Where’s My Game???

This may come as a shock to some, but people have been known to move to the Keys to hide from their previous lives. They don rubber flip flops and wrinkled T-shirts and and grow long, gray ponytails or dispense with highlights and blow-dried styles, and then they assume the escape to paradise is complete. Don’t ask, don’t tell. It’s better that way. I pity any mainland camera crew that might want to film a “man-on-the-street” interview with a local resident. The scurry away from the lens will likely resemble insects heading for cover when the lights are turned on in the kitchen.

Then there are those few people who are only too pleased to tell you, every chance they can, how important they were in their former lives, how they used to be head of this or owner of that. They wear leather flip flops and collared golf-style shirts and comb their hair, and then they assume the life they left behind–voluntarily or “due to circumstances”–is still very much within reach. Please ask me. I’ll tell you. I know it all. Call the press!

A grudging, predictable coexistence lopes along between these two personality types. Draft Bud for one, CC and water for another. Conversations are halting, but polite: How’s it going? Slow. Gotta pick up soon. Always does. Done any fishing? Some. Yeah, me too. Take care. You too.

It’s easy. It’s easygoing. Or at least it was until football season started. Suddenly everyone is very definitely from somewhere.

Football frenzy turns the most laid-back guy into a demanding oaf. “Wait, Bobby, you went to that school?” I ask, trying not to appear shocked that this quiet, grizzled 40-year-old who looks 70 went to any college at all and is now in my face screaming at me to put his game on Screen 4. The game of the gridiron also makes the most arrogant used-to-be-somebody types even more demanding and ten times more arrogant than they usually are. “Yeah, I know you’re an Alabama fan. I know you’ve never missed seeing a game. Yep, love the jersey you’re sporting today. Can you just give me a sec and then I’ll look for the game? What? No? Um, yeah, you’re gonna have to wait a sec.”

Older or younger, man or woman–it doesn’t matter. They are all driving me f*ing insane.

Each and every one of them HAS to see their games–from no-name college match-ups to NFL anything. And they have to see it NOW, on THAT television. Which is usually the TV on which people are already watching another game that it took me forever to find.

RG, can you put the Wofford-Some Other Small School game on that screen? I don’t care if they’re watching the Florida game. They can watch that anywhere. (You’re joking, right?)

RG, why don’t you have the Northern Somebody State-Western Washington State game on? You have the package, right? RG, you gotta find it. No, I don’t know what channel it is on Direct TV! You can’t find it? But I was just watching it at the bar down the street! (Then go back to that bar, please.)

RG, I know it’s on. I KNOW it’s on. I KNOW IT! FIND IT! (Actually, I happen to know it’s blacked out.)

Every time I hear a football game request, I am confident my head twitches slightly to the left. I try to smile as I say, “Let me get these drinks for the 20 other customers in here and serve the food orders piling up in the window, and then I’ll look for your game.” But I know my expression is far more of a snarl, and I have taken to snapping: “In a minute, okay?”

Don’t get me wrong, I love watching football. I love having football fans in my bar watching football. I put on the big games and hope that’ll do. But after two weekends of a constant, unending barrage of “RG you gotta get my game on now” and “RG just gimme the remote” and “RG why don’t you know what time my game is?” I am ready to rip the satellite off the roof, chop up the $800 remote that my boss told me was grounds for being fired if I ever let a customer fiddle with it, and smash all the flat-screens with plates of nachos and wings.

On the other hand, it’s uncanny that I always manage to find the Kansas Jayhawks game, and who wouldn’t want to watch my Washington Redskins battle it out? I am sure that if you’re a wee bit patient, even remotely polite, and you understand that sometimes I have other customers to serve first, I’ll find your game on TV, too.






10 responses to “Where’s My Game???”

  1. Sarah Avatar

    Oh nice–rock chalk Jayhawk–my neice would be thrilled that you always find her team. Don’t you just wish you could flip throug all the channels and find a nice hour of ice skating–wouldn’t that make them crazy! Here’s hoping that they will stop making you crazy. Hang in there!

  2. Sara Avatar

    Hey, I’ve been reading this on and off for quite a while (am old DC friend) and for some reason finally decided to comment. You are a great writer!!! Thanks for giving me something entertaining and thought provoking at the same time. Happy Bday coming up (my sons too). Keep it up and hope to see you next time you are up north. xoxox

  3. Mary Avatar

    Sooooo, did you have the USC-Washington game on? The final score made my Saturday very pleasant ๐Ÿ™‚

    And I think the Redskins won today (09-20-09)

  4. Andy London UK Avatar
    Andy London UK

    Hi RG. Do you ever get any Brits in your bar wanting to watch the football in England? You call it soccer in the USA but its proper name is football.

  5. Texas Fan Avatar
    Texas Fan

    Blimey mate, I was just going to ask her to find Man U vs Spurs when she had a moment.

  6. Restaurant Gal Avatar
    Restaurant Gal

    Sarah–Rock chalk, baby! And I personally think a nice series of Danielle Steele stories made into Lifetime movies will work as well.

    Sara–So fun to hear from you! Thanks for the birthday wishes coming up and wish that “baby” boy the same from me.

    Mary–Yes, I had that on. And Go ‘Skins!

    Andy London–You know, I actually get a lot of “soccer” on various stations.

    Texas Fan–Got it. No problem. ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Suz Avatar

    Quote RG: “RG, can you put the Wofford-Some Other Small School game on that screen? ”

    Ummmm, Wofford played Wisconsin on Saturday. And while Wofford is woefully small, the Badgers are in the Top 10. Definitely not some Other Small School category. Madison is the capital of Wisconsin, you know.



  8. Restaurant Gal Avatar
    Restaurant Gal

    Suz–I KNEW I would get in trouble mentioning Wofford! I had no idea who they played or why I picked that school name when writing. Go Badgers, I guess. Haha

  9. Suz Avatar

    LOL! I had to! We laughed all weekend about how small Wofford is! Go, Badgers, indeed! ๐Ÿ˜€

  10. Junior Avatar