Sunday, March 8, 2020

Three Beautiful Things 03/07/20: Charly Wants Company, An Old Joke that Always Works, An Evening with the Ducks

1. Charly was restless between midnight and about 5 a.m. on Saturday morning and, after being up and down, trying to help her settle down, at around 3:30 or so, I decided to quit trying to sleep in bed and came out to the living room and wrote in my blog.

It worked.

I seemed that Charly simply didn't want to be alone in the living room. To help her settle down, all I had to do was sit and it wasn't long before she relaxed, fell asleep, and, after about an hour or so, I went back to bed.

2. After watched Creighton defeat Seton Hall late in the morning and on into the early afternoon and after I made a trip to Yoke's for a few things, Ed texted me, wondering if I'd like to have a beer at The Lounge.

I sure did.

We had a good session. I hadn't seen Cas for a while nor had I seen Ginger and we yakked a bit about the upcoming draft for fantasy baseball and I told them about the concerts I attended this week in Spokane.

At one point, Cas made a joke that got me wondering if it's a joke unique to the Silver Valley or if it's a joke that gets told in small communities across the USA.

Before I tell you how this joke works, I need to say that a few minutes earlier, Ed, Cas, and I had just been talking the reopening of the Hill Top Inn in Kingston.


Here's how the joke works.

Ed asked me what places I went to eat in Spokane.

I told him, among others, that I went to this place on North Monroe called Ruins where they serve a rotating menu of food from around the world and that I was there for the first night of their Russian/Ukranian menu.

Cas was listening in and said, "Oh! They serve that menu up at the Hill Top, don't they, Ed?"

And that's the joke.

Someone like me says they've done something outside of the Silver Valley that would never happen in the Silver Valley and someone listening responds by acting as if it does happen in the Silver Valley.

I might say something like, "I went to the Riverbank Taphouse at the casino Wednesday and really enjoyed drinking a Sazerac."

Cas: "It couldn't have been better than the Sazeracs here at The Lounge."

I might mention having seen a Rembrandt exhibition I enjoyed at the National Gallery in DC.

Immediately someone retorts: "Was it as good as when they showed those Rembrandts at the Kellogg Middle School?"

I've been hearing this joke since I was a kid.

Somehow, it never fails.

I laugh every time.

So, I got to wondering, after I returned home, if there were customers sitting at a bar in Chadron, Nebraska or Crisfield, Maryland or in Jerome, Arizona doing the same thing, getting a good laugh by acting like things that never happen in their small towns actually happen there.

3. I returned home from The Lounge to watch back to back University of Oregon basketball games.

First, the women't team played my second favorite team in the Pac-12, Arizona. The Ducks got off to a roaring start, thanks to the sizzling shooting of Erin Boley who scored 10 of the Ducks' first 14 points and thanks to the great performance over the entire game of Sabrina Ionescu who scored 31 points, pulled down 9 rebounds, and dished out 7 assists, leading Oregon to an 88-70 win.

The Ducks could never be comfortable in this game, even as they built leads of ten or more points, because of the dazzling play of Aari McDonald, the fastest and quickest guard in the conference -- maybe the nation. I've watched McDonald play against different teams in the Pac-12 this season and the only thing I've seen her slow her down has been a foot and leg injury she's been playing through. Otherwise, she regularly blows by defenders for uncontested lay ups or stops on a dime, steps back, and buries outside shots.

Tonight, McDonald scored 34 points and was a constant threat to the Ducks' defense. In the end, though, the Ducks' beat Arizona with their versatility, with the way they have players up and down their starting lineup and off the bench who can score, do it from a wide variety of spots on the floor, and can play some pretty tough defense.

Back in Eugene, the men's team won the Pac 12 conference title with an avenging 80-67 win over Stanford. Oregon scorched the twine from distance, making 10 of 19 three point attempts, with Payton Pritchard and Anthony Mathis each burying four of them. Pritchard led the Ducks with 29 points, helping the Ducks secure the #1 seed in the upcoming conference tournament.

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