Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Dad Coaches: "Have Fun. Winning Is Fun!"

Dad Coaches:   “We’re Gonna Have Fun.  Winning Is Fun”

My daughters won their school’s State Championship in soccer last Saturday.  My senior daughter said goodbye to an incredible coach she’s had for four years. 

School coaches do a great job teaching the nuances of their sport to kids who already know the basics.  But who taught them the basics?  Dads (and moms) who sacrificed their patience and sanity coaching church and community leagues since their kids were spastic kindergartners.

A good Dad-coach knows his players in ways a school coach can’t.  He’ll call Katie before a game to reassure her she can handle that tall #23 under the basket.  He knows Anna’s gonna cry if he yells.  And he knows Alexa likes chocolate milk with her pancakes after his daughter’s sleepover. 

A good Dad-coach will angrily throw his clipboard down.  And at least once each season, he’ll be ejected from the ball park and watch the game from his car for uttering “another word” when the umpire orders him not to.

He knows how to smile nicely while questioning a ref’s masculinity.

He knows how to beat the Star Wars pin ball machine at Garibaldi’s after games.

He knows trash talk is just as crucial as a good helmet.

And the best team isn’t always the one that looks best on paper.  

A good Dad-coach is also über-competitive.  In second grade, my daughter played on a basketball team coached by her friend Grace’s dad.

In the championship game, they were short a player because of a stupid family wedding or something, and Grace, the best player on the team, was injured.  Naturally, Coach John sent his daughter onto the court as if she was simply sporting a bandaid on her toe instead of a giant orthopedic boot.

The ref, a teenage boy with video game needs, wasn’t going to get paid for a forfeit, and boots weren’t prohibited in the manual he didn’t read. So game on.

Soon Grace flew through the air, diving for a loose ball.  My daughter Catherine, a 3 1/2 ft. Dick Butkus, but twice as mean, joined the fray and Grace’s boot cut her forehead.

The ref, at the sight of blood, was thrown into a Call of Duty virtual war zone haze so Coach John stopped the game.  I let John handle it because I’d get my Mom Card taken away if I approached my child on a court/field unless her eyeball was falling out.    

After the game, I called John’s wife who wasn’t there.  “We won!  And Grace scored 15 points!! 

“What?”  Silence.

“Oops.  Well, I really can’t talk right now because I’m taking Catherine to get, um . . . stitches . . . her head ran into Grace’s boot, um . . . we have a bad connection,” I said.

“Are you telling me John let Grace play?  What the heck was he THINKING?” she asked. 

“I don’t know, but Catherine’s beaming.  She said Coach John taught them something today—’Don’t come in second.  That’s just being the first loser.’”

Poor John, our brave, competitive Dad-coach won on the court that day, but I’m sure he paid the price at home that night.  Licking his wounds, he probably just left the house for awhile and worked on his pinball game at Garibaldi’s. 

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

New Year's Resolutions For Celebs

New Year’s Resolutions For Celebs

This week I’ve watched several interesting stories about “The Best and Worst of 2013.”   It got me thinking about my worst moments this year, such as, but not limited to . . .

At a country music concert, I climbed the steps of the coliseum imagining I looked pretty hot in my new skinny jeans and red boots.  When I got to the top of the stairs, I thought there was one more step and catapulted face-first in John Darryl’s lap.  Thank God they only played it in slow-mo on the Jumbo-tron twice more after intermission. 

And once as I was telling a very interesting story at Applebee’s, I was gesticulating and  hit the waiter in the gesticulars.  I hope he won the lawsuit which resulted from the spilled hot coffee incident.  I should really follow up on that.

To avoid further embarrassment, I’m working on some New Year’s resolutions.

1.  Avoid drinking six frozen margarita pouches, which taste like a spiteful bartender sprinkled lemon-infused toilet bowl cleaner onto a snow cone, at any redneck venue with stairs.
2.  Keep hands to yourself when describing tense railway moments at Poplar and Houston Levee.

Consequently, here are some New Year’s resolutions that those in the 2013 national spotlight should probably make:

1:  Never give an interview to someone in skinny jeans and Italian loafers—Phil Robertson on Duck Dynasty.

2:  Obey rules of economics.  

A.  Don’t fire the hand that buys you beach houses.
B.  Don’t look a $500 million gift horse in the mouth.
C.  A $500 million gift horse can say anything he %*@#ing pleases—Duck Dynasty producers.

3. Make a plan to target my re-election campaign to the bingeing, drunken-stupor, crackadelic, whale, idiot demographic—Toronto Mayor Rob Ford.

