Tony Reali hosts ESPN's show Around The Horn, in which four sportswriters argue with each other in between twenty-three-and-a-half-hour breaks. Reali scores them based on ... I don't know what exactly, but it's a grand ol' time.
Reali is also on Twitter, where he recently shared his engagement story. It is harrowing and it is stressful and I'm not telling you if it ends well or not because that'll ruin the fun. I'd tell you to check his Twitter feed, but that wrecks the suspense because it loads last tweet first, which, obviously, gives you the ending before anything else ... so I've recreated it all for you. Edited a bit because, hey, it's Twitter and Reali was making himself sick reliving it all and, in his words, punted the grammar after the fourth tweet and third vomit. Happy to help the guy out.
I've tentatively titled this little fairy tale "Love and LaGuardia's Bathrooms."
In New York City. Ring's in a box, in my shoe, in a bag, in the safe, behind the desk at the Chambers Hotel. Gave it to the hotel because I'm no stoonad. (Ed. note: No clue what this means. Feel free to help me out, anyone.) We're going out all day to a parade with a million people and I'm not getting pickpocketed in my city. So I give them the ring, they give me a ticket. Stop back at the hotel on the way to the airport, cab meter running. I run in, they open safe, and ... EMPTY. They go to the backup safe ... EMPTY. Hotel has no clue where the bag is. I tell them (discreetly, so Stat Girl wouldn't hear) that the engagement ring was in the bag. The hotel manager cries.
Stat Girl gets suspicious. I get nauseous. Seconds feel like hours. Minutes feel like a Woody Paige facetime. (Ed. note: My link.) I'm gonna vom. Go outside to get air.
The porter comes running out: "We've located the bag. It's at LaGuardia Airport." WHAT? #projectilevomit #thishappened
A couple checked out minutes before and were given both bags. At curbside check-in they realized and called the hotel. #kindnessofstrangers
As we drive to LaGuardia with the hotel manager, I'm technicolor yawning out the window. The ring is uninsured and if it's gone, it's gone. We get to LaGuardia, see the people, see the bag. Ignore the dude, rip open the bag to get to the shoe. Rip open the shoe to get to the box. Rip open the box to get to the ring.
See the ring, drag Stat Girl between the Men's and Women's bathrooms at LaGuardia and propose right there. A custodian is buffing the floor. LaGuardia's Marine Terminal bathroom: Most Romantic Place on Earth.
And that's our engagement story. And, God willing, the story I'll tell little Fiorello and Fiorella LaGuardia Reali when they're born.
And via Will Brinson, here's regular ATH guest Bomani Jones's reaction, allegedly, when he learns that Reali proposed at the LaGuardia bathroom, which is actually the tweet that inspired Reali to share this lovely tale:
The story doesn't quite end there, however:
P.S. Not the end of the story about the ring, though. Two weeks later, with the insurance papers on the desk ready to be—BUT NOT YET mailed—our apartment building catches fire. It's 2 a.m. and Stat Girl is the one who notices. We bang on all the doors to get everyone out of the building.
Expecting to see puffs of smoke, we see BALLS OF FIRE on the roof. The Fire Department runs in then runs out five minutes later. The roof collapses.
Our apartment was the top two floors. We lost everything. What am I doing? Vomiting into the street, of course. It took five hours for DCFD to get it under control.
Everyoen got out and that's most important. At 7 a.m., the fire chief says they can go into the building and save pets. Stat Girl whispers to him. I think it's odd, because we have no pets. But I have to go to work, because I no backup to host Around The Horn, so I leave in sweatpants and a t-shirt and go to the office.
The News comes on at noon and the lead story is the fire because it's the biggest in DC in 20 years. I'm watching my whole building get destroyed, my life become a mess, and the reporter wraps with: "A bit of good news: A recently engaged young lady was just reunited with her engagement ring. The fire chief pulled it from the rubble."
And that's how I found out Stat Girl left the uninsured engagement ring in the house during the fire. Everyone at Around The Horn and PTI (Pardon The Interruption, on which Reali also works) let out a cheer. I got ready to vomit. And that's the end.
The ring was insured the next day. I hosted every show that week. We got married that year. The apartment was rebuilt in 18 months. And I'm tired of typing now.
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