Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Don't Open It!

I like opening presents. I rip into them with vigor, as if I've been kept in a basement somewhere with no food and you've just handed me a tater tot neatly wrapped in holiday print. I mean to say I shred that paper up. My grandma (when she was alive and her skin wasn't so thin with old age that it would itself rip apart when it came in contact with anything with an edge, like wrapping paper) used to unwrap gifts with such painful meticulosity that it was near torture to witness. Living through the Great Depression had made a big impact on her, and she was, no doubt, thinking of ways in which to reuse the wrapping paper as she was unwrapping it: cut and fold for a new coaster set, iron and tape onto pillow for festive pillowcase, tape together with last year's saved tape pieces to make curtains, etc.

She'd turn a pair of scissors on its side and slide them under each piece of tape.
"Come on, Grandma! Open it! Open it!"
The scissors would move at a snail's pace along the edge of the gift; the tape being removed with surgical precision.
Not my actual grandma.
"Open it, Grandma! Come on!"
Down one side of the box.
"Come on, Grandma! Open it! Open the present!"
Having freed one side, she would rotate the gift to gain better access to the next side.
"Open it, Grandma! Open it!"
Slowly, slowly, the scissors would slide under the paper, catching the tape. 
"Oh, for crying out loud, Grandma! Open it!"
She'd turn the gift over, exposing its underbelly, inspecting it for tape.
"Mom! Dad! Tell her to open it! Open the gift, Grandma!"

And this would go on for hours, it seemed. When the paper was finally removed, in one piece, mind you, Grandma would take great pains to fold it into a neat square. This would take about as long as the unwrapping.

I don't play like that. Like I said, if there aren't pieces of wrapping paper flying through the air in an almost dangerous fashion, well, then- I'm not really unwrapping presents.

The upcoming unwrap-athon, while less a production now that (a) I'm divorced and (b) my family decided not to exchange gifts, has still brought to mind the glee that is ripping paper from a package and greedily grabbing at what's inside. (So wish I didn't just have a flash of the SNL "in a box" skit right then. It makes my words seem And...wrong. Onward...) Anyway, I had a thought tonight like this. "What would you," meaning me, mind you, "not want to unwrap on Christmas morning?" I'd like to entertain this thought for a bit.

1) A human head.
Not an actual human head in a box gift.
First, it would be quite the surprise, to say the least. I'm not sure I'm up for that kind of surprise on Christmas morning. Plus, whose head would it be? And would it be all gooey and bloody at the bottom of the box? If so, I'm guessing it would have to be wrapped in foil or a baggy or something, and that would just look cheap. No one likes a cheap-looking gift. Then, how to I get it out? Do I grab it by the hair and pull or turn the box over for the unwanted thump?

2) A bag of poo.
Any poo would be gross. Human poo being the worse, really. Bird poo would be okay, I guess, as far as poo in a box goes, but I still wouldn't want it. I wouldn't know what to do with it, and I fear what my gift-giver might be trying to tell me. What would one be trying to say with a gift box of poo? It can't be good. No. No, I don't want to unwrap a box of poo at all.

Not my actual Cabbage Patch doll.
3) Somebody else's old cabbage patch doll.
Because it would just make me all mad that I threw mine away years ago. The face of someone else's cabbage patch doll would be all, "Hey! Remember me?! No, not really, because I belonged to such and such a girl in such and such a town and you threw yours out, you big dummy." Not that I'd know what to do with my old cabbage patch doll if I had it. I guess I'd put it in a box in the basement, but it would be in MY box in MY basement and I'd always know where it was if I ever wanted to look at it. Which I wouldn't, really. But that's not the point.

4) A jar of olives. Or even a pretty box with a single olive in it.
Two olives in a box would be obscene. Because we all know olives are the devil's testicles.

5) A big ol' stinky block of blue cheese.
If you want to see me throw up on Christmas morning, because you're some kind of Christmas morning people hater, well, then- gift me some of that nasty-ass blue cheese. Seriously. If olives are the devil's testicles, then blue cheese is the yeast infection of his girlfriend. (Did I just type that? Seems like I did. Wow. Even I'm grossed out a bit by that.)

