Last night the plans were to meet P-House at Maxie’s immediately following our fantasy football draft. My friend Suds called to say he was in town, so he was incorporated into the plans.
P-House contacted me last week with a proposition:
“So, I’ve got this iPod touch,” he started out coyly.
Yes, I am aware. The iPod touch you got for free when you bought your laptop and which you’ve never used or even really gotten excited about, because for a teenager you’re not very “with” it. Go on.
“And I was thinking,” he continued. “You’ve got all these bobbleheads…”
Yes, I do have all these bobbleheads. Not because I’m some freakish collector, but I go to my fair share of games. At least that’s what I tell myself. Since the Polish bobblehead day, they’ve been arranged on an end table in my living room in a tableau vivant by my bro Nic, “The Dude.”
But lately, their presence has struck me every time I enter the apartment. Despite my protests that I am not, in fact, a complete man-child preoccupied with the trivial pursuits, I’ve got all these figurines that aren’t that important to me (really, they’re not!) cluttering my living room. This isn’t doing much to cure my Peter Pan complex.
“They’re creepy!” Posh says. “They’ve got these creepy little faces but they don’t even look human!”
Goddamn it, I’ve got to get rid of these bobbleheads.
So I jumped at the chance to make the trade for the iTouch. Maybe I could even use it to like, liveblog from the games. I tried this on Sunday, but I didn’t have the password for the Front Row Friday’s network. Last night, I packed up all the bobbles in a paper bag and Suds and I headed to Maxie’s. The Brewers were winning in St. Louis, 1-0. P-House was on the phone for the first 20 minutes we were there. Whatever, Hollywood.
“Do you want to sit outside?” Suds asked.
Ack—what? No, I don’t want to sit outside. I want to sit at the bar and watch the game! But look, you’re a growns-up, remember? This is one of your best friends who lives across the country and who you rarely see anymore.
“Sure. Yeah, it’s nice out there. Nice night.”
P-House finally finished his phone call, and I wiped my hand off from my barbecued beef ribs to hand him the bobblehead bag.
“Oh wow. Wait, this box is for Chorizo. I already have a Chorizo.”
“I know, I kept my Chorizo. The Polish is in that box,” I said, wincing. Despite my initial reaction — “Polish people are stupid!” — that sausage is really growing on me. “Along with… the Robin Yount 2006 Third Base Coach.”
“What’s this? This is Ryan Braun — I thought you said you wanted to keep this.”
“Meh,” I said, trying to act casual. It is Ryan Braun — standing on a wheel of cheese! “Whatever.”
In the interest of full disclosure, I did keep the 2007 Princy bobble, Rickie Weeks sliding into home, and the Rickie and Bob Uecker nesting dolls on my desk at work. Also on my desk: a Nerf mini-football, a light bulb stress ball, a paper cup full of pennies, two cards from Posh and for no real reason, two candles from the Mexican grocery store — Pope John Paul II and El Santo Niño de Atocha.
With the bobbles now out of my care, but still in the family, I turned to seek solace in my ribs, white cheddar mac ’n cheese, fennel slaw and PBR tall boy. Maxie’s is nominated for “Best Ribs” this year, along with some other “Best of”s — happy hour, seafood, vegetarian, soul food, cajun/creole, and believe it or not, service. (You can vote!) There is no mac ’n cheese category, presumably out of fairness to any other restaurant which might try to make the dish. The Other J.J. texted me:
Ryan braun — cardinal killer extraordinaire
Tom, a regular at Maxie’s, slapped a piece of paper up on the window.
Brewers, 5 Cardinals, 0
I went inside to check the score, and the Cardinals still hadn’t brought in a run. Brauny beat out an infield single to start the top of the 9th. Later, with our table cleared and the patio closing, we went inside to finish our drinks at the bar. It was still the 9th inning, with no outs, now one out, and Braun back up to bat. The runs rolled in like we were watching a slot machine: 6-0, 7-0, 9-0, 10-0, 12-0.
In the post-game interview, Prince talked about how it was like Little League. It’s good to grow up, but don’t forget you, too, were a kid once.