Around 9 am Toney came upstairs and poked my back fat. The younger Secret had a soccer game at 11:30, and she knows I like to eeeeeease into the day. Fifteen minutes later I hoisted myself off the platform (begrudgingly), shuffled to the coffee maker, and grunted “uh huh” to whoever I encountered along the way.
The boys were watching Spongebob in the living room, and I was happy to see it was an older episode, before they ruined it with yelling and nuclear-winter decleverization. I snuggled ‘neath the Scrote-watching blanket, sipped a mug of Eight O’Clock, and enjoyed the show. I still love the early episodes, they’re a work of genius:
Squidward: Do any of you know how to play an instrument?
Patrick: Is mayonnaise an instrument?
But when that horrible barnyard show came on, I fled the scene. I mean, seriously. I went into the bunker, dialed up Every Dog Has His Day by Let’s Active on the iPod, and started bouncing around the internet.
Almost immediately my cell phone rang, and it was my brother. We talked for a while, as I continued pouring hot coffee down my gullet. And around 10:45 Toney came into the room and gave me the open-handed WTF?? salute. We have to leave in about twenty minutes, she said, and walked away shaking her head in disgust.
I told my brother I’d better go, and jumped into the shower. I didn’t have time to shave, and don’t get that cool Jack Shepherd/Charlie Salinger stubble look, either. No, I’m more like Booger from Revenge of the Nerds. So I was a little irritated that everyone had delayed me, and made me run out of time. Ahem.
I played Tumbleweed Connection by Elton John while we drove to the soccer game, and the Secrets howled in protest. “What’s this crap??” they demanded. Which, of course, is a signal for me to turn up the volume.
We parked, grabbed three camping chairs from the trunk, and walked to Field Four, amongst roughly twenty soccer fields in the middle of a prairie. The previous game was just ending, so we staked out some real estate near what should’ve been the fifty yard line.
It was cold out there, especially when the wind was blowing (which was most of the time). I wished I’d worn a jacket, but refuse to complain about cool temperatures. That’s Toney’s thing, you see. I only complain about hot weather. We have an unwritten agreement.
Moments before the game started some doucheketeer and his wife sat down beside us. He was wearing a tragically-busy retina-destroying college football jacket, jeans that had been pressed (oh, brother), and a pair of slip-on dress shoes. The guy was emitting wave after wave of asshole.
And he never stopped hollering. During the entire game he screamed and ranted in a thick New Jersey accent, and flailed his arms in a perpetual state of exasperation. He was like ESPN radio, come to life. Oh, how I wanted to dump a large bag of dog shit over his head.
The kids in the game itself all had unusual yuppie-fried names. And I was amazed, listening to their parents yell encouragement: “Kick it in, Pencil!” “Pass the ball, Flange!!” “Clitoris was open Starburst, wide open!!!” Or whatever.
One kid, a rosy-cheeked swaddler, was terrified of the ball. Every time it came within ten yards of him, he covered up like we were under nuclear attack. Someone booted it at one point, hit Rosy square in the gut, and the Campbell‘s Soup kid unleashed a piercing tone that probably affected the migration of birds.
We watched as the two teams chased the ball in a great pack for roughly an hour, while Slip-Ons screamed through a crimson mask. Then we all went home.
After lunch, we agreed (back when it was still way off in the future) we’d remove the five(!) window air conditioners, and carry them to the basement. Man, just the thought of it made me sad…
Toney baked two frozen pizzas, and I used a fork to pick black olives off three or four slices, before snorkeling them down. And they were mighty tasty indeed.
The air conditioners sucked, as expected. The big one, from the living room, was full of ice water, and it washed across my genitals when I began carrying it. I shrieked like a school girl, and had to wring-out my shorts and underwear in the bathroom sink. Simply fantastic.
The older Secret went to a high school football game with a friend, and Toney wanted to take the younger youngling to the mall, to buy him some jeans. She asked if I wanted to go along, and I said, “Um, let me think about that – NO!”
So I stayed home, and called The Evil Twin. The Evil Twin’s Wife, of course, is a longtime Surf Reporter, and I know her husband from a previous life. He worked at Budget Tapes and Records, when I first contracted the music disease.
And I was sick alright. I practically lived in that store, and The Evil Twin was my mentor. He seemed to know everything about punk and alternative rock, and also had impeccable taste. Half of the vinyl LPs I own are probably loosely (or not so loosely) Evil Twin influenced.
Now he’s a graphic artist, and has offered to design the next Surf Report t-shirt. And talk about things coming full-circle… I think that’s about as cool as it gets.
So I gave him a call, and we probably hadn’t spoken since 1983 or thereabouts. We talked for more than an hour, and it was a lot of fun. We reminisced about Budget and the people there, and he also told me about his years working at Singing Dog Records in Columbus, Ohio.
It was a good time, and I have a feeling the next shirt is going to be something special, as well… Thanks, man!
After everyone returned home, I asked Toney if she was interested in going for a couple beers before dinner. She thought that was a fine idea, and we considered the yuppie bar, before deciding against it. Late Saturday afternoon at that place, we feared, would be unbearable. So we went to the bar at Bennigan’s and had two pints of Bass Ale each. And they hit the spot.
Toney made shepherd’s pie for dinner (yum), we had a shot of limoncello for dessert, then watched Forgetting Sarah Marshall after the boys went to bed. ‘Neath the Scrote-watchers, because of the sudden onset of fall, beautiful fall…
And that was my Saturday (probably my only day off for a while).
What did you do?