Why, Oh Why?
“Vhat are you doing?” asked my beloved Austrian bride. “Aren’t you going to eat anything for supper? Dry up and blow away, you vill.”
I ceased my aimless wandering about, realizing I was in the kitchen. “What? Oh, no, I’ll eat later,” I said. “I’m saving it for the game.”
“Oh yes,” she said, rummaging around in the refrigerator for her daily dose of fresh vegetables and fruits and other icky things. “Da Packers und de Minnesoda Wikings. Big game. Should be good. Now vhat are you doing?”
“I’m waiting,” I said. “I have to wait for the game. The game will be on at eight. I have to wait until then. I want to see the game. It’s going to be a good game.” I don’t normally drink coffee, and I try to limit myself to one can of diet cola a day as caffeine tends to make me pee a lot. And it keeps me awake. And it makes me talk fast. But, knowing that I wanted to stay up past my normal 7:48 p.m. bedtime, I indulged in a second soda. “It’s the Packers and the Vikings at Lambeau Field, the Frozen Tundra. It’s the biggest game of the year,” I blurted.
“I know,” replied my Viennese bride, reaching for the olive oil (extra virgin). “It’s de biggest game of de year, except for the last time they played each udder three veeks ago.” Seeing me gearing up for an indignant sputter, she quickly continued. “But dat vas different, I know. Dat vas in Minnesoda. Dis is in Lambeau. You go play on your computer or something. De game doesn’t start for three hours, you know. Now go do something.”
I made half-hearted attempts to practice my bass. Usually that distracts me, but not today. I turned it up loud enough to bother the neighbors, figuring it was a pre-emptive strike – they don’t usually turn their stereo up until 7:49 p.m. I was still distracted. The big game. My mighty Green Bay Packers were taking their mighty two-and-seven record against the pathetic Vikings and their wimpy four-and-five record. Only two more hours until kickoff! I set my bass down and padded to the computer.
“Is de game on yet?” asked my beloved from the other room. “Vhat channel is it on? Do you think Brett Favre will have a good game?”
“I hope so,” said I. “The game doesn’t start until eight. It’s on channel ten. The pregame is on channel twenty-four, but I can’t bear to watch it. They might say something bad about the Packers.”
“Okay,” replied my bride. “I’ll vatch it for you.” I heard the noises of channels being changed in the other room. “Ah, there it is! They’re talking about the Eagles. Vhen did McNabb get hurt? Vill he be able to play next week?”
“He got whapped right in the hernia last week,” I answered. I edged closer to the bedroom, hoping for a peek at the television, but not wanting to see anything. “What are they saying about the Packers?” I hopped up and down a little on one foot. That made me feel better.
“Nothink. They aren’t saying anythink about de Packers. Just about Donovan McNabb and that Teeyo guy. Didn’t dey fire him for beink stupid?”
I sat back down at the computer. “Yep, the poor Eagles are in trouble. McNabb’s out and T.O. is out…” I resigned myself to waiting once more.
Finally… FINALLY my bloodshot eyes beheld the numbers on the VCR click from 7:55 to 7:56. Time to throw the last piece of pizza in the microwave and make a nice glass of chocolate milk. Wham, slam, beep beep stir grab the crackers too run to the living room where’s the remote push the button “ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL” forgot the fork don’t need it anyway found another adjust the coffee table got the food got the milk got the remote got a fork I’M READY! My eyes venture upward to the TV set to behold Al Michaels and John Madden. Beautiful!
As the kickoff happened and the teams were making their fast-forward chess moves preparing for the return my fork quiveringly made it’s first touch of pizza. WHAM the guy catches the ball. THUNK goes my fork through the pizza. Timing is everything, you know… Rituals must be observed.
I sat, enthralled, through the first quarter of the game. Neither team seemed to be able to get much done, though both defenses seemed to be playing well. Finished with my pizza, I fluffed up my pillow and leaned back on the couch. The second quarter started.
Eyes half open, my brain vaguely registered the halftime score. I rolled over and grabbed the blanket. It’s so comfy here on the couch…
“Did I just hear you snorink?”
“Wha? What? Huh?” I tried hard not to sputter as I sat up. “No, I was just breathing deep. It’s good for you.” My wife was standing in front of the TV.
“You were snorink,” she said with a smile. “It’s tied, seventeen to seventeen. I thought you’d like to see dis.” With that she trotted back into the bedroom. I love that woman!
Seventeen to seventeen. Packers and Vikings, fourth quarter, Lambeau field, a tummy full of pizza… It just doesn’t get any better! Life is good! Wait… The Vikings have the ball, and there’s only a minute and a half left in the game. Not good. Oh, but they’re way out of position – they’d have to get at least twenty yards on this next play to get into field goal position. Their receivers haven’t been too good tonight, nothing to worry about…
ACK! Who was supposed to cover THAT guy? Oh, geeze… The Vikings just got a good twenty yards and are in field goal position. Oh, no… They’re gonna try for three points…
Life is miserable when you lose by three points with two seconds left on the clock.
Feeling fat and bloated from all the pizza I ate, I tried to get back to sleep. No dice. I snuck back into the bedroom and tried to curl up with my beloved, only to find a cat snoozing on my pillow. Life is miserable. Terrible. Back to the couch I go. It’s gonna be a long season… But, it’s better to have been a fan and lost than never to have been a fan at all.
Things I Think Up When I Can’t Sleep
If you start to get bored with life, if you start to wonder if there really is a God, behold the magic in popcorn. Popcorn couldn’t have happened by accident, could it? Is popcorn God’s little joke?
Did civilization really start because our ancestors discovered beer? A theory holds that we went from a nomadic hunter-gatherer society to settling down and growing grain simply so we could brew beer. Interesting…