6) A slip of paper with Matthew McConaughey's phone number on it.
An actual douchebag.
Why? Because I'd be tempted to call it. And then I'd get all worked up and angry because I have an irrational hatred towards Matthew McConaughey and his love of his self-proclaimed "man smell" and then I'd say something all jerky and then I'd have to call him and make amends and I'd have his number so I'd have to do it and just thinking about it makes me so mad that I've written this big old run-on sentence and that makes me mad, too- and it's Matthew McConaughey's fault.

7)  A dirty diaper.
Because one time, when my niece was a baby, I brought her into the changing station at West County Mall. I folded down that hollow plastic table-thing that you're supposed to place a baby on and trust that it won't detach from the wall, which it looks like it could at any minute, and put my niece on there. She had what was referred to in our family as a "poo-nami." I mean, there was an explosion of poo. I did that awkward holding of both of her feet in one hand and struggling with the other to both keep her exploratory hands out of her poo area and fumble around the diaper bag for wet wipes. I found the container of wipes was empty. Fuck. I can't leave the pooey baby on the unstable plastic thing to reach for toilet paper. I was stuck. Then, I noticed what I thought was a complimentary dispenser of wet wipes on the wall. How ingenious!, I thought. A little slot in the wall with what looked like a tiny portion of a wipe sticking out. I dug my hand into the slot and immersed my fingers deep into some other baby's pooey diaper. It was not a wipe dispenser. It was a dirty diaper thrower away-er place.

As far as lists go, 10 seems like a better number than 8. And I could, no doubt, keep listing. But it's in the eleven o'clock hour and I have presents to wrap. Happy holidays, everyone.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Writer's Block Produces Random Thoughts...Again

Let me save you some time. If I were you, I'd go ahead and log off. Come back when I really have something to say. If I ever really have something to say, that is.

See. I'm in the last few days of a teacher's semester. So I have...what...nothing to give in the personal writing department. No ideas. No drive. No energy to make my fingers attack the keyboard like they usually do. I'm surprised that I'm showering and feeding myself on a regular basis, actually. The fact that I'm not accidentally showing up to teach wearing last night's food-stained nightgown and having forgotten to wash the toothpaste from my brow-zit is a modern miracle. I'm running on fumes and my writing ideas have all but vanished.

In fact, I've logged on here a few times in the last week, stared at a blank screen with its blinking cursor, and thought, "Aw, to hell with it. I've got nothing."

I'm a little afraid I'll actually forget how to tap into that part of my head that usually is dictating so quickly what it wants me to write that I can scarcely type fast enough. I'm afraid winter break will get here, I'll be faced with oodles of time to write, and I'll crank out some bullshit that will have my 21 blog followers running for the virtual hills. Un-following me. Hiding from me, actually. Please, Lord Jesus, don't let The Playground In My Head find me and force me to read some hideous crap. Please, oh, please...

So, with that said, it's time to tap right into the monkey mind. A quick list of unedited words and phrases. I'll reach up in that space and catch whatever flies by- and this pretty much does nothing but keep the machine well-oiled.  So, once again...there's nothing to see here, folks. Nothing to see. Excuse me while I *humpf* climb up through my ear *humpf* and -whew! it's dark in here!- just a bit further back- past this floating image of a tater tot and- will you look at that? it's my dead classroom pet, Big Anthony. what is he doing here? back and back and I'm ready to step into the cash box. let them fly. I'll grab what I can.

-i thought i was getting a text message. i felt my coat pocket vibrate. it was actually my stomach. i wonder if my stomach is trying to text me. if it uses any little emoticons and tells me it's hungry, i'm kicking its ass. if my stomach has an ass. which it probably does.

-there's a saint that's known for her stinky holes. at least, that's what i was told by a christian brother during one of my many summer stays in philadelphia. only he had a thick hispanic accent, so it was more like "hair steeeeenky halls." i guess this lady was dying, and had some stinky holes. and they plugged the holes with flowers. and the flowers turned into diamonds the next day. now, that's what i'm talking about.

-for as long as i live, i will never understand my dog's obsession with licking her own butt hole. it's seriously, seriously gross. you never see humans doing anything that nasty. we pretty much leave our holes alone. in public, at least. except for our nostrils, but even nose-picking comes with a little bit of social shame when caught. and i've never, ever seen a human compulsively lick his or her butt hole. then again, i've never been to the back rooms of those seedy dance places, so who's to say what goes on in there. if butt hole licking is what's happening, well, then- (1) that's super nasty and (2) i'm glad it's happening behind closed doors.

