Serving up inflammatory chestnuts since . . . well, today.

Monday, August 15, 2005

True story:

Today I called a customer service number. A machine picked up, and a recording told me to "Please listen carefully, as our menu options have changed." The recording then said, "If you are trying to reach [customer service number], please press 1 now."

There was no other menu option.

posted by Phutatorius at  #2:58 PM, in anticipation of (2) objections.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

So I apologize for largely abandoning this site in recent weeks. It's because I'm trying to push through to the end of this novel. If you want proof that I am actually otherwise occupied, check in here now and again to read about New Jersey's Amazing Turnpike Witch.

As for Phutatorius, I promise you he will rise from the ashes with renewed strength, like Stefano DiMera on Days of Our Lives. You'll see, in about a week or so.

posted by Phutatorius at  #7:23 PM, in anticipation of (0) objections.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

It's all politics and "who you know" with these kaleidoscope people, I swear. I don't know why you'd have a special society devoted to kaleidoscope learning, but then be all snotty about who gets in.

The fact is, The Wife won that auction fair and square. The people at the Brewster Society can complain all they want about how we paid the guy who came in and Giloolied their bidder, but that's all crap. Everybody knows the Brewster Society has enemies — and a lot of 'em. In fact, I can think of at least twelve other criminal masterminds who wanted to see that Brewster Bidder hauled out of Sotheby's into that back alley and pummeled unconscious. And it's not like he was defenseless, in any event. He had that ping-pong paddle he was raising to make the bids. He could have done some serious damage with that thing, overpowered his abductors, and got right back into the action, if he hadn't been such a stuffed shirt about the whole incident.

It's not our fault the auctioneer played through the interruption, so quit your crying and go home, you Brewster Babies, you — you — Punky Brewsters.

And now that my elegant and lovely Wife has her prize, and the precious solid-gold diamond-encrusted Fabergé kaleidoscope you wanted so badly is sitting on our kitchen counter next to our Williams-Sonoma toaster, maybe you'll want to reconsider our application for membership, you exclusive pricks.

You don't have to be a freaking aristocrat to appreciate the beauty of a kaleidoscope. Kaleidoscopes are for The People. Like it or lump it, Brewster Society — Phutatorius and The Wife have your Holy Grail in our apartment, and we're gonna let the contractor look at it when he comes to regrout the bathtub.

posted by Phutatorius at  #11:53 AM, in anticipation of (0) objections.

Friday, February 11, 2005

Thanks to this fantastic online resource, I am now able to say "Tails up! Orphan, visiting and expecting food, plunges through the air!" in Inuit.

Oddly, though, this dictionary does not include a single word for snow. I had heard a lot of hype on this point and was expecting to find at list 50 of 'em. Worth noting, though: Inuit has two words for "good for nothing," as well as a specialized term for "dances White Men's dance." So draw your own conclusions.

Pameiyut! Illiyardjuk, aimerpok, auksarpok!

posted by Phutatorius at  #1:42 PM, in anticipation of (1) objections.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Well, the passage of another winter storm is marked once more in Cambridge by the sudden appearance of metal folding chairs in dug-out street parking spaces. A strange phenomenon, this propagation of folding chairs in the street, and it prompts a city-dweller to consider how — and why — all these chairs make their way into street parking when it snows.

A first possibility is that these chairs sprout up, sua sponte, out of the pavement. I have to dismiss that suggestion out of hand: paved ground is a far cry from fertile soil, and I have yet to see vegetative matter take the form of a folding chair. Another possibility is that some agitation in the earth's molten core causes it to belch up metals from underground. That white-hot liquefied metal hits the open air and solidifies, it just so happens, in the shape of a metal folding chair. Again, not so probable: there are no signs of cracking or scarring in the pavement under these chairs, no pothole so deep — even on Hingham Street — as to suggest an open conduit into the center of the planet. And it strains credulity to think that Mother Earth could with such consistency spit up liquid metal in the shape of folding chairs, only in empty parking spaces, and only when it snows.

