It’s been a Twilight Zone week, punctuated by an end zone Sunday with shades of classic science fiction sprinkled in for good measure. The good news is that, though I probably glow in the dark, I should be a really hot ticket item for Halloween. Another piece of good news is that I won’t be filling in for Tim Ryan and Chris Myers any time soon. And the last piece of good news is, it was just a bad cold. I was not body snatched, and Hal’s cousin didn’t call me Dave.
Okay. Let’s start from the beginning. The glow reference means that I’ve been scanned, ultra-sounded, lit up, and shot up with some really weird-feeling stuff, which means I’ve been checked out from A to Z via radiology. The good news is — I’ll live. But the journey to find that out was quite a ride. And it lasted all week. Monday (the one last week) I got a flu shot for the first time in my life and I’ve had a miserable cold for several days.
But, again on the bright side, I got a first-hand look at all the new technology. I got to speak to Hal from 2001 A Space Odyssey — well, actually it was probably his cousin. But as the lower half of my body was conveyed into this chute with sound-effects and lights and numbers scrolling over the entrance arch, this soft male voice said, “Dooon’t breeeeathe.” Well, actually it said, “Take a deep breath, and then don’t breathe until I tell you to.” Or something like that. Close enough. But if he had softly said, “What are you doing, Dave?“, I would have clawed my way out right shortly. First of all, my name’s not Dave, and secondly, I remember the movie quite well. Hal 9000 was a few amps short of a circuit.
Then, to ratchet up the woo-woo feeling of sci-fi unreality, my debilitating cold, plus the cold meds, kept my natural assertiveness repressed. One morning, as I agreed with everything Mike said for the about the 10th time, he looked at me strangely and said,
“Okay. Who are you and where’s the vine?”
“Vine? What vine?”
“The one with the empty pod. And what have you done with my wife?”
Okay. For those too young to know, or those who are not science fiction fans, that’s a reference to “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” where the aliens replicated and replaced real people with their own. (1978, Donald Sutherland, Jeff Goldblum, Leonard Nimoy. Great film. A must see).
To add to my feeling of being a visitor in the Twilight (End) Zone, we’ve had football Sundays here with jock son Henry and wife Tammy. We are all avid Atlanta Falcons fans. Well, three of us are avid. One of us — the one who doesn’t understand football at all — is sometimes on the puzzled side. You’d guess that’d be me, right? Right.
As I languished on the couch while everybody else was whooping and hollering, I heard the words “first down”. The Falcons got a first down. I sorta got that. A down. Number one. BUT . . . a few minutes later, they whooped and hollered because the Falcons got a first down. Okay. Either that was down number two, or the FIRST first down wasn’t good enough for some reason. BUT . . . then they whooped and hollered over another first down. “Wait a minute. Hold the phone,” I said. “That’s the third down by my count.” Everybody laughs. Um-hmmm. All three, they say, are first downs. (See, that’s why football makes not a lick of sense to me). Okay, I say, you have down number one, down number two, and down number three. That’s three downs. No, they say, that’s the third first down. Okaaaay. Since that’s just the way it is, I’ll let it slide. But this is one crazy game.
I finally get into it somewhat. I mean, I know what a touchdown is, and if they kick the ball between the uprights that’s a good thing — if it’s your team. So, anyway, this guy grabs the ball, runs, and makes some headway. I start getting into the act by doing a YAAA. Silence. Nobody else was yaaa-ing. Also, everybody was looking at me. “What?” I say. “That’s the wrong team,” they say. “Noooo waaay.” I say. “That’s the tough little fast dude with the dreads.” My son looks at me pityingly. “Mo-om! Half the NFL has dreads,” he announces. “Just pay attention to the jersey colors.” I don’t care. I still like the tough little fast dude with the dreads. He’s my hero. From now on I’ll keep a sharp eye out for a Falcon who can really fly with the name Rodgers and #32 on his jersey. I can do that. If my watery eyes and the Hi-Def cooperate.
As it turned out, I never got anything right. Once, when Mike came back after missing a few minutes, I told him the Falcons were going for a field goal. He looks at the screen and says, “That’s not a field goal. That’s the extra point.” Okay. How does he know that? He wasn’t even in the room.
Only once did I kinda really get into the game. It was when our guys were gettin’ down and giving it the old locomotion. I mean they were hot. Then one guy is plowed into the turf by a human plow horse and goes down clutching his leg or foot or something. But, since I was finally in some kind of a groove, I wasn’t ready for the momentum to stop. Who knows if they’d ever get it back. “Aww. Quitcher whinin’,” I growl, “and git back in there!” Yes. I did feel guilty afterward, but I was in the violent bloodlust mode of the moment and drugged out on Alka Seltzer Cold Plus. Man, that’s heady stuff since even Dramamine wipes me totally out. So, I plead that I was Twilight Zoned and not responsible for my actions or words.
But I remember just before falling asleep, I was kinda thinking about doing football commentary. At least my take on it would be different.
Okay. Th-th-th-that’s All, Folks. Sniff. Hack. Catch ya later.