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The Patriots don't play until 8:30 p.m. this Sunday, which gives Emily and I an excellent opportunity to fight our way off the couch and onto a bus or train to continue our Fall 2011 World Tour of Midsize Cities Within Convenient Commuting Distance. Previous stops have included Portland and Providence; upcoming stops will include Portland and Providence and I dunno, Hartford?
We (I) didn't get our (my) act together in time to plan anything, though, so we'll probably spend the extended pregame at or near our home in Cambridge. This makes me nervous. The last time we kicked away an unstructured Sunday in our neighborhood, the devil's diner served me French fries instead of home fries with my egg sandwich.
I'd like to say this starch holocaust didn't wreck the entire week, but I'm tired of all the lies. If you don't give me the right kind of potatoes on Sunday morning, you have ruined me. So you can understand how I'd be trepidatious about this upcoming day of rest and potatoes.
My anxiety is heightened by the realization that, as currently constructed, my day will revolve around watching the Patriots, who have lately been every bit as disappointing as a mispotatoed breakfast. I know I can solve the potato problem by taking matters into my own hands, which I will use to beg Google for directions to a more reliable breakfast merchant. But I'm not sure what to do about the matter of rooting for an unlikeable and suddenly shitty football team.
Oh wait, yes I do. I'll just get drunk before the game starts. But since peak tomato season has passed and taken with it my connection for locally sourced tomato juice, it would be ecologically irresponsible to drink enough homemade Bloody Marys to predull the pain of watching the Patriots struggle against the Jets, so we'll probably end up at a beer bar for the afternoon. I have a great Bloody Mary alteration for youse this week, but I can't get to that until I finish complaining about how expensive it is to drink at bars in Boston.
Drinks in Boston bars don't retail for much more than they do is most big cities in this part of the universe, and they're a dollar cheaper than they are in New York, but the silent wallet killer around here is Massachusetts' ban on happy hour specials: You have to pay full sticker price on every drink all day/week/life long.
I want to deride this prohibition on freebies and halfbies as puritanical nonsense, because that's what I tend to do when drinking things don't go my way, but in this case I think the law makes some sense. Massachusetts banned the temporary discounting of drink prices in 1984 after someone finally realized that making booze half-price during commuting hours could have a deleterious effect on certain drivers' abilities to avoid plowing into school buses.
But I hear rumors that happy hour could be coming back to Massachusetts, because the state has finally trained every last resident and visitor to never again engage in stupid driving behavior.
Nah, just lying. It's because we're going to get casinos, and then all sorts of entertainment-related laws will be up for grabs as the horses get traded and the sausage gets mustarded.
The governor is inching closer to the starting line in his forever-long quest to talk the legislature into approving three gigantasinos in our ministate. My initial reaction was to oppose the idea, because that's what good Bay Staters do, we oppose things.
But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that my disdain for casinos is based largely on their tackiness, and a man with as many bad habits as yours somewhat-truly is in no position to deny others their alleged economic stimu-vices out of simple snobbery. So bring on the casinos, and if this somehow leads to the reintroduction of irresponsible drink discounting, then BRING ON THE CASINOS.
Until then, bring on the football.
If you're a Massachusetts boozer looking to make a quick buck to tide you over until the drink discounts start, might I suggest betting on the Jets this week? They're going to beat the Patriots 28 to 27. It will be excruciating, and I will deviled egg and Bloody Mary my way through it as follows.
For the Deviled Eggs
We're going to go with a somewhat tenuous Jets link here. The Jets, you see, play in New Jersey, which is nearly New York, and there are some pretty good oysters to be harvested in New York. So let's trick out our eggs by piling the filling just level with the white, then topping each egg off with a fresh-shucked oyster. Save the liquor.
For the Bloody Marys
And ta-da, this is why you saved the liquor. The primary difference between New York and New England, other than happy hour, is that Manhattan clam chowder is just like real clam chowder except no, it isn't at all, because those maniacs put tomatoes in theirs. A lesser Maryologist would tell you to dump in some Clamato, but the only thing grosser than Clamato's name is its taste, so I advise you to add two oyster's worth of liquor to each drink.