Last Friday the Heat/ Celtics playoff game started at an ungodly early hour. 4pm western time. Fortunately I’m a teacher who gets out of work at 3:15. I was to meet Celtics fan/frequent commenter to this site, MC Satin. We were to meet at Busby’s on Wilshire, but beacuse the game was on so damn early the bar was not yet open. Next door was a faux Mexican cantina called El Toro. They had several televisions on.
A bald, buff bartender who looked like Groundskeeper Willie from the Simpsons asked, “What can I get for you, boss?”
I looked at the television. One was on the NFL draft. Another was on hockey. The other was broadcasting commercials. I asked him, “Can you turn any of the TVs to the basketball game?”
He pointed at the TV with commercials on it. “This TV has it. What do you want to order, boss?”
I ordered a beer, but then all of a sudden the game came on. But it wasn’t the basketball game. It was baseball. “Hey, this isn’t the game I wanted. Can you change one of the TVs?”
“No.” he said. “That will be five dollars, boss.”
Time was awasting. The Miami Heat were playing one of their last games of the season. I didn’t want to spend those moments with Ol’ Red. “I only ordered the drink because I thought you were showing the game.”
“I poured it boss, you pay for it.”
He was angry. I took the only recourse a wimp had. “Can I talk to your manager?”
“You know what, boss, have a great weekend.”
I said thank you. Although I suppose he was being sarcastic. I parked at my house. There was a bar called Life half a block from my apartment. I walked into this upscale bar that was mostly empty. A middle aged woman with fake breasts was tending bar. She switched the television to my game of choice. She and the waiter got in a little tiff that was a bit awkward, but I kept my eyes on my game.
She started talking to me. I mentioned I lived down the street. “Oh, a local.” she said. She yelled to the waiter, “Hey Mike, we’ve got a local here.” All of a sudden he became an Amway/Mormon/MonaVie salesman. “Great. You should come here more often. This is a fantastic neighborhood hangout. Just because this is an upscale gourmet restaurant doesn’t mean you can’t come here to kick back and watch a game. Tell all your friends. This should be your home away from home.”
I nursed my drink, tried to focus on Marv Albert’s analysis of the game and told myself it’s time to break down and invest in cable television.