Joe's Rants and Raves

  • Jun 17 - 04:37 PM: Tap & Mallet, World Cup 2010. Observations so far... : Joe McBane

    Below is a recount of the World Cup events at the pub so far written by one of our regulars and an old room mate of mine. It's pretty amusing stuff. Please, enjoy.
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    Tap & Mallet, World Cup 2010 observations: Group Play, Round 1 (V1)

    [a/k/a “The Little Leprechaun Letters” - “LLL”]

    Overall Pints: the first matches of group play are complete, and WC 2010 is off to a roaring start
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    THE TELE-VONIC DEVICES: seem to be doing the job, yet not interfering with all that we love about the T&M … the space is very “special” [insert Dutch word for good community vibe, organic & dynamic, spiritedyet kind-spirited, etc.], and patrons shape it themselves to their needs (as the soccer gods intended) …
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    Special Break-Fast-Ness: new / special breakfast menu(of healthy favorites); French/Freedom-press coffee;and Ma-ma-ma-mosa’s, finally in a decent portion (no champagne flutes need apply)!
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    Special thanks to the staff, most of whom have altered their life schedules to accommodate morning matches. Except the ones who normally turn up for work a few hours early. You know who they are …

    Memorable Moments/Matches:

    Friday, June 11:
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    South Africa v Mexico: opening match, 10am on a Friday (11 June), great turnout for debut of the breakfast menu. Oh, and the footie on the TV thing. The South Africa fans were there early and often, and several came back later for the 2:30 as well. Thought Mexico showed good fight back to draw—some (like the Little Leprechaun) reckon this as a close 2nd for the real group of death.
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    Rumor has it that France played Uruguay, but could not be confirmed because the French do not speak of such personal embarrassments in public.

    Saturday, June 12:
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    OK, it was a 2:30pm match on a Saturday that had been hyped for months. But turnout was immense between the “Yanks” and “Three Lions” fans, with the former somewhat more prevalent. The spirit / (insert Dutch word meaning “vibe”?) was incredible, with patrons packed together yet helping one another out, many songs sung loudly, and even a few babies marking their first pub footie experience! Whilst Tim Howard (a/k/a “Tim-mee How-ward ….”) was undoubtedly the man-o’-the-match on bravery & performance, Steve Churondolo provided the steadying, Reyna-like presence that made the difference. Special kudos to the crowd for NOT going all “let’s riot” when the big TV went to sleep for a few minutes (half an hour before kickoff:).
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    England (see above), great sports / stiff upper lips throughout. However, for future reference, pulling a “Robert Green” is now common vernacular for any type of one-time, very unfortunate spill (picture scalding hot dishes over nuns or other sainted patrons). “Pulling a BP” still reserved for more long-lasting disasters (see England, WC Finals over last 40-odd years). Must admit: the Dodge Ramcharger or whatever TV ad with George Washington charging the Redcoats circa 1776 was quality. I’m sure I will feel the same way 20 views from now …
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    Nigeria v Argentina (0-1), tough draw for the screaming / golden / super Eagles, but a spirited throughout. Watching Messi makes me feel like I should have made the sign of the cross with holy water when entering premises.

    Sunday, June 13:
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    Germany v Australia: so embarrassing that I had to temporarily suspend my practice of asking any Aussies I meet “so, are you all what they call ‘Kiwis’?” Almost as embarrassing as being nicknamed “soccer-roos”—almost.
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    (Unseen: Slovenia 1-0 v Algeria, lucky result for the .. green dragons? Purple horseshoes? Whatever, it clarifies things for the US in 2nd match …)

    Monday, June 14:
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    (Unseen, but not unfelt: 7:30am Netherlands 2-0 v Denmark. Its toughest test in group play, with no Robben nor Huntelar, the Oranje do what’s needed. Hup hup Holland!) (Unseen @ pub) Ditto Japan putting on over on Cameroon—Roger Milla must be rolling in his grave. If dead. Else, my bad …)
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    Italy v Paraguay: great turnout for a weekday afternoon—the hush was deafening when Paraguay got the first goal. Good fight back from the Azzuri, though it limited their opportunities for cynical time-wasting.

    Tuesday, June 15:
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    Brazil v North Korea: best (non-US) fans do far. Wile (some) arrived casually late for kick-off, they were joyous, family-oriented, and sporting throughout, and stayed around for pictures and catching up for long after the match—genuinely great people across multiple generations. But go on, North Korea gets a goal?!? Word is they are a hungry team …
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    (Unseen: New Zealand ties Slovakia in the 93rd minute—go on you kangaroos! What? What kind of fruit? And with sheep ,.. do what? Somehow, this helps the US in re: Slovenia?)
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    (Unseen here @ Pub: Cote d’ Ivory v Portugal yawner. Drogba played. Group of death my arse—both deserved less to go through than North Korea.)

    Wednesday, June 16:
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    Spain inquisition-ed by the Templars (Swiss) 0-1; waiting for Tom Hanks movie to explain what it all really means.
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    (Beginning of 2nd round: South Africa on Youth Day, powerful moment of proud, painful history …)

    Future Notes:
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    Thursday, 17 June: Mexico v France at 2:30, freedom-fried chimi-frogs on menu (kidding—special order only)
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    Friday, 18 June: US vs. Slovenia (10am), followed by England vs. Algeria (2:30pm)!!! The weekend starts early, will likely leave a mark …
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    Saturday, 19 June: Holland match again at 7:30am—I am sensing a c-o-n-spiracy?
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    Sunday, 20 June (Father’s Day, you good-for-nothing ingrates): Italy v New Zealand at 10am, Brazil v Ivory Coast at 2:30pm … oh dear, Monday morning will not feel kind.
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    Monday, 21 June: Chile v Templars (Swiss) at 10am, Spain v Honduras at 2:30—end of 2nd round of group play!
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    Tuesday, 22 June onward through Friday, 25 June: 3rdround of group play features simultaneous matches at 10am and 2:30pm daily!
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    Round of 16 kicks off Saturday, 26 June with one match each at 10am and 2:30pm daily through Tuesday, 29 June …

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  • Jun 04 - 04:32 PM: Shout out to the Captain : Joe McBane

    To one of our friends of the pub, Captain Marty Keogh we say hey. He is stuck in France till the fall doing a somewhat important job of monitoring security at many of France's nuclear facilities. They do enjoy the nuclear over there I understand. Pretty clean with a low chance of oil spills. Of course if things do go wrong...but I'm sure they won't as the Captain will keep a close eye on all the particulars. The only downside I understand from Marty is the state of the French beer scene. I can't help you with that but I'll be sure to tip one for you here.

    Cheers buddy!

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  • Jun 03 - 10:38 AM: A Realization : Joe McBane

    I often say that a pub is a community. I had never seen it quite so clearly though as last Saturday. We were lucky enough to be able to host the wedding of John and Jeana. It was an occasion that brought together many good people who make the pub what it is and we were able to celebrate a memorable occasion. We forgot the normal daily routines and enjoyed the pub and each others company. I felt very lucky to be part of making this little community happen. That's about it. Cheers. Joe.

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