Monday, November 26, 2007

Snag In Love

The long Thanksgiving weekend passed as well as could be expected, with a great deal of food and relatively little bloodshed. We had almost fifty people through the house over the course of the weekend, first for Thanksgiving, then a Friday night dinner party, and finally Saturday's end of season celebration for our father/son fantasy baseball league. The winners (there was a tie) split the pot, although were required to accept their shares while wearing a tiara, pink boa, and waving a wand bearing a likeness of Daunte Culpepper. It was worth losing just to see that.

Continuing my tradition of bad parenting choices, I also took my middle school son to see "No Country for Old Men." Based on a Cormac McCarthy book, the film is set in the part of Texas I called home for two glorious years of military service and the cinematography well captures the desolation I remember. The movie is a classic of the Coens' form, dark, bloody, savage, and funny. My son is a fan of the their work, as am I, and we both thoroughly enjoyed the movie and discussing it on the way home.

Cormac McCarthy's an author with whom I still wrestle. His prose is often florid, but I like it fine and I recommend him to others. The only person I know who truly regretted trying him was my oldest child, and that was likely circumstantial. I gave him a copy of "All the Pretty Horses" for his seventh-grade literature class and it wasn't until afterward he told me that particular assignment involved rewriting the selected book as a children's story. Unless you're Maurice Sendak, it's hard to work with something like this:

His grandfather was the oldest of eight boys and the only one to live past the age of twenty-five. They were drowned, shot, kicked by horses. They perished in fires. They seemed to fear only dying in bed. The last two were killed in Puerto Rico in eighteen ninety-eight and in that year he married and brought his bride home to the ranch and he must have walked out and stood looking at his holdings and reflected long upon the ways of God and the laws of primogeniture. Twelve years later when his wife was carried off in the influenza epidemic they still had no children. A year later he married his dead wife's older sister and a year after this the boy's mother was born and that was all the borning that there was. The Grady name was buried with that old man the day the norther blew the lawnchairs over the dead cemetery grass. The boy's name was Cole. John Grady Cole.
My son did not appreciate the challenge and still uses it as an example of my failings.

Most important, though, I bought myself a big screen television on Saturday. It is the most beautiful creation I have ever seen and I already love it more than pretty much anything, as I pointed out to my children when warning them of the consequences of breaking it. At the baseball party, the other fathers made appropriate cooing noises and displayed the sort of TV envy I pretend I'm too good a person to enjoy.

Sunday was therefore dedicated to football. To tell the truth, I'm only a casual fan of the sport, but I thought it would be nice to spend the afternoon with my boys watching our spiffy new television. Which it would have been, had my youngest's logorrhea not been acting up. When he wasn't providing color commentary on the game we were in the room watching with him, he was singing a peculiar medley of Christmas carols, the Vengaboys' "We Like to Party," and obscure basketball cheers he picked up somewhere. All punctuated with regular descriptions of the neglect he's forced to endure in the form of being denied his own cell phone.

Finally I told him he had to shut up or he'd be banished from the family room permanently, which unfortunately simply prompted a long argument over why our dog isn't allowed downstairs. An excerpt from that conversation:

"Because I want one damned room in the house that's not covered in fur."

"You hate Katie. You're always mean to her."

"I am not. I pay for her food and she eats like a horse."

"See, you want her to starve."

"For God's sake, that's not what I said."

"That's what you meant. Just wait until you're old, we're not going to feed you."

"Good. I can't wait. Starving to death will be less painful than listening to you yap all the time."

I was comforted only by the fact it was better than last week's dinner at the local pizzeria, where my son's best friend was told by his father, more loudly than was intended, "Close your piehole or I swear to God I'm going to stab you in the lung with a fork." I've never seen a restaurant get so quiet so fast. Except for my son and his friend, neither of whom were fazed by yet another in a long list of empty threats and who merrily kept chattering away like the human magpies they are.

Perhaps there's no real way to get my boy to be quiet. At any rate, if there is, I haven't yet found it. What I do know, however, is that my new television can drown him out. For now, that's good enough.


zombie rotten mcdonald said...

I know

Watching the Packers roll up 10 wins in HD has been.... well, not a religious experience per se; but when you watch Favre hit Driver for the 3rd td in a game, and Driver does the Leap while the crowd roars through 5.1 surround system, all you need to do is open the windows and drink shitty beer to pretend you're at Lambeau. Which is as close to Hallowed Ground as this atheist will admit.

Anonymous said...

Great post, Snag. And I loved your headline.

fish said...

Watching the Packers roll up 10 wins

You do realize this is only leading to heartbreak as Patriot fodder, right?

If you find a potential cure for childhood logorrhoea I have a clinical subject ready to go. It doesn't matter if it is dangerous...

Anonymous said...

Here I was, biting the bait, waiting for the softer side o' Snag regaling us with tales of deeper love for his wife. I should have known better. To be honest, I thought you were going to tell us how you feel in love with Thanksgiving dinner.

My children appreciated hearing me do a spit-take when reading about your friend's threat to stab his offspring in the lung with fork. You don't many of those anymore. One of my friends said her grandmother used to tell them they'd be picking their teeth up off the floor with their broken arm...

Anonymous said...

Look at you all Blue Girl with your big fancy tee vee.


And Fish, AG let the Sox thing go -- but you are not a Patriots fan. You are a Redskins fan by default. Geesh.

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

You do realize this is only leading to heartbreak as Patriot fodder, right?

Well, it looks barring some unbelievable upset from someone like the Jaguars or the Steelers, the only people with a believable shot at bringing the Pats down are Dallas...or the Packers.

But what was that point spread on the Iggles supposed to be? Imagine if they had brought a for-real, 4 quarter QB.

In any case, this was an unexpectedly glorious season, possibly Favre's last. Nobody thought they'd be where they are at; What will be, will be.

Righteous Bubba said...

If football players exploded kids would shut up and watch.

fish said...

You are a Redskins fan by default.

Why do you have so much hate?

Brando said...

Everything is better on a big screen. Congrats on the TV.

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

Yeah, brando's right.

Wait till you see the porn. Everything's like Chuckles-sized. And the blemishes will put you off your moose.

Anonymous said...

damn you and your consumerism(aka my jealousy)

congrats on the big screen. makes me

Pinko Punko said...


There was some good and bad discussion about the Coen Bros. movie here.