This is the second article I’ve written about the NFL replacement referees. The first one didn’t make the cut because they settled the strike. Just my luck: I write 700 words about the lock-out and they settle their differences. Now I need to come up with a new idea for a topic.
But first: Can you imagine being an NFL referee? I’m talking about putting on the corny white knickers, the striped shirt and the bogus hat and keeping those gladiators from killing themselves and others.
Come on, think about it for a minute. Football players have tempers like Ike Turner, and those little guys somehow do their job. They keep peace and put order in the game. They enforce the rules and regulations of the game and they have to make spilt-second decisions. Something I can’t do even in front of the fridge. The referees are paid part time but they seemingly work all year long studying film and going over rule changes. These guys are due whatever they got out of the corporate NFL.
At this point, I’m just writing the first things that come into my head since I don’t really have a topic. Sometimes writing is real work, and sometimes it flows out of me as if I were an aluminum-siding salesman. Writing feels good again. It’s a place to vent my anger at the so called real world.
But I’ve been a little disturbed by my own behavior lately. I think I have become one of them. I got up last Sunday morning to get our house guests some Dunkin’ Donuts coffee. It was there that I realized that I had become one of those people who go out in public in their pajamas. I had on sweat pants, a dirty wife beater T-shirt and my slippers. Like Vincent Gigante, the Mafia don who escaped federal indictment by walking around in his bathrobe, I was at D&D’s dress in my jammers. What happened to me?
I’m really dreading the coming late autumn and winter that lie ahead of us. Early October is a great time of year with the approaching Indian summer and such. Ah yes, Indian summer. We stole their land, sold their daughters and nearly killed off their food supply in some cases, so we gave them the casinos and a few days in October to forget about the damage done. But Indian summer has a special feel to it. The trees aflame, rich warm cider and going to a high school football game; it’s almost as good as Christmas.
By the way, Christmas is only 15 weeks away. And that gets me back to my point after my long tangent about the dern Injuns. The autumn chill will turn into the cold of winter and I don’t like it. But I’m maintaining and will get through the dark days like everyone else: I’ll complain, whine and seek medical help like I do every winter.
But I hate walking around wearing a hooded sweatshirt as if I worked in a meat locker. I asked the wife for a little heat the other night and I was denied. For a good reason I guess; she’s post menopausal. So I freeze as if I was a polar bear cast out on some floating iceberg. I don’t mind telling you, but I freeze all winter long. But this fall for some reason I chilled early. Call me names if you want, but I start to freeze at about 45 degrees. Covered in blankets, I watch TV from the warmth of the couch begging for relief that only a trip to Florida or a tanning hut can bring.
Dogs are extreme. You’d never see a cat running from window to window barking at my buddy, Mr. Squirrel. Zelda acts like a paranoid crack addict, constantly looking out the window for the law. Dogs get away with it because they are the crazy member of the family. Kind of like my Uncle Lee when he chased cars and barked at the moon.
I didn’t really have a topic, but with the use of my crazy, rapid cycling mind I was able to put something together at the last minute before my deadline. Like I said: Sometimes it flows out of me as if I were an aluminum-siding salesman.
Johnnie Carrier is a freelance writer who wrote this to Wings Over America-1976.