Realm of Red Presents: Ronald McDonald Files a Report From the Winter Meetings, Day One

December 06, 2007 | Comments (0) | by Chaim Witz

I'll be the first to admit. I have a weight problem. I also have a drinking problem, three children out of wedlock, horrifying cholesterol and a bizarre hatred of the elderly*. But you know what? I also have a great sense of direction. Not so much 'direction in life' so to speak, but getting from Point A to Point B, that kind of shit. Of course that all goes out the window after a couple of Apple Pucker-Absinthe mixers, but that's neither here nor there. What I'm trying to say is that Ronald McDonald doesn't get lost.

So here I am, ready to file my first report from the Winter Meetings. The problem? I'm in Florida. Since when have the winter meetings been in Nashville of all places? That seems both illogical and ill advised. Clearly I should have just Googled the son of a bitch.

Instead, defying all logic, I took direction from a one Thomas Buzanis, who called me from his houseboat. The conversation went something like this.

: Oh Ronald, hey motherfucker! Why don't you come down to the coast, hop on the houseboat and we'll go fishing for marlins...and WHORES!
(This sounded strangely enticing at the time.)

R: Tommy your reception is really bad. I can barely hear you.

T: Yeah, I'm on my portable phone.

R: A portable phone? On a boat? Jesus 'Miami Vice', do you have a salmon colored blazer on without a shirt too?

T: Yeah, why?


R: Anyway, Tommy I need to go to the winter baseball meetings. It's God's calling for me.

T: I thought God's calling for you was giving children diarrhea by way of greasy, sloppily prepared beef burgers. Naw, come on down here. The meetings are going on right now. I can see them from my boat.

R: That's unlikely. Are you sure you're not thinking of spring training?

T: No, no. They do all that baseball shit down here. Spring Training, Hall of Fame, Home Run Derby, all of it. Come on down. I'll get you a one-on-one with Commissioner Giamatti. Paul.

R: For Christ Sakes Tommy, Bart Giamatti died of a massive heart attack almost 20 years ago.


T: My son likes that band Massive Attack.

R: Huh?

T: (shouting) Hey everybody, drinks on Uncle Tommy. We're gonna toast Commissioner Giamatti. That fat son of a bitch was a good man. (Singing and clapping) Born in the USA! I was...BORN in the USA! (phone goes dead)

So here I am, Day 3 in Florida, holed up on Tommy's houseboat. living off of cheap gin and Gardetto's. To recap my stay here so far:

Day 1
: Tommy declares it a 'day of celebration' and invites over Jimmy Johnson, Barry Switzer, Sam Elliot, Pat Hughes and a bevy of Eastern European 'dancers'. He gives us each a copy of The Who's "Tommy", all of which he autogrpahed with a silver Sharpie.

Day 2
: We are all decidedly hungover and Tommy declares this a 'day of rest, like Jesus would want'. Tommy's hangover cure all consists of putting a raw steak on our forehead and leaving it there for no less than six hours. This actually seems to make it worse.

Day 3
: Tommy spends much of the morning prank calling his ex-wife on his portable phone. Later, we decide to drop by his estranged daughter's high school graduation open house to score some free booze and complimentary ham. This does not go well. After being escorted from the premises by a deceptively strong homosexual couple, we end up at Bennigan's, eating Monte Cristos and steak sandwhiches while splitting a pitcher of strawberry daiquiris. Tommy tells me to regale him with stories about Nam', even though I explain to him repeatedly that I never went to Nam'. He won't let it drop though, so finally I just make some shit up.

Day 4
: A mid-morning game of strip poker becomes awkward upon the realization that it's only me and Tommy playing.

Alas, don't worry dear reader. I have a one-way Greyhound pass to Nashville and I'm on the Red-eye out of town in a few hours. I will then be able to file reports on America's past time in a horribly untimely fashion, provided I don't meet up with Mark Grace and end up playing tonsil hockey with Tanya Tucker at a bar called Fat Patty's.

Until next time queers.

*It was this irrational hatred of the elderly that led me to wander into a theatre showing 'No Country for Old Men'. "Goddamn right it isn't", I exclaimed as I walked into the crowded theatre. Long story short, I didn't get it and ended up catching the last 20 minutes of 'Dan In Real Life'. I didn't really get that one either.