One has to conclude that the appearance of these chairs on the street is the result of some human agency. And the sheer number of chairs that have appeared at first suggests some concerted effort, perhaps by some band of renegade chair-placers, to scatter folding chairs around Eastern Massachusetts. But what purpose would that serve? No — there seems to be some broader, cultural dynamic at work here, by which Boston and Cambridge residents feel some urge or entitlement, when it snows, to run out into the street and put down a folding chair in any open parking space.

I have to ask, then: Whence that urge? Whence that entitlement? To answer the first question — and I only speculate here — I suppose that when three feet of snow blanket an urban area, there arises the problem of where to put it. Inevitably, the various plows and shovelers concentrate the snow in certain areas, usually on the side of the street, where many city residents customarily park their cars. The six-foot high snowbanks on the street cause a dearth of parking spaces. Given the constant number of cars in Cambridge, and a significant reduction of space available for them to park on the street, drivers feel compelled to "reserve" spots for themselves by leaving folding chairs in them.

Now let's put aside for the sociologists the odd uniformity of method that has emerged here in "claiming" public parking spaces — how did the folding chair become the ownership totem? why not barbed wire? a monogrammed boulder? — and ask instead my second, more significant question: whence the entitlement?

What makes someone think that he can "own" a publicly available parking space? Cambridge's city streets are owned and maintained by the municipality, and parking spots alongside these thoroughfares are given over to the public to use. No greater privilege is accorded to one resident over another because of, say, the proportion of taxes that he pays to the city. Anyone can park in the street, so long as he has a permit or is willing to chuck change into the meter. You can't buy or lease street parking. Possession, in this instance, is ten tenths of the law here.

What is it about the snow, then, that makes people think they can walk out and stake a morally (if not legally) cognizable claim to a parking spot with a friggin' folding chair? What basis can these chair-brandishers possibly have for excluding another car from a public parking space? One wants to apply the Tuco Principle here and say there are two kinds of people in this world: those who put folding chairs into parking spaces to claim them for themselves, and those who aren't going to hell when they die. I suspect that a disproportionate number of investment bankers make up the former category.

Certainly those who spent an hour or more digging out the space might be able to assert a "sweat of my brow" theory of ownership. But who decides what amount of effort is sufficient to establish a claim that I "own" this parking space? Should there have been a foot or more of documented snowfall? Eighteen inches? Does there need to be any snow at all? Could I pick up a crushed beer can from a space and claim it through the summer? And there are issues of proof as well: I know of at least one instance (admittedly, secondhand, but I trust the source) in which a person dug his car out, vacated the space, and returned home to find it "claimed" by someone else's metal folding chair.

My proposal: some greater investment of time and energy ought to be required of those who would "stake out" a parking place in Boston or Cambridge. The folding chair is a starting point, but it cannot be enough on its own. If you don't want to see my car parked in "your" empty parking space, you had better be sitting in the chair when I pull up. You had also better be in good physical condition — strong enough to deflect a Volkswagen doing 25 mph in reverse. But if you think you can just leave a folding chair out in the road and walk away, well you just lost yourself a perfectly good folding chair.

posted by Phutatorius at  #1:24 PM, in anticipation of (0) objections.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

I should note, by the way, that 2004 was a lousy year for campaigning. But January always brings with it the seeds of hope, and I expect to make big strides, militia-wise, in the coming months.

You all may remember that November saw my advancing hordes held in check west of Tibet by the fleet-footed legions of the Crunch 'n' Munch Kid. I know, I know — he prefers to be called General Doom. And really, after the way his infantry routed my swordsmen along the walls of Katmandu, he probably gets to have me call him whatever he wants. But even twenty years after those commercials, it's hard to picture this bitter enemy of mine as anything other than a surly kindergartner grousing about the substandard snack food his mother chose for him. It's my belief that if General Doom's childhood had not been so fraught with disappointment, he would not have overstretched himself in the Mongolian steppes over Christmas and opened his supply lines to my raids.

