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Thursday, February 27, 2014

Thursday Thirsty?

Good morning folks. I hope today finds you well. I am doing pretty good myself, I realize that I haven't written much lately but that is often the case for me when I am feeling pretty good. I think just knowing that there is a job coming up in the future has allowed some significant peace of mind. It isn't like my money issues have changed in fact in some ways they have gotten worse since I have literally no income at all. But, knowing that I will have an income just makes a world of difference. 

Red Sector A - Rush

Blah, blah, blah, Rush....prog rock. Blah Blah

I know that some of my readers come here from Facebook and I know that a few weeks ago on Valentines day I posted a picture of my new girlfriend and for the story that I am going to tell you today I suppose I should share that picture again. 

Now contained within that picture are two things that I love very much, actually three. The Portland Timbers. Whiskey and Flogging Molly. This story involves two of those three things. Though I may add a Flogging Molly song for your listening pleasure later. Aw, hell, forget later how about right now. 

Devil's Dance Floor - Flogging Molly


So, back to the beginning. I have always had an interesting relationship with alcohol. I never drank much before I was twenty-one. In fact now that I am past that age I do not drink all that much now. I would say that I drink alcohol of some sort about two or three times a month and often that depends on what is going on. This month for example, today is the 27th, I had two different beers and some samples last Saturday but up until then I had not had anything to drink other than a glass of whisky the week before. By glass I mean two fingers and some ice. I am telling you this to highlight that fact that while I enjoy a good drink and I enjoy getting a good buzz on I can take it or leave it as far as alcohol goes. In fact the only thing that I drink regularly is coffee. Glorious, glorious, coffee. The nectar of the Gods. 

Concrete Jungle - Special Beat 

Ska members of The Specials and The English Beat

So when I choose to drink alcohol I do it because there is a party going on or because I think it will be fun or funny. I own two different flasks and depending on the situation I may bring one along. But I am very careful about getting very drunk or out of control in public. It is just not who I am. I was raised by very non drinking parents and I am sure that the shame that it would bring upon them has been enough to keep me in line for years. Some lessons stick with you forever I suppose. Anyway. So, last night was a Timbers match and I thought it would be both fun and give me a story to tell if I brought my flask of Jameson along to share with a couple of the guys that I sit near at the matches. 

My Michelle - Guns N Roses


So, as you can see, taking my flask along is not a regular occurrence for me but I do bring it along now and then depending on my mood or the situation. So last night I have my flask and off to the stadium Nick and I go. We get there and head into our section and I see the fellows that I mentioned before. I stop by the first guy and offer him a pull, he thanks me graciously and he takes one and I head to my seat. Once there I slide the flask back over my shoulder to the guy that sits behind me and he thanks me and takes a quick one as well and then hands it back to me. I sit for a moment and yell at some of the other teams players on the pitch. Nothing to loud or out of control and no profanity was used. It was pretty typical heckling for me. I then took a swig from my flask. One drink that was all and not a full one. Perhaps a wee mouthful.

Suzanne - Leonard Cohen

Heartbreakingly beautiful song.

A moment later there is an usher standing in front of me and he asks if he can talk to me out on the concourse. I question him for a moment but I was already sure that the battle was lost and rather than cause a ruckus I get up and head for the top of the stairs. Once I get out there I realize that I am dealing with two or three ushers and some sort of alcohol compliance officer and two policeman. The first thing that I say to the compliance officer is "Are the police really needed for this?" He assures me that they are not there for me but of course they stand there the whole time. I am sure just in case I am some sort of threat to the good of all. Again I was not drunk in anyway and would have passed any and all intoxication tests. 

Humans Remain Human Remains - Red Fang


I will skip all of the conversation and move to me being escorted from the stadium. Now I get it. I hadn't really thought about it. But the stadium and I suppose the Timbers have a policy against outside booze. But and I realize that I may very well be nitpicking here, had I been buying my beer or liquor in the stadium and been sitting drunk as hell and yelling profanities at the other team and referees. I would not have been made to leave. Because I had spent my money there. But, because I dared to bring in outside liquid, I believe eight ounces worth, perhaps ten. I was asked to leave. A season ticket holder for nearly six years with no other problems on my record at the stadium. I have never once been drunk at a match or been warned or complained about. I have never been asked to leave and have always been a good citizen of the Timbers Army. But despite all of that. They have a "no tolerance" policy when it comes to bringing a flask in. 

It's All Over Now - Grateful Dead


I will be back at the stadium on Saturday. I was banned for just the one match and that is good I suppose. But it does bug me because I would have gladly given them my flask or poured it out and even taken a ticket and then gone back to watch the rest of the match with no problems. But I was not even offered that as an option. It went from a fun evening to kind of a lame drive back to Salem. I am just lucky that Nick is so forgiving of my stupidity. He has been a good friend for a longtime. My sad, sad story aside I feel like it is time for the Timbers to perhaps rethink their alcohol policy and maybe take things on a case by case basis rather than treating all of us the same and perhaps if I would have wanted to push things up the ladder I might have been able to talk to a manager or something who could have given me some flexibility as far as things went. But I chose not too. I also chose not to scream and shout and case a scene and that could have easily happened as well. But I chose to behave decently about everything. That is my story and you may or may not agree with me and that is fine. I will be attending the rest of the matches this season and perhaps some away ones as well and my flask will be staying at home. The lesson was learned. Though I think the rules need to be changed I am not going to be taking up that fight. Thanks for listening. Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go to my quiet place and dance my pain and shame away. 

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