I had several fun things that happened recently that I will share with you this week. Individually none of them are enough for a full column, so this week’s column will be a collection of short anecdotes from my life, and next week I’ll get right back to my running commentary of the summer of 2014 and the human enigma that have breached the turnstiles of our fun little town so far.

1.. You may recall a few weeks ago, I introduced a new segment called Confessions of a Restaurant Guy. Basically this is the opportunity for me to own up to some of my less proud moments in my lengthy restaurant career that I’ve previously not disclosed. In the first story, I told you about the time that while waiting on dear friends of mine, I broke wind and allowed their diaper clad children to take the fall for it. I sat on that one for about a decade, and finally came clean about it right here in the Swill. My 9 year old daughter is in almost every possible way my intellectual superior, and is also profoundly more mature than I. She occasionally takes a placating interest in my fledgling writing career. I was driving her to school one day recently and the following exchange took place:

HER- “So Dad, what did you write your column about this week?”

ME- (Avoiding the subject) “Aw sweetie, I don’t even remember.”

HER- “Come on Dad, I know you remember. What was it about?”

ME- (nervously) “Do you really want to know?”

HER- “Yes Dad, just tell me.”

ME- (reticently) “It was about a fart.”

HER- (with complete condescension) “Really?! You wrote an entire article about a fart?”

ME- (ashamed) “Yes, yes I did.”

There was a long pause as I looked in the rear view mirror to see her shaking her head in mild disgust.

HER- “Do me a favor Dad, if you ever come to school for career day, could you just tell them you’re a bartender, and leave out the whole writing thing please?”

ME- (with a hint of desperation) “Hey, Daddy’s fart stories may be paying for your college one day.”

HER- (heavy with sarcasm) “I’m a lucky girl.”

I couldn’t live with myself if I failed to share that conversation with all of you.

2. I came to a realization about myself this past week. I learned that even during this festive and globally revered time known as the World Cup, I still don’t give a damn about soccer. Relax, I’m not a hater of the sport, its participants, or its fans, it’s just not my thing. While I respect and even admire the vigor with which some of you embrace this event, stop trying to force it into my miserable existence. Some of you are trying to beat it into me with the shameless tenacity of a Jehovah’s Witness at my door on a Sunday morning. I just can’t bring myself to spend several hours watching something that could potentially end in a 0-0 tie. So keep your Watchtower and your FIFA stuff to yourself and leave me alone. I’ll be over in the corner of the bar watching the one TV with baseball on…or maybe Antiques Road Show.

It’s nothing personal, and while I have a basic cursory knowledge of the gist of the game, I never played it growing up, so I’m not familiar enough with it to have a vested interest. Obviously I’m pulling for team U.S.A., but if I were seated next to the team on a plane I wouldn’t ask for any autographs or pictures, nor could I name any of them. I’ve made it 44 years without ever having to know anything about soccer beyond kick the ball in the goal and I don’t have the time or interest to change that now. So I will continue to treat soccer the way I always have. I will watch the sport with an unparalleled enthusiasm if, and only if, one or more of my children are playing. Don’t hate me for failing to hitch my wagon to something that just looks pointlessly exhausting to me. I understand its global popularity since it’s doing just fine without me it stands to reason that one man is not going to hurt it. The only thing I enjoy about soccer (unless my kids are playing), is that it’s one of the only times I might get to used the word ‘hooligan’ in context. If you could guarantee me a riot, the partial collapse of a stadium, or a referee being chased down the street by an armed angry mob with each game, I’d not only watch with interest, I’d record it and spend my nights locked in a room with a big screen and a bucket of popcorn.

Despite what you might be thinking at this point, it’s not my lack of interest or knowledge of soccer that are the predominant reasons I don’t watch. The main reason is those damned vuvuzelas! Those stupid freakin’ horns! I find the sound of those as comforting and soothing as if I were locked in a dark room with head phones on and was forced to listen to the entire book on tape of the Miracle Worker actually read to me by Helen Keller herself. What, too soon?  Just for kicks (pun intended) add a forward by Fran Dresher and Stephen Hawking. The point being, I don’t care for the sound of those horns. Enjoy the tournament.

3. I ran out of space last week before I could tell you another quick story from Memorial Day Weekend. It was Saturday night around 1:15 a.m. I was working my rapidly aging ass off, I had a four-deep bar, no barback, and my partner had worked with me for about one week. I’m slinging drinks as fast as I can to an unappreciative crowd that tosses me tips that bounce when they hit the bar. I see a girl in her early twenties waving her arms frantically to get my attention. Even though I loathe this behavior, I made eye contact with her and nodded to let her know I’d be right with her. I finally made my way to her and asked hurriedly; “what can I get for you?” She rolled her dopey, heavily made up eyes straight up, shrugged her shoulders, cocked her bleached head to the side like a dog hearing a fart for the first time and gave me the following priceless response; “Ummmm, I don’t know…..what would be a good drink for me?” Without the slightest hint of hesitation, I looked her square in the eye and replied; “embalming fluid!” I then turned and walked away to serve 100 or so others in the next few minutes.

Thanks for playing along. Until next week, Syd Nichols