Everything I Never Wanted, Speak English, and elysianhunter’s Wide World of Sports

Ok, I am not a sports fan.  Even Dad, unlike the other 99% of heterosexual American males, does not care for sports- unless the word “motor” is in front of it.  Even then, Dad is picky about which motorsports he indulges in or bothers to watch.  NASCAR is too boring for him and I can understand this.  I don’t have the attention span nor the ability to consume vast quantities of alcohol that is required to enjoy NASCAR.  He likes the off road stuff with trucks or rally racing- the kind of motorsports that actually look like they’d be fun to do.  We all like playing with VW dune buggies and such.  But my very limited non-motor sports education consisted mostly of 1. what I learned in gym class before I was permanently excused from gym class due to heart valve damage from rheumatic fever, and 2. what I gleaned from watching my sisters play sports, and from going to high school football games to try to (very unsuccessfully) pick up guys.    Jerry had to explain to me that when the ref in football does that funky dance move- rolling his arms one around the other -it means “false start” (WTF?) rather than “travelling” like it does in basketball.  The only reason I know what it means in basketball is that my sister played basketball, and a basketball game actually moves quickly enough to hold my attention at least to some degree. Travelling is when you just run with the ball and fail to dribble it.  Personally I think just running with the ball is challenge enough, but I don’t make the rules.  Nobody would want me to make the rules.  I indulge in physical activity for its calorie-burning/aerobic exercise value, and then only because I have to.  Let’s not make it overly complicated for the chronically uncoordinated. 

I did not grow up in a normal American household where the males of the species can’t miss a single __________(enter sports team name here) game.  This was quite a foreign concept to me until I met Jerry and discovered that a good part of his life and energy are devoted to watching Ohio State football.   Barring Ohio State football he will watch any two teams play football, whether it be NFL or college or Canadian cross-dressers.  At first I resented his football jones, but now I see a 4 hour long football game much in the same way that a mother sees dropping off her toddler at Grandma’s for the afternoon.  Football is a lovely babysitter.  Especially when I can watch TruTV or Discovery Channel in the other room.  There must be something about drinking beer that makes football interesting because in my sobriety I find it incredibly slow moving and boring.  The minute things get interesting they stop the game, and there’s about 40 bazillion cryptic rules that one can break without realizing it.  Then there’s the funky little dances the refs do to tell everyone someone broke a rule.  I play hell trying to decipher that stuff.  I do know there’s an “unnecessary roughness” call which doesn’t make any sense to me at all.  As far as I’m concerned you can avoid roughness altogether by not playing football.   It’s as if there is an “unnecessary wetness” call in swimming.  Getting wet is just part of being in the pool, right?

Swimming is one sport I can say I enjoy- not in the competitive sense of course, but to me it’s the least offensive form of exercise.  Despite my extreme lack of coordination on land I am a strong swimmer and a fair diver- but I very seldom have access to a pool.  To be a regular swimmer here in Ohio you need access to an indoor pool, and I can’t afford the “Y” membership anymore, which sucks.  If I could afford one of those “endless pools” or indoor spas, I would find it delightful to get my daily exercise in rather than finding it a boring (albeit necessary) chore.  Of course I don’t see that happening unless I end up being on the receiving end of some kind of inheritance from rich relatives that I’m pretty sure I don’t have.   Of course, Bill Gates can always put me in his will, or maybe just spare me a million or two because he feels sorry for a pathetic old uncoordinated cougar like me.  This is not likely.  I can dream though, and the endless pool thing would be kick ass.

As far as sports go it seems some of them have more entertainment value than others.  I can’t for the life of me see how anyone would bother watching golf.  I can’t hit that damned dinky ball with a golf club even if I keep on swinging at it.  Granted it must take some talent to golf (which I readily admit I don’t possess) but it’s still boring to watch.  I may be a bit biased too from working at the Infiniti dealership and having to deal with travelling golfers. Every year during the Memorial Tournament I was stuck having to deal with all the pompous asses from Muirfield who would want their ill or poorly maintained Infinitis fixed NOW.  The Memorial Tournament always brought to my service department a rash of presumptious nouveau riche douche bags who claimed to be more important than the next guy because they have Connections.  Yeah, we know you golf.  We can tell by the bad pants and Hair Club for Men hair.  I really don’t give a rat’s ass you’re stranded and from Chicago.  In my humble opinion, you hould have scheduled your maintenance and had a safety inspection BEFORE you made an ill advised 500 mile road trip and ended up in my service department with bald tires and a busted radiator hose.   By the way, half of the world knows the owner of the joint, so don’t try that one to get ahead of the guy who scheduled his appointment a month ago.  Claiming a blood-brother relationship with the owner of the dealership (who likely doesn’t know you from Adam’s housecat in the first place), and a $1.49 will get you a Diet Dr. Pepper at BP.   Not everyone who golfs  is a pompous ass who hasn’t a clue about proper vehicle maintenance, but annoying individuals of that stripe seem to be overly represented among golfers.   So golf really isn’t my favorite sport.  Golf spelled backward is “flog.”  Watching someone (deserving of it of course) get flogged might be entertaining.  Watching golf is sort of like being a turd in the punchbowl, watching paint dry.