And thank God for that: as beaten down as my Third Battalion was at that point in time, they were not fit to survive the winter on foraging alone. As it turns out, the plundered caramel corn and peanuts — I'm no psychoanalyst, "Crunch 'n' Munch," but I find your choice of rations to be intriguing, to say the least — kept my scattered soldiers alive long enough for me to airlift them out. Live to fight another day, I told myself, as I orchestrated a wholesale retreat that surrendered Yakutsk, Irkutsk, and Kamchatka to General Doom. It's always hard to hand over the land of your childhood, where you gamboled and played in those halcyon days of youth, before all of us got involved in the world domination business. But it's not like I haven't bugged out of Asia before: I've been beating my head against this wall three years running. As I boarded that helicopter and gave the go-sign, I said to myself over and over again, Live to fight another day. These days that has become, regrettably, my mantra.

That other day is now, people — and I have my designs now on South America. Once you establish a position there, it's easy to defend, and you have naval access to the West Coast of Africa and North America. What's that, you say? Lead an advance through Panama? The first thing you learn in this business is that you never lead more than a single battalion out onto an isthmus — unless it's part of a larger sneak attack, with a fleet of destroyers poised on either flank.

But we're getting ahead of ourselves here. We all know well that Bea Arthur's minions claim to have the entire continent in lockdown, but they're a fractious bunch — not terribly well-disciplined, and my agents have already infiltrated a number of their operational centers in Uruguay and Peru. The whisper campaign is in full force, and I predict a full-fledged mutiny against Brigadier Beatrice by the end of February. It will still be warm enough, at that time, for me to land paratroopers into Bolivia and move more substantial ground forces in from Patagonia in the south. We'll take Ms. Arthur by surprise, all right. She was always out of her league. Should have taken up macrame — or some other hobby where she couldn't hurt herself — after they canceled Golden Girls. Joining the multilateral battle for world sovereignty is a big step. Anyone can get in the game, but you have to have the organizational skills, the resources and — dare I say it? — a certain amount of cajones to stay in the game.

As for you, General Crunch 'n' Munch, you'll be lucky to be holding the Ukraine come April. They say Gavin McCleod is cloning American Gladiators in his laboratory by the Black Sea. With these new battalions of genetically-proven warrior-primates at his beck and call, Captain Steubing finally has the land army to complement his considerable naval resources in the Mediterranean. I'll be content to hunker down in the Amazon Basin while you two bang your heads together in Central Asia.

The coming months will be interesting, indeed . . .

posted by Phutatorius at  #10:12 PM, in anticipation of (1) objections.

Friday, January 14, 2005

Today the Wife and I embark for Florida for the long weekend. We've arranged a non-stop flight to Tampa on Song, or Delta/Song, or Song/Delta (the two airlines — or is it one? — seem to have some kind of identity relationship, a precise understanding of which eludes me, due to a treasured lack of knowledge about corporate matters), which can mean

THING . . .

The Big Horse is back in the saddle, baby (or something like that). It's Song Music Trivia time, and I am geared up. Last year I walked in cold and knocked some heads (TSA officials, I meant that metaphorically). This will be something different. This will be a day that the passengers on Song flight 3510 will be telling their grandchildren about:

Come sit down on my lap, Little Susie, and let me tell you about the time I was on a plane with The Legendary Phutatorius.

Did he do Music Trivia, Grampa?

Susie, he did Music Trivia that day like nobody ever did Music Trivia before or after. I wish you could have seen it.

posted by Phutatorius at  #1:25 PM, in anticipation of (0) objections.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Well, I'm to the point now where I'm considering plastic surgery. That's where I am right now — because I've spent the last ten days trying to get these miserable earbuds — which Apple actually has the gall to sell separately — to stay in my ears, and I'm coming round to the view that it simply is not possible. I am making strides with the right ear. I really have that 'bud lodged in there but good, crammed halfway into the cochlea on that right side, and barring some extreme intervention involving a tractor, rope, and a pair or needlenosed pliers, I'm convinced that Earbud R is in there to stay.

