Friday, August 06, 2010
Ignorance Is Bliss, Especially When It Comes to Football
Earlier this week, I was enjoying an orgiastic bounty of incredible food at Tokyo Blue in Fort Lauderdale with good friends. Toward the end of dinner, a tall, muscular man rolled in on a wheelchair with a pair of crutches on his side and sat down at the table next to us. Immediately, my friends started sharing wily glances and speaking in hushed tones.
"Who the fuck is that guy? What are you talking about?" I asked. "He's a football star," one replied.
This meant nothing to me because my closest connection to football was when I lived with Sir Fish A Lot an entire lifetime ago; every September, I would dutifully accept the role of football widow and take off to Tahiti with the Pool Boy until Superbowl was over. So on this night at Tokyo Blue, I kept dipping my chopsticks in the luscious miso-glazed black cod, not giving a rat's ass about Mr. Famous Football Player.
Next thing I know, the den of drunken cougars sitting behind us pounced on this guy like an injured deer, except they didn't exactly prey on him. They worshiped him, squatting down in their mini-skirts in the most grotesque display of fawning I have ever seen outside of a midget burlesque show.
You see, Mr. Famous Football Player was indeed injured and there would be none of this being polite and standing up business, though he did try. So the cougars had to stoop to his belly button level and not without ulterior motive: he had one glorious sinewy leg wrapped in a cast around what was obviously a fetching calf muscle. A whole shank of Mr. Famous Football Player was resting on the wheelchair! You'd think it was part of the menu, too, right there next to Kobe Beef with a side of sautéed onions. I think one of the cougars, surely a cast member from Housewives of Las Olas, was ready to start gnawing Mr. Famous Football Player's leg to the bone.
"Wow, this guy must be really famous," I thought. "Flag the manager and bring lobster bibs. The blond is drooling and this guy isn't even that young!"
Well, after a while, some invisible referee of chatter must have forced the cougars to go sit at the sidelines, but not before I started to feel sorry for poor Mr. Famous Football Player. I mean the guy was there to enjoy a meal in peace and quiet. I used to blog for a paparazzi company and during my brief tenure there, I became pretty disgusted with everything celebrities have to put up with -- though it is the price they pay for fame and fortune.
Soon enough, I started the inevitable lapse into a food coma, my palette still twitching in tonguegasms from the taste of divine curry and coconut. It was impossible to hide the tell-tale yawning of a meal well had. Mr. Famous Football Player noticed. He looked at me, smiled and started talking. "Shit," I thought to myself. "The music is pumping and maybe I need a hearing aid. I can't hear a damn thing he's saying."
"I have to drive back to Miami," I said audibly. He replied at length but I still couldn't make out his words.
I didn't want to be rude. He was clearly addressing me. So what did I do? I went over, pulled up a chair and had the nicest conversation with Michael Irvin, Fort Lauderdale born, former Dallas Cowboy and Pro Football Hall of Famer, not knowing who the fuck he was or what he did or why he was so famous. He's a University of Miami alumni just like me, to boot, which I didn't know at the time, of course. Irvin was really down to earth and quite pleasant. He even asked questions about me and I'm usually the nosy one interviewing everybody. I suppose I could have continued chatting but then I remembered he was there to eat. "Imma let you finish dinner," I said. "Bon appetit! I hope your leg heals soon."
So there you go. Sex and the Beach inadvertently talked to Michael Irvin and wasn't even part of the fan club. I honestly wanted to be discreet about the encounter but one of my dining companions busted loose on Twitter, after which I thoroughly enjoyed a ribbing from my football savvy followers.
This post is dedicated to South Florida's sexiest and most faithful Dallas Cowboys fan, @agustinap, who insisted I tell the story because it might be a big deal or something.
PS I wasn't exaggerating when I suggested the meal was fantastic at Tokyo Blue -- worth the drive to Galt Ocean Drive although you'd never know this restaurant was there, tucked away in a row of condo hotels. Read more about the food at Sushi Pro.