-please, oh lord, don't let a parent of a current or past student or any member of my family over the age of 41 read the comment above. and if they do, don't ever let them reference it in a conversation with me. ever.

-sometimes "i'm sorry" is too shallow a phrase for what needs to be said, so silence is put in its place. and the silence is weighted down to let you know it's there and different from normal silence. and both parties stand and hold onto each other like rhesus monkeys and in the nothingness that is made of words not being spoken, "i'm sorry" lingers.

-i still remember the cologne of my first real crush. this goes back to 6th grade. he doused himself in polo, liberally applied from that emerald bottle with the gold nozzle. being 12, he had no idea what the phrase "a little goes a long way" meant, so each item of clothing was saturated in the musky scent. sprayed, i'm sure, were his wrists, behind his ears, his tiny bare chest, his bony little legs, and his feet. my first slow dance with him resulted in the faint smell of polo cologne all over my vintage chiffon dress. once home, i balled that dress up and shoved it into my face, breathing in all things crush.

-right now there are 5 candles lit in the room in which i'm typing. it is late. my cd has stopped playing. my dog is in her crate. i just had to speak words that i didn't want to, but know i needed to, and- well, there are natural consequences to everything, aren't there? perhaps i took it a bit too far. perhaps i should have stopped at track 5 and not let track 6 begin to play. sorry about that, i had said. sorry about that. i was just...i was...stumbling over my own actions. look behind you for the safety mattress, i tell myself. i tell us both. the ones stunt doubles use. fall into that, if you can. it will hurt a lot less.

-once i lit a candle and placed it in the center of our dining table. i was perhaps 7 or 8 years old. god, i said, if you are there, make that candle flame flicker. the candle flame flickered. okay god, i said, if that was really you, do it again. it did it again. then i realized candle flames naturally flickered, and there was no way for me to tell if god was doing it, or if the candle flame was just doing what flames do. and that rightfully pissed me off.

-if i did have a monkey, i'd be the kind of lady that dressed it and took it everywhere. and, naturally, i would lose some current friends, because monkey dressing and taking around is a bit odd. but, i'd also gain some friends. because, who wouldn't want to see a monkey all dressed up in outfits? i'd eat with it and we'd probably sleep together, but not in any weird porno way. that's sick and i'm disappointed in you for thinking that, to be sure. it would be in that i'm just laying here cuddling with my monkey who is wearing adorable footie pajamas way. which you may argue is no less sick then the weird porno way, but i would argue that it is indeed good, wholesome fun. i'm aware that one day my monkey would become an adolescent and claw my face off and then who would be laughing then? not me. i'd have no face with which to laugh. and not the monkey. it would get shot, i'd imagine. that, they'd say, is the bad part of the story. the end part. but, boy, wasn't it fun while it lasted?

-if i close my eyes and listen to the air blowing through the various vents in my house, i can nearly convince myself that my house is in flight. i mean to say, it sounds much like airplane noise without the *ding!* return to your seat sounds. or the people shuffling through their in-flight magazines or yacking on about their destination. and this is why i put my headphones in as soon as i have a seat on an airplane. i know people are interesting. most of them, anyway. but i'm here to tell you, i want nothing to do with them while we're all sardined in a gargantuan metal suppository barreling its way through the air. i just want to listen to music and read until i get drowsy, then sleep until the peanuts arrive. i like the honey roasted. i stick my tongue in the foil bag when the peanuts are gone and get all the sweet and salty dusty bits.

-damn, if i don't hate doing the responsible thing sometimes. i mean, damn. and ouch. more ouch than damn, i guess. no, they're pretty much equal.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

"I Don't Know About You, Maret"

Picture this.

I'm on a date. Seems good. We're at a restaurant, sharing Greek tapas. I'm dressed appropriately. Not whored up, because in my late 30s, I know better. Not matronly, because as a single lady, I know better. I've got that "can still pass for something desirable but not embarrassing herself" kind of attire.

My date is smiley. I'm smiley. We're enjoying each other's company.

