Thursday, December 16, 2010

Sophie's Choice (times infinity)

[Know going in that this is going to be kinda gross.  No hard feelings if you quit reading now.]

Because of difficulty walking I often play the game of "wait as long as humanly possible before trekking down to the bathroom to pee."  The added bonus of this game is that by the time there is no other choice - YOU HAVE TO GO - you have to go so badly that one misstep and it's all over. Luckily, there's nothing inherently dangerous about walking down the hallway, unless the fact that each step is so painfully jarring that it might make you temporarily quit squeezing, thereby increasing the odds you'll drop your payload before you hit the target....anyway, you can see the attraction, the danger, the romance.

But this morning I upped the odds considerably in my quest to face down death.  (Bear Grylls is a punk bitch and you can tell him I said so.) I had to pee, but I was really tired, and I fell asleep. This was a bad bad move on my part.  Normally I can go to sleep not having to pee at all, wake up two hours later like I have Alien inside my bladder. I mean, IT WANTS TO GET OUT.  But falling asleep when you already have to pee moderately badly, that just spells disaster for waking.

On top of all that - and I don't know any other way to say this, so I apologize in advance - there was plenty of thunder rumbling, announcing a storm, if you will.  Put another way - the enemy was attacking from two different fronts. (Or backs, as the case may be.)

I awoke with a start, a sense of urgency not unlike a 45-year old career woman desperate to have a kid.  Things were moving, and they were moving right soon.  Normally it takes me a few minutes to even sit up and then negotiate the Hell that is walking 15 feet, but desperate times calls for kamikaze action.

Being bombarded by multiple targets made walking even more of a tight-rope act than normal.  While there are some muscles in common down there, there's a power vacuum as well.  Tightening up one potential leak, if you will, increases the danger to the other trouble spot.  Apropos of nothing, I couldn't help but recall a recent episode of The League that dealt with the shadowy world of anal kegels.  Laugh if you will, but it would not be an unwelcome change to see this particular exercise added to the glut of gym membership commercials we're bound to see next month, a post-holiday tradition every bit as magical as the swans returning to Capistrano, and the start of the Christmas season in retail stores, just as soon as they can get the patriotic bunting taken down from July 4th celebrations.

(The other day I heard Christmas music on the radio. Christmas 2011 music. They are now lapping themselves.  What would Kafka say? What would Locke say? What would Hobbes say? (The Philosopher AND the tiger?))

Back to my Bataan Death March....

Through impossible odds and constant threat of ruinous....uh....'splosion, I made it to the bathroom.  Here is where I encountered my next impossible hurdle.  My sister had a guest stop by last night, who I am sure is a perfectly fine nice girl and I have nothing bad to say about her. Heck, I never even saw her.

But Hyperion has a strange thing about germs.  Yes, if you saw my room (or my penchant for re-using dishes over and over again - I'M SAVING THE ENVIRONMENT!!!) - you might argue it is an inconsistent position, but nonetheless there are certain matters where I turn downright Adrian Monkish.

I don't like people putting their hands inside the bag of chips - just pour out what you want! I don't like people (read: my mother) putting crumbs or other effluvia on my plate even after I'm done eating - because I always like the option of eating more.  And, for whatever reason, I am very squeamish about sitting on a throne very recently occupied.  Everything about it creeps me out. (Like when you sit down and the seat is still warm? Ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww.)

So, here I am, middle of the night, Enemy at both gates, and I am desperately spraying the toilet seat with....(wait for it)....Glass Cleaner.

In my defense, I didn't see the G or the L.

Why Windex?  Because that's what was sitting there. Look, I fully admit my germ phobia is irrational, but something about the vinegary-ness of the cleaner makes me feel safe from crotch cooties. Don't Judge me.

As I'm spraying and furiously wiping, I have failed to notice that I am now almost bent double, in an inexorably losing battle to keep the bridge dyked, the highway closed.  I then encountered the truly unimaginable dilemma alluded to back in the title.

I was wearing these hideous green track pants, the kind made of that whsk whsk windbreaker material.

(Not actual pants. My feet are 3x that size)

The problem is that they are a tad complicated to "move to safety," and in my limbo-esque state I now realized that I was out of options. The time it would take to yank the suckers down was all I (hopefully) had - I could not hold both gates any more.  This was only a split-second of realization, but the knowledge was as sure as anything I have ever known.

One. Or the other.

You can't save both.

