March 19, 2007

Don "Kingpin" Juan

Ever since Claire's arrival, Momma and Stew have made a point of trying to go out on a date once a month. So, their little woofest took place Saturday night. Earlier in the day, I overheard them discussing the current movies playing at the local theatres, and Zodiac was the only one Stew had a remote interest in seeing (he enjoys any movie involving a serial killer and/or mobsters... also, ever since seeing Dorothy Hamill perform in the Ice Capades in 1977, Stew absolutely cherishes a good ice show... so, in addition to a screen play about a down-and-out furniture salesman who longs to quit his job and become a professional ice dancer, Stew is also working on an ice show script about a mafia hitman -- and closet ice dancer -- who kidnaps a woman and is about to throw her in a wood chipper but falls in love with her after she begs him for "just one last skate around the lake before you kill me..." Stew plans to call the show Fargo on Ice.). But, since Momma wasn't interested in seeing Zodiac, Stew (or Casanova as I like to call him) decided to take her bowling instead. Yes, that's right. Nothing says "I love you" like bowling. I believe it was actually Linda's suggestion, so go figure. To Stew, bowling is synonymous with beer-drinking. Back in Pierre, SD, where Momma and Stew courted before moving to the big city to live in sin, organizations would rent out the bowling alley for company gatherings (i.e., off site team-building get togethers that would usually result in one or more office staff members being arrested for public intoxication and/or DUI... not to mention inappropriate fondling of Heidi, the 19-year old underage-drinking office intern). Back in 1995, one of Stew's co-workers woke up at his duplex apartment to find a note from his landlord (named Dave) under the windshield of his car. The note read:

Please refrain from parking your car on the duplex lawn.
You are free to park in the street or to use your driveway.
- Dave

What's nice about the bowling alley is that the owners allow your group to bring in your own food for a potluck. Stew has told me on more than one occasion, "Bogey, there's nothing better than beer, bowling and tator-tot casserole." Unfortunately, the bowling alley isn't always available due to high demand (especially for holiday parties), so the best locations for office parties in Pierre are as follows (reverse this order for wedding dances):

1) Lariat Lanes Bowling Alley (and Cactus Jack's Lounge),

2) The American Legion Cabin (private room in the winter; deck overlooking the river in the summer),
3) the back room of Bob's Lounge (with Billie as your waitress),
4) Ike's (the Isaac Walton League clubhouse), and
5) the Ramkota Convention Center... but only as a last resort.

In 1994, Stew's office rented out the private room of The American Legion Cabin for their annual Christmas party. Stew was asked to play Santa, which basically involved wearing a Santa outfit and acting as the emcee for the evening (i.e., introducing various skits put on by staff and, finally, facilitating the white elephant gift exchange). Judging by the lack of laughter during his monologue, Stew's idea to play a grumpy Santa didn't seem to go over real well with the crowd... instead of thinking Stew was funny, the crowd simply thought he was drunk. However, the drinking came much later when Santa got his groove on with all the ladies at the after-party party at The Longbranch Saloon. Stew was amazed by how many strange women wanted to dance with Santa and pull on his... beard. "Who are you?!!!" the ladies would all ask as they tugged on Santa's beard trying to see who the handsome lad is underneath, to which Stew would reply "why I'm Santa... and you've been a VERY naughty girl!" And there were the occasional drunk cowboys who thought it was funny to slap Santa on the butt for no good reason, but we won't talk about them.

Anyway, getting back to Saturday night... Stew had the perfect location picked out for their date, but Momma refused to go to an establishment with "bowling alley and nightclub" in its name. So, they opted for the St. Louis Park Tavern, a pub with a bowling alley (but no nightclub). The one other thing synonymous with bowling alley in Stew's mind is the mullet. If you want to see a mullet in Pierre, SD, then head over to the bowling alley... or out to The Sportsmen's Lounge on east Highway 34. You're sure to find at least a couple mullets at either location and, if you're lucky, maybe even the rare super-mullet (pictured at right). In the Twin Cities, you simply need to travel to any of the half-dozen northern suburbs. Look for the guy driving a truck with oversized tires. And if you're super lucky, not only will the driver be sportin' a mullet, but so will the passenger -- usually his meth-addicted, toothless, stick-thin girlfriend (and mother of his three mullet-headed babies).

It's hard for me to stay focused today because there are squirrels running around in the backyard. I'm pretty sure they're planning an attack. I just knew those little rodents would follow me home, so I need to get my surge on and get out there to defend my household! But not before I finish this dang story...