The problem is the left side. I just can't get that L to stick. Oh, I've tried everything — peanut butter, epoxy — but no dice. And as someone who likes to listen to music in stereo, I have to say it sucks to play my iPod's 25GB of loaded music into one measly ear.

Maybe I'm doing something wrong here. Maybe all the people I see in the street, strolling along, with earbuds securely placed, are privy to some secret tip I don't know about. Maybe I'm a horrible, horrible freak with a gaping maw of a left ear parked so far beyond the normal limits for Homo Sapiens sapiens that even Apple Corp., with its significant design resources, could not account for me when they developed these earbuds.

A co-worker of mine described the same problem to me: the right earbud holds its ground just fine, but the left can't stay in place. I observed at a meeting later in the day that she was writing — like I was — with her left hand. I'm wondering now whether southpaws naturally have a larger external ear cavity than their right-handed counterparts. Apple's engineers may or may not have observed this phenomenon in the course of their R&D. At best, there is a market out there for a Left-Handed Earbud Set. At worst, Steve Jobs is a sinistrophobe.

In any event, I don't see any nonsurgical alternatives right now, and yesterday I consulted with a physician who proposes to take cartilage out of my knee — who needs it, right? — and graft it into a ridge along the bottom of my left auricle, just above the lobe. The Good Doctor promises that the new "seawall," as he calls it, will hold that left earbud in place through any physical jostling short of a grand mal seizure. "The iPod itself will skip," he declares, "before that baby jumps your left-side ridge."

Now if only the Health Plan would approve the surgery. They're calling it an "elective" procedure, and it could be another six weeks before I get through their appeal process. Jerks.

posted by Phutatorius at  #9:45 PM, in anticipation of (0) objections.

Saturday, December 25, 2004

"Only I didn't say, 'Fudge.'"

Merry Christmas, everybody!

posted by Phutatorius at  #8:55 AM, in anticipation of (0) objections.

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Vito2 Vito3!

His name is Vito. He has 50cc of roaring Italian engine driving that back wheel. And there is storage space under the seat. This ain't no foolin' around.

posted by Phutatorius at  #2:27 PM, in anticipation of (1) objections.

Friday, December 17, 2004

Well, if I had thought the damned monkey had feelings, then, no, I wouldn't have put the Santa hat on his head in the first place.

Yes, fine — he's a chimpanzee, not a monkey. Fine. And I'm a wealthy industrialist with ambitions that border on a Don Quixote Complex, but I'm no stickler for accuracy: you can just call me "politically corrected."

I understand that a chimpanzee is a primate, and therefore more evolutionarily advanced than a monkey. I've read my goddam Darwin. I just don't have the whole thing committed to memory to regurgitate in conversation.

Look: I don't know why you're coming to me with this. It wasn't even my idea to do the photo Christmas card in the first place. I mean, really: why do we have to mass-mail the world a picture of the staff?

If you want my honest opinion, as far as I can figure it, the whole thing was Barbara from Accounting's idea: she wanted all the clients to see how good she looks since she's gone on Jenny Craig. Thirty-eight years old, single, and on the prowl. For my part, I think it's absurd. Take out a personal ad on your own dime. But whatever, if it helps morale around this goddam mausoleum of an office space, I'm on board.

Well, I've seen him put the hat on himself. Yes, he has. He doesn't tell you that, but he has that Santa hat on half the day. He puts it on and acts all cutesy so the secretaries will give him candy. But that's his choice. If he wants to objectify himself, then he should be prepared to —

Why, just this morning, in fact. He had the hat on and was dancing in front of the mirror in it. How do you think I got the idea?

No, there wasn't anyone else around, but that's what I saw. And I figured, Hey. Chimp digs the Santa hat. Maybe we could use that in the picture.

You're right — no means no. And I should have got the message when he took the hat off, stomped on it, and threw it at the photographer. But you know how people are. They act all modest, pretend they don't want to perform in front of the crowd, when you know they're just dying to do it. They just want everybody to beg for it. It's the same with chimps — like you said, we're all primates, right?

