(For all those smart-asses out there, I’m aware that this entry is being posted on a Saturday, and not a Wednesday. So keep your wisecracks to yourself. It’s been a busy week. Just keep these ideas in mind for any future Wednesdays.)
It’s Wednesday night and you’ve had a long day at work. Actually, you’ve had a long week and it’s only Wednesday. You’ve spent the past two nights on your couch too tired to do much but spill Lucky Charms on that unwashed pair of sweatpants while shamefully hypnotized by one of the forty seven CSI or NCIS programs. Suddenly, you have an overwhelming fear that one more session of LL Cool J and Chris O’Donnell (Remember him? That’s Robin from George Clooney’s biggest cinematic mistake, Batman and Robin) solving another seemingly unsolvable case in just under fifty minutes might actually kill you. You’re suffering from what I like to call The Hump Day Itch. You have an unexplainable urge to do something even though it’s not the weekend. The only problem is you spent a buttload of money over the actual weekend in the Old Port and you don’t get paid again until Friday. Your Hump Day Itch just became your Hump Day Blues: you’re too poor to satisfy your Wednesday night desire for activity. So, do you just resign to the couch and the unwashed sweats for another round of watching the actor formerly known as Robin in a spin-off of a spin-off? Thanks to this entry, no, you do not. Instead, here are some suggestions for cheap and entertaining ways to pass your Wednesday evening and get out of your pathetic rut of terrible television and junk food gluttony:
1) Grab some friends and go bowling! On Tuesday and Wednesday nights from 9pm until close, Yankee Lanes has an open bowling special of $1.99 a game. The alley has got a bar and grill attached so if you and your friends are looking to kick back a few to improve your game, then you’re out of luck. Alcohol actually makes you worse at bowling. But, they do have some pretty sweet drink specials.
2) Nothing says Wednesday night like wings. Head on over to Samuel’s on Forest Ave for 50 cent wings. I am not the first to describe Samuel’s as one of Portland’s best kept secrets. I guess this means it’s no longer a secret. It doesn’t really matter either way though because the wings are great and the beer is cheap. Plus, the atmosphere is unpretentious and old school. By unpretentious, I mean no flannel-donning hipsters; look around and you’ll see beer-bellied blue collar guys and their mulleted wives. It’s awesome. Plus, they’ve got wood paneling, tube televisions (that’s right, no flat screen TVs in this sports bar), and all the blue cheese and celery you could want.
3) Get your Irish on. Wednesday night is Irish night at Brian Boru’s from 8pm-11pm. Maybe you’re thinking, “wait a minute, isn’t every night at this Irish pub, in fact, Irish night?” Well, sort of. But on Wednesdays they’ve got $4.00 Irish Beers, including Guinness, Harp, Smithwicks, Kilkenny, Galway Bay Red and Galway Bay Pale Ale. You can also do the Irish Beer Flight, for only $6.99—that’s a 5 oz tasting glass of each of the Irish beers, plus you get to keep the glasses. Maybe ask that girl out from work you like (or not--things could get awkward quick in the workplace when you don’t ask her out a second time) or go with a group of friends. Either way, it’s a guaranteed good time for all you Irish beer aficionados. Since it’s over at 11 you’ve got a good excuse to head home at a reasonable hour, allowing you to get to work on time Thursday morning, if that’s what you intend to do.
4) Be a guitar hero. A real one, not the video game version (although I did recently beat Metallica’s “Wherever I May Roam” on Hard, so you tell me who the real guitar hero is). For all your would-be and aspiring musicians out there, head on over to the Dogfish Bar and Grille on Free Street for their Wednesday open mic night. I know, I know. I’ve already written about this establishment before so why do I keep plugging them? Well, because they’re amazing. They’ve got excellent food (see my first entry) and they support local musicians and artists. So, if you’ve been harboring secret indie-rock star fantasies while singing in the shower, head on down to Free Street. Bring your guitar, your keyboard, your vocal stylings, or your whatever, and show this town what you’ve got. If you totally crash and burn, you can always go back to Buru’s and catch the tail end of that Irish beer special to drown your sorrows. If drinking's not your thing, bowl away those blues!
Alright, so now that I’ve shown you the cure to your Hump Day Itch (sorry that this phrase sounds suspiciously like something you might be embarrassed to visit your doctor about) and your Hump Day Blues by telling you about a couple of the things to do in Portland on Wednesday nights that you can actually afford to do, it’s time for you to get off the couch! Not only will watching Chris O’Donnell do pretty much anything definitely not lead you anywhere but down the road to a deep depression, it’s also unnecessary. With a surplus of things to do on Wednesday nights, who needs NCIS?