A few months ago, my good friend Carl turned 30. Not a big deal, maybe, but he was 22 when I first met him, and a lot has changed for both of us since then. Anyway, he had a really nice party, which I mentioned obtusely in a previous entry entitled ďHow Not to be a Social Retard. I digress.
At Carlís party, I vowed that for his birthday present I would take him to the Colorado Avalanche home game of his choice. After pressing him several times for a date, he finally selected the game on December 15th against the Edmonton Oilers. I got the best seats I could get, which were in the 3rd row, just 4 seats away from the home penalty box. Awesome.
I was just returning from a business trip in Salt Lake City, and Carl met me at the Budget Host Inn, which is where I had acquired lodging for us. It was cheap (oh boy, was it cheap) and it was right across the freeway from the Pepsi Center where the game was. Carl brought a 12er of Coca-Cola and a bottle of my favorite everyday bourbon, Jim Beam. Awesome. Hereís what we look like:
While we were catching up, since we hadnít really spoken in a month or two, we both had a chance to really get the feel for this hell-hole of a roach motel called the BHI. My first impression was not very great, but hey, it was only $40 for the night.
One canít help but wonder just what it is, specifically that separates a $40 motel from, say a $100 hotel. Well first itís the ďMĒ. If itís a motel, chances are itísÖerÖfrugal. I know, I know, this was an Ďinní but take my word for it, itís a motel.
Actually, Iím not going to make you take my word for it. Allow me to submit to you this photographic proof.
In a nice hotel, the windows usually close and remain that way. They donít generally open, because they donít want their clients (guests) to jump. You see, people that can afford a hotel are much more inclined to jump since having money is such a miserable experience. Now granted, this window was on the ground floor but still, itís a thought. Beyond the ability to open, however, hotel windows generally seal. Not so here. You can see a piece of Carlís whip through the window.
Beneath the window is the AC/heating unit, which has various settings like low cool, high cool, fan, low heat, high heat, annoying clank, and off. This had labels for most of those, but the knob wouldnít switch between them. Further investigation yielded the following evidenceĒ
In hotels, there are usually some fairly nice light fixtures. They might be ugly in many cases, but theyíre usually pretty stout and, well, nice. In the BHI, itís not quite so important:
Now right there with the windows is the door. Iíve never actually been in a hotel that didnít have at least a Ĺ inch space under the door, which can really add to the noisiness of the room after hours. If Iím drunk and passed out, it doesnít so much matter, but usually Iím not since I travel a lot with business, and when people walk by chatting late at night or early in the morning, it can get really annoying. But, this was a new one for me:
Now having lived in the South for a while in my formative years, I saw some funny stuff. But this takes the cake. I took this photo while I was sitting on the toilet. This handy, wall-mounted item is located directly in front of the toilet, because being on the shitter is bound to make one thirsty.
After getting a great laugh and a rich buzz from the BHI, it was time to go to the game. We arrived and munched some pizza first thing, marveling at the seats we had. Holy shit, the players were head-to-head with us. We could actually see what they looked like, read even the subtle expressions on their faces. We watched, up close, the deft handling of the puck. Feel the crush of a player getting checked against the glass just 4 or so feet in front of us. We could hear them speaking. They could hear us. Awesome.
Carl and I got large Cokes and spiked it with the flask of Beam that I had smuggled in, so we were able to maintain our buzz with no difficulty during the game. There was a lot of standing and sitting though, as the game was very exciting; made even more so by our proximity to the ice. The players did not hold back Ė on either side Ė and on no less than 3 separate occasions, a heap of limbs, skates and sticks went skidding into the goal net and carried it to the back wall. Awesome.
The final score was Avalanche 4, Oilers 1. They played well, but they just didnít have the offense this time. I was especially pleased that the Avs won, because every other live game Iíve been to in the last few years (alright, it was only 2 games) the Avs lost. It was great to have that victory for Carlís birthday game.
We returned to the BHI, drank some more, and I continued to obsessively play UFO (the band) for Carl on my iPod and speaker unit, which Iíd been doing before the game too. It started getting a little hazy for me after this, but we called for a pizza (again), ate some after it arrived, and finally hit the rack.
I woke up the next day at the crack of 9 in the role of my least favorite super hero, Slow Motion Man. This particular super hero comes around only very infrequently, and he usually smells of bourbon. SMM has a hard time concentrating on simple tasks, and nothing gets done quickly when heís around. He doesnít even drive fast. He does, however have the thirst of a thousand camels and sometimes needs to take a nap. He usually doesnít pee very often, and will often launch unbidden into the abysmal depths of apathy. Even SMMís undesired appearance couldnít tarnish the awesomeness of the game or evening, however.