Monday, December 13, 2010

At the bah

While you Northern folk might be cursing your lot in life as it snows and rains and howls at freezing temps, you have one thing on which you can hold:

You don't have to watch the Dolphins.

They really are terrible to watch, but this being the local market, they receive televised priority. This means I need to venture out to this scary place known as "The Outside" where strangers congregate and spread their germs and their tweets if I want to watch the New England Patriots.

So yesterday I ventured over to a Boston-themed Fort Lauderdale seafood place to watch what was supposed to be a dogfight with the Bears. The game was a mismatch. Tom Brady is God. Bill Belichick is Super God. We all know that.

What's more interesting is this little enclave of Bostonians hidden in one of South Florida's lifeless plazas. It's like the Bostontown for South Florida. Burly men decked in tight Brady jerseys. People screaming for "Welkah!" and "BenJahvis!," people you would think came straight out of central casting for a hard-scrabble CBS sitcom set in Dorchestah starring Jimmy O'Doyle and Katelyn McCallister.

Yes, it's like a gift basket of Boston cliches, but it's a slice of home. So when the Patriots aren't on national TV, I go here. And it is here where I realize I need to work on my Boston bona fides.

You'd think I have enough credentials. Sure, I was born in Rhode Island, but to everyone down here Rhode Island and Boston are synonymous. And I do admit to being attracted to Tom Brady in way too many instances for a straight man. He's just that awesome. Like any true Boston fan, I wish Bill Belichick was the Secretary of Defense and I know who Sam Gash is.

But even in this utopia of Southies, I feel out of place.

Perhaps it's my aversion to alcoholic beverage. I just can't put them down like any true Boston man can. I nursed one glass of Guiness like it was a premature baby. And all around me are brash men's men screaming in billowy baritones while I clap like a cheerleader on a Glee.

And my small talk talents are in the Mark Blount range. I happened to sit next to this guy who talked non-stop to me about how sports used to be in the good, old days.

"Remember when pitchers used to throw 506,000 innings a game? And then they killed a moose with a toothpick and pitched another 506,000 the next day? Nowadays, they throw one pitch before they curl up on the mound and suck their thumbs."

"Back in the 60s, there this was one football player named Rock of Gibraltar, and he played every position on the field all at once. That's when men were men, I tell 'ya."

All game .... There was nowhere to go and nothing to do but nod politely. Then he veered into even more interesting territory ... Formula 1 racing history.

Lots of nodding and uh-huhs from me. I thought about taking out my book. (Yes, I brought a book. You never know when you'll need one.)

Then this gentleman, coughing up a storm, veered into movies.

"Everything's a remake these days," was his actual quote. "A few years ago, they remade It's a Wonderful Life. How can you replace Jimmy Stewart?"

"I don't think they ever remade that movie," I say.

"Oh they did. It was terrible."

"I really don't remember that."

A stalemate.

The man did earn some Sears points when John Boehner showed up on the television, and for what must be the 103rd time, he was crying. Boehner just loves to cry. Imagine if a Democrat cried as much as this guy?

Apparently, this guy was thinking the same thing.

"What's he crying about this time? I'll give him something to cry about, that asshole."

That's more like it!

For the most part, I sat in my corner like a good little boy while we cheered for our suddenly dominant patriots. Fun times for all. Meanwhile, the guy next to me ate a lobster, and the lobster's eyes stared me down, pleading for mercy, yet I could do nothing. I could never eat anything with its eyes staring at me.

Another line in my girly-man resume.

While the game got out of hand, the real men started arguing about the Celtics. One big guy in a beard basically said Ray Allen sucks. A younger Boston fan was challenging him on it. I felt like chiming in, but I would probably have come across like Milton in Office Space.

The game ended and we all stayed to watch the Dolphins beat the Training Camp Super Bowl Champion Jets. We took extra glee in New York's loss and then we parted ways. The working class men who chug down beer like I consume coffee milk, unafraid to speak their minds and speak it to anyone within a five-mile radius, slapped backs and said their goodbyes. They have their Ben Coats and Andre Tippett jerseys. They don't know 'r' is a letter in the alphabet, and they don't care.

I had my Northeastern shirt and my book as I slithered out anonymously, because that's how I do.

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