Steve asked if I had a problem with him listening to the Green Bay game on Sunday, while we drove to Philadelphia for the Paul Weller concert. Then he busted out a Sirius radio receiver, and had it tuned-in before the “o” part of my “no” was completed.
Steve’s been a full-on Packers fanatic as long as I’ve known him, and I’ve known him since, like, third grade. So we listened to the second half of the game, and he was getting all animated with it. I was starting to become concerned; I was afraid someone might throw an interception or something, and he’d lose control of himself, grab the steering wheel, and send us rocketing off the turnpike.
But everything worked out OK, the Packers won, and we easily found the neighborhood where the theater was supposedly located. It’s a place called the Trocadero, which neither of us was familiar with. Turns out it’s a former vaudeville/burlesque house, dating back to 1870(!).
We pulled into a parking lot nearby, and the guy told me I could leave my car wherever I wanted. So I parked, and he said he was going to give us a deal and only charge us thirteen dollars. The regular rate, he claimed, was twenty-eight.
Yeah, I’m not even sure he worked there…
When the concert tickets arrived in the mail, there was also a coupon advertising an Irish pub, called Moriarty’s. Thirty beers on tap, it said, and only two blocks from the theater. Sounded good, so we set out in search of it.
But we thought it might be a good idea to find the Trocadero first…
We returned to the main street, and realized we were in Chinatown. Most of the signs were in Chinese, and Steve and I towered over everyone on the sidewalk. For a few minutes I felt like Wilt Chamberlain, except there wasn’t a need to strap anything to my inner-thigh.
We located the place, and a big roly-poly nerd in a Jam t-shirt (tucked-in) was already standing outside. It was five o’clock, probably four hours before Weller would take the stage, but the guy was already out there, staring at the building. TF?
We gave him a sup? lift of the chin, and headed toward the bar. And two blocks, my ass! That coupon was a straight-up liar. It was more like five blocks from the theater, maybe six. And hurricane Ike had shoved all the hot and humid air from the southern states, right up our tailpipes. By the time we reached the second block, I looked like I’d recently fallen into a lake.
The bar appeared promising – and popular. It was packed, and there was a hostess by the front door. “Do you have a reservation?” she asked. At a pub? Oh man, I was getting a bad feeling about this… I told her we’d just sit at the bar if there wasn’t a table, and she said not to worry, and seated us without delay.
I don’t understand…
The waiter gave us menus, and we requested he bring us two Boddington’s, as quick as he could fetch ’em. It was oppressively hot outside, and not much cooler inside.
I ordered shepherd’s pie for dinner, and it turned out to be excellent. Better, in fact, than the questionable and gristly version I was served in England.
After the Boddington’s I opted for a pint of Flying Fish summer ale, which was also very good. Then, a Victory Hop Devil.
Our waiter, at one point, said, “So, are you guys going to the show tonight?” I’d been checking out the clientele, and the Playbills they were carrying, and had a suspicion the theater mentioned on the coupon wasn’t the Trocadero. This was more of a Broadway-style crowd.
So I asked him which show he was talking about, and he said, “State Fair?”
The hell? Did this guy think we were a gay couple, out on a date? State Fair? Doesn’t that feature show tunes and much sashaying-about? We straightened him out on the situation, so to speak, but he had no idea who Paul Weller is, and had never heard of The Jam.
“But I’ll Google them!” he promised. Heh.
A man with a fake leg was sitting at the bar during the Flying Fish segment of the evening.
He was wearing shorts and a plastic leg. Why shorts? To keep his remaining leg cool? I guess that’s valid… And do they make prosthetics with hair on them? I think they should; this guy’s was shiny and slick. Also, do they have different shades, to match-up with skintone? Do some people buy summer legs, and winter legs, to accommodate tans, and such?
Yes, we got into a lengthy discussion about prosthetics, over adult beverages. And when the guy got up and left, and was immediately replaced by another man, it was kind of a letdown. Two legs? How dull.
We had a good time at Moriarty’s, and I recommend it highly. Lots of interesting draft beers, atmosphere, and great food… How can you go wrong? I submit that you cannot.
We walked around the neighborhood for a while, and ended up in a yuppiefied area. We started to go into a Borders bookstore but the doors were locked, even though dozens of people were inside. Apparently they were doing inventory? Who the hell knows?
We kept walking, and found a Hard Rock Café. It had already been upwards of thirty minutes since our last beers, so we went inside. We sat at the bar, my shoulder blade wedged against the corner of a framed Pearl Jam poster, and ordered a couple pints of Sam Adams Oktoberfest.
The beer was good, but the prices were not. Funk dat! We walked through their gift shop and urinated in their men’s room (I would’ve preferred cutting out the middleman and just pissing in the gift shop), and bailed out of there.
