Tuesday, May 27, 2008


The team won again. Or so I'm told. I had a meeting tonight for a board I'm on, most of it normal stuff for which my presence doesn't amount to a bucket of warm spit, but it was also the night to review the annual audit and it wouldn't be right to skip that.

Coach P. was thoughtful enough to text message me during the meeting to give me an update. I'm sure my colleagues had trouble figuring out why I was so excited about the auditor's amortization recommendations. Not that they weren't thrilling on their own.

With two weeks left of school the kids are walking wounded. With no energy, no focus, they're staggering toward the end of the year much the way I'm staggering toward retirement. The difference, of course, is they have a realistic chance of achieving their goal.

The end of the school year also means field trip season's in full gear. Today the youngest and his class toured the state capitol.

He's been there before. A few years ago my friend R. and I took our kids there on President's Day. Why it seemed a good idea to spend a holiday this way escapes me now. Neither of our wives offered to join us, which should have been a hint.

I've had the fortune, good or bad, to spend some time at the capitol over the years and I gave them a brief introduction to the place, mainly a quick visit to the ornate cafeteria for snacks. Then we found one of the professional historians who works there. When he saw six boys and two dads he offered to give us an individualized tour, to the great relief of the others waiting in line.

And a fine tour it was, as these things go. Lots of historical trivia, a chance to look down on the Senate and House floors, gossip about long-dead governors. Plenty of geeky bliss. Later, as R. and I led the boys out of the capitol to the pizza place we'd promised them for lunch, my middle son said, "Thanks for wasting three hours of my life, Dad." The other boys nodded their agreement.

So one can only imagine my glee when I heard my youngest was reprising the trip today.

"I'll go as a chaperon," I told him excitedly over my morning coffee.

"It's too late. They've already picked them all."

"That's funny. I don't remember seeing the volunteer sheet."

He looked innocently over my right shoulder.

"You threw it out, didn't you?" I demanded.

"I might have lost it," he said.

"That's alright, I'll just meet you down there," I said.

My son started to look worried. "You can't," he said.

"Sure I can," I said. "It's a public building. In fact, this will be a great chance for your classmates to learn about restraining orders and the first amendment."

"Please stop."

"I can even wear a costume. That'll really enhance the learning experience."


"You know who I really admire? Sacajawea. I think I have some buckskin and feathers downstairs. I'll change after breakfast."


"Hey buddy," I said, ruffling his hair. "This is going to be more fun than the last time we toured the capitol."

"That sucked," he said.

"I know, I had fun too," I replied.

The Lovely Bride walked in. "What did you do now?" she asked me, eyeing her suspiciously depressed son.

"We're going on a field trip," I said.

"You're going to work," she said.

"Really?" asked my son.

"Yes," she said.

"Spoilsport," I told her.


Jennifer said...

I can even wear a costume

Don't you still have your pirate garb from bingo night?

Our game was called due to the freezing windchill and 30mph wind gusts. I'd like to say I was sad...

Adorable Girlfriend said...

The team is on fire this year!!

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

Actually, I understand that Snag and Coach P are playing a bunch of 28 year old Class A ball rejects who have been smoking cigars and drinking bathtub gin to stunt their growth; the league is made up of 9 year olds.

The money is in the snacks, I hear. Retirement isn't so far off.

Little League is like professional wrestling with high pitched voices. Once we have a Democratic president, Congressional hearings are in the offing; Republican and Blue Dog Senators are totally in the pockets of Big Little Ball. AT&T wishes they had the clout of The League.

Brando said...

Sacajawea was an especially nice touch on a very funny post.

Mr. Middlebrow said...

You need to run for Governor. In the Sacajawea duds, natch.

Kathleen said...

ah the school field trip with the parent chaperones. I remember those well. the overlap between wanting the attention from your parents, and being mortified by them. It's a Catch-13, I think.