At the Osborn house, we suffered a near-terminal case of cabin fever over the holidays. Part was imposed by the physical realities of the first blizzard. Another part was induced by the astronomical overreaction of greater Denver to the second storm bearing down on the area. Both were compounded by people driving like they had never seen snow -- especially those people with SUVs for status (BMW, Mercedes, Lexus) or to complete the image of being a soccer mom. Usually, these people never take their SUVs out in inclement weather, much less off-road, but they went out now.
At the first sign that meteorological conditions were cooperating with the sophisticated Denver snow-removal plan -- not snowing, lots of sun and warm temperatures -- the Texan Representative, the Redneck Liaison and I, along with our wives, congregated at the Thunderbird Lounge (721 Quebec Street) in order to solve one of the first crises of the New Year.
The greatest challenge today is not Iraq, nuclear proliferation or underage drinking, but finding a name for our unborn son. Not only must my wife and I somewhat agree on that name, but it must pass the litmus test of not dooming the child to a career as a male stripper or a serial killer, and also must not justify the automatic removal of the child's lunch money on the playground. This discussion is tough enough with just the two of us and our prejudices and hopes; we tried to limit automatic vetoes to five each, but I can't count the number of times one of us has shouted "no" before a name is even out of the other's mouth. Thinking that an infusion of new ideas might jump-start the process, we asked friends for help. But along with new ideas came new prejudices: We had to toss aside several names because the Jewish Representative thought they were too "ethnic."
Still, we were so eager to get out of the house that we were willing to risk some dissension. A night at the T-Bird was worth it. Unlike many places, the T-Bird continues to serve beer in pitchers. With pitchers, you must pour properly or you wind up with too great a head. One trick for alleviating this is wiping grease from your nose with your finger, then dunking your finger in the beer. This creates a complex chemical reaction that rapid decreases the foam and really pisses off the Texan's wife. I had to apologize to her for a second time (earlier, I'd called her something really unfortunate after she'd made a ridiculous name suggestion); neither apology was accepted.
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In addition to beer, the T-bird has a great selection of wings. The hot ones significantly upped our beer consumption; the sweeter wings were almost like dessert wings. We ate them while listening to Gary Thorne call the fiftieth bowl game of the season; it was almost like enjoying the game with a gang at home. The only differences were the better wings, the greater number of big screens, the urinal in the bathroom and the friendly waitstaff that got us beer on request without giving us a dirty look.
This warm, welcoming environment cured our cabin fever -- but it did not solve the great name dilemma. We threw out "Dean" after the Redneck pointed out that 40 percent of stalkers seen on MSNBC have that name. "Micah" would inspire the gift of a rainbow onesie at birth. "Deacon" only survived the night because no one who knows our family would ever confuse him with a priest.
The current front-runners are Ethan, Nathan and Lucas, but we'd appreciate any help that bleary-eyed readers might offer. As long as the Institute has places like the T-Bird willing to overserve us, the discussion will continue.