We're throwing a baseball around in a friends's backyard, playing some kind of accuracy game that does not bode well with my "Wild Thing" arm (like a rocket, but watch the car windows).
Another friend from high school is fixing something on the patio table. He went to college in South Carolina, and has only been coming around again since graduating. Another guy is drunk in a lawn chair and mumbling.
During a bullshit conversation, the guy at the table begins cursing about in frustration.
Then he says it, under his breath, so low that we almost don't hear it: "This sucks almost as much as Bruce Springsteen."
In shock, I miss the ball, but don't bother looking for it. I look right at him, and then at the thrower; he's staring at Table guy. The drunk in the chair is also staring, mouth agape, and then shakes his head as if clearing out the fog and says, "The fuck did you just say?"
Table guy looks at us, an incredulous look on his face. "Jesus Christ, I was kidding."
A tense second goes by.
"Oh.... You gotta be careful with that kinda shit," I say.
"No shit," he laughs. "Forgot I was back in Jersey."