My hall closet is small...
When I "accidentally" wedged myself into the puny closet and pulled the door shut, I had time to think until my friend, and local fire chief - Titus Fielding - arrived to let me out. I'd been deep in thought about NFL Draft Day when Titus slammed his huge palm on the closet door and screamed "BOOM!" You may not know this, but the fight or flight response is not minimized in confined spaces. When he opened the door, he found me standing on my head, facing the back wall of the closet. He moved aside as my body fell out out onto the hardwood floor with a thud.
I opened my eyes, and there was Titus' huge smiling face looking down on me. "That looked like it kinda' hurt?" He began to laugh as he helped me up. "You gonna make it till Draft day?" He wrenched my cell phone from my hand, and saw the speed dial screen had been pre-set to my NFL Draft settings: 1- Fire Department, 2 - Pizza, 3 - Police department, 4 - Pizza, 5 - Girl at Walmart who brings me ice cream late a night, 6 - Doc Wolford, 7 - Literary agent (only call if Apocalypse is imminent ), 8 - Publisher (never call this number: they caused the Apocalypse), 9 - Pizza. "Well, I see your draft day priorities are set, so now you can tell me what you were doing in the closet?"
"I was looking for my Curling Rock..." I moved toward my huge lounge chair and half threw myself into it face first.
Titus is a big guy; we're talking 6' 8" - 265 pounds kind of big. He spun me around and plopped me upright in my chair. Still grinning ear to ear, he looked at me for a long moment. "Have you ever thought of talkin' to someone about your little...Oh, I guess we could call them "quirks" when it comes to the NFL?" Titus' cell phone chirped and he glance at the small screen, 'Look, I gotta run. You going to be OK?" I nodded, and my friend took off to put out another fire somewhere in this dreamy little New Mexico town.
I hit the start buttons on the TV remote, and on the Blue Ray player. Xena - Warrior Princess came on the screen, and I hit the off button. This was no time to revel in inaccurate historical time lines intertwined with lesbian sword fighting. I knew what I needed to do. I needed help, and the one guy I could call - outside of New Mexico - was my friend Brandon Bates (DCRamFan). He's better than any psychiatrist I know. Brandon knows how guys think because he manages a Lowes in Washington DC. I have little doubt that the majority of Congress finds their way to Brandon at one time or other. The guy is deep!
When I finally got his wife to wake him up, he groaned "I knew it was only a matter of time. Have you accepted the fact that you're a nut case?"
Brilliant! He wanted me to accept a premise of some kind so he could work his mental magic! "Well nut case is a bit harsh, but I see where you're going with this: I have to accept the world is bonkers and it's trying to steal my incredible, well balance thought processes from future generations! Got it! What's next?" I heard his wife laughing in the background as he groaned.
"You what? The World is... Never mind. Let me ask you a few questions I've been working on since the day I met you: "It's clear that you're an educated man, with a hunger for knowledge - much like Billy Madison. If you were going to poo in a bag and light it on fire, in front of which NFC West stadium would you set it ablaze?"
Based on experience, I answered: "I wouldn't do that at all. I eat lots of corn, so the police would know it was me," I said as I reclined my chair into therapy mode. I heard DC tell his wife he'd explain what I meant about corn later.
DC fought back the urge to laugh, and continued: "I once saw a Saturday Night Live, which featured a great interview with the late Harry Caray. In that interview, he posed one of the deepest, thought-provoking questions I've ever heard. 'If you were a hot dog, would you eat yourself?' My question to you is 'If you were a Cheeto, would you eat yourself?"
Hmm? This was a tough one. "Puff or Crunchy?"
DC, his phone on speaker, tried to cover his wife's mouth. She was laughing so hard she got out of bed and ran for the bathroom. He rubbed his stubbly beard as he thought of his next question: "My guess is that, like me, 'Footloose' is your favorite movie of all time.....if you were an NFL player, what would your celebratory TD dance be?"
This was an easy one: "The Stanky Leg obviously. Big angry men would have been chasing me, so it would be physiologically impossible to do anything else."
I heard someone say, "Oh God," laughing and a door slam.
DC shook his head, but continued: "As the creative genius of the ever-popular 'Bar Break,' how does it feel to have so much power on the testosterone levels of the TST masses?"
I looked up at the ceiling as I pondered the massive influence, and great power I wielded over the TST's readers. I templed my hands and closed my eyes as I answered: "Bar Breaks are my way of giving back to the huddled TST masses. Bar Refaeli and I are like that..." I waved my crossed fingers at the phone. " DC chuckled as he imagined what I was doing to describe what "That" meant. "In 2002, I rented a room in a local jail for the congratulatory letter I sent to to Adam Vinatieri and his family, which just so happened to be spelled out from individual letters clipped from magazines (sue me for using my artistic side). Should that have been handled differently, and what/how would you have said to him after his.....kick?"