Baseball I really can’t say anything too bad about.  I actually enjoyed going to Clippers games.  Before I got rheumatic fever I played softball (the rec leagues where anyone who buys the T-shirt is allowed on the team) so I understand baseball rules relatively well.  Baseball is one of the very few games that is more interesting to watch than to play.  I understand it is really boring standing around way, way out in left field for half the game and warming the bench for the other half, but I royally sucked at softball and it was only fair that the girls who could actually play got to.

Hockey is another sport I don’t really understand but find vaguely intriguing.  There’s lots of fights.  It’s done on ice skates which puts the hazard factor right up there.  I’ve not been on skates (roller or ice) for a number of years which is too bad, because at one time I could skate at least with some proficiency, but I’m afraid of breaking stuff at my age.  I broke an arm just falling on the back porch last year and I really don’t want to repeat that one.

For the life of me though I don’t get it how so many people get into sports so heavily that their whole world revolves around what ______player or _______team is doing.  I’m just not that much of a voyeur. 

Another thing, besides the insane popularity of watching other people play sports, that I fail to understand, is why do other people think I need crap that I never expressed any desire of wanting, needing or even having room for?  Mom has the best of intentions but sometimes she buys just plain goofy little things I have no use for and no desire to possess.  For instance, buying a diabetic a set of cookie cutters is a tad bit sadistic, no?  I used to enjoy baking cookies and cakes and pies and pastries- when I could eat them too.  Might as well just spring for the cake decorating tips, candy thermometer and double boiler while you’re at it.  I’ll get right on fulfilling your pastry, cookie and other sugary snacky desires.  (insert sarcasm here)

Speaking of sarcasm, or should I truly be speaking of sadism, Jerry has found a new hobby in the evenings and is pursuing it with a veracity that I did not realize he could possess.  It seems ever since I switched the home phone over to Time Warner from AT&T some foreign jackoff keeps calling every single farking night to try to convince me to switch the phone back to AT&T.  Now it already pisses me off that they didn’t want to offer me the primo pricing until after I’d already switched to TW, instead of making the good offer one of the many times when I’d threatened to do it but didn’t.  It pisses me off even more that they want my business (?) but can’t seem to spring for sales help who speak English intelligibly and preferably as a first language.  I know plenty of college kids who speak at least intelligible English who would be willing to work for relatively cheap for a few hours a week.  (dammit Steve-o…get a freaking job…)  I don’t like to torment foreigners.  I prefer to ignore telemarketing calls altogether.  As far as I’m concerned, if I don’t recognize the number on the caller ID then I don’t bother picking it up.  Jerry on the other hand, takes great delight in messing with AT&T’s outsourced help.  Last night he answers the phone:

“Yes, this is Peggy.”

“I am selling Girl Scout Cookies.”

“Why am I talking to you if you aren’t buying any Girl Scout Cookies?”

I’m sure that Ringadingasumupoo (aka “My name is John”) has absolutely no idea what the fark a Girl Scout cookie is.  But Jerry will carry on this conversation to its frustrating conclusion.  The only thing I hope that AT&T might gather from this recorded phone call is that maybe outsourcing isn’t such a good idea, especially if Midwestern rednecks are utilizing their foreign help as cheap entertainment.  Personally I find torturing foreigners to be a bit sadistic.  They can’t help it they were born in places that aren’t fit for human habitation and they can’t help it that (most of the time) their grasp of the English language is tenuous at best.  It doesn’t reflect well on the parent companies who exploit these people to save a buck though.   Hire the poor college kids right here in this country.  I would almost think about answering telemarketing calls if I were guaranteed an intelligible voice (preferably complete with the Central Ohio Newscaster Accent that I find so easy to understand, or maybe even an nice, sexy Texas drawl… gotta love the Texans) on the other end of the line.

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