Anyone who knows me knows that I write letters, often long and drawn out letters about daily life, my thoughts on politics, theatre I missed in New York, New Yorker articles worth mentioning. My letters always come on 100% cotton Crane's paper, engraved, with lined envelopes. It's pretty arcane, really, but I'm stuck in my ways. I send letters to farmers who have provided great greens, bakeries that sold me excellent birthday cakes. Now, after the third night of bowing to my needs, Flat Branch, the brewpub up the street, is getting one.
Deep in the throes of the Australian Open, we've gone to Flat Branch several times this week to cadge a watch of matches on ESPN2. Seldom ordering food, my first order is to ask the bartender to change the channel. During the Green Bay game on Sunday, she asked, simply, "what channel...." No one groaned, no one complained. And I watched tennis! Tonight, the Pistons game. "Can you switch it to the Australian Open?" The bartender changed the channel. Venus played a terrible match against Jankovic. It was so clumsy, in fact, that I'm starting to rethink my loyalties. And, not to be picky, but can you, dear bartender, also turn off the closed captioning which covers up the baseline? Sure, no problem. And can I yell when Jokovic slams a lob shot at Ferrer? Not a problem. Can I slap my hand against the bar when Venus slams another ball into the net? Sure, who wouldn't? Maybe this is why sports bars are popular. What a great place. If only Flat Branch was open for the 3:30 am Federer match.
A question posed over Brown Ale: if Venus, Gasquet, Nadal and Sharapova were invited to play mixed doubles, who would be paired with whom, and which team would win? I have my answer, but I'm curious of what my friends think.