Saturday, May 24, 2014

Hanging Up My Cleats

Another soccer season is in the books (see article below), and so I’ve decided to hang up my cleats for good.  After decades of playing baseball and softball, coaching boys baseball for 6 years, softball for 1, and soccer for 3, it’s time to turn my attention to other things, such as writing my memoirs and eating desserts.  I’m thinking of starting with a brief history of my rotator cuff.

Don’t think that I am over the hill; actually, I’ve plummeted down it.  And I must say, I’ve enjoyed watching boys grow and develop skills over the years, especially my son. I didn’t know a lot about soccer at first, but I was willing to look like an idiot so my son could play.  It’s been worth it.  After today’s game, I received a nice card from a boy thanking me for coaching him for two years. And inside was a $10 Subway gift card.  I held back my tears, but my nose blew.  Out with the hankie. 

In all of our lives, there are endings and beginnings.  Life closes a door, and God opens a window.  I think I feel a little more alive when I can do something worthwhile that involves other people, even if I look like an idiot. Keep living!


American Fork (AP).  After being defeated by the Tsunami earlier in the year, the Wolfpack ended their season with sound, skillful play in all areas and a powerful left-footed goal by Peyton Sampson at the 21 minute mark.  The Wolfpack defense was like a powerful dike that refused to let the Tsunami overflow or even leak through.  An aggressive offense had numerous shots on goal, supported by midfielders that, like Energizer Wolves, just kept on going.

The Wolfpack finished with an 8-4-2 season record and remained after the game for photos and interviews. According to midfielder and defender Alex Trottier, “Defeat was not an option.”  They were also honored with donuts by the Matt Jackson Press Club and received trophies for their sterling play. 

Thursday, May 8, 2014

The Magical Chocolate Bunny

The crime

“Who ate the last chocolate bunny?”  It was like a voice crying in the wilderness.  One of my children appeared to be in terrible pain.

So I asked, “Did anyone accidentally eat the last chocolate bunny?”

Everyone shook their heads.  “Wasn’t me.”  “Not I.”  “Don’t look at me.”  “What chocolate bunny?”

“Did anyone eat it on purpose?”  The responses were the same.  Hmmm, what to do….

The investigation

Since every single face, especially mine, was adorably innocent in expression, and knowing that children are completely incapable of fibbing, and further understanding that my wife would only eat it if it were made of dark chocolate, I meandered through the kitchen, Inspector Clouseau style, looking for clues. 

Soon, I noticed that the lid was off the red jar where the chocolate bunny lived and there was just the tiniest trace of chocolate on the door knob of the door that led outside.  “Ah ha!” I said with a start.

My wife was getting a kick out of this and almost started laughing. And then I explained to everyone what obviously must have happened. 

“Clearly, the bunny in question was afraid someone was going to eat him, so he hopped out of the red jar and onto the floor.  From there, he leaped with super-rabbit strength and managed to turn the doorknob.”

“He’s a magical bunny!” my wife quipped.

“Yes, he is, or was.” 

“Was?” someone asked.

The case is closed

“It rained last night.  Heavily.  The bunny only got as far as our driveway when he started to melt. I think you will find traces of the bunny–“

“--The amazing, magical chocolate bunny,” my wife added.

“Yes, indeed.  And right now, he is so amazing that there are bits of him all up and down our street, and that means we now live on a…magical street where most anything can happen!”  I waived my arms like a fairy godmother when I said “anything.”

You, dear reader, might think that my conclusion is far-fetched, but you are mistaken.  Surely you don’t believe a member of my happy family accidentally gobbled up that poor chocolate bunny in order to stay alive during the long rainy night?  Impossible!  What’s that?  I was nowhere near that red jar last night. 

May your day be as magical as ours, and keep living!

Saturday, May 3, 2014

The Toilet Paper Panic of '79

1979.  Gas shortages.  And rumors of other kinds of shortages gripped the nation.  Well, maybe “gripped” is the wrong word; maybe “gave rise to reasonable concerns” is closer to the truth.  In short, we were nervous.

Humiliated in public

One night during this “nervous” period, I shopped prudently at a large grocery store.  Among my purchases was a case of toilet paper.  While at the cashier’s station, the woman behind me spoke rudely to the teenager behind her, and she made a snide remark to me. “Hey Poopy Pants with the lifetime supply of TP, get a move on.  Ha! Ha! Ha!” 

My measured response

This inspired my dark side, and you’ll have to forgive me for my devilish comeback.  I picked up the case of toilet paper, hugged it, and laid it on the cashier’s conveyor belt; then turning to the woman with feigned innocence, I whispered confidentially, “Did you hear about the toilet paper shortage?”  

Mischief, thou art afoot! 

Her eyes widened and she jerked her cart out of line and trucked towards the toilet paper aisle muttering, “Toilet paper.”  Others got the idea, and the panic was on.  A glance backwards revealed several shopping carts clearly exceeding the speed limit in a race to the toilet paper aisle. I wasn’t counting on this reaction, so I skedaddled out of there.

Once outside, I peered through the window.  The toilet paper aisle was now jammed with carts, and the rude woman wrestled the teenager over a case of Charmin Ultra Soft.  I smiled with perverse delight. 

There is a moral to this story, my friends.  People panic easily, so it is a good idea to have a supply of food and supplies on hand before shortages or an emergency occur.  Keep living!