Sunday, June 06, 2004

Coffee and Belmont

"That'll be $2.50"
I hand him a five. I peruse the menu.
"Hmm, lets put a shot of espresso in there, too."
He hands me back a couple bucks and we march down to the end of the counter where the thermos of coffee and behind the espresso machine. He prepares the espresso, hands it to me, and I start filling the rest of the cup with coffee.

"THE 80's! WHO LIVED IN THE 80's? WHAT IS THE 80'S?"

I look back toward the registers where the ruckus is occurring and saw a middle aged hippie. He was dressed in a Hawaiian shirt with the sleeve's tastefully cut off. Basically a nice Hawaiian tank top. Seeing that now my coffee is full, I head back to the movie theatre.

I sit back next to the new girl, and continue to exchange pleasantries, and small talk about horse racing. Right behind me, Hawaiian Hippie sits down. I immediately feel a sinking feeling in my gut.

The movie starts.

"Oh that's a good one." Followed by a loud guffaw. I strain to hear the dialogue above this nuisance.
"ROBERT BENGINI!" Christ, yes I recognize him, thanks.
"That's a good one." Shut up! Shut up!
"That's a good one." Yeah, we all got the joke too.
"They are wearing the same shoes!" No, they aren't.
"That's a good one." Christ, say something else.
"That's a good one."
"Man, there's a pot of coffee on the table. That's a good one."
"All this smoking makes me want to cough. Why do they all have to smoke?" Did you not see the title of the fucking movie?

At some point Hawaii wanders off. I guess all the smoke got to him. Or maybe his fine sense of comedy realized that we just finished the second plot point, and have 15 minutes of filler. In any case I'm lulled into sense of complacency. I sit through Renee, I tolerate Cate Blanchett, I grimace over The White Stripes, I enjoy Coogan.

I see the RZA. I settle in, I know this is a good one. How can RZA, GZA and Bill Murphy go wrong? They can't! I smell him. I smell him before I hear him. But I hear him:

"That's a good one."

At least he's quiet through Bill and Taylor. Maybe he doesn't get that one. The movie breaks. We walk out with the handful of other patrons.

"I mean, sure it's one thing when you are in your own home, but that behavior in public is deplorable."
"... and the way he smelled."
was overheard on the way out.

After the matinee, we wander over to the Hyatt bar. I spend the time telling the new girl about the significance of Smarty, how he represents the Heart of the Nation right now. How he will pull Philadelphia from it's perennial also-ran status, into the strata of champions.

We reach the bar and its reassuring bank of TV's all tuned on the Belmont. We sit down and order. "Irish Coffee, no cream, no sugar, no whip cream." "Hefeweizen, lemon."

She's chattering on. Something about her sister, something about her parents. Yada-yada, 'no right angles in the school.' I'm watching the horses load into the gates.

A hush comes over the entire bar as the gates open. We watch in silence through the first half. Smarty is leading. I hesitantly clap my hands. People join me sporadically. Smarty hits the final straight-away. Someone whoops, 'GO SMARTY!'. I immediately join in the call and start applauding. The entire bar rips into cheers. We all see 4 come up. We all think, '4? Who the fuck is 4?' I yell, "Go SMARTY!", for some reason adopting a Boston accent. My glee belies my sinking heart. 'Goddamnit, why can't Philly ever produce a fucking winner for once?' I think to myself. Inevitably, Birdstone catches up and overtakes Smarty.

Brokenheartedly, the entire bar clears out within minutes.


Blogger sooner said...

I am sorry your horse did not win.

However, your wonderful link has made you my hero. You may take comfort in that.

8:46 AM  
Blogger ratty said...

i didn't watch. i went to see harry potter instead. i'm glad now, because the disappointment might have finished me.

10:12 AM  
Blogger elspeth said...

I think I lived in the 80's. I think I still might.

8:09 AM  
Blogger ratty said...

i thought you were kidding about the cawfee mug!

7:22 AM  
Blogger lipitor said...

I don't joke around with anything as serious as humor.

10:47 PM  

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