Wednesday, January 25, 2006

A Little About The Host of Super Bowl XL

Being a native of Detroit, I am used to the threat of invasion. The restless Canadian hordes are just over the river in Windsor Ontario and could easily stream over the Ambassador Bridge at the slightest provocation, draining our beer supply, ravaging our women, mispronouncing the letter “o” and engaging in a wide range of other deplorable acts that could undermine the moral fabric of the area for generations to come. Though I was born and raised beneath the shadow of this ominous specter, I have become accustomed to it. I have armed myself well and have taken steps to train my children in unconventional insurrection to resist the invaders if they ever do arrive and have taken the additional precaution of teaching them the subtle art of beer bonging in case the rebellion fails so that they can excel in the culture of the aggressors. They have adapted to my teachings well. My five year old daughter can kill a six pack in fifteen minutes then drop a stray cat at two hundred yards with a high powered assault rifle.

At present, the Canadians seem content to stay put but now we find ourselves under attack from another menace that we have never anticipated. We are being invaded by football fans that have flanked us, breeched our perimeter and will soon be running rampant in the streets inflicting wanton mayhem and devastation on a scale the Canadian hordes could never have aspired to match. They are here for the Superbowl, an event that, as the home of the Detroit Lions, we were fatally ignorant of. We know we have met our match so, instead of trying to resist the deluge of barbaric bacchanalians breaching our borders we have decided to embrace them, show them around and familiarize them with our culture. So, for those adherents to the cults of the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Seattle Seahawks who will find themselves in the Motor City over the next couple of weeks, allow me to show you around.

The Natives

I believe that those visiting Detroit will be pleasantly surprised to find the aboriginal population of Southeastern Michigan warm and welcoming for the most part. We are a simple people, mostly blue collar and increasingly, unemployed. We will be enthusiastically interacting with you, asking you what your name is, where you are from, what you do for a living and whether or not the company you work for is hiring.

Southeastern Michigan is a tribal area, and outsiders are generally greeted differently depending on the region you find yourselves in. In Oakland county, a stranger is likely to be welcomed with a firm handshake and a stout pat on the back (or butt if you are in Royal Oak). Downriver folks may choose to skip the handshake and just ask you to pull their finger. In Detroit itself, visitors are often greeted with two shots to the heart and one to the head.

Recreation

Southeastern is a virtual paradise for water sports, bordered by three major lakes and a plethora of lesser water bodies throughout the region to swim, boat, water ski, jet ski, wind surf, scuba dive or fish in. Unfortunately, in early February when the Superbowl is held, these bodies of water are usually covered by several inches of ice so if you are going to participate in any of these activities, dress warm.

Michigan does offer its fair share of winter sports to enjoy, but very few in the immediate Detroit area. There are ski opportunities available but do not expect an Aspen-esque downhill experience. There is little in the way of sea level variation in the Detroit’s immediate vicinity so all of lower Michigan’s ski hills are built upon converted landfills, giving one the impression that they are practicing their slalom skills at the city dump.

Tragically, winter is a particularly dull time to be in Detroit. The natives endure the winter by hibernating in windowless drinking establishments where they stay well lubricated while complaining about the weather and Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick. For those hoping to supplement their unemployment checks, the city also boasts three major casinos.

Cuisine

Detroit has some of the best restaurants in the nation. The Greektown district is known as a premier entertainment center and offers diverse venues that are all an almost orgasmic pleasure to the palate, located very close to Ford Field where the Superbowl is being hosted. I would recommend The Pegasus Inn, Pizzapopolis or Fishbone’s. Less well known and a little farther out is Mexican Town offering truly succulent Latin American delicacies in a neighborhood that is frightening similar to what one could find in Tijuana, less the conspicuous houses of ill repute but with a little more drug violence to make up for it. The food is worth the risk though, being zesty and flavorful and bringing the best of Mexican delicacies north while leaving the Montezuma’s revenge behind. No trip to Detroit is complete without at least one visit there.

If one wants to go native, they must dine at least once in a local coney island restaurant. A coney island is a hot dog topped with chili sauce, onions and mustard and, having been all over the country and the world, there is an inimitable staple of the Detroiter’s diet. A local favorite to partake in this delicacy is Lafayette Coney Island on Lafayette and Michigan Avenue, a restaurant that is known by virtually every native Detroiter but unheard of anywhere else. White Castle hamburgers are another staple Detroiters assault their digestive tracts with and, combined with the coney island, goes a long way in explaining why finger pulling has replaced the handshake in many parts of the area.

International Activities

Detroit is the only US city where one has to travel south to enter Canada, and there are plenty of reasons to do so. The beer is much better on the other side of the border, and if the ballet in the US was the same as it is in Canada, I would not be so resistant to going out on the town with my wife to take in a little culture. Like the US, Windsor Ontario also has a casino, though one that is significantly smaller than its American competition. Winnings however, are not taxed in Canada and that fact, coupled with legalized prostitution and the proposed decriminalization of marijuana, Windsor has the potential of becoming one of the premier tourist destinations in North America, though I doubt the type of tourist they will be getting is the type they would want.

Those football revelers descending upon the Motor City to take advantage of the Superbowl festivities are sure to leave with an experience they will never forget. If nothing else, they can return home and say with genuine honesty, “I’m so bad, I vacation in Detroit! In winter!”

