Monday, June 13, 2011

Just A Little Bit Of Softball, But Then A Funny Story At The End

The last time that I spoke to you about softball, I said that I was expecting to catch four games in four days. Since the weather forecast called for temps in the high 90's, I expected to get in some good work. I wanted to sweat a lot and attain some semblance of decent shape, something which I haven't really been able to do this year because of multiple rain-outs and - when games did get played - temps in the 40's, from which the most exercise I got was shivering.

As with many things in life we wish for (fame, fortune, pastrami sandwiches that not only make you lose weight but fill in your bald spot) this did not happen. Three of the four games were rained out. And the one that actually got played resulted in a 19 - 18 loss wherein I squatted in mud for two hours. Bleh.

(My day was not as bad as my shortstop's. He not only had his car towed earlier in the afternoon, which resulted in his being 45 minutes late for the game, but he also ended up absolutely drenched in mud when he dove for a ball and did a face plant into a lake behind second base. God bless you, TK. That was truly giving it up for the team.)

I've got four more games scheduled in the next seven days. There will probably be a plague of locusts.

(For those of you who detest softball talk, that's the end of it. Here comes the other stuff.)

There is one saving grace when softball is rained out on a Sunday morning. That is going to Donohue's for breakfast. I'll explain.

MY WIFE is a wonderful woman.

(Duh. If she hadn't been one, I certainly wouldn't have married her.)

Anyway, when she sees my pitiful puss moping around the house on a Sunday morning because it's raining out and I can't play ball, she always suggests that we go to Donohue's for breakfast. That helps immensely. The one thing I like almost as much as playing ball is eating.

Donohue's is in Watertown on Bigelow Avenue, just a short drive (or decent walk) from our home. Aside from it being a great place to forget about the disappointment of being rained out, it's my go-to place for sporting events on TV channels we don't receive in our house. For instance, when game seven of the Bruins - Lightning series was on Versus (which we don't get) MY WIFE and I went to Donohue's, had a swell dinner of turkey tips and vegetables (enough for four meals, actually, as we both took home enough to have another feed), then watched an exciting game on a big screen TV in the midst of an involved and friendly crowd. Doesn't get much better than that, unless you have some good drinks with it and we did. I'll also go there to watch Boston College football one or two Saturdays during their season and maybe enjoy the occasional Celtics game (when we don't have tickets and I feel like being amidst the buzz of other fans.)

The food is top-notch for a bar, there are huge TVs everywhere, the selection of beer is wide and satisfying, and the prices are extremely reasonable.

The owner is actually an Irishman, too (or, at least, an American of Irish descent.) This isn't some damn Fitzi McLeprechaun's chain joint, about as Irish as matzoh and chitlins. This is the real thing - a neighborhood pub, serving good food and drink at decent prices, a fun place to be. J. D. Donohue is the proprietor and a nice guy, friendly, and likely to chat you up at your table. He stopped by yesterday and we discussed his addition of Goose Island to the tap (a craft beer I 'discovered' on our vacation in Chicago, and which I was quite surprised to find in a Watertown pub. Seems J. D. has some pull, so he was able to get it into his place some months before it was to become widely available in the Northeast.)

The best bargain among many, and why this place is almost enough to make me glad when it rains, is the Full Irish Breakfast, served Saturday and Sunday. You get two sausages, a huge slab of Irish bacon, mounds of home fried potatoes, magnificent toasted Irish soda bread, both white pudding and black pudding, beans, fried tomatoes, and 2 eggs prepared any way you wish. The price is an extremely reasonable $11.99. Believe me, I can put some food away, but I couldn't finish the Full Irish yesterday. I came close, but the plate is so loaded...

(You know, this has to have some of you thinking that I was paid off to write this. Heck, it would make me think that if I was reading it somewhere else. Nope. Just felt like writing it up because it's a great place and it was just what I needed yesterday morning. In the spirit of full disclosure, though, J. D. did once treat us to a breakfast after reading a similar review on this blog a couple of years back. I don't, however, have expectations concerning another comp in the future. Just thought I'd make that clear.)

