Good, old-fashioned rock ‘n’ roll

I’ve been spending the weekend, and – so far – the majority of the Monday in Nyborg visiting with my dad and his wife, plus my half-sister, Mie, her boyfriend Dennis and their daughter Izabella.. And it’s been pretty good times, really.

I spent most of Saturday at Mie’s and Dennis’ place on account of them having asked me over for dinner – which is pretty much the same as saying they asked me over to cook them dinner. But hey, I loves to do me some cooking and they paid for everything, so it’s all good. The plan was that Dennis would pick me up at my dad’s and drive me back to their place, we’d have a few beers, some good food, a little wine and maybe another beer or two.. But, thankfully, a little while before that plan went into effect, that is to say right as Dennis arrived at my dad’s place, my phone rang with some unknown caller ID and so I picked it up..

The guy on the other end turned out to be the managing director of a headhunting/recruitment firm who wanted to check up on an application I sent regarding a position as marketing assistant for the Danish fast food chain, Sunset Boulevard.. Now, I’ll admit to being a little taken back by actually getting a call back on that particular application, let alone on a Saturday afternoon when I was well on my way to stumbling into a few brews.. But luckily, I was still sober and I did manage to compose myself and talk with the guy for a few minutes. Now, I’m not too familiar with these things, but if the first questions are “So, what’s your take on commuting vs re-locating? And what are your thoughts on salary?” – then you’re not doing too badly, are you?

We ended up talking a bit about what special qualifications I thought I’d be able to offer and he eventually asked if I’d agree to let him set up an interview.. Which I, of course, agreed to.. We then mutually thank each other for our time and hung up and I returned, a little shaken up and confused, to the company of my dad and Dennis who were both all but psyched to hear about this new development.. One thing led to another and Dennis and I decided that this called for a bit of celebration. So we jumped into the car, went back to his amd Mie’s place, said hi to Mie and my little 3 year old niece, Izabella, and grabbed a couple of beers in the fridge while I placed calls and text messages to various people of the “I think I just landed another job interview” variety.

When I’d finished, Izabella and I got started on dinner.. That’s right, she loves me so much that she got a little chair out to stand on so she could reach the kitchen table and help me with dinner.. And I obviously love her enough to not shoo her off, like I would have most kids, and let her help instead.. Then again, with Tina around, I guess I’m just used to little blondes wanting to take part in the cooking. Though not quite as skilled (or fast) as Tina, I would say for a three year old, Izabella did pretty good as a prep cook, but then, she is a little ahead of her game, and for some reason extremely fond of me and thus out to impress.. So things went well and smooth. In very little time we had everything ready and a roast in the oven and now had only one thing left to do.. which was to wait.

We spent the time chatting, and Dennis and I might have had another beer, until we just couldn’t wait anymore and served up the tuna mousse and shrimp starters which we thoroughly enjoyed.. Much more so than the questionable left-over bottle of white wine we’d decided to have with it.. I don’t know, but in my world wine just shouldn’t taste like apple juice, I’m sure a lot of 14 year old girls would’ve been thrilled, though.

Having eaten the starters, we had a classic example of very bad timing by thinking that the roast was now much more cooked than it really was (honestly, everybody SHOULD own a probe thermometer – it’s such a small investment!), and also by  thinking that potatoes would somehow boil themselves.. Okay, someone to forgot to turn the burner on.. So for the next half hour or so, we just sorta sat around, waiting for the second course to get done.. And there was much rejoicing when it finally was.

The second course was a medium-rare roast, served with roasted potatoes, green bean and bacon salad, a questionable ready-made sauce and a Spanish red wine which was a hell of a lot better than its white counterpart.. All in all an awesome meal which was enjoyed by all – except maybe Izabella – who was getting tired and was more up for eating chocolate or causing great stir than she was for eating a nice, quiet dinner with the rest of us.. Oh well.

When we’d eaten, Dennis decided to go walk the dog and leave Mie and I to clear the table and babysit Izabella as well. Which actually proved pretty easy once I gave her a piece of wire and some pearls to play with. When Dennis returned, we gave Izabella the choice between going to bed or staying up and playing Monopoly with the grown-ups.. Which, in retrospect, was a bit of a bad idea seeing as we should’ve been able to deduct that there was no way in hell she’d go to bed willingly – just as there was no way in hell that anything good could ever come from involving an overly tired three year-old in a game of Monopoly.. Long story short, after we’d spent hours teaching her the basics such as not steeling the dice or Johan’s pieces for that matter, we finally made it through a single round only to have to spend about twenty minutes searching the living room floor for houses, hotels and what have you.. Ah, good times!

