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Monday, July 13, 2009

Oh, cause you're the mayor.

The breeze blows gentle in the trees. The charcoal is alight and better than any incense save the prayers of the saints. The wicker could use a cushion and the teenager could use a place-putting-punt-to-the-posterior and a cold shower. i am sitting in aforementioned wicker and waxing nostalgic about a scene out of the weekend last.

There too the breeze and i enjoyed the long rays of the sun. Though it were more the time of anticipation than reflection. There too, i sat. There too, there were teenagers in need of place-putting-punts. And that brings us to our story...

Lacrosse, like most sports, Carlin be wherever he's at, it is a sport and as such, is played by the young. And though the modern world seems to think them passé, the young often have fathers, for good or ill. Fathers who often, God bless 'em, think that their progeny, most of whom are walking upright, potty trained and old enough to shave, could not successfully make themselves a glass of chocolate milk without their fathers bellowing at them from the sidelines if it were to be accomplished on a playing field. You've heard these men. Everyone within a five mile radius hears these men. Berating their beloved sons in a spray of spittle laced fury like the slave drivers in Roman galleys during a losing battle.

There i and the breeze and everyone within a five mile radius sat, unwilling audience to a master slave driver practicing his craft. For fully thirty minutes of a thirty-five minute game he paced the sidelines as if he were the reincarnation of Vince Lombardi himself, telling every boy on the field where they should be, how they should play and asking in his best pleading martyr voice, why, o why were they not listening to him and trying to win the game??? So fanatical was he, i began to watch in the morbid fascination that he would soon have a massive coronary right there on the field and never having seen such a thing and being ambivalent to the outcome, i thought it might prove more entertaining than the game. Maybe now would be an opportune time to say that my son was not playing in this game so i had no personal stake. Insert joke about my own massive coronary here. i don't mind. i am not one of these fathers.

i save my wrath for the refs but that is another story and we're not talking about me.

We're talking about this guy... and the guy twenty foot down the line. The guy who looked like a retired teamster. Who talked like a retired teamster who did strong arm work for the Union back in the day. Who had apparently had his fill of the slave driver's vitriol.
"Hey (we'll call him Creo Sonitus, Soni for short) Hey Soni! Why don't you shuttup!" says, retired teamster knee breaker.
"I'm oveh heeya, (helpfully points to where he's standing) i'm not botherin' you!"
"You're bodderin' all of us! You're making us all nauseous!"
"And you're de mayor."
"You're out of control, you're makin' us all sick!"
"Oh and you're so loved!"
There followed after this exchange, five minutes of blessed, if somewhat strained silence as the game wound to it's inevitable conclusion and kneebreaker's and Soni's sons' defeat. And that would have been the end of it. There would have been no story except for the origin of why i will now refer to anyone who tells me what to do as, "the mayor."

Except that's when the real story began. For at that point, kneebreaker came over. He shook Soni's hand and gave him a one armed man hug. They made up and apologized and were both gracious in defeat. Now, for all i know, they do this every game. It could be ritual for them. But that one act of restoration and forgiveness, that picture of redemption, that holy moment almost made up for the fact that i had to drive to blinkin' Jersey three days in a row to watch my son's coach snatch defeat out of the jaws of victory five times in a friggin' row.

Almost.

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