Then, I go and say something like, "Today, in class, I had a few extra minutes with the kids, so I started acting out scenes from the book we're reading- The Giver- but I acted it out as a cat. You know, 'Meow, meow, freezing and sledding down a hill, meow! Christmas lights! Meow dying?' And then they started acting out cat scenes, too."

My date shakes his head. "I don't know about you, Maret."

Oh, man. I've heard this before. Many times. In fact, if you and I have ever dated, you've probably said it to me. But perhaps it was, "I don't know about you, Bridget Hengen." Or, "What am I going to do with you, Bridget Bauer?" No matter what you called me, I know what it meant. I know what it means.

I exposed you to the playground in my head.

Not everyone is comfortable playing in there. Some prefer to stay in their car, with the window cracked so they can hear what I'm saying. Sunglasses on and hat pulled down over their brows so as to not be recognized by more respectable acquaintances, but still wanting to observe my playground antics. Some hop out of their cars, but lean against the chain link fence, unwilling to play but wanting a closer look. Some have stood on the swing and really picked up some momentum as I hung from the monkey bars by my legs, reciting Wham lyrics at the top of my lungs.

I'm always in the playground. I climb the slide, barefooted for a better grip, and etch funny names into the roof of the metal dome: Grumpus Mc Crabbyputty. Pat McCooter. Albert Puhols. This is where I record the things that make me laugh.

Slide down the slide with squeaking skin on metal and run across the blacktop to the large oak tree and you can see where I etch all of the things I think about. "What if we still used our belly buttons to eat?" "What if, for a greeting, we got real close and touched our eyelashes, batting them quickly together, instead of shaking hands?" "Weird. Guys show their nipples in the summer and it's culturally okay. No milk is meant to come out of them. They're just...pinkish disks right there on their chests. Man nipples. Weird." The tree is wide. Like, a block-wide. And my questions and thoughts are scratched into its smooth surface. I like to walk around it and run my fingers over the indented letters. It feels good.

Lay yourself flat on the ground and roll. Eventually you'll come to a hill. Tuck your arms in and close your eyes while continuing to roll faster and faster. Let yourself get dizzy and if you feel like laughing, do so. This is my hill of giggles and you can run up it and roll yourself back down as many times as you like. Only a few of you have rolled down it with me. Some of you have watched me, and smiled. Appreciated how happy I can be. Some of you have decided, at the moment of watching me gather grass on my clothes, that I just wasn't the girl for you. That's okay. There's no need to watch someone have so much fun if you'd rather be doing something else. No hard feelings.

It's true that I get up and go to work everyday. I pay bills and put gas in my car. I participate in staff meetings and know how to behave like a mature adult. I'm in bed by 10 each night, including weekends. I've given talks to large groups of adults and they see me as one of their own. This is all true. But, at the same time, my playground is active. I'm there, too.

And if you spend enough time with me, I'll invite you in. Or at least give you a glimpse of what I'm doing there. Some of you will want to play, but will be too afraid that something bad will happen to your briefcase if you set it down long enough to play. Some of you might have forgotten how to play. Some of you might have never learned, and think it's too late now. For some of you, you'll have so much fun that I'll have to urge you to go home when the sun starts to set and the cicadas begin screaming. You'll not want to miss dinner, and I'll have to remind you of this.

Either way, this is where I'll come to play long into my 70s, my 80s, my 90s, if I'm lucky. Olly olly oxen free! Ready or not, here I come! It's here that I can lie on my back and look up at the night sky, letting the warm summer air blow strands of hair across my cheeks and tickle my skin. It's here that I can run until my lungs burn and fall to the ground laughing. It's here where all things life and living are loved and where I thank God for giving me a brain that dances with possibilities and wonder.

"What am I going to do with you, Maret?" You're going to enter the playground and play. Or watch from the fence post. Or sit in the safety of your car, taking a peek from your car window. Or put your car into drive, undo the emergency break, and drive away. Perhaps you'll take a look at me in your rear view mirror. Perhaps you won't.

It's up to you.

Friday, December 3, 2010

I Think You Might Be Stalking Me

You might be stalking me right now.

Hey, it's a free world, right? And if stalking me keeps you from, say, lingering way too long at the counter to chat it up with the Starbucks barista who shifts her eyes nervously back and forth hoping someone will come save her, well, then- I feel I'm providing a civic duty.