At this point, we pretty much refused to put Izabella to bed which she flat out refused unless I be the one who put her in her nighties and tucked her in. Both parents seemed pretty happy with the arrangement so from there on I really had no choice but, for the first time in my 28 years, to act like the responsible uncle that I am and do as she demanded. The whole getting her out of her clothes thing went pretty easily, as did the whole getting her into her pajamas – after I’d gotten a few helpful pointers from the three year old, that is. Actually all went well, until she looked at me and went “Oh, but I also peed in my diaper”, to which my response came promptly: “Oh, hell no.. Moooom!! Your daughter peed her diaper”.. Fast forward about five minutes, and I had the little one in bed, kissed her goodnight as demanded (later found out she had a fever and am currently reasonably happy that I’ve had about every version of the common cold and the flu that the world currently has to offer), and shut off the light.

As I did, Mie just about switched off her lights as well and decided to call it a night along with Izabella. Dennis and I, on the other hand, still had a bit left in us.. And since we decided that staying back and making noise while the girls were trying to sleep was probably a bad idea, we figured that the only reasonable thing to do was to head out for a night on the town and see what happened… Okay, maybe not exactly a reasonable thing to do, but fun none the less.

Dennis suggested we went to some establishment called “Piano Bar”, which I suspected would be a really strange, shady place, but since he was the only one with local knowledge, I tagged along.. And it turned out to be not too bad at all, really. Though in all honesty it was more of a bowling alley than a bar, but they had reasonably priced draught beer, the entrance was free and all they did demand of you was a DKK 20 fee to check your coat at the door.. Something that hugely upset the locals but which I found rather fair.. Especially if you consider they had a live band playing that evening.. So, essentially, you got entrance, coat checked, a live band and your first beer for the price that it’d usually cost you for the entrance alone at a lot of places in Kolding.. I see nothing wrong with that kind of pricing policy.

Anyways, this whole checking our coats thing had gotten us pretty thirsty, so having taken care of that business, we headed straight for the bar and ordered up a couple of beers and found a booth in which to sit while we drank our beers and waited for the live band to hit the stage, not really knowing what to expect since no one around, even the staff, seemed to know who was playing, I did spot a few vintage Fender guitars and a full Marshall amp stack on stage, so I figured that something in the rock n roll department would be a safe guess.

And what do you know? As it turns out, I was right. Well into our second beer, some three person band rather quietly hit stage, introduced themselves as “Under Cover” (heh!) and launched into what I’d have to admit was a pretty awesome cover of Chuck Berry’s “Johnny B Goode”, I remember turning to Dennis and going “Hey, this might work” as Chuck Berry gave way to Van Morrison and “Brown Eyed Girl”. After another beer and a few songs from the likes of Creedence Clearwater Revival, Lynyrd Skynyrd as well as a few classic Danish acts such as Peter Belli and Gasolin, we were all rather convinced that showing up and paying the DKK 20 to check our coats had been a good fucking idea and a good deal to boot. And yes, the Danes are probably laughing now on account of the whole Peter Belli thing, but let’s not forget that there was a time when Peter Belli had long hair and played good old-fashioned rock ‘n’ roll.. Which is exactly what this band did, they played good old-fashioned rock ‘n’ roll with, with spirit and attitude. And I don’t think I need mention that after we’d been treated to not one, or two, but three AC/DC covers (including “You Shook Me All Night Long”), Sweet Home Alabama AND Smoke On The Water, I was completely sold.. And reasonably intoxicated after four rounds of beer and three rounds of shots..

Three rounds of shots that we both agreed not to tell Mie about once we left the establishment after the last encore and found our way into a cab and back to our respective homes for the evening. A plan which worked very well until the very next morning when I rose from my bed, cursed my drinking habits and rolled into the shower, down for breakfast and then out on the streets to take a walk and clear my head.. And just happened to run into Mie, Dennis and Izabella.. I quickly noticed that Dennis looked a little worse for wear than usual, and I also quickly noted Mie raising an accusing finger at me going “I told you to steer him clear of shots!”.. I mean, c’mon, way to stab a brother in the back!

Luckily, though, she didn’t seem too pissed and Dennis didn’t seem too wrecked from the night’s adventures. Apparently, I was the one who looked worse for wear, but then again, I was also the one who had barely slept for two days, so I guess that only made sense. And I wasn’t feeling so bad that a one hour walk couldn’t set things straight.. And I’m happy to report that that was all I ever did on that lazy Sunday.. Go for a walk. The rest of the day was spent on the couch reading, and the night was spent in my dad’s new upstairs study in a comfy recliner, sipping Belgian beer, snacking on sandwiches and watching a few episodes of True Blood, one of those vampire shows that’s apparently all the rave these days. Good Sunday!

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