Today I got an invitation to watch a broadcast of the Australian Football League Grand Final at the Midway Pub in Decatur. For those who don’t know about Decatur, you go into Atlanta and hang a right.
Of course I won’t be going for several reasons. One, I don’t know diddly squat about Australian rules football, which to me appears to be slightly less entertaining than running with the bulls in Pamplona, Spain, and maybe a tad more entertaining than noodling for catfish.
And another reason is that one beer or one glass of wine costs $20 at this gathering.
I once tried watching one of these games, and I even Googled the rules to try to figure out what was going on. I learned a little of the terminology, but it looked like to me it was a cross between rugby and a game we played in grammar school called “keep away.”
I also tried to watch a rugby game and couldn’t get into it either. For a moment, I thought a corn cob fight was about to break out.
In the rugby match and in the Australian rules football, it looked mostly like there weren’t any rules. You could pick up the ball anywhere and run with it, kick it at any time, and apparently kick the other guys as well. It looked like a free-for-all.
Finally a referee called a penalty, so I assumed someone must have pulled a knife.
When it comes to sports, I’m mostly an American football and baseball guy. Anything else doesn’t hold my attention long.
I like to fish, but I don’t care much for watching fishing shows. I can’t relate to someone fishing out of a $70,000 bass boat and then throwing the fish back. I don’t even have anything that will pull a $70,000 bass boat.
I’m a jon boat kind of guy who takes a mess of fish home and fries them up with hushpuppies and cheese grits on the side. My boat, trailer, motor and all cost less than $2,500.
Now if I showed up at a bass tournament with my rig, that would be tantamount to joining a cigar club and lighting up a Tampa Nugget.
Of course I take some comfort in knowing the fish don’t know or care what I’m fishing from or that I don’t have a sponsor.
In the end, I’m betting the fish would rather have a taste of red wigglers over something carved out of fiber glass.
I guess I’ve just got some of that Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn in me.
I also don’t care for watching hunters shoot grizzlies and lions and then pose for the camera as if they have saved a village of crippled children – and at the same time provided meat for the winter. The bear was shot from a distance of 150 yards with a rifle that could bring down an F-14 tomcat.
Now had that hunter walked down to the bear, slapped it around a bit and took it out with a spear, I could respect his prowess as a hunter and gatherer. If I’m not going to eat it, I’m not going to shoot it. I’m guessing that a lion would taste kind of stringy.
Now when I say I was invited to watch this broadcast, I’m pretty sure it was one of those things where they invite the whole world and they hope that each person there will have at least six beers and bring a designated driver.
At $20 a beer, I would order a sip. My wine glass would look like one of those little things we serve grape juice in at communion.
I’m guessing, though, the ambiance in such a pub would be very special. There probably would be a few people in there trying to do an Australian accent. Might even be a few real Australians there.
But I won’t be joining the blokes. It’s on Sept. 30, which is a Friday, and down here we play real football on Friday nights. Beer is less than $2 a bottle, and I can get two bottles of Boone’s Farm for $20.
Walden is the editor/publisher of the Moultrie Observer and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.