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5:10 a.m. - 2003-05-16

RAINY DAYS AND POSTPONED SOFTBALL CEREMONIES ALWAYS GET ME DOWN

Gah...yesterday...

Okay, I was supposed to show up at the softball complex here in town for a softball tournament championship medal giveaway congratulatory celebration thingie.

Basically, I had no idea what I was showing up for. I was just told to be there and I agreed to be there because it meant I got to leave the house 30 minutes later than normal.

I take Andrew to daycare and the skies are looking ominous.

For those of you not familiar with the game of softball, rule #1 is that it's usually played outside.

We get to daycare and the skies OPEN UP. And I mean they OPEN THE F-WORD UP.

So I jump out of the car and am instantly soaking wet.

Say it with me..."Whee."

Just as I'm fumbling with the dozens of locks on Andrew's car seat, a bolt of lightning hits about 30 feet from where we're parked in the driveway with an instant clap of thunder that is louder than Oprah having sex.

This freaks Andrew out and he does NOT want to come out of the car.

My legs are hanging out of the car, pants pasted firmly to my legs from the pouring rain. I go to reach for the umbrella that we keep in the back seat of the car.

Not there.

Not there.

Not there.

Apparently, my lovely wife watched the weather and decided in her infinite wisdom to screw me like a seasoned whore, leaving me to fend for myself in the storm of the century.

I apologized to Andrew that his mother was in fact a spawn of Satan and he deserved better, released him from his carseat's grip and we bolted up the hill to the daycare front door.

By the time we got up there we were both soaking wet. Andrew was crying from the thunder and I was desperately trying to think how I'd get back at my wife for her cruelty.

Ms. Robin opens the door and says "It's a great day ... FOR DUCKS!!!"

Okay...to begin with...that's a stupid saying. I'm guessing that ducks like stormy weather with lightning bolts dancing around them like clumsy buffalo, but personally I can't imagine it. I think what gets me is the only time I ever hear that phrase is when I'm standing in someone's doorway, dripping wet.

I mutter something under my breath at the daycare lady, hand her a sobbing and soaking Andrew and ask if I can borrow a freakin' umbrella.

She happens to have one, but warns me "It doesn't always work right."

That's okay. Neither does my middle finger. See? There it is again, pointing straight up! Darned middle finger!! Go figure!

I haul ass back to the car, hop in and head over to the softball complex.

I get to the softball complex and there's ducks everywhere, dancing jigs in the parking lot with big happy grins on their stupid little duck bills.

I hop out, pop the umbrella up at which point it promptly flips inside out. I pound the umbrella on the pavement until it's a twisted mass of metal and vinyl then jog to the complex in the storm.

The medal giveaway ceremony thing has been postponed until 11 a.m. when all this will blow over.

I try to pretend like this is okay as I stand there in the rain with my hair plastered to my head and my shirt molded into my skin, making me look like a prime candidate for a cheesy "Fat Boys Gone Wild" video.

I get back to the office and am there for about 30 minutes before it's time to head back to the complex.

The skies have cleared. I make it to the complex with minutes to spare.

...Just as the skies darken and rain begins pouring once again.

I make it to the press box with some other co-workers where we're met with gloom.

Apparently, one of our local sports announcers was in the hospital with a brain aneurysm and the outlook was grim.

So all these sports announcers and journalists are hanging around talking about what a great guy Jim Fyffe, the voice of the Auburn Tigers is.

I met him a few times and honestly, he was one of the few legends in the business that remembered my name each time I crossed paths with him, which impressed me.

His condition cast a dark cloud over this whole affair.

The medal giveaway thingie was now being postponed until 2 p.m. Apparently, they wanted us to hand out medals to all the players BEFORE the games started. Immediately before. And for some ungodly reason...it couldn't be raining while the medals were being given out. I guess it'd wash the pewter dust off the medals, I dunno.

My co-workers and I went to lunch then went back to the office for about ten minutes. At that point, it was time to head back to the complex once again.

This time, there's no rain, but the fields are practically underwater from torrential rains.

So they're spreading sand over the fields while dark clouds start moving in.

Meanwhile, it's announced that Jim Fyffe had in fact died.

This sent the guys in the press box into a tizzy. Men were openly weeping.

Then they announce that June Carter Cash had died. The same men were throwing themselves on daggers, saying there was no reason for them to live anymore.

I began to suspect some mental deficiencies in these men.

It was 3:30 by the time I was handed an extra feminine basket full of cheesy medals, shoved out onto a muddy softball field, forced to wave at the people in attendance when I was announced as a representative of the city, and told to smile and shake the hands of several dozen female high school softball players who had suspiciously large jaws.

I'm wondering if parents notice early on in a little girl's life that she may have a bulging jawline and then hand her a softball and bat to prepare her for a softball career in her teenage years to make up for hundreds of dateless Friday nights?

I'm whisked from one field to another in a golf cart...six fields in all, to hand out medals and shake hands because by 3:30 I was the only representative from the city left standing. Everyone else had packed up and gone back to the office.

What can I say? They had free hamburgers in the press box. It's not like my fat ass is going to turn down free hamburgers.

I get to the last field and it starts sprinkling.

People start panicking like it's acid rain. I grab one of the organizers and tell her that come hell or high water, I'm giving these medals out.

She's squealing for me to just give the medals to the coaches and RUN!!!

Huh?

I hand each of the teams' coaches 18 medals apiece and scoot off to the press box.

Where grown men are still weeping over the death of June Carter Cash.

I resist the urge to yell, "You buncha babies need to get your shit together and yell 'Play Ball!' or something!"

I leave.

Just as the rain stops and the sun begins to shine.

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