Enough with the drama already. It's not like I used the heavy-duty stapler. Yes. It was a garden-variety Swingline, with standard 35-2D size staples. Honestly, with all that hair up there, and the thick skin those monkeys have —

Right. Chimps. With all that thick skin those chimps have up there around the scalp — half their bodies are cartilage, you know — I don't think he felt a thing.

Well, they're always jumping around and screeching, aren't they? That's what chimps do. It doesn't mean they're in pain. That doesn't mean anything.

That's not a bigoted statement. It's a fact. Haven't you seen all the Clint Eastwood movies? That's what chimps do. They jump around and screech. All the time. And they scratch their armpits, too. Are you going to accuse me of putting itching powder in his Old Spice?

This conversation is not over. It's over when I say it is. It's over now. I've said it's over. Now it's over.

No — I'll see you in court. Goddam chimp isn't the only guy here with a fancy-pants lawyer, I'll have you know. And I should tell you, I have other professional resources at my disposal as well. So think about that.

I've got some phone numbers in my Rolodex, and when I dial them, I get results. You can take that any way you want to. But I've got phone numbers a lot of people would like to have. That's all I'm saying.

posted by Phutatorius at  #4:44 PM, in anticipation of (0) objections.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

"If you really want to know what will get all that wax off your apple peel . . ." began the man in the top hat and Renaissance Era neck-ruffle.

I stopped my frenzied polishing, looked up into his eyes (one brown, one blue), and nodded to indicate Yes. Yes, I would.

"It's urine does that trick." And with that, the man winked at me and vanished from my office doorway, as quickly as he came.

posted by Phutatorius at  #11:42 AM, in anticipation of (0) objections.

Monday, November 29, 2004

I'm putting my Christmas wish-list together, and I'm stuck. I don't know whether to ask for a "New York City" T-shirt like the one John Lennon actually wore in the famous picture or the T-shirt that shows the famous picture of John Lennon wearing that "New York City" T-shirt.

I mean, you can make a case for both. I think it's probably cooler to wear the same one that Lennon wore — that way I can cut off the sleeves and be exactly like John Lennon. The problem is that there's nothing on it that says, HEY! John Lennon wore a T-shirt like this, with "New York City" on it. So people who haven't seen the picture won't know why I'm wearing a shirt with "New York City" written on the front. In Boston these days, that's not a particularly safe proposition. More importantly, though, if people don't get the reference, the whole point of wearing the T-shirt is lost. After all, the shirt isn't cool because it says "New York City." It's cool because John Lennon wore it in a famous picture.

Now the other shirt sends a clearer message: here's John Lennon wearing a T-shirt with "New York City" on it. And for all you Bostonians who want to clobber me for wearing a shirt with "New York City" on it, I'll point out that I'm not endorsing New York City, John Lennon is. So there. That's what the shirt with the picture of John Lennon wearing the "New York City" T-shirt has going for it. In the end, though, if I get this T-shirt, I come across as nothing more than a run-of-the-mill fan of John Lennon, whereas with the other shirt, I'm actually dressing like him.

The problem is this, in a nutshell: It's not the acknowledgment that Lennon wore a T-shirt with "New York City" on it that is cool — it's going out and finding that same T-shirt and wearing it myself. But if I'm the only person who knows I'm wearing a perfect simulacrum of John Lennon's "New York City" T-shirt, then there's no point in doing it. It's a waste to be cool if no one else notices. It's like a tree going to all kinds of trouble to fall in the woods, just to make a sound nobody hears. I mean, I suppose I could go around telling people about it, on the train, in the office, in the grocery line: Excuse me, sir/madam: did you know that John Lennon wore a T-shirt like this? But that's not really cool, either.


I don't see a way out of this dilemma, except maybe to ask for the two T-shirts, hope I get both, and wear them on alternate days. Or maybe I could wear Lennon's T-shirt, put Bobo the Chimp in the T-shirt with Lennon on it (do they make it in extra-small?), and send him down the street ahead of me, incognito, to clue people in to the significance of my shirt. I dunno. I don't see any way out of this, and I welcome any insights or suggestions.

posted by Phutatorius at  #2:55 PM, in anticipation of (0) objections.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004


A friend of mine solicited my thoughts on Saturday's OSU-Michigan football game. I wrote up a lengthy response to him and mailed it off, and then it occurred to me that I had not posted here in some time, and my dissertation on the Buckeye win was probably Chestnut-worthy, most notably because it's about time somebody got on ABC's case about their programming. And no, I'm not talking about Desperate Housewives.