"They arrest you for that in Washington DC too? I thought it was a New Mexico thing?" I ponder the intricacies of the Law for a moment, "What you should've done is hire a Witch Doctor. If my check hadn't bounced, he never would have made that kick!" I slammed the arm of the chair with my fist.
DC stared at the phone and wondered if his friend had really... He moved on when he decided that Doug most definitely had tried to hire a Witch Doctor: "Sometimes in life one can become unnecessarily filled with rage. How many times have you headbutted your keyboard? Please describe the scenario(s). It's okay to open up, Doug...
I glanced at the pile of shattered keyboards next to my desk. Some things should never see the light of day. "I've never done that before. Writing is all about self control and being one with the written word."
DC mouthed "bull %$*&" to his wife, who now sat next to him on the bed. "While vacationing with your family, you're strolling along the beach and you suddenly hear the screams of a man being ravaged by a shark. Your instincts kick in, and you sprint out into the waves. As you near him, you notice that only one arm and his head are not currently being consumed, but you notice he's wearing a Seahawks jersey and his season tickets are in his hand. You've got reservations for an all-you-can-eat buffet in less than 5 minutes. What do you do?"
This was an easy one, but I did need just one more fact to answer the question: "Is desert included? If so, do they have pie?
His wife's chin dropped at the answer, and DC began to chuckle: "How would you imagine a night out in Mexico with Knoxfan panning out?"
I thought about my well-traveled friend Knoxie for a second, then a chill ran down my spine. "Is running as fast as I can for the U.S. border considered a night out?"
DC shrugged his approval as his wife mouthed "Why?". He whispered back that he'd explain later. "It's evident that the world is coming to an end. Some of us will survive the apocalypse, and the others will......well......ya know. Every 'Doomsday prepper' has a grab bag intended for a quick exit from their current location. Name the top 5 things in your bag."
I thought about that for a minute. I almost got up to look in the hall closet, where I stored my "The Sky is Falling" emergency kit, but I knew this was some kind of trap! "So it was you that locked the closet!" I screamed into the phone. "Well, all I'll say about my Survival kit is that it has a freezer, so I'll be the "go-to" guy when it comes to ice cream, chicken nuggets and Otter pops...""But there won't be any electricity if... Never mind" DC covered his face with both hands. "What if Ryan Van Bibber calls you into TST headquarters for your annual review. He tells you that an opportunity for your growth is to focus your writing more on Ram's players appetites. What would be your response?""Hmm? I'd say I'd have to draw the line in the buffet table there. My writing is all about keen insight, and well thought out prose. I just can't see the literary value in how fast Jason Smith devours a pizza after a concussion." I felt good about taking a stand as a writer.
DC made a jerking-off motion with his hand that caused his wife to cover her face with a pillow to muffle her laughter. "The Rams decide that they're going to move the team to Kentucky...your thoughts?"
|Kentucky season ticket holders?
"HA!" I cried into the phone, "I suppose the refreshment stands will serve "Possum-on-a-stick" and rent out loaner teeth to season ticket holders?"
His wife stopped him from pounding on the phone with his fist. She'd learn to accept her husband's slightly suspect origins. "You receive a call from Stan Kroenke and Jeff Fisher. They've read FOF and love your work. They want you to grow a mustache. There area a cornucopia of styles to choose from. Which furry lip dweller do you select for the new-look Doug?"
I suddenly cringed at the thought of my last date with Elisha Cuthbert and refused to answer the question. That woman had a 'Stash! DC node to his wife that he could understand Doug's point. "As the winner of the most recent TST Caption Contest, you win a flight to the moon. As you're entering the shuttle for departure, there's only one astronaut yet to board and he's bumbling his way towards you. You're inside, you've got your hand on the door, the engines are fired up, and your 'all clear' is the only thing halting takeoff. As the last passenger nears, you notice a San Francisco 49ers patch on the chest of his spacesuit. What do you do?"
"I demand a gravity test and shove him off the launch pad platform. It doubled as a sacrifice to the Space God Glaxor..." I knew I'd nailed the answer by the awe inspired silence from the phone. "You still there," I asked?
He made a mental note to look up "Glaxor" in the moring. He was pretty sure it was a drug company? " OK, Doug, one last question so I can get at least 22 minutes of sleep before I have to go to work: "Shortly after releasing your new book, you get a copy of it in the mail. Confused, you open it and find that Mardy Gilyard has written inside the cover. He states he read it, loves it, and understands it fully. What do you think? What do you do?"
"I'd immediately change my book's genre to "People with special needs and get the blue parking spaces". Then I enroll online at the University of Phoenix to learn a new career in the fast paced, exciting world of wheel barrel repair." Satisfied with my answers to DC questions, I asked how I did. I didn't expect the answer to be a dial tone?
******************************************I'd like to thank DC for putting his question list together. I actually asked him to do this late last night, so I'm wondering how much influence his wife had on the content? lol
Here's to a great draft for the St. Louis Rams!