If you're stalking me because we, I don't know, dated in the 80s or 90s, well, I get that. We probably had a great time going to the mall together to get matching perms or going to see a Pink Floyd laser light show. Maybe we made mixed tapes for each other. That's fine.
If stalking me on the internet keeps you from thinking about those good times 10, 15, even 20 years ago and somehow thinking that if we could just meet up again, it would be like it was when Duran Duran was on the radio. And not the oldies station- well, then it's a good thing. Because we'd meet up again, sure. And it would be weird. And the reason we broke up then would be the same reason we'd brake up now. Except we now look older and more pathetic.

If you're stalking me and don't even know me, well, there's nothing really here for you. Seriously. Half the stuff I post is pure dribbly junk that only one co-worker lady (hi, Deb) seems to enjoy, and I don't even have any racy pictures of myself on here. In fact, I don't really have any racy pics anywhere. Except that one of me in a bikini that was taken when I was a nanny and accompanied a family to Florida. I was sitting in the sand with the youngest, a baby, really, and turned to look at the camera. It's unfortunate that the way in which I was sitting and the augmentation that happened because of the turning made for an unexpected Sports Illustrated shot that ended up in this family's vacation photo album. Awkward. I mean to say really, really awkward. Still.

Anyway, there's nothing to look at here. And if there were, I must say, I'm more on the side of thirty-something plain than 20-something Kardashian. Google image search might be a better arena for you. But, if you feel at home here, I can't stop you. Go ahead and stalk.

I've recently installed a web-tracking thing that allows me to see the visits on this blog. Don't worry- I can't actually see who reads this blog, but I can see the browser (i.e. or and sometimes the city (i.e. Montville, New Jersey or Sterling Heights, Michigan.) For those of you with dial up or those using your i-phones and whatnot, I can't see much. No city. Nothing. You could be anyone, anywhere. But there's one of you in a sunny state- and I don't know who you are- that reads my blog. A lot. You're bordering on stalking, buddy. Wish I was more interesting for you on here. Must be kind of boring. Sorry.

If you're stalking me on facebook, well- I have no room to talk there. If I'm friends with you on facebook, I've probably stalked you, too. So, no hard feelings.

You know what I mean. It's the, "Oh, I think I'll look at some of her pictures" and then some time later, you're way deep into albums I posted over a year ago. If you broke into my house and started rifling through my photo albums, waking me up in the night to say, "Hey! I like this one!" I'd be thoroughly creeped out. Not seeing you do it, I'm kind of okay with it. Kind of.

I mean, in my early days of facebook, I got my stalk on. Big time. I've seen all of your trip pictures. And wedding pictures. And work pictures. And holiday pictures. If I was on a roll, I may have even clicked over to your friends' pictures. People I don't even know. Smiling on a boat and eating lobster. Holding their newborn baby. Giving a thumbs up at Disney World. I didn't care who they were. I was in a picture-viewing maze that led me so far from my home page it's a wonder I ever made it back.

I don't have time for that shit anymore.

Perhaps we're not friends on facebook, but you looked me up, anyway. Is that her? I can't tell? Man, I don't remember her looking like that at all. I've done that. I can't blame you.  It's when you think of a person you kissed in 8th grade and decide to go ahead and type their name in the search bar. Yikes! The years of beer drinking really got to him. Whoah.  Perhaps I'm the girl you kissed in 8th grade. Perhaps you took me to prom. Maybe we dated when one or both of us really shouldn't have been dating. Maybe we had screaming fights or you cheated on me or told me that you got bruises on your shoulders from a stripper that leaped off stage and landed on you. (Yeah. I remember that. Still one of the more bizarre breakup stories I have.) Maybe you loved my mom and dad or couldn't stand my dog or wished I'd stop smoking or wished I'd start drinking. Funny that I'm a part of your past or that you were part of mine. All of you. The you-s of my past. The you-s that may or may not be stalking me.

If you are stalking me on facebook, I think you've picked the right gal, there. I've often thought that I would stalk myself on facebookfacebook, you might want to consider it. I don't think you'll be disappointed.

