Friday, January 18, 2019

To Bird-Dog a Russian

I have to admit that in the past a lot of the stories I would tell on this blog took place at a bar. Since becoming a parent my nights of carousing are a lot more rare, but I did step out with some buddies recently for my birthday. We ended up at a place in my neighborhood with one of the biggest beer lists in the city, and although it is a classy joint with an excellent menu, they surprisingly have a no kids policy. So, I thought it was a great chance to get in there since I didn't have Erik Noisewater as a dining companion for a night.

I came in there to find my good friends Night Train and 312 bellied up to the bar. We ordered clams and some tray of fancy cheeses, you know, man shit, right? There were playoff football games on, but believe it or not this place and their clientele are way more into their beer than they are into sports. 312 flipped his phone up on the bar so we could watch, and a manager actually came over to us to say that he had to turn the sound off. We didn't put up a fight, flipped the sound off, went back to our hors d'oervres, sipping Belgian beers we couldn't pronounce, and telling lies. 

Just to give you the lay of the land to set up the situation I want to share with you, if you were there and facing the bar, the order of us was 312, Dr. Kenneth Noisewater, and Nigh Train. Our relationship status for the three of us is that I'm happily married, Night Train is in a newly committed thing, but 312 is single and ready to mingle with Kris Kringle. No idea if that spin on the expression is a thing or makes any sense whatsoever, but there you have it. 312 had a young lady to his left who was all alone at the bar, and when he started chatting her up he ascertained that she was waiting for a date (I believe their second date), and the guy was considerably late. Bad form. The late guy not only screwed up by breaking the important rule that he should have learned long ago about never keeping a lady waiting, but by doing so he allowed 312 to start working his charm. 

When Late Guy finally showed up all three of us noticed that he wasn't at all apologetic about making her sit there all alone on a Friday night waiting for him. You'll notice that our attention to the NFL had disappeared completely. Our chief concern was this Russian (did I mention she was Russia?) gal and if there was any possiblity at all that 312, in an unprecedented move, could steal her away from him. When the date went off to pee, 312 casually asked how it was going. She said he had already told a story about taking too many weed edibles and getting lost in a grocery store. Not sure how that scores a guy any points. She said at this rate she would be home very soon.

312 asked Night Train and myself for input about how he could find a way to see this woman again without looking like an alpha male jerk or something. I first suggested that when she went to the bathroom, he could intercept her around the corner so Late Guy couldn't see it and exchange numbers then, but that window closed when she sat back down. I asked if he had a business card so he could discreetly get it to her. I mean, Late Guy did seem like a turd, but that kind of puts her in an awkward spot to be on a date with one guy and get hit on by another one - so discretion was key. Believe it or not, my friends, he did have a business card in his possession and was able to do a slight of hand drop off before we made our way out. We high fived him and forgot all about it. 

Then later in the night as we are in the cab on the way to the next spot, 312 got a text from Russian Girl. By god, he pulled it off. She was interested in him. 

We had a helluva fun time that night, and the from Russia with love switcheroo gave me a chance to live vicariously through a single friend. All us married people do that with our single friends a little, don't we? 

Okay, I'm off. Got a fun weekend ahead of me, but more of a family oriented one than the other one where I was giving bird-dogging advice on the fly to a buddy. No, this weekend the family will be in a resort with a pool and spa and stuff, swimming and enjoying that beautiful memory-making time. Hope all of you also have a fun-filled weekend ahead of you. Farewell, Blog Buddies. 

Thursday, January 03, 2019

Dangerously Low On Friends With Kids

Hey, friends. Sorry for the long delay. I haven't folded up the tent yet.

I hope everyone had a good holiday season. I listen to a lot of Christmas music. One day my son and I are sitting around the house and he goes, "We need some Christmas music." I think I get this from my dad. He's that guy that turns the tunes on Thanksgiving and keeps kicking out the jams nonstop all through New Year's Eve.

You know what I have noticed about Christmas music? Not as much Christ in it. It seems like the secular songs are edging out the religious ones as the years go on. When I watched the Charlie Brown Christmas special the other day I noticed that the kids are wondering what the true meaning of Christmas is, Linus launches into a bible passage about the birth of Jesus. I don't think you would see that happen in today's world if Daniel Tiger or the dogs on Paw Patrol were presented with the same question. This is actually a good thing because it is showing more acceptance of other religions and that America is not just a white Christian nation.

"May your days be crispy and greasy"
But, the Jesus songs are usually better, right? I have a theory about this. If you got two songwriters, one an atheist given the task of writing the best possible song about his Christmas tree, he may very well write a catchy number. However, if the second guy is a devout Christian who actually deeply believes all that malarkey about Jesus being is his savior and he could go to Hell if he doesn't praise Him, well he's likely to write one hell of a song, right? His ass depends on it. Those old classical Christmas songs are God damn intense for a reason! Then again, Christian rock sucks compared to godless rock so there goes that theory. Fuck it. What the hell do I know.

Mrs. Noisewater and I have very few friends with kids who still live in the city. Many of them have moved out to the burbs, one moved out of state, and another left the country. The Noisewaters need a Fred and Ethel in a bad way. We do come across folks with kids, but we find ourselves finding reasons to justify not making friends with them:

"I have enough friends."
"I'm not going to be friends with somebody just so my kid has someone to play with."
"I like the mom, but the dad sucks (or the other way around)."

Don't they look happy? And Complete?
But lately we are starting to think that maybe we are being picky and elitists about the whole thing. You're not going to find the perfect couple to hang out with with the greatest kid ever. So as our latest round of Erik's swim class was coming to a close I suggested that we invite the other 3 sets of parents out for a breakfast afterwords. Mrs. Noisewater said that may have been nice, but we would have had to do that the week before to give a little notice. We would probably be left alone at the diner, which was cool with me; more pancakes for me. I just figured I should take a shot. But as the class was wrapping up and we were heading to the showers to wash off our kids, one of the mommies started asking us loads of questions. Was she trying to be our friend? Erik gave their daughter, Jane, a hug goodbye, which was weird because the kids were mostly naked.

While in the changing room, Mrs. Noisewater and I were discussing the conversation and thinking that we just chickened out, and we should probably go find them to exchange information before they left. I think Erik did not want it to be their last goodbye either because he kept crying, "I want to go see naked Jane!" That's my boy! We were able to exchange information and talked about a play date soon. Mrs. Noisewater drummed up some liquid courage when she was out with a friend and texted a date and time and . . . Boom! They're coming over Saturday morning to hang out for a couple of hours.

It should be a lot of fun. Erik Noisewater loves visitors. But he already said something about not wanting her to play with his trains, so maybe we will hide all of those first so he doesn't pistol whip her with Thomas or Percy, or a left-right combo with both. That would likely be an abrupt end to their friendship. I will also have to extinguish him calling her Naked Jane. She will need a new moniker like Swimming Jane, or something else less creepy. Also the dad is taller than me. I don't like when that happens, but I'll make do. Maybe throw on some Gene Simmons platform boots . . .

Okay, friends. Sorry again for the long delay. I hope to be a better blogger, and I'm off to do the blogroll rounds to see what you all have been up to.

Any tips that you guys have for how to make friends that we can discuss in the comments?