So here it is (please note in advance that it is peppered with obscenity):

"OK. Let's do this. On ABC: I called their fucking local affiliate earlier in the year to ask them why the fucking hell they don't EVER play the games that the regional map says they're going to fucking play. I got screwed with OSU-Marshall, and I got screwed with OSU-Penn State. I don't think in either case the substituted game even had regional relevance. One of them was a fucking ACC game, and the other one had USC in it. So fine, maybe the USC game was a better matchup (Virginia-North Carolina certainly wasn't, in the season's second week), but the stupid map advertised the OSU-Penn State game, and I about lost my shit when they didn't run it, and I called Channel 5 to complain.

In the sports bar that week I found out that when the stupid local affiliate bumps games, they land on UPN. You know, because ABC and UPN are totally the same company. They're not, and it doesn't make any goddam sense, but whatever. That's where the OSU-Penn State game was. So when the happy lady from the local affiliate's PR department called and left a happy message on my machine offering to explain their arbitrary and capricious college football programming scheme, I said fuck it. I didn't have three hours to go over the whole tortuous fucking business, and my game would probably land on UPN if it happened again.

Then Saturday came along, and the game everybody in the goddam country wants to watch every fucking year — OSU-Michigan — was to be broadcast by ABC. They would NEVER mess with that, I thought. It's OSU-Michigan. I mean, Jesus. Then I turn on my stupid-ass fucking local ABC affiliate around 12:30 p.m., and lo and behold, they're showing BC-Temple. And BC-Temple should not be on television. Big East football should arguably never be on television, and a game involving Temple should never ever ever EVER be on television. Except on closed-circuit fucking TV in goddam Temple University lecture halls when the Owls are on the road.

I started eating my sandwich. I thought, what the hell? They'll probably switch over, bump BC to UPN, or if they really want to insult me, they'll bump OSU-Michigan to UPN. I'm halfway through my sandwich at 1:00. They don't switch over. I'm still watching 'ESPN+' bonus coverage on the goddam ABC affiliate. BC predictably beating the snot out of Temple, because they're like one of two teams left in that miserable shit of a football conference. Well, let's check UPN.

Harvard-Yale is on UPN. A game of 'regional' interest. This might be true, except that anyone who goddam cares about the Harvard-Yale game is actually at the game, probably drunk, probably with their pants off waiting to streak across the field. I understand that the Harvard-Yale game is a big deal. I get that Harvard is undefeated. What I don't get is why this fucking game is on television. The Harvard-Yale game is never on television. Ivy League football is not a television sport. It's an experience. So go to the goddam game. If you don't want to go, then you don't get to see it, because other, REAL football games like OSU-Michigan are WHAT'S ON TELEVISION.

I picked up the other half of my sandwich, thought really hard about whether I was going to throw it against the wall. The Wife gave me a look. I put the sandwich down, picked up the remote, cycled through my cable channels twice, just to see if I was missing something. Oh, no — I wasn't missing anything. There's the BC-Temple game on the stupid-ass fucking miserable crapper of a local ABC affiliate, there's Harvard-Yale on UPN broacasting to an audience of twelve, ESPN is running Penn State-Michigan, some other channel is actually showing NORTHWESTERN-ILLINOIS. But OSU-Michigan isn't anywhere on the goddam cable dial.

I lost my shit. I shouted, I screamed, I yelled. I went through the cable channels again. I saw that NBC had its usual Saturday religious programming — not the Notre Dame home game against some terrible service academy team, but even worse: NASCAR. And specifically, that part of NASCAR where they have a prayer at the racetrack before the fucking race. I expanded the scope of my shouting and screaming to consider the miserable state of the nation we live in, how our TV programming — which was the last citadel of secular sophistication — is getting goddam taken over by the hyper-Christian stock-car freaks from North Carolina.

