I Watched the Superbowl

February 6, 2012 § Leave a comment

I’ve been yelling at the radio too much and seeing other people too little, and so yesterday afternoon I decided to walk down the road to this little country bar, which is quite literally in the middle of a cornfield, to watch the Superbowl. I have not watched a football game since the late 90s.

When I got there I took a seat at the bar and ordered a Miller Lite. As many microbrews on tap at my favorite bars back in Portland this pub had in bottled lite American lagers in a large fridge behind the bar. Everyone at the bar – about twenty or so people – was drinking the lite American lager of their choice, save one couple drinking Irish Mist up. The only thing more American I think than lite American lager is having to – nay, having the opportunity to – choose something from among a bunch of basically the same exact thing. We build our identities with these choices, by making the same almost arbitrary choice time and again. We become “Miller Lite, Colgate, Old Spice Denali” or “Bud Light, Crest, Old Spice Game Day,” or “Coors Lite, Aquafresh, Old Spice Classic,” and when we go to the store on Christmas Eve we say “Well Dad is Coors Lite and Bubba is Michelob Light so get this and that.”

The bartender asked me what team I was rooting for. I had no idea. She said that if I picked one then every time my team scored I got a free drink. So I said Giants because I used to live in New York and she drew a (really good) “G” on my left hand. The G had that serif thing that crosses the G and then goes down, like a corner in front of it. That is a very classy way to write a G and something you don’t see much of in the Midwest.

A napkin dispenser on the bar was advertising the meat raffle that happened every Monday at 6:30 which would explain why when I drove past the place on a Monday evening a while back the parking lot was so full. A sign above the bar had information about an upcoming ice golf tournament, though the bartender told me it may not happen since the ice has been so thin. “Yep, I went through last week,” a guy a few stools down from me said. Behind the bar was a heated red and yellow box that said “Hot Nuts” and below it there was a cubby stocked with many of two things: Snickers bars and Tums. In the back of the bar, the regulars – which was basically everyone except me – were having a potluck because no one thought the bar’s food was very good, except for the taco bar, which was okay. The potluck had meatballs and hot dogs and pulled pork and cheese.

And there I was, wearing flannel and drinking quite a lot of Miller Lite and watching football, and having actually a really great time. I even found myself caring about the game. I think I even shouted “yes!” when they scored that game-winning touchdown. I did on-the-house shots with everyone at the bar after the game and when I left I said goodbye to the whole bar and the bar said “see you later,” which no doubt they will. And so it seems that I still have some prairie in me. Enough, at least.

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