So, date night was all planned out. They'd head to the Park Tavern and belly up to the bar to enjoy a few cold beers, some food, and some March Madness on the tube. After dinner, they'd head out to bowl a few games before heading back home. However, unbenounced to Stew, Momma was still in scheme-mode with this Chubby Challenge. After finding two stools at the bar, Stew orders up a pint of Bud. Linda looks over at him and says, "come on, Nancy... don't you want a taller beer? It's St. Patrick's Day, too, so why don't you order an Irish beer?" So, Stew changed his order to a 96 oz glass of Killian's Irish Red (it's a Coors Brewing Company beer, but it was on special) while Linda enjoyed a 12 oz glass of Honeyweiss. After a couple more rounds (Linda switched to Diet Coke after her first drink), Stew tells me that he was all set to order up a nice Cobb Salad from the menu when Linda says, "I think you'd enjoy this Amsterdam Burger, Stewie... why don't you get that?" The burger consists of a 1/2 pound of beef with smoked gouda cheese and jalepeno peppers, and it's served with a spicy BBQ and mayonaise sauce (not to mention a mile-high pile of fries). Meanwhile, Linda orders some sort of chicken sandwich with melted cheese and other goodness inside a delicious, toasty bun. So, after Stew finished his 1/2 pound burger, Linda slides half of her chicken sandwich over to Stew and asks, "this is delicious, but I can't finish it... do you want it?" We all know the answer to that. But, what Linda hadn't planned for was Stew's Scots-Irish heritage and the ability to metabolize pseudo-Irish beer and burgers within minutes after they enter his stomach. So, on Sunday morning's weigh-in, the results show Stew actually LOST a pound last week. Take that, Linda!

Neither Stew nor Linda should ever be allowed to bowl. They both suck. I stuck a tape recorder in Stew's pocket before he left, and this is the conversation I taped. Linda must've had a frog in her throat because her voice is deeper than normal (she's the first to speak on the recording):
When they went to the desk to get a lane assignment, the cashier asked "do you need shoes?" to which Linda replied, "yes... well, I do... I don't know about him." As if Stew secretly keeps a pair of bowling shoes at home just in case Linda wants to go bowling. Once assigned to Lane #15, Stew and Momma discovered a huge match taking place one lane over between a group of 4-year olds: Wyatt, Maddie and Brittany (both Maddie and Brittany were wearing little princess outfits... most likely to psych out Wyatt). Needless to say, the 4-year olds all scored higher than Linda, while Stew was barely able to tie Wyatt. Stew and Linda have decided to wear princess outfits the next time bowling to see if doing so helps their scores.

So, while the two lovebirds were out bowling, I was at home with Claire. Aunt Karen comes over to babysit us on date night. I like Aunt Karen because she has real long fingernails that are perfect for scratching behind my ears. Sometimes I wonder what her toenails must look like if she can't manage to keep her fingernails filed down, but then I get grossed out just thinking about it. No offense to Aunt Karen, but I think I'm perfectly capable of babysitting Claire on date night. Besides, who do you think watches Claire all day while Stew's downstairs lying on the couch in his underwear watching his stories and scratching himself? Plus, I'm left alone all the time and haven't managed to burn down the house or leave any poop piles in the basement. But, since I enjoy Aunt Karen's company, I'm not going to harp on this issue too much. At least Aunt Karen throws me a chip or two while she's stretched out on the couch in her underwear watching TV while Claire's jumping around in her Jumperoo (while making pfffttt noises non-stop with her mouth). On Saturday night, we watched a Behind the Music: Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch special on VH1. Aunt Karen kept saying "mmmmmm" during the part of the show where they talked about Mark "Marky Mark" Wahlberg's time as a Calvin Klein underwear model. Next weekend, Aunt Karen's going to dogsit me while Claire, Momma and Stew head to SoDak to visit Claire's great grandma. I've already ordered Dog Day Afternoon and Reservoir Dogs from Netflix, and Aunt Karen is bringing over Snow Dogs. So, we're going to have a dog movie marathon and eat chips, and I'm going to try my hardest to jump up on our new fluffy couch after Aunt Karen passes out from too many snacks! Or, I might just challenge her to several games of Cat Bowling (


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Commentary from a stay-at-home dad on daily happenings and misadventures while helping raise a wonderful little girl. The goal is to employ wit, sarcasm and/or humor to make the blog pseudo-entertaining. Then again, setting goals never really worked for me, but maybe you'll chuckle anyway.

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