Oct 28, 2009
Martashlix Barchiones, Zero Bars, sideline dogs, Brangelina at Jen’s house, Dolly, Kenny, one slightly tainted candy apple, and lots of laxatives
So, I’m in the garage early Sunday afternoon restoring some old tables when the phone rings. On the other end of the line is Pat, a Michigan native and proud Steelers fan who lives in the neighborhood. Pat just got his hands on two free Bengals tickets and says if we leave now, we can meet up with some others who will drive us from a predetermined rendezvous point down to a stadium-side parking lot where we’ll tailgate before the game. Being that Pat is a Steelers fan and that I’ve known him for only a few months, I’m immediately skeptical that this could very well be some sort of trap. It’s entirely possible that I’ll hop into some strange van, make an off-handed comment about the carpeted walls and strange smell, then wake up ten hours later with a skull fracture, my wallet missing, keys missing, wearing nothing but a Terrible Towel, and my car sitting in an undisclosed impound lot with four flat tires and “Bengals Suck” spray painted on the side. Despite the risk, I decide to chance it. Good call by me. As it turned out, everyone we met up with was a fellow Bengals fan except for Pat and a guy named Dave, a lukewarm Bears fan from Northern Kentucky. This was a group of mostly Westsiders with more than just a little tailgating experience, so I kinda felt right at home. A little homemade chili, some lasagna, a couple beers, followed by a picture-perfect performance by the Bengals, then back for some more chili, some more lasagna, and a couple more beers. As it turned out, ten hours later I indeed was wearing nothing but a towel, only it was a bath towel after showering before bed. My skull was intact, wallet and keys accounted for, and the car parked safely in the garage with four fully inflated tires. Thanks to Pat for the invite, to Rob, Tricia, Nick and Dave for the ride and the hospitality, thanks to Cedric Benson for leading the on-field assault, and special thanks to Ryan for getting sick and giving Pat his tickets. Hopefully it’s not the swine flu and you’re back on your feet by now.
Speaking of the swine flu, best line of the week goes to the older guy (60-ish) sitting next to me at the game. Mid-fourth quarter, he sneezes. I give him the obligatory, “Bless you” and follow it up with, “Hope that’s not the swine flu”. He says, “Nah, I haven’t slept with a pig in a long time…… I’m divorced.”
Anyway, I don’t have time to ramble on about a whole lot of other rubbish this week. Saturday is Halloween and I’ve got a lot of prep work to do. (And yes, I did say “rubbish”. I just got done watching Lie to Me and Tim Roth is infectious. I challenge anyone to watch that show and not want to be Cal Lightman for at least a day.) It’s T-minus 72 hours until all the little monsters, super heroes and princesses start coming to the door begging for treats. We’ve got a bucket full of well over 500 pieces of candy at the ready and the girls’ costumes are hanging patiently in their closets. I’ve also got a pretty decent-sized headache forming off the coast of my left temple which has the potential of becoming a Category 4 skull storm before the night’s over. Plus, it’s raining. A lot. And did I mention that the majority of my family & my in-laws will be coming to my house? Halloween’s a great holiday if you’re a kid. If you’re an adult, not so much. Unless, of course, you go to a non-work-related Halloween party. The kind with men dressed up like women, women dressed up like whores, whores dressed up like French maids saying “Oui, Oui!” in the coat closet to guys wearing Bill Clinton masks, and, of course, an open bar. Kinda like the Arquette’s house at Thanksgiving. But since I don’t have a Halloween party to go to and since I’m no longer welcome at the Arquette’s, this Halloween is shaping up to be just a normal trek around the neighborhood.
My daughters will love it, though. And that’s what it’s all about- the look on your kids’ faces, filled with excitement over getting free candy from complete strangers. Of course, you usually can’t see the look of excitement, what with the masks and all, but you can certainly sense it, or something. Or maybe it’s not so much a sense of excitement as it is a heart-accelerating sugar buzz. My nephews fill their faces with so much candy that they get this uber-crazy look in their eyes, like Gary Busey over-doing it at an oxygen bar. But before we get to Halloween night there’s Damage Night, and before Damage Night, there’s NF HELL Night. Never heard of it? Well, when Halloween falls on a weekend day, the NFL players & coaches get screwed out of Tricks or Treats, so a night is set aside a couple days early to let them get their spook on. I’ll tell you what, pull up a chair and you can help me pass out the treats. Then we’ll head to the back patio, hit the spiked cider and listen to Houses of the Holy by the fire. Here come our first two up the driveway….
Seahawks at Cowboys-
For the Seahawks I have some homemade peanut brittle because it reminds me of Matt Hasselbeck who apparently now has the body of a seventy year old Bingo regular. When he’s healthy and they’re playing at home, they’re usually tough to beat. But when he’s injured or they’re on the road, it’s not good times in Javatown. Oh, and I almost forgot, I’ve also got an I Told You So bar for our old pal T.J. who’s already started mouthing off about not getting the ball enough. Whoever had Week 8 in that pool, come collect your money.