With that said, keep your stalking to the internet world. Following me around and giving me a good, creepy watching would be a huge letdown, I'm afraid. Right now, I'm sitting on my couch, Rufus Wainright ("I Don't Know What It Is") is playing from the tiny speakers in my laptop, my dog is sleeping next to me, and I'm wearing a non-sexy bright green flannel jammy set with blue and pink starbursts on them. My hair is in a ponytail, my makeup is washed off, and there's some zit cream on a whopper of a pimple on my chin.

When I'm done with this blog, I'll probably go down and fold my laundry. Then get on facebook for a bit. Then maybe check out a show on Hulu or read a book. It's 8:45 on a Friday evening, and this is how I roll. Nothing to see here. Eventually I'll get my journal and write up a little gratitude list. I'll take the dog out one last time and go to bed. If my gentleman caller calls, or if I feel like calling him, we'll chat it up for a bit. Weird jokes and sarcastic jabs in between topics like what happened to famous Nazis and how was work today. Nothing much to overhear, really.

I guess I do have some time tonight. Maybe I'll go search for what's-his-name. That boy I had a crush on in 7th grade science class. Or that girl who said she was born without a tailbone and who wore a paperclip in her mouth, swearing it was a retainer. Yes. Yes, I have some stalking to do...

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Things I Don't Get About Football no particular order.

1) There are too many damned rules.

I don't understand the rules of football. I never have. I probably never will. Because there are too damned many of them. I've had football-watching boyfriends. I've even had football-watching husband(s), and there were weak moments brought on by initial infatuation which would find me curled up on the couch during Super Bowl season and legitimately saying things like, "So...why did that guy get a flag?" and "Okay, now how do you score a point?" No man ever silently thought, "Aw...isn't that cute? My girl doesn't know jack-shit about football." I'm pretty sure, if they could get past the point that I was interrupting a game with girl-chat, they were wondering how long term a relationship could really be if we couldn't even enjoy a football game together. And perhaps we could have. If I could just wrap my head around all the damned rules. I swear, for every rule that was explained to me, 10 more followed. It makes me think men (and some women, to be fair) are all on the autism spectrum with some type of football savant. Listening to a guy explain football rules is one step shy of listening to Dustin Hoffman, as Rainman, rattle off Judge Wapner tv listings. It's just...freaky.

2) Football has weird-ass words that piss me off.

Line of scrimmage. Scrimmage. Scrimmage. Just saying scrimmage makes me crabby. And what the hell is it? As far as I can tell, it's always moving. And sometimes, on tv, it's a glowing yellow line that dudes run through. "Is it really yellow on the field?" I asked. Seemed like a legitimate question. Now I know asking that question was akin to my gay friend asking if the sticky strips on a sanitary napkin didn't hurt when it was pulled off. Pure ignorance. With good intentions. I get it.

"Well, see, the line of scrimmage has (something to do with and here's where I zone out and then I come back in when I hear these words:) a down. See?" A what? A "down." The word "down" makes me think of this:

which just makes me think of those football guys in those shiny Olivia Newton John "Let's Get Physical" kind of outfits ("uniforms," I'm told they're called) and I picture these guys hopping up and down on a down comforter like this and swatting each other with pillows and feathers are flying and helmets are clashing and I can't tell if it's some kind of weirdo gay love scene or just really, really funny.

Either way, I don't get the down thing. I know there are four of them. At least, I think there are four of them. And they move. Or maybe they don't. But I know everybody wants some.

3. The "Are you fucking kidding me?" factor.

I googled "football terminology" and found the Glossary of American Football on Wikipedia. Okay, I think, Wikipedia speaks to the common folk. I think I can get a handle on things here.


The first few things I read have my head spinning faster than a pigskin (a totally grody term) snapped out of the hand of that one football player who has all of the crazy hair. I think he might wear gold and black and white. And his name is something like Mele Kalikimaka or some other Hawaiian Christmas song. Anyway, I'm reading about 3-5-5 defense, 3-4 defense, 4-3 defense, 4-4-4 defense, 46 defense, 50 defense and I'm starting to get that I'm pissed and I'm about to throw my computer feeling. Which is what football does to me. It makes me feel like an angry, angry idiot.

