Friday, June 8, 2012

A Spontaneous Night Out

Late yesterday afternoon I received a text from a good friend of mine whom I don't get to see nearly often enough, asking if I wanted to grab a beer "later". We've had trouble making plans recently so she thought she'd just try, on a whim, to get us together. It took a bit of thought (because it required some car-centric arrangements with Sarah, who was also out last night) but I accepted. I'm really glad I did, too, because my friend has been having a particularly awful time of it at her job the past several months and yesterday was an even worse day than normal. It was great to get out on the spur of the moment and just have a chat - I think it did wonders for both of us, really. We tried to go to the Bull & Firkin on Yonge near Davisville, but when I arrived I was greeted with a huge professionally-made sign that informed me that there had been a fire during their scheduled renovations and that they were "sorry for the inconvenience" but they would "remain" closed until July 15. As you can see from the link I provided (and which I checked out yesterday to see where they were located) there is no mention of this on their website, even though it clearly is not a recent development. That was pretty annoying, but not a deal-breaker because my friend used to live in the neighbourhood and quickly suggested another pub three blocks up the street called the Bow & Arrow. However, when we got there we found it had been renamed and was now the Twisted Kilt. It was still a pub, though, with pubby beers and pubby food so really: how could it be a bad choice? I had a couple of different pints and a delicious pizza while my friend had a half-pint and a salad with salmon. The salmon, sadly, was not cooked right through and when we told them about it - just to let them know - they actually took it right off of our bill. That was a nice gesture and I think it might just require of us a return visit to show our appreciation. Darn the luck!

The Robbie Alomar ball: my new treasure
A few weeks ago I received an entirely different text from this same friend, telling me that her partner was in a booth at a Blue Jay game sitting right next to Roberto Alomar. She said in this text that I was the only person she knew "who would appreciate that story". Now, if you who are reading this know me at all, you will know how I feel about Roberto Alomar. He is, quite simply, the greatest player ever to wear the Blue Jay uniform. He was the first Jay ever inducted into the Hall of Fame. You can make a case for him being the greatest second baseman in the history of Major League Ball. And my friend's "hubby" was sitting next to him. At a Jays game. I expressed my incredible jealousy in a reply text and a little while later my friend texted back to say her partner was home with a present for me: a signed Roberto Alomar ball. She brought that for me last night on our pub outing and it will find a place of honour in my home forever, once I have a proper stand for it.

Where it will most likely end up is right next to this little guy:

Alomar's Hall of Fame bobblehead

...which is the Roberto Alomar bobblehead doll I received when Sarah and I attended the ceremony to honour his Hall of Fame induction last year. We got to the park very early but still had to be quite lucky to get our hands on two of these beauties (Sarah gave the other one to her dad) because there were a limited number of them to give away and the Dome was an absolute sell-out for the game that day. We bought our tickets the moment we found out about the special nature of that game and had great seats out over the right-field fence in the front row, where we hung this fabulous sign that Sarah created for the occasion:

Sarah copied the Blue Jay font perfectly for this sign

Unfortunately, being new at this sort of thing, I asked for too small a sign to be seen by much of the park; however, it didn't escape the eagle eye of whoever was working the JumboTron camera that day because it suddenly appeared on the giant screen in one of the middle innings. That was an exciting moment, for sure!

My friend is a huge Leaf fan and maybe someday we will finally get to a game together. In the meantime, we'll continue to have these "pub chats" because a pint and some nosh with a friend is usually the best night of any week.

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