Saturday, November 24, 2012

Odd Bits - The Rivalry Edition

Big doin’s afoot this weekend, which make for good jumping off points for a couple of stories.  But first…

The Game
Today is the annual clash between Ohio State and Michigan. 

Having learned college football while growing up in Ohio, our family has always considered this to be the biggest college game of the year.  In fact my brother and nephew are on their way to Columbus for the game right now.  It will be the boy’s first Michigan game and he told me how excited he was to be going.  His father (the OSU grad) has obviously raised him properly.

All I can say is that if the high school in Red Dawn had been named for the Buckeyes instead of the Wolverines, they would have mopped up the invading army in twice the time.

Or on the other hand, they might have spent so much time getting tattooed; they might never have even noticed the invasion.

Fear the nut!

Brown Out
The other big game for us is the Steelers/Browns game on Sunday.  This will be the first Steelers game all year that isn't on local TV, so I’ll be off to the sports bar tomorrow, with my wing-man, Sitcom Kelly.  (When you’re done here, check out her most recent post!)

FYI, because I’ll be at the bar, I won’t be Live-Tweeting the game.  I don’t want to risk spilling beer on my iPad.  OK, I never spill a drop, but I don’t trust Sitcom Kelly.

The other day, my blog friend Val at Flying Platypi told an embarrassing story about being on the road and really having to “GO.”

It reminded me of a similar story from one of our many road trips from Toledo to Cleveland for the annual Steelers game.  I wrote a post about them back in 2009, so if you've never seen it, do click the link… it’ll be worth your while.  (Lots of vintage Steelers pictures!)  But this is one story I didn't include.

By the end of our tenure in Ohio, Dad was buying maybe 30 tickets to the game for our friends and neighbors, and we’d caravan our way across the Ohio turnpike to Cleveland.  One year, my buddy John and I rode in the back of my sister’s boyfriend’s pickup truck.  (It had a cap over the bed.)  We brought along a 6-pack to split and made ourselves comfortable.

Before too long, though, I had to pee.  Normally, I would have just rapped on the back window and had the driver pull over, either at a rest stop or somewhere beside some bushes.  But since he didn't really know where he was going, he had to stick with the caravan.  And in this age before cell phones, there was no way to communicate with the rest of the cars.  So I had to tough it out.

Some guys would have just flopped it over the back gate and let it fly.  I was much too modest for that.  I can’t even pee when there’s someone standing at the urinal beside me.  I was beginning to consider how I might pee out one of the little gaps between the tailgate and the side of the truck bed.  But every time I worked up the courage to try it, we’d pass someone.  I didn't have the heart to leave pee mist all over some unsuspecting driver’s windshield, so I ended up holding it all the way to the hotel.

By the time we arrived, I was in severe pain.  In fact when we pulled up out front and I crawled out of the bed, I couldn't even stand up straight.  I shuffled into the hotel lobby like Quasi-freakin-Modo, desperately looking for the men’s room.  Probably took me five solid minutes to empty, because any elasticity in my bladder was long gone, having been stretched beyond recognition.

Stick a Fork in Him, He’s Done
This has been a total turkey week, all week long.  Not only did I have turkey on Thanksgiving (at my brother’s house), Pinky made one last Sunday.  That turkey picture I used in the last post?  That was it.  The shot was taken long before I assaulted it with a knife.

It’s my job to carve the turkey.  After last year, I was determined to get myself an electric carving knife, but I promptly forgot about it.  I have some decent knives, but it’s just easier with the electric one.  I can’t get the nice sandwich slices; once I start to cut, I always end up with hunks that break away.

The problem this year was that I couldn't find my big fork… you know… the one you use to hold the bird steady?  I've had this old plastic set for years… a spatula, ladle, serving spoon and fork.  Everything else was present and accounted for, so where’s the fork?

I tore through our utensil drawer, grumbling the whole time. 

Where’s the damned fork?  I didn't leave it anywhere… I always put things back where they belong!  When was the last time you used it?  Where else could it be??  Dammit dammit dammit…”

I ended up using a regular silverware fork and it didn't go well.  The pan slid around the counter, the bird slid around the pan and my hand cramped up from holding the little fork so tightly.  And it’s really hard to hold a fork steadily when you have turkey juice on your hands.

