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Saturday, June 17, 2006

These colors don't run



I'm not usually clothed in patriotic red, white, and blue, but when the US is playing Italy in the World Cup and Toronto has its own Little Italy, how could I resist?

I decked myself out in the red tank top and blue skirt (sans flag) and walked down to meet my friends to watch the game on College Street. En route, I spotted a yard sale (I am my mother's daughter, make no mistake) and there was an American flag for sale. I'm pretty sure that was a gift from the universe, cause just last night I was telling Eddie that if we could find a flag before the game today, I'd wear it and nothing else. So the flag was cheap and I bought it, and the guy who sold it to me told me this fantastic story about a "real" American flag he had at his house:

Apparently, during World War 2, his parents were in an internment camp. When the Americans came to liberate the camp, they naturally hoisted the flag. His mother was "a gorgeous woman" and wisely decided to flirt with an American soldier. They were drinking and talking, just generally having a good time, and she asked him if she could have the flag. He brought it down from the flagpole and gave it to her. She kept it for decades before giving it to her son.

He is now thinking of selling it on EBay.

Is he crazy? That flag has fewer than 50 stars on it, which makes it valuable historically, and has an interesting story behind it, which makes it valuable both personally and historically. I can understand not having the resources to care for a flag (fabric deteriorates, after all), but if you have to get rid of it, donate it to a museum. Don't sell it on EBay. No matter what kind of money you would get for it, it's not worth it.

Anyway, I bought the flag and headed for Dave's house, where we were going to meet before the game. Keep in mind that we were definitely merry last night: Dave's landlady was having a barbecue and everyone was invited so, naturally, everyone came; later, we moved on to the bars on College Street.

Number of guys I hit on: 1/2 (it doesn't count if it was a conversation and I knew him prior to the drinking, right?)
Number of same guys who have a girlfriend: 1 (dork)
Number of guys who hit on me: 1
Number of guys who hit on me who actually listened to what I had to say: 1
Number of guys who hit on me who I gave my number to: 1

All in all, not bad. Add to that the hilarity of Alli giving Tamara a piggy-back ride for 650 meters (those were the rules) because Tamara was wearing her party shoes, the ridiculousness of the following pick-up line: "Where did you get those beads? Mardi gras?" (Tamara was wearing a necklace and therefore was the recipient of that gem), and the general drunkenness of the company, and you have yourself a pretty good night out.

Um, where was I? Oh yeah, the World Cup. My digression actually has a semi-point. No, it doesn't. I just wanted to say that for once, I didn't get drunk and stupidly hit on some lame guy.

Point made, so we're moving on.

I met my friends at Dave's and we headed west on College to find a good bar. I decided that Eddie should wear the flag, cause I had my colors on and he wussed out and wore an England jersey. College Street was blocked off, maybe for the WC? Little Italy is fiercely patriotic, which is why I wanted to watch the game there. Not to torment the other team, but just to feel that exhilaration of an audience that actually gives a shit about the score. We definitely found it. We went to the College Street Bar, where they drew a pretty sizeable crowd for the game. Luckily, we got there during the Ghana-Czech Republic game so there were still seats.

And here's where it gets kind of ranty. Ok, so you own and operate a bar in Little Italy. Pretty patriotic part of town, huge soccer fans. The World Cup comes around. Italy is playing the US on a Saturday. The main street is blocked off. People are everywhere. Why in the name of all that is holy would you only have 1 server covering the entire bar? Not to mention a sour-faced and disagreeable bartender/bitch? There were 6 of us at a small table meant for four (barely), and 4 of us had ordered food. The couple at the table next to us got up and we asked our server (and by "our" I mean "the only") if we could take that table. She said yes. As soon as we made a move towards it, however, the sour-faced woman honed in on it/us and refused to allow us to use it because there were people waiting. Well, yes, I can see that, sweetheart, but we just wanted the extra room so we could eat. There is nothing I hate more than bitchy waitstaff.

We contemplated leaving but what the hell, we weren't going to find room anywhere else. So we stayed for the duration of the game. Which was wonderful. What a nail-biter! What made it better is that we ended up running into an Italian guy who is in my program, and he was with his girlfriend and some other Italy fans. We sat at 2 tables (ha!) and, despite the inherent rivalry, it was a great experience. The teams were playing with such heart and determination, and there were so many close calls, and there was none of that "In your face" crap (though I'd have dished it if I could have). We tied, 1-1.

I walked home, wearing the flag as a cape. Several people stopped me to ask the score, and one guy said, "Ahh, USA. Go USA! Go Bush!"

Sorry there, buddy, my patriotism doesn't run that deep.


3 Comments:

  • down with the college st. bar!

    btw, i didn't wuss out. stephanie was wearing the good luck jersey. Go Bush!

    By Anonymous Eddie, at 10:37 AM  

  • nice... all i have to say is nice... and what's with the "go bush" crap... can you not support US soccor while not supporting Bush. I best most soccor supporters DON'T support Bush. I wonder if Bush even knows if the World Cup is going on?

    By Blogger Aundra, at 4:31 PM  

  • College St. was closed off for the Taste of Little Italy. It happens every year, regardless of the World Cup. I would like to take a minute now to lament my sorry fate...I had to work that Saturday, starting right before the game. Poor me.

    Was that guy joking? Perhaps sarcasm? If not, you should have punched him. Oh yes.

    By Anonymous Lorien, at 1:20 PM  

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