Friday, March 19, 2010
Merry March Madness!
You can judge how much a guy dislikes any given holiday based on the number of greeting cards he has to send or see.
So far, there are no “Happy March Madness!” greeting cards.
And, make no mistake, March Madness is the number one guy holiday on the whole guy calendar. It has gambling, drinking, saturation coverage and the kind of buddy-buddy camaraderie that’s been absent from even professional football ever since the NFL decided to feminize the sport with women’s outreach programs and things like Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez.
I have gainfully employed friends who are taking the day off because their employers don’t put March Madness on equal footing with all the repressive religious holidays that involve sermons and in-laws.
So, of course, I’m taking today off, too. Instead of falling short of my thrice-weekly goal to write one coherent 750-word blog post, I’m posting this multitude of shorter, equally incoherent ones.
And I’ll leave it to you gainfully employed folks to wonder what a guy who doesn’t do or earn anything does differently when he takes a day off from whatever it is he does or doesn’t do.
• If the people who sold beer and booze with ads that earnestly urge “Please Drink Responsibly” were the least bit honest they’d say, “Please drink lots -- just don’t get caught breaking anything!”
• There are well-regarded sitcoms with million-dollar budgets and squads of witty writers that fail to produce anything as funny as either of the Old Spice deodorant commercials involving the black guy on the white horse and the dashing gent who makes an elegant meat portrait out of carved turkey for his girlfriend. If I didn’t already use Old Spice, I’d be switching.
• As a proud alumnus, I couldn’t be more thrilled about the Ohio University upset over Georgetown. It’s the biggest victory in the school’s history. I just had to fill out a questionnaire that asked the offbeat query: “Where would you most like to be?” I put “1985” because it was my senior year at OU in Athens, Ohio. I don’t want to diminish all my other years, but it was just such a great time and, for better or worse, Athens was where I became who I am. Still, I’m happy right where I am. But putting “1985” sounded like a more creative answer than “Outer Banks” or something new agey like “Stuck in a Moment.”
• I like to joke that the only thing I learned during my four years at OU was to never mix Ouzo and beer. It’s an exaggeration, of course, but the essence of the wisdom should not be overlooked: Mixing beer and the volcanic Greek liqueur will inevitably lead a foolhardy drinker to wake up in a strange place, with a killer hangover and no recollection of what happened to his or her pants.
• Anyone who thinks the election of our first black president has done anything to dent our historic racism ought to spend an afternoon watching college basketball in a bar full of rednecks like the one where I imbibe. Your average redneck bases for whom he is rooting solely on the number of blacks on each team. It doesn’t matter if they look like gansta rappers or young Denzel Washingtons. If they’re black, the redneck wants them to lose.
• Still, these are great guys and I prefer their company to that of many more fair-minded bores. It just says something about where the country is right now. And, yes, there’s this: They think Sarah Palin’s going to be a really swell president.
• I’ll be following the recent celebrity breakups of Sandra Bullock and the effervescent Kate Winslet. Too soon for me to play matchmaker, but I’ll figure it all out soon enough. I prefer Winslett to Bullock, but if either of them ends up with Jon Gosselin I’m canceling my People magazine subscription.
• Me and the boys back in Athens used to think we were great wits when we’d say things like, “You can’t spell Ouzo without OU.”
• I’d love to know how many days Tiger Woods devoted to saving his family. By his returning to golf so soon, it’s clear saving his family is driving him right back to the lifestyle that jeopardized it in the first place. I love my wife and kids, but one of the reasons I don’t want to do anything to jeopardize my family is because I know I’d be forced to spend more time with them. We already spend plenty of time together. Any more and they’d be sick of me and all those friendly rednecks would be the poorer without access to my enlightened insights.
• But I wouldn’t recommend the way I live to many others. It’s like the great Capt. Augustus McCrae says in one of my favorite books, “Lonesome Dove.” “Boys, what’s good for me, ain’t necessarily good for the weak-minded.”
• You can’t spell bourbon, voudka or Scoutch without OU either. See, I learned something in Athens!
• Merry March Madness to one and all!