So we had our “chunky-style” turkey and all was well.  It was delicious.  Cut to Monday morning, as I swung my legs out of bed and looked down at my bedside table.
Fuck.  Me.

I totally forgot that several months earlier, I’d been having this problem with getting an itch at night, between my shoulder blades.  I put the fork there within easy reach, so I could get a scratch at night without having to get out of bed.  (Otherwise, I’d have to get up and rub up against the door frame, like a bear on a tree.)  The fork had been there so long, I didn't really even see it any more.  Idiot.

I’m off Monday, and the day’s chore will be getting my ass out to the store for an electric carving knife and a new serving fork.  And I probably owe Pinky an apology.


  1. The Pad & Pen to spreadsheet how many times you get up to PEE ?????

    1. That's where I record my periodic Weigh-ins. Today's number? You don't want to know.

  2. AH HA HA HA! You're such an old man! Your prostate must HATE you!

    Oh who am I kidding. I've had 3 kids and if that's not bad enough, baby uses my bladder as a punching bag.

    Solidarity, brother. *fist bump*

    1. Old man? I was in my early 20s when that happened. (You're talking about the Gotta Pee story, right?) Because like I told the Buckeye Bullethead, that pad is for tracking my body weight, not the weight of my prostate.

  3. I'm surprised you don't have a spreadsheet for where you keep your utensils!

    1. I would but I don't have enough utensils to make it worth my while. I might have to look into it now...

  4. That post from 2009 was great! How cool was it to hang out or even just see all those greats.

    I have to think you could probably still get dozens of tickets to a Steelers game at Cleveland (and the Steelers fans are no doubt the ones buying those tickets).

    It will be interesting to see how this game turns out, particularly with Plax back in action. I cannot imagine Batch throwing too many successful passes, but he just may surprise me.

  5. I don't remember if I elaborated on it in the 2009 post, but it was really incredible seeing all those "legends" up close. You have to remember that this was a time before ESPN and the internet. You only got to see 3 games on TV per weekend and whatever replay snippets they showed on Monday Night football. These guys were largely a mystery, especially considering we didn't live in Pittsburgh, so we got no local coverage.

    Passing them in the hallways or at the elevator, or OMG, having an actual conversation? Mind blowing. And we'll also have a soft spot for Craig Colquitt, for having our little mob up to his room.

    I'm sure we could still get the tickets, but they would be 3x more expensive. The ones we got were around $20 per.

    I feel more comfortable w/ Charlie Batch... I think he plays within himself better and is a good game manager. Heaven help us if he gets hurt. We don't have Hines or Antwan to throw back there any more.

  6. I know next to nothing about college football, and I will refrain from mentioning anything about your Steelers game on Sunday (So. Hard. To. Keep. In. Gloating), so I guess I'll adress the fork story . . .

    Definitely an apology. And maybe some roses. And a nice card. :p

    1. Say whatever you want... it's not like your guys tore anything up... I'll give the Ratbirds credit though... they may be playing like dogshit, but they're finding a way to win. I'd like to see how they'd do without Flacco, Torrey Smith, Ray Rice and a couple of starting lineman... that's what the steelers offense has had to contend with lately.

      Yeah, I apologized to Pinky... I showed her the post...

  7. I can't believe they honored Tressel at that game. He's the reason they are undefeated but have no chance at a bowl or championship.

    Too bad Terrelle Pryor couldn't make it. He's too busy not playing in the NFL.

    And that Browns game made me lose the will to Tweet.

    1. Leave it to Penn State to make OSU’s troubles look piddly.

      As far as I’m concerned, college players should be able to sell their own goods, whether it’s a championship ring, trophy or whatnot. Same with getting a little free ink. Rules are rules, but I think the rules are bogus.

      Tressel will drink for free in Columbus for the rest of his life, on his 9-1 record against Michigan, alone.

      I only sent one Steeler Tweet after the game, and that was something along the lines of “It’s a good thing I didn’t Live-Tweet the game; it would have been nothing but a steady stream of invective and vulgarity.”


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