Given a range of choices for today Steve probably would not have selected Option 12: hire a babysitter in order to drive thirty miles to watch soccer in the company of strangers while paying grossly inflated prices for the Crabbie's ginger beer we already have in the refrigerator. However he is a sweetheart and, as he pointed out, Chelsea v Manchester City was the only potentially important sporting event in the world this weekend so we might as well watch it someplace lively.
[Has anyone else noticed a sort of sustained hollowness in the eyes of their Packers' fan? It's worrisome. I, stupidly, asked Steve: nachos, pizza, chili, Sunday? He told me it was a matter of supreme indifference to him as he is going to spend Sunday afternoon in the basement, shifting the water heater over a few feet. No. I am not kidding. But enough about tackleball.]
What with the settling of the children and the driving of the miles we were running a little late, so I went into the bar to find us a place to sit while Steve parked the car. And a good thing I did, too. By the time we arrived there were no tables to be had in the main area so the hostess directed me to a side room which she swore was wallpapered with televisions, each broadcasting the game. Which might have been true; all I saw from the doorway was a sea of red jerseys. Arsenal fans! A whole swarm of them and they don't even play until tomorrow. What the hell? I guess Arsenal supporters have to start drinking a day early, the poor bastards.
I spun on my heel and by dint of being both short and stealthy, I managed to secure the last two seats at the bar, wedging us between Very Large Chelsea Fan #1 and Increasingly Louder Chelsea Fan #2. Usually I watch football alone on my couch so the extremely intelligent commentary I offer and the purity with which I warble "Jose Mourinho" to the tune of la donna è mobile is wasted like full many a gem of purest ray serene stuck in all those ocean caves. Not today, though. Today I communed and it was delightful and I am pretty sure at the end, as the entire bar shrieked as if with one voice, "Blow the fucking whistle!" that Very Large, Increasingly Louder and I were all holding hands.
Two observations: I had no idea that so many people in the Twin Cities watch football and it is a miracle that Chelsea did not lose that game.