While I do for the most part lead a comparatively retired life in a dusty old house among dusty old books and shabby and mildewed old tables and cabinets, I still like to drop in once in a while--usually it ends up being quite a long while--at some loud, brassy modern barroom with a hundred gigantic televisions, video game consoles on the tables, frat party music pumping through the restroom, and cute young waitresses. I had forgotten to do this for several years until I was in the grocery store a few weeks ago and saw one such attractive woman** there who was wearing a Buffalo Wild Wings work shirt, at which the thought occurred to me that perhaps I ought to go there sometime. Of course I have long given up entertaining any thoughts of having any meaningful interactions even with women my own age, but for all that I am still biologically somewhat alive, and it still affects my spirits positively to see a few attractive women* on occasion, maybe (of course?) especially ones whose own spirits don't appear to be weighed down yet by children or bitter experience or the other cares of deep maturity***.
I found that I enjoyed indulging, for a little bit, in the overwhelming stimulation of the televisions, almost all of which were turned to sports stations. I have not had cable TV for years, and I have never owned a giant flat screen television, so the immensity of the picture and the scope of modern media coverage of sports are amazing spectacles for me to behold. I was especially drawn to the NFL Networks replaying of the previous week's games in 30 minute condensations. That would have seemed like Elysium to me as a ten year old. Once in a while I will sit down to watch a little bit of a football game at home, but my wife, who hated football long before it was fashionable, can only endure about a half an hour of this before some crisis or theretofore unsuspected (by me) necessary household project is found to exist which necessitates leaving off the game. Shortly after we were married my wife actually began taking down one of the walls of the living room in the middle of the NFC championship game--this had been planned, but it hadn't occurred to me that the demolition could, or would, begin during the game. This was what a football coach would call 'setting the tone' in the marriage. In truth the games are too long for any new age husband and father to reasonably give up more than a couple of Sunday afternoons for in a year, and those only if the weather is too bad to do anything outside. So I am not very attuned to the ethos of the man-cave lifestyle that is supposedly prominent in current society.
The food was not very good, which if I noticed it means it must have been beyond terrible. I know that refined opinion holds that all these kinds of places are atrocities against human culture, but usually I am either so hungry or otherwise stimulated that the awfulness does not make a pronounced impression on me (also I have no real idea what good food in the United States is supposed to taste like, or where to consistently go to get it,**** but that is another article). The excessive saltiness really did strike me this time, however. I think it is more that I am getting older and need less salt and am more sensitive to it. So I doubt I will go back there very often, if at all, but...it is one of those places, contrived and phony, though not wholly ineffective, that holds out some kind of tantalizing promise that Fun really does exist, and that maybe you, or somebody anyway, could have it at Buffalo Wild Wings. They won't discourage you from pretending or imagining it to be the case, anyway.
As a case in point with regard to this, when I was in the restroom I saw a truly awesome poster the absurdity of which made me nearly double over with laughter at the time, and caused me to suppress chuckles throughout the rest of the day. Here it is:
The humor of course lies in the fact that the guy in the picture is experiencing a level of ecstasy at indulging in the Tuesday night beer and chicken deals at Buffalo Wild Wings that no one ever experiences in real life. People are not this ecstatic when they win Olympic gold medals or Nobel Prizes. Maybe some men are this ecstatic if they get somewhere with a woman a level or more of desirability higher than they really merit, but this almost never happens. Maybe desperate authors and academics who land a publisher or tenure track position feel something like this, but the glory they feel may be more delusional than that brought upon by the arrival of the basket of hot wings. Top line rock stars are never this ecstatic; nor are even second rank rock stars. John Tesh is said to get pumped in this way during a concert, but I cannot find any photographic proof even of that.
So I think the poster is kind of genius. It sums up what all ordinary--i.e. non-cool--men deep down want their night at their bar to feel like, and that they imagine must be what they would feel if they could suddenly transform into a cool guy--and makes them believe what ordinary bars are too real and honest to pretend, that this feeling is what they are selling, and that it truly can be bought. Of course I know it cannot really be bought. Or can it, provided one is emotionally shallow enough?
* I know that in much of the country the waitresses at these kinds of establishments tend towards a more extreme bimboish or sorority girl model that is beyond what a person like me could really relate to. However that extreme type doesn't really exist in New Hampshire, and the women at the place I went to were quite normal-looking, young and thin and with regularly proportioned bodies, this being really almost the whole source of their attractiveness, as they were otherwise almost entirely normal in their appearance.
**I did not see the person from the grocery store on the day that I went to the restaurant. She was probably slightly prettier than the ones who were there, but really as I say they were all of a very similar type and the overall effect was little less pleasing.
***It is telling how pitiful the state of modern manhood that I seem to be experiencing this as some kind of revelation. Of course I always have imagined it must be so in theory, but have had vanishingly fewer and fewer occasions to test it in practice.
****I have always wondered about whether the women frequenting and working at vegan and other alternative/new age establishments would be of the sort to provoke this mood boost in me. The problem is, I either really can't abide the food at all (veganism) or don't have the habits/rhythms/ sense of purpose to effectively hang around trendy coffee shops or those arty/organic/raw milk anti-mainstream America type restaurants. Yet I still believe this is where my natural crowd and all the friends I should have in life are really to be found.