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Monday, April 17, 2017

The Fall: Commercial Interruption

To mark the occasion of being brought into the AdSense fold and getting Google ads on the blog I thought I would throw in one of my own completely unsolicited advertisements.  This break from "The Fall" is brought to you by Reilly's En La Esquina of Antigua, Guatemala.

(In no way is Reilly's endorsing this advertisement, but just a story of events that happened.)

I happen to be Reilly's En La Esquina, the Irish bar, on quiz night.  The purpose for my visit is solely to watch Monday Night Football.  I have no interest in a quiz night.  I know that a quiz night will go well beyond my bed time and I am not sure how much good I will be in a Guatemalan quiz night.  I tune out and stare at the football on the screen with the beginnings of the quiz blaring around me.  

The quiz starts off with registering teams and a three part challenge, separate from the quiz itself.  The winner of the three part challenge wins a bottle of Flora de Canna.  Challenge one invites one member from each team to place one hand on the wall.  That member must keep their hand on the wall until there are three teams remaining.  People shuffle and nominate their tribute to the effort.  As teams are nominating the MC announces out all of the nights staff, from bar backs to security to bartenders.  They all have some sort of handle or nickname. After the introductions, the MC counts the number of hands on the wall and the number of teams. Somehow there are two extra hands on the wall, the MC asks non-quiz participants to excuse themselves.  One person leaves.

Behind me I hear someone yelling.  "Hey." "Hey, man." "Hey." until I finally reluctantly peel my eyes from the game turn around and the fellow bellowing says "That guy wants to talk to you" pointing to a man with his hand on the wall.  

I move toward the older slender and grey haired gentleman and he quickly announces I am on his quiz team and orders me to grab a paper and register our team ending with "I really want that bottle of rum."  I am in the quiz on a team of comprised of myself and some lonely older expat in desperate need of a free bottle of rum.

The quiz moves on, unsurprisingly we are not doing well.  Other teams seem to consist of 30 people and we are fighting on our own.  Also unsurprisingly, if you have ever been on a quiz team with me, the older man is prop-ing up the team almost single handedly.  I am only half interested and focused on Packers beating the Eagles when yet a third challenge, separate from the quiz and the three part rum challenge, is issued.  A new employee was starting and the contest is to provide the bar name for the newbie and the winning team members get a shot.  My boy was all over this.  Between every break "What was her name again?".  "Eliza." "What rhymes with Lisa?"  He was racking his brain for some Spanish.

This guy raised three children, retired from a 40 some odd year long union job, and divorced after an equivalently long marriage.  Now he comes down to Guatemala a couple of times a year for a few months to study Spanish.  He hasn't been happier, except in this particular moment when he is trying to scrape his brains for a Spanish word that rhymes with Eliza. Like the bottle of rum, he really wants the free shot. 

Challenge two for the free bottle of rum is upon us, and three teams are competing.  The challenge is to make the best mojito and the bartenders will judge.  He asks if I am any good at mixing mojitos and my response, of "remind me what is in a mojito" was all he needs to know he is participating.  I am more than O.K. with this, I am watching my game.

The challenge comes and goes and he comes back.  I ask how he fared.  "Well I think I would have won if I didn't mistake the salt for sugar."  Yeah he made a really powerful rum and saline solution that hit the judges gag reflexes, or maybe they are just not versed in the lesser known 'Brine Mojito'.  We are out of the rum contest much to my fellow's disappointment.

The quiz rambles on and 'we' have a submission for Eliza's new bar moniker.

The game is over and the quiz is over.  The Packers win the game and we do not when the quiz.  I am wrapping up having drank enough and the naming contest winner is announced.  Yup we won a free shot.  My boy came up with "Sonrisa Eliza" and that was the best the bar came up with.  Got to give the old guy some credit.  He scratched and scratched to get that rhyme and came up with something more flattering than most of the other nicknames and we get a shot - not what I am looking for.

While waiting for the shot the third and final rum bottle challenge was laid down.  The challenge requires two members from the remaining two teams. One member from each team is standing on the bar, takes a shot of tequila and then does ten push-ups.  Upon completion the other team member slams pint of beer.  We have a winner.  I am so happy that 'Brine Mojitos' are not a thing.  

As I said, I am done for the evening.  I have cashed out, and would be on my way back to the hotel if it wasn't for a free shot.  

We watch the final spectacle to see the victors.  The rum bottle challenge victors consists of a team of four and at once announce everyone left in the bar gets a shot.

Top to it off, my teammate buys me another shot for being his teammate for the evening. 

I am inebriated, I am on way out, bill is settled up, and facing three shots along side my quiz mate.  What a game.

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