After journeying into the savage heart of Bluebell and surviving one of its plastic country clubs – all in the name of Phillies-Mets tickets – I was quite peeved on Sunday when the game was rained out. Why, God? As were my three comrades. We decided that the best way to channel our negative energy would be to go and eat at one of South Philly’s fine establishments, the Black and Brew, a solid coffee shop with excellent food. And all was just honky-dory until an absolute atrocity entered the shop.
A Mets fan.
What madness was afoot here? Who dares to not only enter South Philadelphia donning the Devil’s colors, but decides to patronize one of its businesses? You might as well piss on a cheese steak, pull the plug at Boathouse row and call Rocky a sissy – you’ve already committed the most heinous of acts.
May God take pity upon your soul.
Very quickly, our table became ornery. Eyes slit. Fingers menacingly rolling over the glass-covering of the table. Eggs bitten into with the added emphasis of force and rage. Wisps of steam from hot coffee blown away in measured bursts, an obvious strain of self-control forming upon the face.
“What is he doing here?”
None of us could conjure up an acceptable answer to that question, which only enraged us all the more. We began to devise devious schemes to teach this Mets fan a lesson. Lucy suggested dumping an entire bottle of hot sauce on his jersey and dousing his crotch with a batch of hot coffee. Yeesh. Will wanted to poor syrup all over him and then completely cover him in oatmeal. Ah, the old syrup-and-oatmeal trick – a delicious and more humane alternative to the now-defunct tar-and-feathering. Yum.
And Noel just wanted to break all of his fingers and toes. Clever? No. But effective? Oh, most certainly.
I was in the midst of outlining my plan to go into the kitchen, procure a pan of scalding hot bacon grease and threaten the Mets fan with it until he swore his allegiance to the Phillies, when a gurgling, gagging sound pierced my ears from his side of the room. We glanced over, only to see the Mets fan grasping at his throat, face turning blue.
My goodness – he was choking.
Strange. He was almost done his breakfast of cottage cheese, alfalfa sprouts and tofu balls when the choking spell began. Certainly, we had not expected this. Or what was to follow, for that matter.
Out of the blue, a Yankees fan came crashing through the door, and offered the Mets fan the Heimlich. However, the Yankees fan proclaimed that he could only perform the procedure for $2,500. The Mets fan shook the Yank off, writing “Citi Field” on a napkin. The Yank shrugged and exited the restaurant, but only after buying a $6 dollar grande mocha latte with soy milk and tipping every single person in the restaurant, including the patrons. He mumbled something about “maybe you’ll return the favor someday,” to which we snickered and noted to one another that you cannot bribe karma.
No sooner had the Yank left then a Cubs fan came bounding into the shop. What in the hell was going on here? The Cubs fan immediately started administering the Heimlich, though it became fairly clear that he wasn’t quite sure what he was doing. After 100 tries, he simply collapsed to the floor in a torrent of tears. He recovered, only to be set into an absolute outrage when he noticed that one of the omelette’s was made with goat cheese.
A very strange fellow, that Cubs fan, though his self-loathing was oddly endearing.
A Dodger fan was the next to enter. He tried some pretty wacky things, all of which did not seem to involve helping the Mets fan at all. He threw his Blackberry at him. He meditated, and then tried to contort the Mets fan in various Yoga positions. He covered his face with some sort of cucumber paste and chanted mantras whose origin I was not aware of. He told him he should lose some weight, and pulled out a mirror, putting it in front of the Mets fan before turning the mirror upon himself and fawning over his own image for a few of the most sickening minutes of my life. He walked out of the restaurant, hands held up in the air in an overly dramatic show of bewilderment, but not before imparting the following wisdom on the Mets fan.
“You must have some bad Qi (Ch’i) or something, brah. That’s killer, brah – just go with it, you know? Just ride it out, brah.”
Meanwhile, Lucy was attempting to remove her ear drums with a fork.
Well, our misplaced Mets fan was starting to resemble a smurf. At this point, I thought I was going to have to go and do the deed myself, but this thought was interrupted by the most unlikely of heroes entering the room – Bill Buckner.
Buckner walked over to the Mets fan, wrapped his hands around his stomach, pumped once, and damn it all if a little tofu ball didn’t pop right out. The Mets fan propelled it toward the ground, but did so at an angle which left him tilted toward his own ankles. Well, wouldn’t you know, that mischievous little tofu ball hit the floor, and rolled back toward the two of them, finding its way right between Buckner’s legs.
The Mets fan turned and quickly embraced Buckner, though not in the way you embrace a stranger who had done you a solid. No, the embrace more resembled the embrace old friends share with one another, and the Mets fan quickly confirmed my suspicions.
“Bill – it’s been what, 22, 23 years now? How are you? I’ve really missed you, man – I always knew you would come through for me again.”
Poor Billy Buckner just lowered his head.
“My work here is done.”
And with that, he walked out into the rain and crossed the street, though not before a speeding car zipped by him and collided with a large puddle, leaving him completely drenched.
This had certainly been a strange breakfast, one that left me in need of a cigarette and a shrink. Apparently, the Mets fan was feeling the same way, for as we gathered outside, he asked for a light.
And then he pulled out a pack of Virginia Slims.
Will promptly walked back into the restaurant for some syrup and oatmeal, and Noel broke all of his fingers while I held him down.