I wrote the following column yesterday; by the time I finished it, I was swollen like a toad from too much beer and food, leaving me too lazy to bother publishing it. Better late than never, right? As for today … well … it’s Monday. What else can I say?
Without a doubt, the 10-year anniversary of the September 11th attacks is the biggest news today; nothing else even comes close to touching it. I was looking forward to hanging onto my Sunday paper as a kind of memento—naturally, someone stole it.
There have been various programs on all day having to do with the 9/11 tragedy—I’m alternating between them and at least three sporting events. There’s plenty of things to cover on a day like this without ever even turning to the Times, the Post, or MSNBC. As for my local newspapers—the Star Tribune and the Pioneer Press—I have all but given up on them. As much as I like Minnesota, I must admit that its media leaves something to be desired.
So what about 9/11? It’s our own Pearl Harbor. I’m sure that most people can recall where they were on that day. I’m usually not much for recounting such stories, but in this case I will make an exception. I had to drive to Coon Rapids that morning. I climbed into my car and heard talking on the radio; I actually got pissed off because no matter where I turned, I couldn’t find any music—and then I began to listen.
There are some people who hold vastly different notions as to what happened that day and why. They vary in social status and credibility, with some on each end of the spectrum. I find certain aspects of the tragedy suspicious and would like to see a more thorough investigation conducted—that is as far as I am willing to go. After all, what the hell do I know?
But today, none of that is important—what’s important is that we remember that it did happen, for whatever reason, and that we offer our condolences to the survivors of those who perished.
I’m not big on mourning, preferring instead to focus on what’s good … so perhaps it is not inappropriate to enjoy this fine Sunday however we can. It’s 82 degrees and sunny here in the Twin Cities (Minnesota) metro area, which is a bit warmer than I’d like it to be, but so what? Soon enough I will be cursing the snow, so I may as well soak it up while I can.
Autumn is my favorite season, especially these early weeks in September when we get a touch of fall, a hint of summer—and of course there are the sports. Baseball is winding down while football is cranking up, which means that there are a lot of games to follow on a day like this. As of this writing, the Pittsburgh Steelers are getting beaten stupid by the Baltimore Ravens—the score is 32 – 7 and Mike Tomlin is clawing his eyes out down there next to the field. This game is important to me because my mother’s family is from Pittsburgh … but I must wonder: will every team that I care about get pummeled today?
I don’t have much hope for the Vikings—I never do—but we’ll have to wait until three o’clock to find out for sure.
As for the Twins, they allowed themselves to be embarrassed by the Detroit Tigers, losing 2 – 1 in the end. The tigers scored two runs in the first inning; the Twins managed to score a run in the ninth inning, but it was too little, too late.
And so much for that.
The house is quiet at the moment. My wife, her friend, and my daughter have gone to the store for supplies—a football banquet, as it were—while my son watches Milo & Otis in his room. He’s not old enough to appreciate sports and beer yet—that will come later. I have a case of 16-ounce cans of Busch Light sitting in the freezer and I’m on my second can. Every television and radio is tuned to a different game, so as I wander from room to room my senses are constantly assaulted by the sounds of giants locked in expensive, violent competition.
Why not? A couple of my friends will be here soon and then things will get serious. I am trying to finish this piece before it is no longer an option.
Sundays are special. I spend most of them with my wife, watching movies and our favorite shows, only abandoning our bed to tend to the children. Today is a bit different, in that we have company, but the rules don’t necessarily change. This column is the most ambitious thing that I will attempt today—and no matter what, I refuse to put on pants. For me, Sundays are sacred for wholly different reasons than they are for religious folks. My sense of spirituality does not include mystery, superstition, or rituals—unless you count getting up every ten minutes or so for another can of beer.
We went out last night, attending the Lion’s Roar festival in Osseo, Minnesota. Imagine a small-town street fair, only we never made it past the first bar. We got just as drunk as monkeys in the patio section before stumbling back outside at midnight, only to find the rides closed and the carnival games shuttered.
When we got home, everyone went to bed but me—I was hungry. It turns out that my son was, too. He got up and we made “spaghetti”—really just macaroni noodles and sauce out of a can. After that, we went to bed and slept fitfully until noon when my heartburn finally drove me into the bathroom. I may have seasoned that “sauce” just a bit much.
… and now—thirty minutes later—the Vikings are ahead, 17 – 7. My wife and the rest of the gang is here now, I’ve had a couple more beers, and I’m about to get into the food. Just for kicks, I surfed on over to MSNBC but didn’t see much worth reading. There is a story about the useless, bankrupt hulk that is the United States Postal Service, but … well … we’ve already talked about that, haven’t we? There are a lot of quotes from people who still use the mail for everything and are happy about the fact that they can send a letter for 44 cents or ship something overseas for less than a dollar.
Hmmmm…. That’s the nut of the issue though, isn’t it? Reduced business and ridiculously low prices result in just one thing: no more post office.
Whatever. We’ll deal with that later, just like everything else. The only other thing worth reporting is Michele Bachmann’s campaign fiasco in Iowa where she attended a tailgate party. In a shameless publicity stunt, she showed up wearing a Hawkeye/Cyclone jersey with her own name plastered across the back. When asked who she was rooting for, the Wicked Witch of the Midwest refused to say. Not wanting to alienate potential voters—or admit that she’s not even sure what football is—she simply replied, “I love everybody.”
She was the only presidential candidate to attend the annual rivalry game.
The score is now 17 – 14, Vikings. I’d like to think that they’re going to win this thing handily—but then again, the Chargers have twelve minutes still to run thirty yards and get ahead. Who am I kidding? The Vikings are sure losers—like Democrats and Libertarians.
I’m going to pause, drink my beer, and eat a sandwich.
Okay, now it’s almost eight o’clock and I had better wrap this up. The Chargers tied the game and then stomped the Vikings in the final ten minutes, shaming us with a final score of 24 – 17.
Why am I surprised?
Bill Clinton will be on Meet the Press next Sunday.
Here’s your wisdom: