Just got back from visiting Matt in Boston. It looked like I had picked the perfect weekend. The Red Sox were five outs away from going to the World Series that was to begin at fabled Fenway on Saturday. The town was abuzz. Something to be proud of besides boasting a Dunkin Donuts on every corner. Unfortunately, Red Sox manager Grady Little left Pedro Martinez in the game too long and he gave up a bunch of hits and runs and well... it was Charlie Brown and Lucy holding the football for the hundredth straight sad sack Red Sox season. So no joy in Mudville. All New Englanders want to kill Grady Little. And considering the way they drive, this is not an idle threat.
The local newspapers were oh so kind and forgiving. One showed a picture of Little conferring with Pedro on the mound with the caption: "Jessica Simpson could manage this team better".
Even the gala annual "Head of the Charles" rowing competition did little to ease the pain. Hundreds of rowing crews compete down the Charles while seven people watch from the river banks. It's quite a spectacle. And now I know how Red Sox fans feel. My favorite team, Frankfurter Rudergesellschaft Germania got their butts kicked by the Garda Siochana Boat Club. I say check the oars for cork!!
A number of these teams were staying at my hotel. They weren't hard to spot. Men and women with Popeye arms. Many flew from great distances. But so what? These are the only people who actually feel there's enough legroom in coach.
Just before leaving for Boston I checked out their weather on the internet. Highs in the mid 70's, lows in the high 50's. I unpacked all my winter gear. The temperature didn't hit 50 once the entire weekend. I blame Grady Little! Everyone was all bundled up in heavy coats and parkas except for one schmuck in a "Becker" fleece.
It was great spending the weekend with Matt. He's a senior at Tufts this year and doing great. Stopped by the house he's sharing with three sloths. The good news is he got the front bedroom this year. The bad news is the local police department set up a portable radar speed check right in front of his house. So anytime a car passes by at night it's like he has a 24 second clock glowing in his window.
Friday night we were taken to dinner by my radio pal Dale Dorman and his new bride. Dale is doing mornings on the oldies station now. Imagine getting up every day at 4 so you can play "Pretty Woman" and "Rescue Me" for the nine gazillionth time? I say just record one show and play it back every day for the next five years. No one will know.
We went to Legal Seafood. I had a giant lobster. For dessert I wanted pound cake but all they had left were two-and-a-half and three pounds.
If you want to hear someone blurt out "What the fuck??!!" go to any newsstand in Boston and ask if they carry the Hollywood Reporter.
There ARE Dunkin Donut shops on every corner. Kinda like Phoenix with Radio Shacks.
Huge sign on the expressway near Fenway: "IS YOUR GUN LOADED? 1 OUT OF 5 PEOPLE IN MASSACHUSETTS HAVE AT LEAST 1 GUN." Yikes. Their cars aren't weapons enough? I'd hate to be Grady Little driving by that sign.
On Saturday our travels included the Quincy Market. There we ran across the new second Cheers bar. This one, they claim, is set up exactly like the one on TV. Maybe if you've never seen the show. The bar is square and two or three of the pictures on the back wall are the same. Otherwise, the bar on It's All Relative looks more like the real Cheers. A lifesize poster of Shelley Long beckons diners to stop by the gift shop before they leave. And there they can purchase Cheers ANYTHING. A can of "Norm Nuts". A water bottle for twelve bucks. T-shirts and sweatshirts galore. Cheers Bloody Mary mix. Cheers underwear. I asked if they had Sam Malone condoms and they didn't get the joke. Nor did they laugh when I inquired about Diane Chambers Xanex.
There are way more men than women who sport pony tails in Boston.
The only real bargain in town this weekend was those "Cowboy Up" Red Sox shirts.
Spotted at the Harvard Yard Pizzeria Uno -- a big banner that read: "Now Serving Breakfast" with two Samuel Adams logos on either side of it.
Late breaking news: the Drummoyne Rowing Company edged Ulmer RC Donau. A lot of money changed hands.
Travel tip: Sheratons have the best little hair conditioners. I must've pocketed seven of them. They looked great going through the X-Ray at the airport.
Blue Laws still exist in Massachusetts. Liquor stores are not open on Sunday....EXCEPT for one Sunday-- Superbowl Sunday (true story).
Thanks to Matt for showing me a great weekend. And to answer your next question -- no, his gun is not loaded.