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10:51 a.m. - September 16, 2006
So You Wanna Be A Sportswriter?
I think I’ll just end music week on that high note with the Beach Boys, and move along to something a bit more, well, insane. And I blogged about this on my MySpace blog, and it was a bit more…colorful…shall we say.

As you know, I cover sports for The Paper of Montgomery County. It’s fun, and I get some extra coinage for the family coffers for it, so Liz doesn’t mind that I’m out of the house for a little bit.

Friday night, I had to make my longest trip of the year. Crawfordsville’s football team was playing Delphi, and that’s about a 50-minute jaunt up there. You have to go to Lafayette, and then go north from Lafayette on a winding state highway. Not a great trip, really, but you know it’s something to do.

I needed to leave at 6:00 or so to get there, as I had a couple of other small errands to run.

Friday started OK. I was on the computer too late again (I MUST stop that) but I had the morning off taking care of Kristin as Katie and Liz went on a field trip to see a production of “Winnie The Pooh” at the Beef and Boards in Indianapolis. Kristin and I had a good morning, and then I had to go to my Leadership Academy class.

First, though, I had to go into my office to get my flex account receipts turned in. So I logged on my computer, got the paperwork, and dashed over to HR to turn them in. I then went to our class, which was held at the local electric light plant.

After the tour and the class we had a cheesecake bar and some sodas for refreshments. A cheesecake bar – what a fantastic idea! I got my goodies, sat my drink down by my chair, and then my buddy, I Engineer, said to me, “Come up here and sit at the table.”

So I did, and of course I dragged my chair right over my can of pop. Gloooooosh! All over the carpet it went. Party foul on Smed. I felt like an idiot.

I went home after that, checked email and realized that I left my email at work on, and it picks off email from the server. So I had to go back into the office to shut my computer down before I went up to Delphi. After I got some work done at home, I went downstairs and was handed jurisdiction of the remote from Katie. By handed, I mean she finally gave it up to me after she knew she was over her allotment of time.

So I hunkered down and watched a Hitler documentary that I had recorded on TiVo. When that was over, I then went upstairs to grab things to go to Delphi. Liz and the girls were eating dinner, and she said, “I wish you’d come here to the table.”

Well, I wish I knew they were eating, I said. I think Liz thought I was wrapped up in the documentary. Well, it’s on TiVo for one, and I think I know the basic plot of every Hitler documentary. He rises to power, says a lot of speeches, looks snazzy in a uniform, the Germans march around, start a war, get bogged down, do some atrocities, and collapse in the end. You really can’t throw a new one on me, there. So yeah, if I had known, I would have sat at the table.

Anyway, with kisses all around, I head on my way to Delphi. I first go to the office to get a notepad and turn my computer off. Of course, I spend about 15 minutes dorking around on the computer, but I finally leave. I then go by an ATM, and I realize that I forgot the notepad. So back to the office I head, where I dash in, grab a notepad and finally head up north to Delphi. But I have plenty of time to get there.

Well, no. As I near a local high school in the northern part of the county traffic almost stops. It seems that there’s a truck hauling a bunch of new cars and when it stops it takes a long time to get it going again, and then he does just 50 MPH. So there’s a metric ton of cars going nowhere fast.

When I pass through a burgh called Linden I honk and call the Queen of Pabst, who is an insane buddy of mine. I will be late, no doubt, but if she and her boyfriend are out I could be convinced to join them for one, I said. Meanwhile, the train of cars is slow as heck and no one can pass.

(BTW – if we can get a babysitter, I want Liz to meet the Queen of Pabst, because I think they’d get along swell).

Finally, that truck turns off in Romney, so I try to hot foot it up to Lafayette. However, when 231 becomes 4-lane, there are idiots that are in the left lane doing 57 miles an hour passing someone doing 55. Yeesh.

Then I hit Lafayette, and go on the Sagamore Parkway, which is an insane insane road. It’s four lanes, but has about 98 stoplights per mile, it seems, and they’re all timed wrong with delays and left turns and all that.

And it doesn’t help that this nimnul in front of me must be the worst driver ever. First off, he’s not paying attention at one of the lights, so he misses a chance to go and then stops on the yellow even though he’s a bit IN the intersection.