The Wife threw me out of the house. After I left, she probably put Judging Amy on the TiVo.

I went to the sports bar, still seething, managed after a few minutes to find a seat at the bar in front of a television that was actually showing the biggest college football game currently being played within this nation's borders. I saw that OSU had scored on a 68-yard touchdown pass that I missed while I was in the car. The guy next to me kept asking the open air why BC's quarterback was no longer in the Temple game. I sipped my Diet Coke, managed to suppress my every instinct, which was to turn to the guy and say:

Who gives a rat's ass about BC's quarterback, you stupid stupid fuck? They play inconsequential games in an inconsequential conference that they'll be glad to leave next year so that real football teams can kick the living shit out of them in the ACC for years to come. They're wandering stupidly into a BCS bowl because their sad-sack conference still gets an automatic berth, for reasons unknown to me, you, and the goddam stupid assholes who preempted OSU-Michigan with this shit-for-brains Temple game. Shut the goddam living fuck up about the BC quarterback, because my team is now down 14-7, Michigan just downed a punt on the Buckeyes' 1-yard-line, I've got to sit here and listen to obnoxious Michigan fans cheering for their team (when if I could I'd be at home, by myself, watching this game), and if things get any worse, I'm going to take a big steaming shit on this bar and go crash my Volkswagen through the front windows of the Harvard Business School.

And then something really crazy happened. Troy Smith and the Buckeyes marched down the field, largely unimpeded by the Michigan defense, and scored a touchdown. OSU fans in the bar erupted. I hadn't seen them before. They had had no occasion to cheer since I'd got here. I thought about that 99-yard drive. That doesn't happen, I said to myself. That hasn't happened all year. My attention centered itself once more on the television. I was intrigued, and more than a little concerned. What was that I just saw? An offense? Because I hadn't seen anything quite like that in quite a long time — and that's including the 2002 national championship year.

I kept watching. And it kept getting better. The defense stiffened up, swarmed on Mike Hart, pressured Henne to make plays, forced three-and-outs, and the offense moved the ball and scored. It was unbelievable. I ordered myself a caesar's salad and boneless buffalo tenders. When these plates arrived I was allowed to forget my half-sandwich at home, which I'd left behind when the Wife threw me out. A Michigan fan took the seat beside me and swore a lot. He kept yelling, 'Throw the ball to Braylon!' He was also wearing a jersey with the number 1 on it, and he seemed a little bit like a groupie. I hated him. We watched the game for a while in silence.

Finally, I turned to him and said, loud enough that the idiot on the other side of me could hear: 'What the hell is that stupid-ass local ABC affiliate doing playing the goddam BC-Temple game?' The Michigan fan said it was an absurd development, and that it had caused him to leave the comforts of his own home to watch the game here. He continued to swear a lot, but we talked a little more. I was surprised to learn that he wasn't an absolute asshole, and actually kind of a nice guy, though I could afford to be magnanimous because OSU was up 34-14.

Of course, in the fourth quarter Tressel reverted to the usual 'run the tailback into the back of the tackle and fall down' playcalling, which allowed Michigan to get back into the game by simply throwing the ball to Braylon, as the guy next to me had prescribed. I started to feel the buffalo tenders kicking around in my stomach. Why why why why why? Why not actually try to get a first down, Tressel, and burn the clock that way? I mean, are you totally chickenshit? Run the ball outside, for crying out loud. Ultimately, of course, it all ended well.

And I went home happy and hugged the Wife and apologized to her about the outburst."

posted by Phutatorius at  #11:42 AM, in anticipation of (1) objections.


  July 2003   August 2003   September 2003   October 2003   November 2003   December 2003   January 2004   February 2004   March 2004   April 2004   May 2004   June 2004   July 2004   August 2004   September 2004   October 2004   November 2004   December 2004   January 2005   February 2005   April 2005   June 2005   August 2005

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?