Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Giant Pretzel and Bud Select: The Holy Grail

Went to the Rams game last night, and other than watching them get their butts handed to them by the Chicago Bears, I also got to have another delightful experience with SportsService.

Remember my buddy Marvis from the stadium? Yeah, his sister, Etta, works at the Dome.

All I wanted was a Bud Select and a Giant Pretzel. Not too much to ask, especially in the Lou, right?


First stand: after waiting in line for a few minutes and scanning the menu board I realized that although they have cheesy pretzel bites and other assorted food sundries, they do not offer Giant Pretzels.

Second stand: Waited in line for more than a few minutes, watching Etta ask the guy in front of me three times what kind of soda he wanted (Mountain Dew) and then watching her hand him a Sprite. He said, "This is Sprite." She said, "Oh, what did you want?" "Mountain Dew." (That makes four times he's told her.) She shrugs sheepishly and says, "I almost had it right!" I should have just changed lines then.

Always a glutton for punishment, I stayed in Etta's line. Finally, Mountain Dew Guy leaves and it's my turn. "Hi, I'd like a Bud Select and a Giant Pretzel." "Salted or unsalted?" "Salted." She gets the giant pretzel, hands it to me, then gestures at the beer taps: "We only have Bud Light at this stand." Yeah, um, thanks for telling me now, after you've handed me the Giant Pretzel.

In frustration I asked, "Are there any stands in this place that sell both Giant Pretzels and Bud Selects?" She looks at me in all seriousness and says, "Um, I don't know."

"Fine. Give me a Bud Light." At this point I'm thinking that I'll have to drink the entire thing myself as M doesn't particularly care for Bud Light, but I'll be damned if I'm going to yet another stand and wait in another line. I've already missed two touchdowns and a sack.

She grabs a cup, props it under the tap, and pulls. And it sputters. She tries the one next to it: a few drops of foam. I look down the line and every server is doing the same thing with their taps.

Yes, that's right. The entire ^&%*ing stand ran out of beer the instant I ordered one. You have got to be kidding me. The Bears fans behind me groaned and started going off. "How can a stand run out of beer before halftime?" I didn't have an answer, and honestly felt like joining in. It was not the Lou's proudest moment.

She looked at me and shrugged again. "Just the pretzel. Just ring up the pretzel. Take off the beer." At this point I needed a beer more than anything and just wanted to sprint to the next stand and lay under a tap.

It took Etta three or four excruciating minutes to try to remove the beer from my order. She handed me my change and I took off.

Third stand: "Hi, I'd like a Bud Select please." Again, the tap sputters. My server, who was a lovely woman about 118 years old with no teeth grimaced and went gimping down the line to try other taps.

"Please, holy mother of hops, someone get me a beer."


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