Archive for September 9th, 2014

Trivial anecdotes from a recent Saturday night

September 9, 2014

By Matthew E. Milliken
Sept. 9, 2014

Saturday. Before 8 p.m., I stop by Alivia’s in the Brightleaf district of Durham, N.C. I order shrimp with cheese grits — light on the cheese. There are two college football games on the televisions: Michigan State at Oregon, the day’s marquee match-up, and a pixellated, halting Internet feed of Duke at Troy. The meal is good, but not light enough on the cheese. Shrimp with grits: Great, in my book. Shrimp with cheese grits: This, to me, is much less enjoyable.

I don’t feel like staying after I finish eating. I pay my bill and drive over to Iredell Street. I park behind the Whole Foods and amble a short block over to Ninth Street. Then I walk up the long, long, long block to Dain’s, a bar popular with Duke graduate students.

More college football is showing: East Carolina vs. South Carolina, Virginia Tech at Ohio State, Michigan at Notre Dame. The Irish are crushing the Wolverines and the Gamecocks are holding a 10-point lead on the Pirates, but the Hokies are acquitting themselves well vs. the Buckeyes.

I order a New Belgium Snapshot wheat ale — my first alcoholic beverage in a few weeks — and nurse it for the better part of an hour; maybe longer. I also sip some water. At one point, I ask a bartender to switch ECU–South Carolina over to the Michigan State–Oregon game, and he obliges. The Spartans had held a modest lead for much of the third quarter, but suddenly the Ducks get a wide-open receiver and a way-too-easy touchdown.

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