I was invited to several Super Bowl parties. I didn't plan on going to any this year -- I had money on the Colts and wanted to watch the game at home -- but I ended up going to three. The first was a Clairemont party that would start at noon, and I figured I could go until 3 p.m., hit the next party in North Park for kick-off, and then head up to Poway, missing a Prince song or two at halftime.
I found a parking spot close to Bryan's house. His wife, Victoria, said, "Well, you're early. Most people aren't showing up for a while." They had a blackjack/craps table set up in the living room and several TVs, including one in the bathroom. In the garage they set up a projector, an old-fashioned popcorn machine, and several chairs. The backyard had TVs, a Jacuzzi, a cot, and a refrigerator. I told Victoria that I thought they had a perfect house for a party. "Yeah, we don't have kids, so we turned one of the bedrooms into a huge walk-in closet. We're probably going to sell this place, though, and we'll be listing it as a bedroom, not a closet." Someone who overheard her said, "I can't believe there won't be any more parties here." Turned out Victoria got a job offer in Pennsylvania.
Standing outside in the sunshine, I pointed to the sky and said, "You won't have this back East in the winter." She said, "Yeah, I know." I asked if her husband was cool with the move, and she said he was, but that for his job, the closest he could transfer was Ohio. Victoria's been working in Pennsylvania for the past year and flew back to be here for the Super Bowl party.
One guy yelled, "I'm going to Albertson's. Does anyone need anything?" His friend said, "Not now." He replied, "Oh, okay. Well, when you need something, I'll go back."
I met a guy wearing a Chargers jersey, and we talked about the Foley case. A few people had relatives who were cops. We all agreed that the cop made mistakes, but that Foley's "mistakes" -- driving drunk and approaching a guy with a gun -- were bigger. One lady suggested that the cop should have shot Foley in the leg, and a guy said, "Cops are taught to shoot to kill when they fire their weapons."
I lit up a cigar, and a guy named Wayne came over and asked what kind it was. "Well, I'd rather not say. It only cost a buck. It's a cheap stogie." He said, "I have some good cigars in the trunk of my car. What do you like better? Cubans or Dominicans?" I said, "I prefer Dominicans. I don't think Cubans are as good as they were 25 years ago." A lady said, "Aren't Cuban cigars illegal?" Wayne said, "They're illegal to bring into the country, but not to have." The woman looked confused as she walked away. He said, "I'll be right back."
I went over to a table that held chips and dips. One was delicious but spicy. As my mouth burned, someone told me, "This guy came over and put a whole can of jalapeños in there. It's kinda spicy." I tried the other dip, which turned out to be a bowl of refried beans.
Wayne came back with a miniature humidor and opened it. I picked out a Fuente. He cut it for me and said, "This is great. People get mad when I smoke these. They complain about the smell. Now that you're smoking one with me, there's someone else to blame."
While we watched the Super Bowl preshows, which I think had been going since Tuesday, Wayne told me about traveling for his job. He told me that he'd seen cigars overseas with labels that read, "These will kill you." He told me that there are cigarettes in France that taste like cigars.
I met a woman named Resa who told me that she teaches classes for women who want to learn how to lap dance and do striptease for their men. I thought that stuff was self-explanatory, but Resa explained the different aspects of her class and how it helps women build confidence. I wanted to say "Let's have a demonstration," but I didn't have enough courage, or alcohol.
One guy who had had enough beer stood in front of the TV while people yelled at him to move, held up his can of Colt 45, and said, "Guess what team I'm rooting for?"
I noticed there were many football jerseys at the party. I counted two, and neither of them were one of the teams playing in the Super Bowl. One woman wore a T-shirt that read, "I have no clue who is playing in the Super Bowl."
I met a guy wearing an ultimate-fighting shirt and asked him if he watched the fights the previous night. He said that he didn't but that he used to be a fighter. His name was Joshua. He told me, "I got a salary of $1500 a month during the season and a percentage of the prize money." I asked him if he had a good fight story. "I'll tell you about one of the times I was knocked unconscious. I was fighting in China. I just saw this thigh coming at me. When I woke up, I thought my mouth was filled with water. Sometimes my trainer would pour water on me. When I spit it out, it was all blood and teeth. All my teeth are fake." He showed me his teeth and told me that he can bite through metal with them. As he left to find something to demonstrate this, I said to his girlfriend, "He's like a James Bond villain."
While we waited for Joshua, we met a guy who told us that this was the first party he'd been to in a while. He had been banned from parties for getting too drunk and acting wild. Then Joshua came back with a beer bottle, opened it with his teeth, and chewed the cap into a tiny ball.