Thursday, November 24, 2005


"She was going on and on," I told JA. "This was a good pinot, that was a great pinot. I'd never heard of any of them. For a minute I thought she was really on to something, then I realized she was talking about pinot grigio, not pinot noir."

Buck leaned forward and slapped his head.

"That was your joke?" he said. "You call that a joke? I can't believe what I'm hearing. What happened to you?"

"I was talking to JA, not you, " I told Buck. "I thought he'd appreciate it."

"What happened to both of you?" Buck said. "Look around. Is that the type of think you should be talking about here?"

We were in FDR park, down the street from the football stadium. Thousands of tailgaters in full Eagles regalia were cooking, eating and drinking. Psyching themselves up for the game. The primitive aspect was magnified by the fact that it was a night game, the rituals were being carried out in almost total darkness. Illumination came only from a few street lights, stray headlights, a flash from a grill.

"Contrary to popular belief," I said to Buck, "the Philadelphia sports fan is actually an urbane and tolerant species. To prove my point, I think I'll introduce myself to that group over there and try my story out on them."

I pointed to a group of eight or so face-painted savages huddled around a crackling, smoking grill.

"Don't do it," Buck said. "I won't be responsible."

"OK." I said. "I'll let it go."

"I always knew you were a chardonnay sipping fag," Buck said.

"We better get moving," I said. "I don't want to miss the national anthem."

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