First and Ten

Late at night, the quiet time of the morning, most of you are still asleep. I am sitting here in my underwear thinking about milkshakes, did you know the average fast food milkshake contains over fifty chemicals? I am somewhat partial to Strawberry myself.

(Now if that doesn’t create a vivid mindset, I don’t know what would?)

As it is no big secret around here that I am not all that big a fan of football, where millions of Americans tune in each week to see some guy lay on the ground with a bone protruding from his body while they perform the wave, I have to find other avenues to amuse myself, such as this. Late night rambling and luke warm, micro waved coffee.

Often I will throw some “Oldies But Goodies” from Time Life Collection (not available in stores, only thru this TV offer), crank up the CD player, make an occasional foray back to the sixties in my mind or a trip to La-La-Land as my shrink used to call it.

As Frazier Crane on Cheer’s used to say …. Find your happy place, are you there? The things I do to stay in contact with my inner self.

Tonight or rather this morning, as I ponder another insane football season, having just barely recovered from a summer of suffering thru the Olympics, my mind drifts back to the fall of some year in the sixties (does it really matter which year?) when I was a student at La Vista Junior High school (Where the leaders of tomorrow are developing the Pimples of today!) on the left coast of America (California).

With all this border-line insanity presently taking place in America what is being substituted for regular fare each day, I feel stressed and I yearn for something different.

Hopeless Romantic? Unbridled Dreamer?

Call me what you may … but life back then in my perspective … was better than it is now. In those days the absolute worst crime that I had committed in my life, was possibly riding two on a bicycle, packing my buddy on the handle bars and getting my very first traffic citation from a cop at the ripe old age of thirteen. Starting my first encounter or a long and close relationship with the law enforcement personnel around the country up and until just recently.

Life was good … Junior High School was a gas.

Not a lot of stress, show up, do the drill, smoke a butt in the bathroom at recess and eat lunch. My biggest contribution to life at that time was shop class, where one year I made an ashtray! Now don’t laugh, these days it is considered a “lost art.” The following year, I made a set of bongo drums to the delight of my mother. The sixties were good to me, perhaps why I don’t remember a lot of stuff to this very day, but that is not what this piece is about.

As a matter of fact, as usual, I don’t have a clue as to what this piece is about.

Not really sure, I believe we are talking about “fun” not my latent dependency on chemical pacifiers in my youth. What did we do for fun in those days? What was life like before computers, video games, Rock N Roll, drugs and cheap sex? Before McDonalds, The Mall, before man landed and stepped on the face of the moon? I do vaguely remember those days, but I do not remember what it is that we did for fun.

Cutting class and sneaking down to the sippy hole and going for a dip in the late afternoon without the benefit of trunks or Speedo’s. Fun was watching television at your girlfriend’s house during a power failure. Forget that soft warm puppy stuff. Pinching a watermelon from Old Man Simon’s watermelon patch on late Saturday night. Sitting around in a parked Chevy at the Dairy Queen entering into deep discussions on why French Fries gave you zits and why Clearasil really doesn’t seem to work when you are sixteen years old.

Fun, believe it or not, is a progressive thing; you learn it as you go.

Now when I was a small lad, I remember I used to pull the ears on my sister’s dog for fun. Back in those days that was okay for a latch key kid to amuse himself. Before all you dog lovers send something to my mailbox, don’t get all riled up that was just a suggestion really, I actually loved the mutt and used to slip him table scraps of liver and bacon, which more than likely lead to his early death due to obesity in or around 1965.

If I was perhaps trying to gross you out, I could have suggested that we used to go down to the creek, catch frogs, bring them back and feed them to Mama’s geese and that was considered fun. But as I am not from Alabama or someplace that has a lot of frogs, so this is not quite believable either.

Not really being all that sure, I believe it some circles it is called literary license or something like that. My mama lived in Hayward, California (in the San Francisco Bay Area) not exactly a prime area known for the raising of geese and other farm animals.

Fun was running around the yard, barefoot in the summertime, catching fireflies and then smashing them on your finger to “make a ring” in the dark. You ever get the distinct impression that most of my childhood was truly violent and was consumed with evil plots and schemes … Yeah, now you are getting the picture.

You see … Little boys are everything that is suggested …. Little Monsters that grow up to be men … Dirty Old Men. Yeahsus! Now let’s get loaded and go shoot some crows!*

That beats sitting around watching football any day.


* No actual crows were shot or harmed during the writing of this article, any resemblance to anyone alive or dead who shoots crows for sport is purely coincidental, this post has been edited and shortened to fit into the space provided, any reprint of this article is strictly prohibited by the NFL.

PARTING SHOT: “No one says “It’s only a game when their team is winning.”