Dan Greco Wedding Blog Day 2: The Day Someone Disrespected the Pizza Parlor
On our cab ride from the airport, our Haitian cab driver, who did not have AIDS as far as we knew (ok, we never actually asked) couldn’t tell us any of the nightspots on Clearwater Beach but was savvy enough to point out the original Hooters on Route 60 in Clearwater. We made it a point to visit there on our way to the Phillies-Nationals Spring Training game which we had tickets to that day thanks again to Dan.
Working 9-5, I don’t get to watch much daytime ESPN during the week. Apparently, however all ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNews does during that time is take one story and give everyone on the payroll a chance to discuss it until the story has completely been beaten to shit.
Did I mention the Broncos declared they were open to trading Jay Cutler?
So we get to Original Hooters, some of the girls were wearing T-Shirts, one of them definitely worked there when it opened, our waitress is going through the motions and footage of Jay Cutler was on every TV. At least I would get some fried pickles and chicken wings to enjoy. The fried pickles were recommended and I’ve only had them twice, this time and at the Wildhorse Saloon in Nashville, Tennessee. These were second to that saved by the delicious blooming onion sauce. The Chipotle BBQ wings we ordered were boneless “naked” and “on the grill”. Well when you order that you end up with nuggets of grilled chicken in sauce. We convinced ourselves we were having a healthy lunch to overcome our disappointment.
We leave Jay Cutler and Original Hooters to get to the game already in progress. The World Series trophy is on display for photo opportunities and Jeff and Kevin instantly become erect. The game itself was a fun one to watch. We had great seats behind home plate, sitting with some middle-aged groupies.
A lot of regulars played Ryan Howard, Chase Utley and some guy Jeff kept calling “Chooch”, a lot of home runs were hit. The Phillies lost 12-10 as Jamie Moyer may have had the outing that convinced him this was his last year in baseball.
During the game, Catherine spotted a familiar face. She explained to us that it was ultra-marathoner Dean Karnazes. We spot him wearing an ING Direct running shirt and give her the encouragement needed to go up and ask if he was indeed Dean Karnazes. Despite her certainty, when she asks the gentlemen if he is Dean Karnazes, the gentlemen claims not to be. Josh and Jeff speculate if he was indeed Dean Karnazes and didn’t want to draw attention to himself. I couldn’t share in this theory because 1) If you were Dean Karnazes, and one person out of 4,000 knew who you were and asked to take a picture, especially someone who looks like Catherine, why would you refuse the picture? Because you’re just too much of a celebrity? I doubt it 2) If Dean Karnazes loves running so much he runs 100 miles at a time, why would he stop doing so on a Thursday afternoon to watch a Phillies-Nationals Spring Training game? Anyway.
I left the group to head with Dan, his father, brother-in-law and Best Man Jim Lane to get fitted for our tuxes. We got our tuxes at Men’s Wearhouse, which has its advantages and disadvantages. The advantage is if your party is from all over the country, so everyone can get fitted and the information can be stored online. The disadvantage is they always fuck something up. And for Dan, his father, brother-in-law, they did. Luckily mine fit perfectly and I was then excited for the wedding itself.
On the way back, I found out Jay Cutler was traded to the Bears, he’s not going away anytime this weekend.
Dinner on Thursday was at this sit-down large pizza restaurant about a half mile from the Holiday Inn. They had the Penn State-Baylor NIT Championship on, a game which not even Jeff cared about, until the whole restaurant oohed at what happens at the 47 second mark of the clip below.
However, that wasn’t the biggest scene of the dinner. A couple minutes later we hear running footsteps and a slamming screen door, then someone screaming “catch that man” and two more sets of running footsteps. While we were eating, a guest being led to his table, on his way pushed open the cash register and ran out with a stash of cash. The family next to us was shaken by the whole incident enough to order their food to go and the cops were seen taking down information unable to catch the “Pizza Bandit”. An interesting dinner to say the least.
Out at Shepherd’s, a night complex with a Tiki Bar, Lounge, and Night Club all next to each other, we met up with Scott and his wife Sharman. Sharman was meeting Josh, Catherine, Kevin and Jeff for the first time and cordialities were exchanged, however not soon after seeing one another Scott and Jeff’s competitive alter-egos took over. Scott pontificated that he could beat Jeff in a footrace in sand and they should challenge this a la Rocky and Apollo Creed in Rocky III (which is a little homoerotic to be emulated in my opinion). The “Beach Race Challenge” is on.
Dan and Kristin also joined us, along with Kristin’s sister Megan. And I haven’t mentioned much about Kristin because normally she is on the shy side. However you get a couple drinks in her and she becomes a different person. Kristin gets drunk enough to give me drinks than proceed to make me drink them like I was pledging, oops I mean associating, all over again. Megan is all about this as she is like Kristin except without the shy side.
We took our party into the lounge to end the night and to be honest, that’s probably where we should’ve been all night long. The lounge band was a hip-hop cover band that I am going to call “Booyasteez” as that’s what all their shirts said. They played electrifying versions of “Sexy Back” and “Low” by Flo Rida, where they loved to interject with the instruction to “Smack Dat Ass”. This kept Megan and me laughing too hard to dance.
By now everyone has arrived and the vacation was in full swing. I was wondering if our Hooters lunch was in fact healthy, if "not Dean Karnazes" was wishing he pretended to be, what the guy who ran off with the Pizza Parlor’s cash was doing with his friends, and when I could hear some more “Boo Ya Steez”. Truthfully I was wondering how this weekend could get any better.