4.  Stop texting.  Get Snapchat.  Unsubscribe from and  Develop advantageous friendship with Hugh Hefner.  Shut down my website,—Anthony Weiner aka Carlos Danger.

5.  Always follow the four basic flying rules:

A.  Try to stay in the middle of the air
B.  Do not go near the edges of the air
C.  The edges of the air can be recognized by the appearance of ground, buildings, sea and interstellar space.  It is much more difficult to fly there.
D.  Plug the airport’s address into the plane’s GPS and do not turn down the volume on the GPS because you’re playing Words With Friends—Pilot of Boeing 747 Cargo plane who landed at the wrong airport.

6.  Don’t fall for some pinhead who will love me and abandon me at an airport in Germany—Justin Bieber’s pet monkey.

7.  Work to add “Green Eggs and Ham” to the Library of Congress, as well as my personal favorite, “One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish,” and work toward procuring White Castle as the Official Food of Capital Hill—Senator Ted Cruz, senate filibusterer.
A.  Fake death on a cruise
B.  Buy big box for money
C.  Change Twitter password
D.  Redeem 2 for 1 coupon at Longhorn 
E.  No wait, fake death AFTER redeeming Longhorn coupon—Winner of last megamillion lottery.

8.  And finally, make sure Uncle Si chaperones the Ouichita High School prom this year because if Sadie OR Cole wind up on a video with the quarterback under the bleachers, heads are gonna roll—Walmart executives stocking $500 million of DD camouflage tuxedo shirts.  And that’s a fact, Jack!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

12 Reasons I'm Glad Christmas Is Over

12 Reasons I’m Glad Christmas is Over

#12 - My Elf On The Shelf no longer has to outdo all the other flippin’ Elves On Everyone Else’s Shelves.  My Elf is worn out and he’d rather indulge in a glass of Christmas Cheer than Google his tiny brain to come up with something that will outdo little Johnny’s Elf who strung Christmas lights on the SUV and made a life-size stuffed Santa and wired him to the front of the car like it had just hit the Jolly Guy in mid-flight.

#11 - I don’t have to listen to Wham! sing Last Christmas I Gave You My Heart until next year.  And I will be writing Hillary Clinton about her proposing a national ban on playing the Chipmunks song anywhere other than through the loudspeaker at Guantanamo Bay.

#10 - I can expel my liquored-up, out-of-town relatives snoring in Misty Rae’s room who think the three wise men were José Cuervo, Jim Beam, and Jack Daniels.

#9 - I can start writing my brag letter for next year.  “Donna Jean met her new year’s resolution to lose 95 lbs. and compete for Miss Teen Mom USA, sponsored by Skoal.  So sad she came in second!  Next time she’ll put a more modern spin on her acrobatic rendition of Ain’t Misbehavin’.”

#8 - Shrek The Halls.  ‘Nuff said.

#7 - No more paying $20.95 for express shipping for an $11 ring.

#6 - I don’t have to drink people’s eggnog to be polite.  Maybe if paired with a jello mold shooter...... 

#5 - Can the kids pleeeeze go back to school already?  I have to buy them stuff at Christmas AND fund their going to lunch with friends every day during Christmas break, not at McDonalds or Wendy’s, but at McAllister’s and Sekisui.  “How ‘bout I watch you take down the tree and lug all the boxes back to the attic, and then we’ll talk about handing you another $20 to fund your sushi craving?” 

#4 - I can start hoping Santa will get his mailroom right next year so that my new iPad doesn’t end up with some eco-mom in Scandinavia while I get stuck with a reindeer sweater.

#3 - No more ABC Family specials involving Magic Mistletoe Miracles.  And Hallmark movies with terminally ill Melissa Gilbert that leave me wondering why a handsome CEO can’t walk into my bakery and let me teach him what it’s like to love and be loved.

#2 - I can stop worrying about the sheep in my yard’s nativity display.  We have a purple Furby in it because raccoons made off with Baby Jesus three years ago.  They also swiped the pink flamingo and the penguin standing reverently around the manger.

#1 - Having to be Politically Correct and saying “Happy Holidays.”  I’m ok with people telling ME,  “Happy Hanukkah,” “Happy Kwanzaa,” or “Zany Zombie Day.”  Just let me say “Merry Christmas” without feeling guilty!

So, I hope you had a Felíz-y Ramadan and a perfectly Grinchy “Who-liday” fest—as long as you leave me a gift.  Cash would be great.