I'm at Farside the other night, having a beer with friends.
It was kind of quiet at the bar, with patrons drinking at the bar and a few playing darts. I went to the dart board to sign up for a game and saw a guy at the bar wearing a "Hatboro-Horsham Wrestling" T-shirt.
Hatboro-Horsham is a town in PA which is squarely between where I grew up, in Richboro, and where I spent my teen-age years, in Gwynedd Valley, only 20 minutes away from either town. Since I run the Eagles and Phillies club in town, I often befriend strangers from PA - talk up the Eagles or Phillies club and invite them down to the bar. I walk over, slap a hand on his back and he turns around.
Wearing a YANKEES cap.
WHAT. THE. FUCK.
Look, I get it. Maybe you grew up in Philly and we had suck ass Phillies teams for most of our years from 1984-1992, a brief blip on the radar in 1993, and then a whole lot of suckiness (?) from 1994 to 2005. I get it. My own brother called the Yankees "his American League team". Fuck you. You grow up in Philly, you gotta stand behind your teams!
Now my reaction, was of course dignified and profound when I said to the very large & beefy 22 year old, "YOU FUCKING TRAITOR!"* (*but, I did say it with a smile, and not threatening)
He looks at me like you would expect, with a who-the-heck-are-you-and-why-am-I-a-traitor? look at me, but he's smiling wondering what i'm going to say next.
Now, dear reader, you must realize that Uncle Sean has had a few drinks at this point and add my usual Red Bull to the mix and I was Mr. Motormouth.
"You are wearing a Yankees cap," I began with my mock-seriousness and Sherlock Holmes like intensity, "Yet you are wearing a Hatboro-Horsham T-shirt - which says you are clearly from PA. That doesn't make sense, you should be a PHILLIES fan!" I exclaimed.
"No, I grew up around Hudson County."
"But...the shirt. Where did you get it?", I asked.
"She gave it to me.", he gestured to the 22 year old blonde haired girl standing next to him.
"OK, so you grew up in Hudson County...but are wearing a Hatboro-Horsham shirt that your girlfriend gave you...and she wasn't a wrestler..."
You know what's coming next, don't you? Foot meet mouth.
"Was it her ex-boyfriends?"
He chuckles at first, and the girls eyes widen a bit. Then he goes "Wait a second. IS THIS YOUR EX-BOYFRIENDS SHIRT?!", he mock-growls at the blonde haired girl. She stammers a bit, and i'm edging away with a comic "CHECK PLEASE" to try and break slight bit of tension which erupted with my comment.
Now, truth be told, this guy isn't angry. He's laughing it off and "mock-angry" with her, while i'm laughing along. I'm telling him, "Ah, my bad dude I thought you were from my neck of the woods..."
When in comes friend #2.
Now we are bantering back and forth about the t-shirt and stuff when "Friend #2" jumps into our business. She's a short annoying looking rat of a girl who puts her finger in my face and says "WHO ARE YOU? WHY YOU CARE WHO'S SHIRT IT IS..."
Her tone and manner wasn't suggesting anything but anger and trying to stir shit up between me and the Hatboro-Horsham guy and Friend #2's boyfriend who was sitting at the bar, but only half paying attention. The difference between me and Friend #2 in our actions was that I was jovial and kidding - she wasn't. She got into my business quick and I could see this turning ugly if I didn't diffuse the situation fast.
"I run the Phillies and Eagles club in town, I thought he was from PA, so that's why I was talking to him....", I started.
The blonde haired girl turns to me and said, "Hey, you are the Mulligan's 'guy'. You do that? I have been there before!"
The tension level drops. The guy at the bar pulls away Friend #2, with a half-bored "Leave him alone..."
And the rest of our conversation between me and the T-shirt guy ends up talking about baseball and how the Phillies would smoke the Yankees in the World Series. Ha ha.