For the Cowboys, I’ve got a roll of Life Savers and a 3 Musketeers bar. With Roy Williams playing more like Vanessa Williams, Miles Austin has given Romo at least one viable outside the hash marks, so he gets the Life Savers. The 3 Musketeers bar toes to the 3-headed backfield monster known as Marion Barber-Tashard Choice-Felix Jones, or as I like to call it, Martashlix Barchoines. Despite its injuries, Martashlix has Dallas ranked fourth in the league in rushing and first in yards per carry.
Texans at Bills-
For the Texans, here’s a large tub of Vicks vapor rub and a pack of Icy Hot for Andre Johnson’s injured chest. No other chest has received this much attention in Houston since Dolly Parton had a stop there on her Odd Jobs tour back in 1980.
I noticed that the Bills are dead last in the league in run defense allowing 5.2 yards per carry and 172 yards per game, so for them I’ve got some Gobstoppers, a bottle of Kaopectate and a butt plug to help stop the runs. (Hee-haw)
Giants at Eagles-
The Gints get some miniature candy bars and a small box of Runts. I’d give them larger treats but I’m not sure they can handle ‘em. So far their only win against a decent team was a last second squeaker against the Cowboys in Week 2. The rest of their W’s have come against the Skins, Bucs, Chiefs, and Raiders, who are a combined 5-21 on the season.
For the Eagles, heck, I really don’t know what to pass out to those guys. Chunky Soup for Donovan is too easy. So are Dexatrim capsules for Andy Reid or dog biscuits for Mike Vick. I don’t know, they’re good but I’m not sure how good and quietly climbing the ladder without much distraction but something just doesn’t feel right about them. Here, how about some candy corn and a few popcorn balls until I can get a better read on you guys. Have fun.
Rams at Lions-
Hey look, the worst costume of the night, a Rams uniform. If they go 0-16, and that is ABSOLUTELY possible, the 2008 Lions run as “Worst Team Ever” will have been a short one. The Lambs are still winless and averaging just 8.6 points per game and have zero rushing touchdowns. And yes, Stephen Jackson is on the roster. For them, as well as the other winless teams, a bag full of Zero bars to commemorate your perfect awfulness. For the poor Rams faithful, I’ve got a couple airline bottles of bourbon, a closed garage with the car running, and a nice comfortable mattress to lie down on. Let’s stop the pain, shall we.
For the Lions, I hope there’s room left in your pillowcase because I’ve got a nice big bunch of bananas for you. Sure, they’re kinda brown & mushy but they’re not meant for you to eat, they’re for your cornerbacks to drop in the path of opposing receivers. Lions’ opponents are completing over 74% of pass attempts this season. 74%. Seriously.
Dolphins at Jets-
As they say in Miami, “Buenas Dia de Los Muertos”. For Los Delfines, here’s a fistful of Brown Cows for their bell cow, Ronnie Brown. Without his versatility, their Wildcat wouldn’t be keeping opposing D-coordinators up at night and they wouldn’t have the league’s #2 rushing attack.
For the Jets defense (who have the league’s #1 rushing attack), a sack of White Castles for everyone except Calvin Pace, just to remind their defense what a sack looks like. They have a league-low eight on the season and other than Pace, have just one over their last four games. Also, for Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez, I’ve got a handful of mustard & ketchup packets for his guilty pleasure, the sideline dog….
Niners at Colts-
The Niners get a nice shiny penny to match their gold helmets and a note to take home. I think you know what that note says.
The Colts offense is the top-ranked, most consistent, most professional group in the NFL. For them I have a bowl full of Smarties and Red Hots. And let me throw in a little something for their new head coach, Jim Caldwell. For Coach I have a bottle of Mt. Dew Voltage. I’m hoping it’ll give him enough energy to move, or maybe at least just blink once in a while. He’s very stoic. Too stoic perhaps. I’m beginning to wonder whether there’s a little Weekend at Bernie’s subplot going on over there.
Browns at Bears-
Oh hey, it’s the Browns. Uh, here’s a rock and a pack of Fizzies. Oh yeah, I know they look like Alka Seltzer tablets but they’re Fizzies, really. For you Browns fans, here are some candy cigarettes and a blindfold. Just say the word and we can end your suffering right here.
For the Bears, I’ve got a small sack of gold coin chocolates for swift & studly rookie Johnny Knox, a box of Twinkies for your soft-in-the-middle defense, and some chocolatey Ex-Lax to help get your run game going again.
Broncos at Ravens-
Coach McDaniels, for you I’ve got my favorite pool candy when I was a kid- a pack of Sixlets. I’d give you a pack of Sevenlets but, well, they don’t make Sevenlets (duh) and I don’t think you’re going to run this fairy tale out to 7-0. Traveling to Baltimore when the Ravens are angry normally doesn’t end well for teams. The aftermath usually resembles a hospital’s ER after three hours of handling train wreck victims.
