With all the bodies piling up in the last couple of days, we haven’t had much time to talk about Christmas. How was yours? Mine was fine, with perhaps a bit too much driving. Down to Columbus on Saturday, back to Detroit on Sunday, to and from Defiance on Monday. But we had a nice time. My big present from Alan were several nice antique prints, including this one, which made me laugh. (I don’t think Alan paid that much, however, and if he did, he’s in trouble.)
As I’ve gotten older, my contributions to the what-I’d-do-if-I-won-the-lottery conversation are dwindling. I’m over cars, houses, and most grown-up toys. If I won the lottery, I’d do most of my big spending on two things — travel and art. A few years ago Alan and I started buying antique prints, nothing grand, the sort of things a couple of underpaid journalists can afford. (In all our time together, I think we’ve only owned two pieces that cost more to buy than they did to frame.) One of the household dramas of recent weeks that I’ve spared you was the Great Bedroom Painting Project, in which I learned (yet again!) that one does not argue with Alan’s color sense. Now we’re living in a taupe bedroom — and yes, all the screws on the light switches line up at 12 o’clock — and need some new stuff for the walls. Audubon’s butt-licking lynx will do nicely.
Among our experiences over the weekend was this oddity: My brother, Alan and I stopped in for a drink at the little workingman’s bar in Obetz, a little workingman’s suburb of Columbus. (My brother owns the joint.) It was quiet for a Saturday night, just two women and three men, all sitting at the bar. Only wait, that third man isn’t a man at all…
“There’s a dog at the bar,” Alan said. I looked closer. Looking back through the barroom gloom was, indeed, a dog. A big chocolate Lab, sitting on a stool as nice as you please. He had a bowl of water in front of him. (At least, I think it was water. It didn’t have an olive in it, so I assume it wasn’t a martini.) It looked like a beer commercial; I kept waiting for the dog’s lips to move CGI-style and for him to call someone dude.
“What’s his name?” I asked.
“Budweiser,” his owner said. But of course.
Budweiser was a very good dog, parking his considerable Lab frame on a rather tiny spot of barstool real estate with no obvious discomfort or complaint. Every so often someone would buy him a piece of beef jerky. At one point my brother talked some amicable trash to his owner, and the owner talked some trash back, and Budweiser barked in agreement. When one of the women called him over for some jerky and petting, he jumped down from his stool and jumped up onto the one next to her with no coaxing whatsoever.
“Doesn’t the health department have a problem with this?” I asked. (For the record, I think every bar should have a house dog.)
“This is Obetz,” he said. “You can do anything you want here. No one knows we exist.”
Good dog, Budweiser.
God bless the crazy men among us: Man spends $60,000 and half his life building a “Jetsons-style” vehicle. “Why drive when you can fly 500 m.p.h.?” he asks.
Spike Lee’s directing the James Brown biopic? Finally, a movie where I care who plays the lead. (My bet’s on Eddie Murphy.)
Guess how much sleep I got last night? Not enough. I’m off to find more French Roast and take a shower.