Here's a little "think aloud" of my reading of the A-11 offense. My thoughts appear in red italics.
A-11 offense Offense? I'm already offended. Isn't A-11 a steak sauce?
An offensive philosophy I'll say. designed to appear as if all 11 players are eligible receivers That sounds gay to me. . The offense exploits a loophole in the American football rulebook to technically make the formation a scrimmage kick , Seriously. What the fuck did I just read? Who's exploiting whose loophole and what the hell is scrimmage doing showing up in here? and the offensive line is spread across the field I have no idea what you're talking about, but I'm about to spread someone across the field. Ew. That also sounds dirty. Damn it. Football is so dirty, no wonder all the guys like it., all wearing numbers of eligible receivers 1-800-gay-love, in an effort to confuse and deceive the defense. I'm confused and possibly deceived right now, and I didn't need anyone to kick me in my scrimmage to make that happen. It was banned in 2009. Well, it's about fucking time. It was probably banned because no one understood it.

4. Terms that I get, but it just seems like too many for one sport.

Quit hogging all of the terms, football. I get your holding (also a little gay sounding) and end zones (gay) and punting and spiking. I even get your fumbling and two-point conversions. Your spikes make sense and interceptions don't seem like a tricky concept to understand. Tackles are the clusterfucks I see that make whistles blow and dudes high five each other or start drinking heavily. All that makes sense. But, seriously. That's too much. Too, too much. Then, add all of the scrimmages and receivers and kickers and defensive so-and-so's and quarterbacks and linemen and it's like we have a cast for CATS out there. For crying out loud.

5. Are you ready for some FOOT-BAAAAAAAALL?
Well it's Monday night, a new week has begun
I turn on my tv for some pigskin fun
I see a Super Bowl season here on ABC
The biggest game each week is their...specialty 
I gotta get ready, make everything right
Cause Monday night football's comin' on tonight

Are you ready? Are you ready? 
Are you ready, ready?

I'm really happy if all your rowdy friends are comin' over tonight, Hank Williams, Jr. But, I can't say how much I want to punch you in the pigskins for getting what may be one of the worst songs in American television history stuck in my head on a yearly basis. Not only do I sing it anytime I'm having a friend over (i.e. "All my rowdy friends are comin' over tonight!"), but each time football season rolls around, I can't help but asking people if they're ready for some football. And then I turn into Hank Williams Jr. And that's neither pretty nor good for my social life. I blame American football. And you, Hank Williams Jr.


There are a few football-related things that have slipped their way into the "like" category in my head. For example, I find few things as entertaining as having you give me the name of a city and seeing if I can come up with the NFL team name. I'm not kidding. It's a skill I developed in my first marriage while trying to pass the time when a game was on. "Give me another!" I'd shout. "Okay...New York," he'd say. "Aha! You try to trick me! JETS! AND GIANTS! Another! Another!" I can play this game for hours. No joke. Try me sometime.

And, I seem to like the Eagles. And the Vikings. The Eagles, mostly because my great-uncle Joe lives in Philadelphia, has a wildly bizarre east-coast accent, and thinks fondly of his "Iggles," and it's somehow rubbed off on me. I will cheer for them in my own, quiet way. The Vikings I like despite their purple and gold shiny outfits. Purple and gold were my high school colors, so try as I might, I see a bunch of Catholic school girls out there playing football. But, they seem to be able to play well. I will root for them, too.

Besides that, I like the name Favre because it's spelled funny, and I like not liking Michael Vick, even if he is going around and talking to kids about not teaching your puppies to bite the shit out of and kill other puppies. He still seems like an asshole to me. Dolphins and Seahawks sound like pussy names, but I admire guys getting on those teams and playing anyway, like they're real men. Packers...come on. But, again. Admiration.

So, despite the fact that I recently told someone that "I'd rather eat a dirty diaper than sit through a whole football game," I'm starting to think there's hope for me. If I had a really patient teacher, and I mean one who could also make it fun to learn- like I get some sort of prize each time I catch onto some rule or some such thing, or we act out football plays with little hamsters or something cute like that, I think I could do it. Maybe I could even play a game, which I've never in my life done.

I'd get out there and punt and tackle and leap from scrimmage line to scrimmage line, running right through the invisible yellow parts, straight toward the end zone, without any interference or off-sides bullying or whatever. And I'd kick a two-point conversion and then I'd do a victory dance and thank Jesus Christ who made it possible for me to be such an awesome football player.

But then I'd really just want to come inside and cuddle up with some hot cocoa and a good movie.