For the Ravens, despite your swagger and smashmouthiness (not a word, I know), y’all have some major holes to plug in your pass defense. To help you with that, here’s a pack of Bubble Tape and some Silly Putty eggs. I’m also gonna toss in a slightly tainted candy apple for Ray-Ray, you know, just because.
Well, there seems to be a lull in the NFL traffic here at the moment, so allow me to take this opportunity to give you, my faithful and valued readers, some treats for your virtual pillowcase, bag, bucket, hollowed-out human skull, er whatever, with some sweet handfuls of extra special eye candy. Think of it as a big bowl of Mounds and Hot Tamales. Enjoy….
Jaguars at Titans-
Let’s see, I’ve got something here for the Jags….Where is it, where is it… Ah yes, here it is, a Big Hunk for Maurice Jones Drew who’s tied for the league lead with eight touchdowns. For the rest of the Jaguars, I’m going to go a little Oprah on y’all here so bear with me and just check under the treat table….. Everyone’s getting a one-way ticket to Los Angeles! That’s right, why stay in the armpit of Florida where people aren’t willing to pay $80 a ticket to watch a mediocre team with only one remotely marketable player? Back-wat-er. Get out of there. Fly off to LA where they’ve got tons of disposable cash and are the experts at turning no-talent nobodies into celebrities.
Oh, and I can’t forget about the Titans. For the team, a case of Zero bars, and for Jeff Fisher, I’ve got a hair trimmer, some self-tanner, and a bottle of peroxide. After the 0-6 start and that whole debacle with the Manning jersey, I think it’d be best if you disguised yourself for a little while. Turn that signature cookie duster into a full goatee, buzz the mop, maybe mousse it a little, bleach it all out white, and see if that works. In case it doesn’t, I’m also tossing in a do-it-yourself Botox injection kit. If necessary, we can have you looking like the new Kenny Rogers in no time. Everybody in Nashville loves the Gambler.
Raiders at Chargers-
For Raiders head coach Tom Cable, a box of Jawbreakers because karma’s a bitch.
For the Chargers, here’s some Dulcolax to help induce some decent runs. They’re second-last in the league, averaging just 70 yards per game and have only two runs longer than 20 yards this season. I’m also gonna throw in a bottle of Imodium to help stop the runs for their defense. Remember, the offense gets the Dulcolax, the defense gets the Imodium, please do not mix them up.
Vikings at Packers-
If I’m a Psychology major looking for a thesis, I’m packing up the car and heading to Green Bay for the weekend. It’s got to be a confusing, torturous time for Packers fans as they prepare for their departed hero to return like this. It’d be like Brad Pitt bringing Angelina Jolie and their united colors (children) of Benetton over to Jennifer Anniston’s house for dinner. I honestly don’t know what to hand out to these guys. Uh, here, how about some wax lips, a couple Chick-o-Stix, and one Ring Pop to fight over. Have a ball.
Panthers at Cardinals-
For Jake Delhomme, here are some Pop Rocks and a bottle of Coke. Thirteen interceptions and just four touchdowns, whaddya say you just go out with a bang.
For the Cards, here’s a large box of Colon Blow for that pathetic run game, and a tin of Altoids for your curiously strong defense.
Falcons at Saints-
Smell that? No, not that. Sorry about that, I thought it had wafted out of here by now. I’m talking about the other smell. Hot, fresh-out-of-the-oven pretzels made especially for the Falcons bend-but-don’t-break defense. (One sentence, eight hyphens, Score!) Atlanta’s defense is 25th in the league in yards allowed but 11th in the league in points allowed, giving up an average of just 19 per game. Hope you like the pretzels, you’ve earned them, but that’s not gonna last. As a matter of fact, it could blow up on you like a tanker fire as soon as you run into a really good offensive team like uh, oh, well now who do we have here…..
The Saints. (cue that kickass Imperial March from Star Wars)
For the Saints, here are some Pixy Stix for Darren Sharper. Dude is leading the league with six picks, three of which he’s returned for touchdowns. I’ve also got a box of lubricated condoms for the offense. When you score as often, in as many ways, and in as many places as these guys do, you’d better use some protection. And for the rest of the guys, what else for an undefeated team from Cajun country but a big tray of pralines and some French Chews all around.
And just because it’s Bye week doesn’t mean everyone doesn’t get treats….
For the Chiefs Larry Johnson, a box of Airheads. For the Bucs, Zero bars. Lots and lots of Zero bars. For the Redskins, a bag of Sour Patch Kids. But only the green ones, they don’t deserve the others. And for the Patriots, Steelers and Bengals, you each get a pillow, some hot cider and a cinnamon stick so you can enjoy your well-earned rest.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to take off this Chia Obama outfit and get that fire started. Happy Halloween.
Posted by Smitty