I made plans to meet FM Chair (and local celebrity) Bailey M. Trela outside of Annenberg for an early dinner in the Queen’s Head Pub. While I’m shocked to see that Bailey actually showed up—and on time, no less—it’s no surprise that Bailey is already up to his usual shenanigans. Perched on a kid’s contraption better suited for a playground than Harvard’s campus, Bailey’s body language screams, “I own this block.” I worry about the number of local toddlers and wide-eyed tourist-children Bailey must have scared away to claim his throne. And, more importantly, is FM legally culpable for Bailey’s actions? I consider reaching out to the Crimson’s legal team, but in the meantime, I might as well enjoy some wings.
Hungry as ever, Bailey and I descend the stairs towards the Queen’s Head Pub. We reach a sign that tells us that we have come through the wrong entrance. We must exit the building and enter anew. It’s O.K. Just a minor snafu in what is sure to be a glorious evening.
For those who don’t know, Wednesday at the Queen’s Head Pub is wing night. Twenty-five-cent wing night. For example, four wings is a dollar. Eleven wings is $2.75. Twenty wings is 5 dollars. Thirty-five wings is 35 times .25, which I’m having trouble doing right now. Five times five is 25, carry the two.
Anyways, we get to the bar. Big Cub Bailey orders first: 10 hot, 10 BBQ. Twenty wings? A little ambitious, I think. I rock 15 instead. Five Teriyaki, five BBQ, five hot. A veteran play. We consider a side-order of mozzarella sticks, but at $5.75 it’s hard to justify a few meager mozzarella sticks over 24 more wings. The opportunity cost is just too damn high.
When I take out my Harvard ID to pay, Bailey chuckles. He doesn’t realize that you can pay with Board Plus. He follows my lead. Obviously, he has never been here before. I wonder where else on campus has he yet to visit? Does he know about the MAC? OCS? The Science Center? I digress. After paying for his wings, Bailey has $55 of Board Plus remaining, or 220 wings. I have $46 left, or 184 wings. We may be in for a long night ahead.
The wings keep flying in. The rest of the chicken’s body must have been holding them back. Anticipating the mess to come, I grab a stack of napkins and give Bailey half. He starts lining up his napkins side-by-side. Equally confused and intrigued, I follow suit. It turns out he has four, and I have six. Was this the point of his napkin formation, to show I gave him less than half? Have I wronged/cheated/dishonored him?
I offer him one of my napkins, but he refuses it. Slightly offended, I suspect he thinks I will be the more messy eater. I begin with a teriyaki wing, and the sauce is just right. I move on next to a hot wing, and follow the pattern: teriyaki, hot, BBQ. After every few wings I wipe my fingers with one of my six napkins. Bailey does no such thing. Mid-way through the meal, I nearly lose my appetite to the sight of his sauce-drenched fingers. I respect his environmentally-friendly method, but my stomach does not concur.
Anyways, aside from the meal itself (which was great), I learned that my pal Bailey is quite the conversationalist. We reminisced about some old FM legends, Libby and Petey. Letey, or Pibby. Pibby, or Letey. I’m not sure which will stick. I learned about his creative writing work, about his family, and how he just got a letter with $48 in it. I wonder what would physically happen if we split those dollars not in currency, but in 192 wings.
As our meal is winding down and just a few wings still have meat on them, Bailey points out that he is crying. There is a literal tear sliding ever-so-slowly down his right cheek. His hands, saucy as ever, are in no condition to touch his face, and he refuses my assistance. I look down at his plate—Bailey has recently only consumed BBQ. A tear would have made sense in the days of hot wings, but now, why? Maybe he is sad that our dinner is coming to an end. More likely, he is so stuffed that he is struggling to finish his plate. He confirms my suspicion. “Only two left,” he says. I point out there are three distinct wings on his plate. The tear continues.