Wednesday, September 30, 2009

I am a member of the PTA

How did this happen to me? I went to an open house tonight at Billy's school. I sat on hard bleachers while the 5th graders treated us to several selections on the recorder. My favorite was the blues ditty they tore up. Nothing screams BLUES!!! like the recorder. I picture Robert Johnson fresh off signing his soul over to the devil penning "Crossroads". He hears the recorder in his mind. If harps are the instruments of heaven then recorders are the instruments of hell.

When did I get old enough to be in the freaking PTA? Where did my life go? Listen carefully. I am not bemoaning the state of my life right now. Things are pretty sweet for me right now. It's just I never once dreamed when I was young that one of the things I would be at any point was in the PTA. I play bass in a rock band. I wear flip-flops to church on Sunday mornings. I am quite jiggy in several different areas. And yet I rode home from the school tonight with the realization that I am a PTA parent slowly descending on me.

Billy's teacher told us that he reads very good (she didn't say very good, I said very good and yes Ben and Jamie I know very good ain't good English). He behaves most of the time. I also noticed that he likes hugging girls. Good Billy. Chicks dig literacy.

Alas, I am getting old. One day I am going to show up at either Billy's or James Robert's house with a full diaper. I am going to walk right through the front door, go and lay down on their bed, raise my legs in the air and demand that I be changed this instant. I also plan on wearing plaid pants and striped shirts with a belt and suspenders. I think I will also wear a fedora.

And I took the first step towards this glorious end tonight. I am in the PTA. Or at least I think I am.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

I haven't posted much.

Sorry. And this is a long one.

I met Dale 23 years ago when I was 13. His step son Joe was my best friend and I was over at their house a lot. Dale scared me when I first met him because he yelled a lot. But I guess I eventually grew on Dale. He was is an Alabama fan and I am an Alabama fan so we had that in common. I also really liked the music he grew up listening to (Beatles, Bad Company, Pink Floyd, etc).

Dale was an usher at Legion Field. When I was 17 he invited me to come and usher with him. Joe was not that much into football. The first two games I had to usher up in the section (which was really boring). Dale promoted me to the tunnel with him for the Tennessee game. This was the 1991 season. This was the first Tennessee game I had ever seen live. It was magic. There is something that stirs within me when I see the leaves starting to turn in the fall. All of the crimson and orange in the hills makes me think of this game (which is supposed to be on the 3rd Saturday in October). Danny Woodsen got hurt and a freshman named Jay Barker took over and never gave up that spot.

I ushered Legion Field games with Dale from 1991 to 1999. I saw the first SEC Championship game in 1992. It was cold and windy. I remember clearly (which is amazing considering the "anti-freeze" I had imbibed throughout the game) Antonio Langham returning an interception 21 yards for the winning touchdown. I remember screaming at him to come to poppa as he ran toward our end zone. The sections that we ushered were always the visiting section so we got to hang out with the fans of others schools. Tennessee fans were always cordial (believe it or not). Auburn fans were always good to us. Auburn students on the other hand are animals who should be locked up on game day. They were sit where ever they wanted and I spent most of the game ushering them from seats they commandeered from other people. One time this little old lady asked me to remove a student from her seat. The little punk started yelling at me about what a dump this was and how bad his seats were.

Little Punk: My seats are (expletive) horrible.
Me: I don't care.
Little Punk: This isn't (expletive) fair.
Me: See that little old lady over there? She has to stand up because you are in her seat.

He said some other stuff but I ended the conversation with a promise that I would have his little butt thrown out of the stadium if I had to deal with him again. I couldn't enjoy the game because those animals didn't think the rules of seating applied to them. Much to Kara's dismay and frustration I say every time we watch an Auburn game together and I see the students, "Get in your freaking seat." Kara is not pleased.

I have watched almost every Alabama game on TV (and in many cases live) since 1991 with Dale.

I found out July 10 of this year that Dale had a Stage 3 brain tumor. Inoperable and terminal. When I found out I tried to wrangle some Va Tech/Alabama tickets in the Georgia Dome. I found out a little later that he would not be able to make the trip even if I could have gotten tickets. Dale bought tickets to the 1999 SEC Championship in Atlanta. It was a great time. The guy sitting next to me had been drinking since early that morning. When he got to the game he traded beer for hot dogs and ate the entire time. Every time Alabama would score he would turn to me, scream Roll Tide, and spray partially chewed hot dog all over me. I felt as if I had know the guy my entire life.

I went to watch the Va Tech game over at Dale's that night. He wasn't loud at all. His hair is still growing back from the surgery to remove as much as they safely could. He was so sweet and tender to the people around him (which anyone who knows Dale would know is uncharacteristic). Later that night Lynn (Dale's wife) asked me to speak at Dale's memorial service. I am honored and humbled by this request.

Dale and I were talking during the game and he was puzzled by why he still cares so much about Alabama. The only answer he could come up with was it must be in his blood. I guess that is about right. It is in my blood too. I have worn the same jersey (#81) to most Alabama games (live or on TV). I have worn the same hat all that time. I'm afraid football will not be the same when Dale goes.

I expressed this to Kara as we were walking up the ramp into the upper deck this past weekend in Tuscaloosa. She said I have to pass this tradition down to my boys. Alabama Football is about more than football to me. It is about family. And family ain't always about blood. Dale is more a part of my family than some of my family.

If you pray, please pray for Dale, Lynn, Ryan, and Joe. Pray that Alabama can win another championship if only for the sake of a man that has followed them as long as he can remember.

Roll Tide. Calm down Dale.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

19 and counting...The Duggars

Meet Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar. They currently have 18 children. She is pregnant with #19. They all have names that start with J. The oldest child is 13.

OK that last bit is not true but close.

Let's do some math and put this in perspective.

1 pregnancy = 9 months. 19 X 9 = 171 months. 171 / 12 = 14.25 years. This woman will have been pregnant for 14 years and 3 months of her life (she is 43 right now).

Kara informed me that pregnancy is really bad the last 3 months. So here is some more math.

19 X 3 = 57 months (of 3rd trimester pregnancy) 57 / 12 = 4.75 years. This woman has spent 4 years and 9 months of her life extremely miserable pregnant.

19 Children. That's one more than 18, one less than 20, and 17 more than I have and there are days my children cause me to want to hit myself in the face with a framing hammer.

The Bible is clear that we should be fruitful and multiply but sheesh. I thought that it is important that Kara and I at least replace ourselves in society. But the Duggars have replaced themselves 9 times.

You will notice Dolly Parton in the picture above. She is not one of the Duggar children. I don't think.
It's the female reproductive system, not a clown car.