The most amazing thing about this breakfast is that you can walk in and grab a seat on Sunday morning with absolutely no wait whatsoever. It always boggles my mind to see the empty tables in Donohue's on a Sunday morning. Just up the street, there are scads of hipsters waiting to get into a couple of other places that I don't consider near as much of a bargain as Donohue's. Nothing against the other diners and whatnot. I've eaten at those places, too, and not a thing wrong with them. None of them, however, has as tasty an option as the Full Irish, and you don't have to stand in line 20 minutes in the rain before getting your hot and satisfying breakfast. I don't get it. Donohue's is just down the street. Why wait when you don't have to do so?

If you, too, find yourself rained out some Sunday morning in the Boston area, come on over to Watertown and get a Full Irish at Donohue's. Chances are you might see me and MY WIFE. As a matter of fact, chances are better that you'll see us than that we'll see you, because that's what the funny story I promised hinges upon.

We had finished our breakfasts and MY WIFE wished to go to the ladies. She asked me to watch her pocketbook (which she does even if there's no one else within a mile of it, but that's OK. I often ask her to carry stuff in it, so it's only fair I watch it when she's away.) She got up and headed for the restroom. Except she headed straight for the mens room, not the ladies.

I said, "WIFE!"

(No, not really. I used her actual name, of course. I might have more readily gotten her attention had I said it this way, though.)

She didn't hear me. I said it more loudly.


She was oblivious, and walked right into the mens room.

I started to get up to go get her, but J. D. was standing already so he said he'd do so. Just as he reached the door, MY WIFE came out with a sheepish look and a fair amount of blushing.

(Luckily, there had been no one else in there. Had it been a Friday night, with the joint hopping...)

I said, "What did you think when you got in there? 'Huh! When did they put those in here?'"

J. D. and the waitresses laughed, and MY WIFE blushed more before going into the correct room for what she needed to do.

So, as I say, you might see us (or hear us) before we see or hear you. Well, at least before MY WIFE hears or sees you. Then again, you can never be sure just exactly where she might meet you, should you be there, so be prepared.

Soon, with more better stuff.


Craig said...

OK, you remind me of the time, a few years ago, when I was at a conference at a small liberal-arts college in Michigan. During a break between sessions, I made use of the restroom (the MEN'S restroom, just for the sake of clarity). The urinals were of an odd type that I hadn't seen before - sort of a pedestal design, away from the wall, that required the, uh, user to sorta split his legs on either side of the, uh, receptacle. I was commenting on the uniquely-configured urinals to one of the other conferees, when an employee of the college, standing nearby, overheard us.

"Oh, that is quite intentional," he informed us. "They're unisex urinals." I invested a few seconds' thought toward how that might work if I were, you know, a woman, then quickly shook my head to clear the image.

Only, you know, at a college. . .

Cricket said...

Hm. I forget where we were, I'll have to see if I can resurrect the memory, but we were somewhere that had gotten so cutesy with the damn bathreoom signs that we had no idea which was supposed to be which... yanno? Like the ubiquitous "buoys" and "gulls" in a seafood joint but far more extreme. And the figures on the doors both looked like Kokopelli.

No urinals inside either so we may never know for sure.

silly rabbit said...

Last summer we were at a concert and I really had to go. The line to the women's room was out the door and around the building. The men's was no wait.
My bladder and I had a short argument over weather or not I could wait for the next break in the show, and my bladder won out. I bucked up my nerve and entered no women's land. A man at the urinal nodded at me and did not seem to mind my presence at all. Cool, I hurried into a grimy stall and did my thing.
When I exited, the man at the urinal was gone but the bathroom had filled with women!

Michelle H. said...

Turkey tips? Hunh? Must be a Boston thing.

Sorry for the loss of the softball game, but it sounds like Donohue's is a great place to hang out.

Craig said...

Rabbit, you remind me of another story, about the time I was at the annual Labor Day Mackinac Bridge Walk. Something like 50,000 people do the bridge walk every year, so the, uh, need for waste-elimination facilities is particularly acute, given that the normal population of Mackinaw City is on the order of 1000 or so. One of the years I went, I got to the end of the walk and really had to go; there were something like 50 porta-johns lined up in an open field near where the buses lined up to take us back to the north end of the bridge, where our cars were parked. 25 of 'em were labeled 'MEN' and the others 'WOMEN'. For some weird reason, there were long lines at all the 'MENS' porta-johns, but none at all at the 'WOMENS' (which, I think, is the absolute only time I've ever seen that, but that's how it was).

