YardBarker Happy Hour Road Trip
It’s 120 miles to Philadelphia, we have a full tank of gas, an expired registration, it’s dark, and the check engine light is on. Hit it. Four guys from Gunaxin make the pilgrimage to Philadelphia to meet some fellow Barkers. Whose crazy idea was this? Oh wait, never mind, it was mine. According to my calculations, the trip was financially viable if enough of us chipped in, and we drank enough beer. However, if gas prices happened to rise, someone in the group would need to get laid in order to make the trip worth it. Don’t worry ladies of Philly, you can thank OPEC for the preservation of your innocence.
We hit the road around 4pm, aiming to beat the traffic and roll up to the bar with time to spare. We accomplished neither of those goals. Traffic started to suck north of the McHenry Tunnel, so our head start was thwarted, and then we started to get hungry. I had already been jonesing for some Roy Rogers, because where we live, you can’t get good grub like that anymore. Roys is saved for road trips, at the ole Maryland house, or for that rare occasion that you venture into Frederick.
So we hit Roys and after some salty fries in a holster, and a few trips to the fixens bar, the 4 of us got back in the Orange Xterra with the exhaust leak, and headed back up the road. Along the way, we recalled the story of the last happy hour road trip we took, and why Fred is now required to “go potty” before we head back home from a bar. Despite a brief debate on whether we should bypass Wilmington, we made pretty good time until we hit Broad Street. At this point, Google Maps in its infinite wisdom instructs us to merge onto Broad Street south, even though the exit it instructed us to take plopped us right onto Broad Street north. After another brief debate, and a consultation of some live mappage on the iPhone, we continued onward to the center of town.
It was then that we noticed this strange phenomenon with people parking (facing both directions) in the median strip on Broad Street. WTF is this, Escape from New York? Are there no laws in this city? You can’t tell me that never causes any accidents. Anyways, we got over that about the same time that we started to get honked at. Apparently the Maryland tags, and the wacky lane changes were not accepted in this city, but parking whereever the hell you want is kosher. We finally made our way up to city hall, and after driving around the block and getting honked at about 3 more times, found some place to park within 2 blocks of the bar.
7:35 PM and we have finally arrived. When we walk into the bar, I spot a group of people in a private looking area on the far side of the room. I make my way over there, and ask a guy near the entrance, “Is this Yardbarker”. He replies “yeah, you can sign in over there.” So as I am waiting in line to “sign in”, I notice that everyone is wearing name tags that say “Hurry Date.” The first thought that enters my mind is, “These YardBarker people are mad cheap, you think they could print their own name tags.” It wasn’t until after I noticed a healthy ratio of females to males, and the fact that the blogging crew seemed really over dressed that I realized we could be in the wrong place. So after asking a waiter, I was instructed that the YB folks had a table up front.
A Table? Seriously, we drove 120 miles to sit at a table with 9 other people? Yep, apparently that is the case. You blogging folk throw some wild parties for sure. I thought the yard was big in Philly, where was everyone? Oh well, no worries, we can still have a good time, and one of us could still get laid. Although we were a bit isolated at our own end of the table for awhile, we did finally manage to force our way into some conversations and meet some people. When they asked the name of the site, I whipped out the freshly printed cards to show them. Immediately came the reaction, “oh one of those TNA sites.” I don’t know what it was that gave them the wrong idea, but I tried to explain all evening that we have other content.
So we met some cool people, who we will now tell you about, and link to, in a blatant attempt to get reciprocal love and link backs. First was Don and his wife (and random female sidekick) from Hugging Harold Reynolds. I dig the mo bro, and I tried to convince your girl how cool it was. We debated on the way up how the site got its name, and ultimately why Harold Reynolds was fired, and I won. Suck it Zach.
Then there was J. Weitzel from Beer Leaguer (yep, already forgot your first name). Nice guy, nice site, check it out. Next up was Meghan from Girls Don’t Know Sports. Great girl from Baltimore, likes Hockey and the Caps, and writes about Sports. What’s not to like? After she dropped her drink on the floor, we were a little worried that Meg wouldn’t be able to find her way home, but she assured us that she didn’t have far to go. Like the fine gentleman that we are, we promptly let her stumble out the back door alone to walk home in the phine city of philly.
We also met Dewey from Hard for the Yard, Grill Project, Blogimore Ravens, and YardBarker, who seemed very passionate about his Sports, and his Ravens. And of course there was Diana from The Sports Biotch (and YardBarker) who entertained us with her stories of athletes and the issues that come along with them. She was also very helpful in explaining some of the finer points of the YardBarker Network, and for that we are very appreciative. If you are reading this as a YardBarker staffer, and have not yet received your Gunaxin card, please see Diana when she gets back into town. That is a gift from us to you.
Speaking of gifts, thank you for our wonderful YardBarker T-Shirts. Since mine has zippy chance of fitting me anytime soon, I am totally putting it up on eBay. At around 11:15pm or so we realized that it was quite late, and that some of us needed to work at 7:00 or 8:00am in the morning. So we said some goodbyes and walked out with Dewey and Diana. I was pleased to find my vehicle still had its rims, and we piled back into the Xterra to head back south, (or north google?) on Broad Street.
So we downed a few free beers, scored some free t-shirts, and hopefully made a few new friends. We left behind a stack of cards, a few empties, and a special present for the Philadelphia sewer system (you can thank Fred for that). We arrived back in Columbia, MD at around 1:30 am, and each went our separate ways home. While none of us got laid, we would still like to thank the YardBarker folks for a good time. If any of you reading this have ever considered going to a YardBarker Happy Hour in the past, I do recommend you give it a go. The more people that come to these events, the better for all of us. If they have one in D.C. or Baltimore, we will definitely be there, but we’re getting too old for this road trip shit.
*This post specifically written to prove that I can put complete sentences together, that do not include the phrase, “check out the rack on this girl.” Over 1,200 words baby! I will also have you notice, that this post is 100% TNA free.
**Well ok 95% TNA free. Check out the rack on this Yardbarker Girl.
Additionally, Philip has served as Rally Director for the Washington Automotive Press Association, Speaker at IMPAcon and Blogs with Balls, Chairman of the Relay For Life of North Anne Arundel County, Examiner Team Leader for the Maryland Performance Excellence Awards, and Credentialed Founder of Capitals Outsider.