Today is Sean Waltman’s 50th birthday! We’re also two days out from the anniversary of Bret Hart vs. 1-2-3 Kid, which is one of, if not the, greatest matches in the history of Monday Night Raw.
Both of these things are worth celebrating. In fact, many writers have. So instead of saying that the match is great and that I am happy that the past 5-10 years have afforded Sean Waltman the respect an overly cynical post-Invasion WWF crowd made it difficult to give him as an active wrestler, I am, instead, going to talk about bar food.
Actually, before I talk about bar food, I’m going to talk about this photograph. It depicts Sean Waltman and Bret Hart hanging out. Sean has two beers in front of him, Bret a glass of water, a plate, an uneaten dill pickle, and a godawful amount of french fries. There’s a red plastic mug that I am tempted to call tiki-inflouenced, a coffee mug that hasn’t been turned over, and a godawful amount of spoons. The background of this photo contains a bunch of unoccupied tables and decor that looks out of place for a bar, especially a pre-Bar Rescue bar where there’d maybe be a mirror for Miller Genuine Draft or Molson Canadian that has the logo of a sports franchise. I had one of those. It was a Labat Blue mirror. I lived close to Canada.
So maybe this isn’t a bar, and maybe I’m talking about family restaurant food and not bar food — the “turn over for service” coffee mug suggests family restaurant — but it doesn’t really matter because I can tell you from extensive experience that, again pre-Bar Rescue, these places did not give a fuck what you thought about their food. You were hungry. They had a bag of something they could throw in the fryer, some buns and some hamburgers, breakfast and veal parm on the family restaurant end of the spectrum, mini tacos and a crockpot of chili on the sports bar end.
I miss this. I’m in Savannah for AEW Dynamite, and having spent $16 on three tacos at one “sports bar” and $12 on a bowl of soup at another, I am homesick for Denny’s Gin Mill on Telegraph Road in Dearborn, Michigan, where 1/2 pound hamburgers were $2 for much of my childhood.
But the thing I do not miss are the french fries. Look at that plate above and you’ll see why.
Yes, they’re more golden than usual bar fries were in the era, pulled out on time instead of too early or too late, but that is a new bottle of ketchup in front of the Hitman, and about a third of it is spilled out onto that plate, the fries on the left doing a dead man’s float on a sea of red.
This is not how french fries are in 2022, at least not at any of the bars I eat at. This is probably college town privilege speaking, but they come in different cuts, are fried in various oils. I’m gluten free, so fries plus topping tends to be my steady order, and let me tell you, if the fries Bret Hart and Sean Waltman aren’t eating hit my table, there’d be about that many left on the plate at the end of the night, too.