I was somewhere around 20th in line for my porta-john, when it was like, all at once, all of the men in line had a simultaneous 'waitaminute' moment, and there was a mad dash to the 'WOMENS' porta-johns, the gender-signs came down, and bladders received sweet relief at twice the previous rate. . .

And - oh, Michelle, you are so, so clever, you are. . . ;)

Suldog said...

Michelle - Turkey tips are big hunks of white meat turkey cooked in BBQ sauce or a honey glaze or teriyaki or whatever else one might use on steak tips. Yummy, and healthier! I don't think they're just a Boston thing, but...

Buck said...

There's nothing quite like a full Irish/Scots/English breakfast and yes, they are all variations on the same theme. You're blessed to live in a place where that sorta thing is available... AND within walking distance. It's stuff like this that makes me reconsider my decision to exile myself on The High Plains of New Mexico.

And speakin' of THPoNM... nice Kokopelli reference, Cricket! ;-)

Moannie said...

Lovely story Jim,I even read the sporty bit. Black pudding, oh I just love it, but what prey is white pudding.

Suldog said...


White pudding is black pudding sans the blood. Perhaps there's a different name for it over there?

Carolina said...

Okay, if ever I'm in Boston, rainy or not, I'm going to forget I'm a vegetarian and have breakfast at Donohue's ;-)

Chris said...

Hey, I went to school with a Fitzi McLeprechaun. He was a Korean dude.

messymimi said...

So sorry about the rained out games.

One of my college room mates was a bit tipsy one night, and was at a chain restaurant where, in her town, the women's was on the right, the men's on the left. In our town, it was the opposite. When she walked in, she laughed and started to try to explain. The assistant manager was in there at the time, noted that yes, it was opposite, and gently steered her to the right room.

We never quite let her live that one down.

lime said...

and then there is my mom who, when the local high school had been renovated and was offering tours, decided she was going to see EVERYTHING, including the men's room because she had always been curious. i was with her as was her best friend and her best friend's daughter. bf was mortified by the thought but was in a wheelchair. the poor lady was over-ruled by my mom who had rallied 2 young teens to her side by the idea of such open rebellion. three of us strode in boldly (after knocking and receiving no answer)with one shrieking wheelchair bound woman who was covering her eyes.

Cleary Squared said...

I work over on Mt Auburn Street and Donohue's is a little ways down the street. It has good food and sandwiches, but I haven't been there in a long time.

Also on Bigelow Avenue: Emilio's Subs. It's been my favorite hole-in-the-wall since we moved from Waltham in 2000 (although I do miss Mimi's near the Waltham train station) Had a two-way steak with peppers and cheese today.

One place I avoid: Andreas'. The food is good, but sometimes the service is spotty.

Hilary said...

That's something my city is lacking.. a selection of really decent, non-chain restaurants. There were so many in my native Montreal. Every place should have a Donahue's type eatery.

Sandy Kessler said...

Sounds like a fun place Fitzi Mc Leprechaun

LuluRN said...

Oh, that WIFE! I was at a nursing conference once, of course mostly women at the time and the line for the Ladies was huge, when suddenly this older woman in a nun's habit(a veil and a suit, not all the old one) loudly said "Forget,this!" and bravely strode into the mens' room taking half the long line with her! First time I ever saw the inside of the mens'room! Good story Jim. I won't mention it to Wifey.

Clare Dunn said...

Screw the food!

I'm gonna visit Donahue's just to gaze at the yummy J.D.!!!


Daryl said...

Matzoh and chitlins aren't Irish?

And that is some handsome guy .. is he single? I have friends....

Buck said...


(not necessarily your) Uncle Skip, said...

I can remember catching every game in a tournament, coming up through the loser's bracket. I think you should thank God for the rain.
And... I may be just a tad envious. You have restaurants in your neighborhood.

CiCi said...

I bet just about every woman has accidentally gone into a mens room but it doesn't take long to realize those standing things mean they are in the wrong place. I hope you aren't in the dog house for spilling the beans on her wrong turn.

Jenn Flynn-Shon said...

So my first question is did TK make the catch???

My second question is a statement -- I did the exact same thing as your WIFE when Matt and I were drinking $2 beers at a townie bar at the Jersey shore last fall. Everyone laughed when I came out but who cares, there was a stall in there so I used it (5 beers will really go right through a teeny thing like me dang it!).

It did make me wonder why they left the door of the restroom open but when ya gotta go...