In late December of 2012, my favorite football team, the Dallas Cowboys, were playing in Washington DC against the Redskins in the final game of the season, the winner of which would advance to the playoffs, and it just so happened that my wife and I were in DC on vacation at the time. We looked into getting tickets for the game, but they were really expensive, even those that we could afford, and the seats were really high up, so we decided to forego attending, and just watch the game from the comfort of our hotel. The Holliday Inn we were staying at wasn’t too close to anything, a couple of restaurants, a CVS pharmacy, and a metro station about fifteen minutes away on foot. One of the restaurants was Buffalo Wild Wings, so we decided that we would get some chicken wings for the game, a delicious and traditional football snack.
I’m no math whiz but when it comes to food I put in the effort necessary to making calculations and solving problems, which is how I determined at what time the order should be placed, when I should start walking to the restaurant, and how much time should be allotted for delays, so that I could make it back to the hotel by the 8:30 kickoff. Being back in time for the game was the goal, the most important aspect of the whole scenario, so to play it safe I began the process of procuring the wings an hour before kickoff. I placed the order online, something I do as often as I can when I order take-out, because there is visible evidence showing exactly what I want, whereas placing an order over the phone could possibly lead to the person taking your order to mishear you and put anchovies on your pizza instead of extracheese. I ordered two kinds of traditional wings, mild buffalo and honey barbecue, and then stepped out of the hotel into the harsh December night and walked down the darkened streets of suburban Washington, a man on a mission.
I only had to wait a few minutes inside the crowded restaurant for my wings to be ready, constantly being jested by passerby about my Tony Romo jersey and my Dallas hat, the brave Cowboys fan wearing the team colors in enemy territory. I got back to the hotel a little bit after eight and flipped the TV on to NBC’s Football Night in America, the pregame show. I moved the table and chairs more towards the center of the room, a much better place to sit and eat while watching the game rather than in the front corner of the room by the window, obviously. With kickoff just minutes away, my wife and I sat on one side of the table, facing the TV and opened the clamshell containers holding our delicious wings. The geniuses at Buffalo Wild Wings screwed up the order, all the wings were boneless, which might not seem like a big deal, but there is definitely a different, better taste held by traditional wings that boneless wings just don’t have, because the latter are generally fried and then frozen before being reheated then tossed in sauce.
I double checked the receipt just to be sure it wasn’t I who made the mistake and sure enough the order clearly said traditional wings. By the time we realized the mistake it was literally less than five minutes until kickoff, certainly not enough time for me to spend half an hour walking to Buffalo Wild Wings and back, so we ate the boneless wings, which actually turned out to be quite terrible, as one would imagine. Unfortunately that wasn’t the most disappointing part of the night though, the Cowboys lost a heartbreaking game to the Redskins and missed the playoffs once again. It took a while for me to get the taste of disappointment out of my mouth after that night.