Settling America – Stop 1 – Northeast Ohio

January 15, 2011

This post is part of the “Settling America” series. For more posts in this category, click here.

Location: Panera Bread Company, Amherst, Ohio

Our journey begins in Amherst, Ohio where we meet up with Katrina, a long-time friend of Phil’s, over some Garden Vegetable Pesto soup (or something like that) and some other light fare from Panera. Patrons were mostly receptive and excited at our arrival. We were told to stop filming immediately, but the manager was intrigued herself.

We played until seven victory points (normally you play to ten) because we needed to get to Chicago.

Game recap:

Phil’s Take: This game got heated early with the “longest road” card changing hands several times. Sam was arrogant and playing foolishly throughout. Katrina, playing for the first time, picked up the game quickly and was making Sam look like he didn’t belong at the same table as us. I sealed the win after I picked up the longest road card.

Sam’s take: The first word that comes to mind in regards to this game is “tainted.” 7 points? What an embarrassing beginning to an epic journey. I’m not ashamed that I didn’t win this game, I’m ashamed that the good people of Amherst, Ohio were subjected to this bastardization of Catan. Phil winning was appropriate as the game was a farce as are his skills. Well done Katrina, well done people of Amherst, well done Panera bread company of greater Northern Ohio, you are the real winners here. You stayed classy in the midst of a less than ideal situation. Let us never speak of the “Sloppy 7″ ever again.

Lives Changed:

As a man who knows about changing lives I can honestly tell you that this was a special day. Phil and I have made it our personal mission to change the lives of every man, woman, child and beast that we cross paths with in our lives. After experiencing our game in Panera, a man in his early thirties returned home to his wife. Their marriage failing, her drinking getting a bit out of control, they had little in common anymore and even less desire to attempt to bridge their divide.

None the less, over their typical dinner of frozen lima beans, Giant Eagle brand Mac and Cheese and under toasted toast the man brought up what he saw that day. The woman was stunned to hear of the absurdity of the events that took place during her husbands usually boring lunch break. Memories of that time they stayed at a bed and breakfast in Wisconsin and woke to the mooing of cows each morning and how they had overdressed (her husband wearing a suit and tie) to go get Grand Slams at Dennys rushed back into her mind. She smiled, ever so slightly, the first smile that had been shared in that household for a long time. After many long hours of tantric love making, a marriage was saved.

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