Thursday, February 6, 2014

No. 119 – Two Brothers and a Stranger

Performer: Mark Knopfler
Songwriter: Mark Knopfler
Original Release: The Color of Money
Year: 1986
Definitive Version: None.

Growing up in Columbus, Ohio, my hometown team as a boy was Ohio State. We didn’t have a big-league pro team (ahem). But just before the end of the 20th Century, Columbus finally got one—The Blue Jackets of the National Hockey League. Flint had made me a big-time hockey fan, so this development was a welcome one.

Dad bought season went to a lot of games with Dad. Sometimes we got freebies to do with whatever we wanted. On one particular freebie night in the early winter of 2002, Shani had to work, so Scott came up to crash out on my sofa. Our schedule was: the game, then go out and hit up the dance establishments after.

I don’t remember who the Blue Jackets played, but it doesn’t matter. I’m sure they lost in the last minute, because, well, it seemed they ALWAYS lost the game or tied in the last minute of every game when Scott and I went.

The real reason that the outcome didn’t matter, however, was that I was in the midst of a major brain meltdown. I felt the headache coming on about the second period, and I knew instantly I was in trouble, because I hadn’t brought any Advil to ward it off pre-emptively. Instead, I had to take the brunt, and it was brutal.

Somehow I made it home safely and told Scott I had to lie down. When the Big Ones hit, all I really can do is lie down in darkness until the four Advil kick in and it goes away. I gave Scott the clicker.

I don’t think I dozed off, but I was in twilight. When I came to, an hour had gone by, but I felt … OK. I heard stirrings downstairs and went down just as Scott was putting on his coat to head home, thinking I was done for the night. No, no. I’m fine now. Let’s go.

Scott was in the midst of his Color of Money love, as was I, and he wanted to maybe go somewhere and shoot some pool. A large ribs joint had opened just across the street from Dockside Dolls called Smokey Bones. It might provide what we wanted.

It definitely did, like four or five tables in the back. Scott and I played, and we both had it going that night. It was the best I played since an epic night long ago in Michigan City (good ol’ No. 589).

We played nine ball (of course) while reciting all the key lines from Color of Money at the appropriate times (of course), and no game took more than three turns. I’d break, sink something, clear off three more balls, miss; Scott would sink four, miss, then I’d sink the 8 and 9. It was amazing how fast we cleaned off the table time and again.

After we got our fill of the felt, it was time to add a little lace to that. I’d taken Scott to Dockside Dolls before, and it was jumping on this night. Scott took a liking to a particular dancer and did an uptime with her, but because Dakota was gone, I kept to myself. He said we could go somewhere else if I wanted. Sure, let’s check out The Dollhouse.

I already recounted my adventure there (good ol’ No. 186). Here’s the rest of the story: When I met up with Scott at the end of the night, he was being handed a slip of paper from the ballerina he apparently had patronized. What’s that? It’s her phone number, he said a bit sheepishly. What the hell …?

The hell was that Scott wore his Blue Jackets sweater, with his favorite player’s name—Knutsen, for Espen Knutsen—on the back, and Scott might or might have said that he was in fact the player so named. The dancer obviously believed it, enough so she offered “Espen” to call her at some later point, which he did not.

Apparently, the dancers aren’t the only ones who tell believable lies in such dens of iniquity. I fell for my own one time, but that’s a story for another day.

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