat the crap out of everybody. Since this was a place that had never had this kind of thing happen, no one was going to get involved in breaking it up. It was like they entered the Octagon! What a great night...

Random Notes: The Fastest Two Minutes in Sports goes off in a couple hours and I have no idea who is going to win. With 20 horses, no one really has any idea. Since all the pre race publicity has been on Big Brown, don't bet him to win. Krusty advises all of you that a speed horse that gets stuck in the 20 position is going to have a rough time of it. I think I am going to take a flier on Col. John, and maybe box a trifecta of Col John/Big Browns/Bob Black Jack. Excuse me, I have to go change into my seersucker suit and mix up a julep.