Mike Austin goes in search of the truth and cider at the eighth Magners Irish Session at the Mystic Celt
Everything you are about to read is true!
Magners Irish Cider hosted its eighth Chicago Magners Irish Session last night at the Mystic Celt in Wrigleyville. The Yankees and Phillies were on TV, whilst the park down the street, where the Cubs usually play, was dark and cold for yet another year.
I saw my old friend Tim Kelly last night. “Look at her,” Tim said, nodding toward a woman listening to the Holy Hour House Band. “She looks just like Elisabeth Hasselbeck from The View.” I looked at her and she did. Spot on duplicate. “No ring,” Tim said.Tim’s wife Adriana said, “You still notice that?”
An elf walked by just then, followed by an angel. A few minutes later a superhero walked by, or maybe he was a Mexican wrestler. He was wearing tights and a mask and a cape. They were all heading to a costume party in back. We were holding our ground at the Magners party in front.
Tilting his cider bottle for a better view of it, Tim said, “It’s like with every sip I’m tasting the apples’ struggle against the beer establishment. And I’ll tell you what, I think the apples are gaining ground.” He then took a guzzle that told the world he was thirsty. We drank a few ciders–Tim Kelly, his wife Adriana, Hasselbeck’s doppelganger and me. About an hour later, the HHHB’s leader Frank Quinn leaned into the mic.
“We’re going to play a Sting song now,” Quinn said. “He performed on The View this morning.” Tim took a swig of his Magners, a big swig. “They’re playing songs from The View?” he said. The band started in on Sting’s “Fragile” and its refrain: “How fragile we are…”
Then, all at once, with collective knowing, Tim and I looked at each other, amazed. The View? We looked over at Hasselbeck’s twin. “He just said The View!” I said. Tim nodded and took another swig. I think Adriana rolled her eyes. “This is where we met,” Tim said, speaking of his wife. He pointed to a spot across the bar, away from Hasselbeck, away from the HHHB. “July twenty-first.”
“I don’t remember meeting him,” Adriana said. I said, “Is that because you were hammered or…”. “Hammered,” she said. “It was my birthday.” So that’s how he remembered the date, I thought. “It was a Saturday,” he said. “It was a Friday,” she said. He took another swig.
I didn’t ask any more questions. How fragile we are. Adriana mentioned that Tim asked her to go running with him on their first date. She had to look at pictures from her party to remember what he looked like. They seem perfectly happy now.
Last night it was raining outside and just a bit foggy when the band started playing Van Morrison’s “Into the Mystic.” It was a tribute to the bar that was hosting the party, the Mystic Celt. But it also made me think of those two lovebirds, Tim and Adriana, out running in the mist on their first date, not knowing what lay ahead for them, enjoying the view, never imagining how fragile they or any of us are. It got to be too much to consider so I ordered another cider, stopped looking around and just listened to the music.
The last song of the night was “Dance, Dance, Dance,” by Steve Miller, who grew up in Milwaukee, just like Tim.
Too bad Tim and Adriana weren’t there to hear it. They would have liked it, and they might have danced. But they were gone by then, out in the rain, out of the Mystic Celt, into the mist. I promise, it’s all true.
I’ll be seeking out more true stories at the next Magners Chicago Irish Session tomorrow night at the Hidden Shamrock in Lincoln Park. The music starts at 9pm. The truth starts the moment you walk in the door.
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