The Ryan Report -- Episode 310 "Last Call"
When I was young, one of my favorite shows was Cheers. Obviously, there were several reasons for this, most of which have to do with it being hilarious, Norm and Cliff being awesome, and Kirstie Alley being absolutely gorgeous on it. But I think the reason I loved it most of all was because it was a place where everybody knew your name. To me, that seemed like the finest place imaginable, like you’d been accepted by a brand new family of best friends.
As a result, I have to hold Cheers completely to blame for the “treehouse bar” I tried to start up in sixth grade.Obviously no alcohol was served – at that age, the only beer we knew about had “root” in front of it. Still, I tried to play bartender to all the local kids and have a regular crowd, a place we could all hang out in. We had music (from my dad’s half-broken old radio), a deck of cards (missing only the nine of hearts and the jack of spades), and all the warm, sickly sweet off-brand cola you could ever want.
And everything was perfect for a while! When I’d show up after school, there’d even be a line of kids waiting for me to open the place up. One time they even cheered when I walked around the corner. What more can you ask for when you’re 11 years old?Then Bobby pushed (or tripped and bumped into, depending whose version you heard) Richie and he fell out, twisting his ankle. The next week, Jamie “accidentally” broke open a gaping hole in the right corner and soon enough, my Dad began to wonder where all the stashed off-brand cola he’d bought half-price had gone. Shortly thereafter, “Kevin’s Place” closed down and forgot to ever re-open.
Since then, there have been other places I’ve tried to make my own. There was a coffee shop that was next door to my dorm college would have been perfect, except for the fact that the coffee was awful. I dropped by the same Italian restaurant, Frankie’s, for weeks. Frankie and I even had a thing when he’d call me “the Kid.”That was great, up until I realized that Frankie called everybody under the age of 45 “the Kid” and had absolutely no idea who I was.I even tried out a local pickup game of basketball, becoming a regular. Of course, then I went and twisted my ankle and had to limp around after suspects for the next month. That put the pickup game on ice, right alongside my poor ankle.
Espo and I will hit up cop bars from time to time, but those aren’t places where everybody remembers your name. That would be a little too sentimental, I think. So I never got my bar with buddies waiting to welcome me. Still, I guess, at the end of the day, I did end up at a place where everybody knows my name – The Twelfth Precinct. Sure, they may not serve alcohol there (at least not officially), but it’s got all the characters: the gruff but lovable Captain, the tough guy former soldier, the mysterious and brilliant femme fatale, the rich and famous author who acts like an overgrown kid, and me, the suave hero who provides witty quips. And everybody does know my name, even if Captain Montgomery sometimes pretends like he’s forgotten it.
To tell the truth, I was nursing the idea of reopening “Kevin’s Place” again at some point, but maybe I don’t have to. Who needs a bar when you have the Twelfth Precinct? Then again, I know Castle is looking for a great bar to open. He can be Coach and I’ll be Sam. After all, Jenny would make a great Rebecca…