And right outside the door, on the sidewalk, was a pair of men’s underwear. We stood and looked at them, wondering how in God’s name such an item could end up in the doorway of a busy downtown restaurant. Here’s a picture I snapped with my cell phone.
And Steve said, just like he would’ve said when we were fourteen, “I dare you to touch them.” Yeah, I’ll do a lot of things on a dare, but that ain’t one of ’em…
We returned to the theater, and it’s tiny inside. And crumbling. In fact, the ceiling of the main room is covered with a net, to catch falling plaster. It was like an oven in that bitch, and they only sold beer in the balcony area, which was even hotter.
I had a Yuengling in the rafters, and we staked-out some prime real estate on the main floor downstairs. Paul Weller… as towering a figure as Springsteen in Europe, playing in a place like this… And it wasn’t even completely full.
I’ll spare you the musical details, for now. Maybe I’ll play rock critic, over at Suggestaholic? Or maybe I won’t. I mean, I’ve still got a long-overdue Nancy update to write… Here’s the Philadelphia Inquirer review, for now.
And I’ll leave you today with a few semi-related discussion points.
About fifteen years ago I visited Philadelphia, and it seemed like everyone was abrupt and incredibly rude. Then I returned a year later, and had a similar experience. So, Philly became cemented in my mind as The Rudest City in America.
But since that second visit, I’ve been back several times and not had a problem. My stance on the whole Philly-is-rude thing is starting to weaken. Perhaps I was too harsh in my original assessment?
And since I’ve never had a problem in New York either, I might actually be left without a Rude City in my arsenal. Which is kind of a shame…
I’m pretty sure we’ve covered this one before, but what are the world’s rudest big cities, in your opinion?
Also, how do you think that pair of underwear ended up on the sidewalk outside the Hard Rock Café? Paint me a word-picture that explains such a scenario, won’t you? Use the comments link below.
And if you have any prosthetics ‘n’ alcohol stories to tell, I’d like to hear those as well. A longshot, you say? Well, maybe at other sites…
I’ll see you guys tomorrow.
How bout them Cowboys? Woo!
Lil M says
The people in Myrtle Beach were pretty damn rude. I think it probably has something to do with the fact that the ones who live there all have to work while everyone else is partying and having a good time.
Maybe someone was walking back from a laundry mat and dropped them out of the basket?!?!
I don’t have any drunken one legged man stories but my family and i were leaving the local diner (a glorified truck stop really) last week and saw a one legged guy (he actually had a peg leg!) get on his Harley with his biker gang (matching vests and all). He looked about 100 years old and could probably still kick our asses!
Sarah Palin says
I’d give my right leg for a prosthetic!
jeff, hate to get heavy on my favourite site but: Courtesy of our current war we see the stats of the dead but few of us realize how many of these great kids are coming home to a life of:prosthetics ‘n’ alcohol! Yeh they are usually an artificial pink & hairless but often there’s a Hero attached to the plastic! next time you see a guy brave enough to be out in a pair of shorts exposing his newly aquired appendage, take the time to say Hi, & buy the guy a beer or two he might just have earn’nd it!
Orlando, FL sucks shit.
Miami, FL spews it up.
I had always heard that France, Paris in particular, was infested with rudeness but in my experience the opposite is true. In fact Paris is one of the friendliest cities I’ve been to.
Quebec City on the other hand is filled with some of the rudest people who have ever been spat onto the face of the earth.
Those undies are Nossy’s. He made a secret trip down to Philly to slurp up that fine Hard Rock burger cuisine on the sly. Must have hit a rainstorm(via Hurricane Ike)when he got to town & needed his spare pair. So before he left the car, he slipped into a fresh pair of tighys whiteys Nancy packed him. Nossy didn’t realize the soiled pair caught on his shoe until he got to the HRC door, and shook it off.
A zillion years ago I picked up a girl in a Philly bar and we went dancing.
Every time I spun her around, she seemed to get taller.
It was then I realized she had a wooden leg.
Marlee ~ says
How about ‘double prosthetics’ ….security chased a woman out the doors of a ‘Hudsons’ and no shit the bottom half of the poor theif came off ….My bud and I were so shocked …. after what we just witnessed sunk in we laughed through out the day and still …your experience once again brought on the uncontrolable fits of laughter!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I would have to say the rudest city I’ve ever been in is Little Rock… everyone always says how nice the people in the south are, I think its cause they round up all the assholes and bring them here to Arkansas.
Are you sure those are underpants? Could they not also be the headgear of a secret society?