A lesser man would have crumbled under such circumstances, given in to the inevitable, and succumbed to his fate. But as many a woman (and the good textile merchants at KingSizeDirect) will tell you, I am not a lesser man.

Doing split-second calculus that would make Einstein weep, I took stock of my situation. If truly only one gate could be defended, it came down to which enemy would cause greater carnage. I realized that when this whole sad sordid affair was over I may be truly pissed off, but that doesn't mean I didn't give a shit.

As I prepared to make my sacrifice (I cannot tell you how nanosecond by nanosecond this whole time frame was, thus adding to my heroism), I realized that the complicated maneuver of track pants disengagement and sitting position need not be the end of the story.


Casting my lot with retentive personalities everywhere, I yanked down the track pants while concomitantly ordering my nethers to move maximum defenses to the rear shields.  I had no time to "aim," but I was ever hopeful that, much like a faithful family horse in the Old West  - the beast knew how to get home better than I did.

(At this moment let me pause my tale for a moment to say that the amount of hydro-electric power generated by Holland's famous windmills PALES in comparison to certain other forces I could name.)

Success!  More or less.  I was able to save the day, and after peeing so hard I'm fairly certain I cracked the porcelain I was able to seamlessly make the position switch with ballet-like grace.

As for our 1878 house and its antique that's another story.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Cam Newton is the best player in College Football, but should not win the Heisman

Not that I have a vote, or anyone cares what I think, but I have changed my mind in the last 24 hours about Cam Newton winning the Heisman. 

I'm on record that the NCAA is full of hypocrisy; everyone makes money on the back of these kids but them. I don't blame them one iota for taking money that's offered, etc. (Should greedy families do it on their behalf? Different story, but we'll let that go for another day.)

Here is my issue: 

I watched the Cam Newton interview with Chris Fowler several times. (Watch it here.) He was clearly coached, and I don't mean from Gene Chizik - Public Relations team, lawyers, people like that. 

Oddly, I don't have that hard a time with Cam's assertion that he never asked his dad if he did it. From all indications his dad made the decision to go to Auburn, not Cam. We all know his dad asked for the money, and whether Cam knew about it or not, I can see in some families where you wouldn't question your father. 

But that brings up the issue. Reports were that after the decision was made to switch from Miss. State to Auburn Cam called up a recruiter crying saying basically, "They money was just too much [at Auburn.]  Fowler asked newton about this. (It's about 1:23 into the video).  

Quoting from the Article: 

ESPN reported Nov. 9 that Newton had told a Mississippi State recruiter that his father had chosen Auburn because "the money was too much."
"I'm not here to talk about any reports," Newton said.

That's what sticks in my craw. We've all been here before, whether it was Mark McGwire or Bill Clinton. "I'm not here to talk about any reports" translates to = they are true. 

How do I feel confident in saying this? Because the alleged conversation of Newton's is the crux of the whole matter. Any reasonable person (I think) believes Cam knew about what happened. The question is - what evidence was there?  Without any evidence of his involvement or knowledge it was difficult to suspend him based solely on what most people assume. But that conversation with the recruiter - if true - clearly shows knowledge and complicity, if by silence for no other reason. 

I contend that if that allegation was untrue Newton would have shouted it from the rooftops, now that he was speaking. No, I didn't know, he should have said. I never talked to anyone about money at Auburn. There was no money at Auburn. 

The correct play - in my mind - is to play the whole thing as a botched stupid idea that wasn't even half serious to get money at Mississippi State, which didn't go anywhere. The Newtons should be saying over and over again- no money ever changed hands, there's no real foul. That they aren't is telling. That Cam isn't refuting the report about his knowledge is telling too. 

Couple that with the Heisman Mission Statement, the first line of which reads: 

The Heisman Memorial Trophy annually recognizes the outstanding college football player whose performance best exhibits the pursuit of excellence with integrity.   
[emphasis added by me]

In his interview with Chris Fowler Cam Newton makes a double-speak statement that is virtually tantamount to lying. We can reasonably infer that the report is true, and that adds up. 

Whether or not the athletes should be paid something (as I believe) is one thing, and whether Cam and his family got any money is something else. Whether he knew about it might even be explained away with not wanting to go against his father. But lying about knowing, surely that is not integrity. 

As I write these words we are just minutes away from Newton getting the award (I presume). But in my opinion he shouldn't. He clearly was the best player this season, but doesn't deserve the Heisman.