There was probably no more common thought to cross my mind at the premiere party for Taking on Tyson, boxing great Mike Tyson’s new show about racing pigeons (seriously – debuts Sunday at 10 on Animal Planet if you’re so inclined), than: “What the hell am I doing here?”
I don’t usually go to events like this, most people had drinks in hand other than beer, I didn’t know anyone, and when you don’t know anyone, you have to make yourself known. And as someone who’s generally been content all my life to fade into the background of whatever social situation I was in, that kind of thing doesn’t come naturally.
So when I first arrived, I pretty much just stood there and thought, “What the hell am I doing here?” In fact, to borrow a turn of phrase from the man of the night, fading into Bolivian didn’t seem like the worst option in the world. It was only fitting, then, that the first conversation I struck up was with a guy named Jon Riley, there under similar circumstances as I was (knew someone who knew someone, etc.) and who was therefore having similar “What the hell am I doing here?” thoughts. Jon made the point that nearly all the appetizers being served had meat, even though Tyson is now a vegan.
(Note on appetizers: I read once how Bill Zorzi, Baltimore Sun reporter turned screenwriter for The Wire, “would never eat so much as a carrot stick from a buffet paid for by a [political] candidate” during his reporting days. I always admired that and saw it as something of an ink-stained wretch ideal…one I didn’t live up to last night. In my defense, though, it wasn’t a candidate for office hosting the event, and I could have had way more than I did.)
Anyway, eventually Jon and I went our separate ways, and somewhere in between then and the actual introduction of Mike Tyson, I decided to try one of the specialty drinks the event advertised at the bar, the Right Hook Me Up. The Right Hook Me Up was a combination of “vodka, mint, lime, strawberries, and Prosecco.”
In lieu of writing a review rivaling the one our own Scott Smitelli once penned for KFC’s unholy Double Down sandwich (meatheap), I will say if you’ve never thought to combine strawberries lime, mint, vodka, and Prosecco…there’s probably a reason for that. I would not be getting any other drinks on the night.