If I Were Sam “Mayday” Malone*

Originally Posted on The Yale Herald - Medium via UWIRE

If I were Sam “Mayday” Malone, I would lean on the bar, I’d pour a few drinks, I’d still be a star. There’s Frasier and Lilith and Cliff and Norm. We’d share in the laughs, make cold days feel warm. I’d banter and barter, in the light, I’d glisten. If I were Sam “Mayday” Malone, I’d make sure to listen. See, patrons have problems of which I’d be keenly aware. Because if I were Sam “Mayday” Malone, I’d be so much more than just a baseball player.

If I were Sam “Mayday” Malone, I’d pitch up a storm back in the day, but I’d hurt my arm and that’d all go away. I’d turn to my bar, a bar for the people. In times of darkness, this bar was my steeple. A steeple to laugh, a steeple to cry, a steeple where I’d have Coach by my side.

If I were Sam “Mayday” Malone, I’d be saddened to learn Coach Ernie Pantusso was dead. But If I were Sam “Mayday” Malone, I’d just call him “Coach” instead. After so many seasons as a baseball star, I’d be surprised that Coach only lasted three in the bar. But it’s not so surprising if you take a step back, and see Nicholas Colasanto had a tragic heart attack.** If I were Sam “Mayday” Malone, I’d accept Woody as Coach’s replacement. And in a few years, I’d forget Coach’s defacement. Sometimes I’d remember, for a second I’d smile, but Woody was rising, that kid sure had style.

If I were Sam “Mayday” Malone, I’d tend that bar for a decade, and from that bar, I’d never have strayed. But the day would come, it’d come at some point, the day I’d say goodbye to this joint. The bar would be empty, I’d wash a few dishes, a stranger would walk up with imbibing wishes. He’d knock on the door, I’d peer through the window. He’d pull at the handle, but wouldn’t get in, though. He’d try it again — it’s unlocked, he’d suppose — and at last, I’d grin and announce “we’re closed.”

If I were Sam “Mayday” Malone, I’d never find solace in Cheers! But if I were Sam “Mayday” Malone, maybe I wouldn’t be alone in bed on a Friday night, my eyes misty with tears.

*Sam “Mayday” Malone was the bartender and central character on the hit TV sitcom Cheers (1982–1993).

**Nicholas Colasanto played Coach on the hit TV sitcom Cheers (1982–1993) until his death by cardiac arrest in 1985.


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