Then, when he does go, he crawls at 30 MPH, and is holding onto the visor trying to keep the sun out of his eyes as he drives. Get out of my way, clown!

So I get around him finally and the other idiots and finally hit two stoplights in a row on green and then start looking for the turnoff to Delphi. I see a sign pointing to the interstate but not one for the state road that is the route to Delphi. Also, I don’t see the steakhouse that was my landmark, so I keep going.

When I get to West Lafayette, I realize I missed it, so I backtrack and find the right road and head on my way up there.

Later, I realized that they rerouted the state highway so that it doesn’t follow the parkway (but they still have no sign saying TO State Road 25, as they should) AND I remembered that steakhouse burned down five years ago. Idiot.

I realize then and there that I will be late. I hate being late to anything, but I really hate being late when I have to cover a game. I missed a play or two this season when they closed a state road on me going to Danville and I didn’t know, and the only other two times I was late were due to a flat tire on the way to Terre Haute and an ice storm that caused a wreck and we were stuck on a highway on the way to Elletsville for over an hour.

I am trying to go as fast as I can on this narrow, winding road with no place to pass. Also, there is no sign telling me how far it is to Delphi, so I don’t know how late I will be. But Delphi is on the horizon, and I think finding the high school shouldn’t be so hard.

Heh.

I found the high school, but couldn’t find the football field. So I drove past it, and lo and behold, there it was, tucked behind an elementary school. As I drove by I saw the score was 14-0 already early in the first quarter. I find a parking spot, get out, and hustle up to the press box. As I enter the stadium, I hear that the CHS kicker is trying an extra point. ANOTHER touchdown was scored.

I get to my seat, and yep, it’s 21-0 and only three minutes went off the clock. Quickly, I caught up from my cohort and watched the rest of the game. Of course, when I wrote my story I had to describe plays that I didn’t see, but ah well, what can you do?

It was a big win, and an easy story to write. Because of the distance, I had to write it in the athletics director’s office in the high school. But it was hard to send. The computer I wrote it on had a network card that I think dated from Sputnik, as the internet was quite slow. Plus, they blocked a whole bunch of sites. I normally send my stories there via my sbcglobal account, but they blocked that mail. They even blocked a helpful Indiana football site that I use for records and other factoids.

Finally, though, I got to send the story via my college e-mail account, using a webmail application that I loathe, and while it took a while for Scottie to reassemble the molecules I got confirmation that the story was sent.

The cell reception was bad, so it took a while for me to connect to confirm that the story went through. But it did. It was quite late, almost 11, and I needed to drive back.

I call Liz, and wake her UP to tell her I’m on my way. As I’m driving and listening to a new mix I’m making for someone, I come up with a neat idea.

Well, I thought it was neat.

Because I had such a terrible day, I was thinking it was because I displeased some God somewhere, so I needed to make a sacrifice. So, I thought I would make a sacrifice to the Queen of Pabst, in Linden.

And that’s what I did. I got a six pack, and as I passed through Linden, I stopped at her house. It was dark, and I just went to the front porch and left my sacrifice, thinking that would appease the Gods.

Perhaps it was because I had the Nine Inch Nails blaring at nearly midnight in BFE land, or what, but I think my sacrifice was not well received for whatever reason.

Which is par for the course – I come up with these brilliant ideas at a time where I can’t have a dissenting view or an alternate voice, so I go ahead and follow through. Mind you, I was totally sober at the time I thought of this and carried out the plot. I mean, who wouldn’t want free beer on your porch? But somehow it escaped me that even good friends may think someone is trying to mess with them that late at night.

I’m smart and I WAS sober. Somehow, I think my common sense has been teleported to Poughkeepsie.

Ah, geez.

Anyway, after my seemingly good deed was done, I went home, piddled around and went to bed way too late for a day on Saturday that is way too busy.

If I wasn’t jetting around Indiana writing high school sports for $30 a game, I would not have had a night like Friday night. Sure, it’s a life lesson and an experience, but I could have been at home, relaxing.

There was even more Hitler on DirecTV. Well, there’s always something about Hitler on the dish once a day – I think it’s a federal law now.

 

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