For the next couple of weeks, in celebration of the Super Bowl, I will be writing up local places of interest (mostly bars, I would guess) that if you are ever in the area you will most likely find me at. If by chance you see me, and have sufficient bail money handy, introduce yourself. I am usually good for a couple of drinks. I’m the bald, goateed gentlemen usually being forcibly ushered towards the parking lot by two gorilla-like members of the bouncing staff at the end of happy hour.

8 Comments:

Anonymous Grab'em said...

Very nice Jep, makes me want to come for the Superbowl. If only I wasen't a broke student. Although we will have the Olympics here sometime around the year I graduate, so I might make it to a city wide party some day. Enjoy the legalized marijuana and prostitution while it lasts, with the new fearless leader I feel that Canada could soon be another State. Hopefully they don't issue us American money for a few more years though, by then the exchange rates should be about par.
Oh, and I want to keep the Canadian beer.

4:22 PM  
Blogger JEP said...

Sorry Grab'em, but if you guys are going to sleep under the blanket of protection that comes with statehood, you have to compensate us with beer.

On a serious side though, I don't know what to tell you about the election. I know it works to my advantage as an American conservative, but I don't want a Canadian government that works for my benefit, I want one that to yours. Chin up, Grab'em! Maybe this election will send a message to the Liberals to clean up their act and in a couple of weeks, you can have a whole new election!

If you ever want statehood though, I think I speak for most Americans when I say that we'd be honored to have you. As long as you don't invite Quebec anyway.....

7:45 PM  
Anonymous Grab'em said...

Awwww, and to think, I was willing to give you guys Quebec to whet your appetite. I think you are right about the Canadian election. It may last a little longer than a couple weeks, but I do get that feeling that we could be heading to the polls again sooner than later. Just out of curiosity, what kind of American conservative understands the joys of legalization of Marijuana and prostitution. Isin't that a little too liberal? Or do you just enjoy it in other people's countries?

On the topic of Liberal corruption, I think that with any large agency that deals with great amounts of money there is bound to be some level of corruption. I think that much of the public opinion is swayed simply by what we are told by the media. Although I believe the average Canadian prides themselves on the fact that they feel they practice more independent thought than the average American, in reality, unfortunately, I think that the population is a slave to the television just as much as south of the boarder.

Hopefully come the next election the media will drop this whole "tough on crime" crap they have been touting throughout this past campaign and once again allow us to vote in the way that I feel would be most beneficial to Canadain society.

9:13 PM  
Blogger JEP said...

Hey Grab'em:

You might have noticed that I am not one of the bible-thumping, abortion clinic bombing, Pat Robertson-esque conservatives that you typically see on the news. I believe the government has no business legislating morality, therefore no business prosecuting people for doing things that hurt none other than themselves. Trying to enforce laws against prostitution and marijuana are just excersises in futility and more trouble than its worth.

And you're right about corruption as well. Politics is a dirty business by nature. Right now in the US, we are in the midst of the Abramoff scandal and its funny to hear all of these Democrats coming out and lambasting Republican corruption when they have been implicated taking money from the guy too. They're all shameless.

Well, like I said before, chin up and better luck next time. Give the Tories a chance, they might just help things a little.

6:13 AM  
Anonymous Spencer said...

Speaking as a Canadian from the Windsor area I can assure you. We have no intrest in your women and you need only worry about us stealing your "beer" should our supply of water run out.

1:01 AM  
Blogger JEP said...

Spencer:

In the event you cut us off from the good beer and the hostilities commence, you can have our women. You can even have our Budweiser, Miller, Coors and Strohs. Touch our Sam Adams though, and you are risking nuclear annihilation.

Great to hear from you Spencer. I actually work in Windsor. It's cool to see someone from the home area reading The JEP Report. How did you find it?

8:44 AM  
Anonymous Mother Mayhem said...

JEP-you've really out done yourself this time. I like the mayhem brought to your little corner of the world by the football fans. Welcome to my world.

I would guess that Detroiters will have more affiliation with Pittsburgh than they will with Seattle, although Detroit seems to have inherited their weather this month. Give it a minute though, and it will change-just in time for the Super Bowl based on Detroit's luck.

Nice touch with the Sam Adams. While you might not have tried to imply the analogy, if a General Richard Montgomery and one Colonel Benedict Arnold had been successful at Quebec during the time of Sam Adams, we wouldn't be importing their beer-eh? Just shipping it across state lines! Of course if pot and prostitution had been legal back then, they might have made better time getting there and attacked earlier instead of during a snow storm at the end of December. They didn't even have any decent hockey to watch while they where waiting for the spring thaw to mount their retreat! By the way, I know I risk offending our cousins in the Great White North to the south of us, so I will apologize in advance. We would never have been invaded if they had just accepted our invitation to become the 14th colony. I have also minimized the potential impact of any stoppage in the delivery of good beer to my house by switching to a closer Kin's brand from Ireland.

By the way, two hundred yards is not bad for your five year old to be plunking away the odd cat. But, if I may lend a bit of parental advice, try switching her ammo to an M852- which is a Sierra MatchKing 168-grain bullet with an open tip. It's accuracy cannot be matched- even by the open-tip 175-grain M118LR bullet, which, until recently, was used by the Army and Corps snipers in Iraq. This round was banned for 10 days due to an incorrect order issued by a JAG lawyer-maybe she should run for office when she returns. Anyway, in case you were wondering, the registered accuracy improvements were about 33% at 300m and 25% at 600m with the M852. That should make your neighborhood look like it had a city block of Korean restaurants in it by the time your five year old turns six!

Mom

10:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

barbaric bacchanalians breaching our borders

Pure awesome.

-hannah

7:58 PM  

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