Ever had one of those nights? You know, the ones where – while you remember exactly everything that happened – you have a hard time believing it actually did happen? Last week I had one of those nights.
So what exactly happened, you ask?
I slept with eight women Saturday.
Before this goes any further, let me explain: it’s not what you might think.
I fell asleep at a basketball game. The Växjö Queens were playing Malbas, and I was one of about a dozen people who showed up, pet hamsters not included. Of them, at least two-thirds – or eight – of them were women.
Perhaps I’d let myself talk the whole thing up, perhaps I’d somehow thought the talent level would be similar to that of my beloved Portland Trail Blazers, or perhaps I thought I’d see more dunks than Howard Stern has sidekicks.
Alas, the last time I was so wrong I thought “Transformers” would win an Oscar.
Don’t get me wrong, the ladies of the Basketettan Södra Damer could beat me at one-on-one with their eyes closed, but the WNBA it is not – or even the Connecticut Huskies for that matter.
Maybe I’m spoiled by the endless stream of How-Did-He-Do-That-Reverse-Alley-Oop-Tomahawk-Jams replayed hundreds of times a day, or mustachioed guys shouting “peanuts! Get your peanuts!” every five minutes at games, or the everlasting enigma known as Ron Artest.
But there were no dunks. No bench-clearing brawls. No one getting pulled to the floor by their ponytail, a la Elizabeth Lambert.
What the fans got instead were free throws. Sixty of them. In all, there were 51 fouls called. Malbas alone shot 46 free throws. In the U.S. they’d call that a league record, or Shaquille O’Neal’s worst nightmare.
What I learned was that the rules for Swedish basketball are pretty much the same as in America, except that if you touch someone, move within a three-meter radius of the basket, or wear shoes, you’ll be called for a foul. Lisa Leslie wouldn’t last five minutes.
Final score Malbas 63, Växjo 54. Queens Head Coach Mattias Lundgren – who bears an eerie resemblance to Jeff van Gundy – looked like he had just survived both the Great Depression and the Heidi Game.
I’d have given the guy a beer, but the place was drier than Bill Murray’s sense of humor.
Oh, and did I mention that the game took three and a half hours? Even “Titanic” wasn’t that long, even with a break to make popcorn.
O.K. maybe I shouldn’t complain too much. The tickets were free, after all. And hey, I was able to catch up on a couple hours’ sleep. That’s not a diss on the Queens – I fell asleep for stretches during my high school graduation, too. And as much as I love the Trail Blazers, I’d also probably take a nap if there were more than 50 fouls, even if the 20,000 or so other people weren’t.
But when all the fans at a game can fit inside your kitchen – albeit tightly – crowd noise isn’t really a factor.
Maybe Växjö isn’t a basketball town. Maybe I just caught them on an off night. But at least it was an experience. And, hey, at least I saved money.
Beats the hell out of Texas hold ‘em.