Mrs. Wally says
The rudest city I have ever incountered has to be Chicago, hands down. Even the pan-handlers are rude. They certainly do drive fast, though.
Marlee ~ says
Rude all of New York !
There was a guy on the wrestling team in middle school that would leave his glass eye in during the match. Inevitably he’d get a move thrown on him that would dislodge it and a lot of times it would disturb his opponent enough that he’d take it easy on him and the guy would win the match. I think they figured it out by the time he got to high-school though and made him wear an eye patch during his matches.
I don’t know if this counts but I knocked out my front teeth as a kid and for a brief period during my college years I had a “flipper” which was essentially a retainer with my four front teeth attached to it. Whenever I’d go to party and get a little of the spirits in me my friends would convince some poor soul that they should sumo wreslte me, apparently my drunk self enjoys a good sumo match. Before the match the first thing I would do was take my flipper out and hand it to the nearest person for safe keeping. This always sent the crowd into uproarious laughter, and mortified my opponent who shortly thereafter would be thrown into the yard or neighboring aparment. Its a good thing they didn’t have camera phones back then. I’m pretty sure I’d have a hard time explaining that one to my kids.
My parent company owns a prosthetic company. They make fake boobs for breast cancer folks. Turns out gay dudes were our biggest customers, so they had to open up two sites, one for women and one for “women.”
i know a guy that had a crack whore bite his penis off. they gave him a penile transplant from a pig….
Son of Sam says
Lucas is that leading to a lipstick on a pig joke?
lucas i too know a guy that had a penile transplant,they used a baby elephants trunk, two weeks later he had to have it removed because it would grab food from the table……his wife tried to talk him out of the removal because the sex was great besides whats a biscuit or 2 now and then???well he told her that it is shoving them up his ass that hurts
I know a guy that has a false penis made out of wood and ivory, just like George Washington had.
son of sam, the implied joke is MUCH better than what i could come up with.
The underwear story…..I know the actual events that occurred. I was THERE!
You see….I was in the Hard Rock with my wife. We sat down and had a great dinner and some beers. I heard that, in addition to State Fair going on, there was a local McCain fundraising event. Not a big deal.
But when I got up to go to the bathroom, I noticed a bunch of male republicans (Larry Craig was in the middle of it all) engaged in some crazy not-so-conservative love! Apparently, due to “tighter” TSA regulations, male republican sex was no longer allowed on airport premises. So they have to find venues around broadway shows so they can meet up.
Anyway, one of them was putting on a fresh pair of Bushie underwear, and his old ones must have simply fallen out of his coat pocket.
PS Totally untrue and a failed attempt at something funny. Sorry.
Shiny Rod says
Jeff, time for that update. The natives are getting restless.
I actually have a prosthetic story which I almost forgot about. It happened when I was pretty young…and isn’t really all that interesting, but what the heck.
It happened in the early 70s…I’m pretty sure it was summer…and the former father found a prosthetic leg (female, I think, or I’m misremembering the painted on pump) stuffed in our side door (between the screen and wooden doors). The former father called the police and they came and got it and I’m pretty sure there was a write-up in the local O&E paper. Not sure if anybody ever claimed it, but I’m thinking now that it was the local “bad” boys. The former father is pretty much a dick and I think it was in retaliation for his dickheadedness.
Rude city? Definitely San Francisco – no offense, Knucklehead, as well as the most disgusting – the spitting on the streets there is unbelievable. Chicago – but that could have been related to the Red Wings jersey worn at Blackhawks/Wings game. I hear wearing the opponents’ jersey in Philadelphia could help you end up visiting a local emergency room, but I don’t know if that’s true or simply urban legend.
Yes if it’s a Cowboys jersey, Kathleen. And if it’s T.O.’s jersey, then the morgue.
I think some hockey jerseys will earn you a beatdown too, but I’d have to ask my brother about that one.
Jeff, the best way to get to the Troc is by train. The station is just a block or so away. And you dont have to worry about parking and shit.
I love the Troc. Went as saw the Mighty Mighty boss tones there years before they were cool and my first rave just out of high school. I love the fact that China town is just on the other side of the block. It is where they make all the fortune cookies!!
Oakland. Sorry….. but Oakland. My mister and I went to a Raider’s game a few years ago and it was horrible! The game too /wink. Just walking into the stadium I heard “I see a lot of unwanted color here, I thought this was a raiders game!” Gee, sorry about that… I’ll strive for a tan next time. They were just wild people, fighting with themselves in the stands instead of cheering on a team! I couldn’t get out of there fast enough.
Gretchen – That’s just sad. Even Detroit with its reputation doesn’t behave that way toward people in other jerseys…hell, even Colorado Avalanche fans don’t get beaten up and we HATE the Avs.