As my roommates attend a conference in Atlanta and I am days away from graduating college, my mind goes back to the trip I took to Chicago back in the fall of 2012. I will make this into two parts.
It was on the evening of Nov. 2, on the third night of would be my final Associated Collegiate Press conference. While this was a time to drink in all of the information provided to us by experts in the field of journalism – not to mention all of the swearing and nudity that was in the King Koretzky’s presentation – it was also a time where I got to know hang out with my coworkers on outside of the news room. On one particular night a bunch of us decided to visit Lizzie McNeill’s Irish Pub, which was in stumbling distance to our hotel.
Evan, Libs, Dr. Meyer, Freeze and myself walked in the door, the regulars were all huddled at the bar. I immediately took to the green t-shirts and the giant Irish flag that adorned the walls while my companions quickly took a seat. I was home.
The red haired waitress came over and in her thick Scottish accent, asked our drink order. I glanced at the beer menu, unsure of what to order, though I had to make my decision quick or else I would look like an amateur drinker in front of the waitress, though that opportunity would come later. I decided to order a red ale, though it was joined by a shot of Jameson whiskey. My second beer was a Kilkenny, a cream ale that I immediately I loved, all most as much as the waitress.
Kurto and Xopher later joined us and ordered their first drink. As the basketball game went into halftime and the speakers in the bar played Living Colour’s “Cult of Personality,” which is the theme song to Chicago native pro wrestler C.M. Punk, Kurto and Freese wondered if they could watch the Seattle Sounders game, to which I said I could get the waitress to come change it. After three beers, my confidence was at a high, kind of like that mouse who sipped the left over wine out of someone’s glass and then began looking around the corner, asking “where is that damn cat?”
As the waitress came over, everyone was quiet until Dr. Meyer pointed to me and said “he wants to ask you something.” And like the mouse who finally saw the cat, I stumbled over my words for a moment until Freese asked if she could change turn the game on.
For a moment I was glad Freese made the save because if I would have been able to spit out a complete sentence, it probably would have been along the lines of “marry me.” instead of actually asking about the soccer game.
While we began to get into the game, Dr. Meyer made a calm exit. Meanwhile I was slowly turning into a Sounders fan and to celebrate my christening of watching my first professional soccer game, all of us joined in a singalong of Hootie and the Blowfish’s “Hold My Hand.”
Unfortunately, the Sounders would end up tieing or losing the game – my brain has trouble remembering – which upset Kurto. To remedy this, we would leave Lizzie’s and a take a trip into the city, though it would not be the last time we would be in the pub.