March 29, 2007

And the moon's not even full yet.

People are something.

Anyway, last night was soccer night and also my night to take up money at the gate. I thought I had signed up for the concession stand, but no matter. Actually, the gate is better, because you get to close up at halftime and go watch the game, while the concession stand folks have to stay in there. And it was hot last night in there.

So, I got there and took over the money box from the varsity boy's mom who was there, and pretty soon my junior varsity girl's mom counterpart showed up. She thought she was supposed to be in the concession stand, too. (I think the lady who keeps track of this stuff got the folks swapped around wrong.)

Stood around, chatted, bothered people coming in the gate. We sell family passes for the home games, and there's always some folks who leave theirs at home or in the car or whatever, so I make sure to tease them mercilessly. It is my nature, you know. Waited some more. The game kicked off. Couldn't see squat, because the gate's on one corner of the field, but best as I could tell, our girls were doing MUCH better this time than the last time they played Mountain Brook.

Took more money, made change successfully, had an old grandpappy come in and say very loudly that he was paying for himself and the next pretty girl who walked through the gate, which just happened to be his wife of many many decades. Lot's of jabber from this one--seemed to be on a first name basis with Mr. Jack Daniels or Mr. Johnny Walker. Or maybe he was just that sort of blabberjabber gladhander type. Whatever. Tried to explain to a visitor lady how to get out to the main highway, which is hard because I don't know any of the names of any of the streets in town, and I drive with little understanding of things like "north" and "east" or even right or left. I just sorta drive on autopilot, then when I wake up, I'm where I'm supposed to be. I think I told her the right way, though. If not, I do apologize, ma'am.

HALFTIME, and the score was still 0-0! Locked up the till and headed around the field to the concession stand to drop it off, got myself a canned Diet Coke, and started to settle in to watch the second half.


The aluminum bleachers, normally a shiny aluminum color, were covered in a uniform sheet of bright yellow powder. I had on black pants.


Around back toward the parking lot to go get the little folding stadium seat I keep in the trunk.

As I got closer to the gate I had left only a few minutes earlier, something seemed to be...I don't know--wrong. There were a couple of small clusters of people, and they were each looking toward the parking lot. And there was a group of people out there. Got closer, and there were two clusters of people--men--and they were moving backwards and forwards in the aisle where you drive. And they were shouting.

Oh, sweet mother--a kerfuffle. This can't be good.

And as it turns out, it wasn't.

AND THUS WE BEGIN A VERY STUPID SAD TALE OF STUPID SAD PEOPLE. With all sorts of preachy, holier-than-thou advice from me. Bail now if you wish. The game wound up being a 2-0 loss, but on the whole a good one, and the following didn't seem to have been noticed by the girls.


--so I walk to the gate and see a couple of our dads holding back a 30-ish, stylishly bald, buff, and goateed doofus who was doing the full WWE finger-pointing screaming cussing act, about ready to render a swift ass-kicking to someone.


The old grandpappy guy.

Who himself was being restrained by a gigantic wheezing fat guy who was visiting with one of the dads at that time holding back the other loudmouth. Pappy was yammering on and on, Doofus was busily running through the Lexicon of Bodily Function Curses at top volume, Wheezer was simultaneously trying to lift Pappy off the ground and tell him to get in his car and LEAVE and hoping not to have a coronary.

I don't know the full story, but best as I can tell, Pappy and G-Maw had come to see their sweet baby granddaughter play soccer. Granddaughter apparently being the product of the coupling of their sweet lovely daughter with Doofus. And for whatever reason, Daughter and Doofus went their separate ways, and now Doofus has a New Girlfriend. This must have displeased Pappy, because for some reason, when Doofus and his Doxie passed by them in the park, Pappy felt compelled to remark that she was a female dog. Doofus, feeling heartily disrespected, began loudly demanding apologies and respect, and that fire from heaven be rained down on poor staggering Pappy. Pappy, being three sheets to the wind, denied saying anything, said he shouldn't have said it, and said he meant it, and on and on.

And so we have a big bunch of morons screaming at each other in the parking lot. And I've got to get my folding stadium seat. I had my cell phone out and was one digit away from the final 1 to calling the law, and in retrospect, I should have done just that. The noise ebbed--slightly. I left them, still tense and angry, but at least not shouting cuss words.

Thankfully, it all settled down and nothing happened, although that could be because apparently someone DID decide it might be good to have some peace officers there, because after the game there were two cruisers in the parking lot.

In all, badly handled all around, and now we begin our dressing down of those involved.

1. Pappy--Put down that bottle. If you can't manage that, at least put it down long enough to go see your grandchild play ball. It's making you do and say things you shouldn't, and you might not care, but I can guarantee you your granddaughter does. Second, I don't know the situation, but no matter what, you don't get to call your ex-son-in-law's girlfriend a bitch. At least not in public. In private it's between you and God, but out there with polite society, you drag everyone else into your little hatefest and it's not pretty. Third, you're an OLD MAN--what in the world do you think you're doing out trying to pick a fight with some stupid lummox!? Sit down, shut up, and get over yourself. You are an embarrassment to your family when you act like an old drunk.

2. Doofus--Put down the attitude. You stand there--in a soccer park full of kids--and scream every cuss word in the book at an old man and tell him you were disrespected? Look, jack--men who have to scream that they want to be respected aren't worthy of respect. What would have been hurt if you'd just let that old drunk fool mouth off? Nothing. If you were half a man, it wouldn't even have hurt your pride. You would have just shook your head and walked on. But NOOOO! You have to act like a damned animal--in public--with your daughter somewhere around, and act like you ARE somebody? Please. Again, I don't know your family situation, but if this is the best you can do as a husband and father, your daughter's better off without you. How do you even look at yourself?

3. Wheezer--Mister, I know you thought you were doing something, but any bystander who gets in the middle of something like this is courting trouble. ESPECIALLY when you're pushing 400 pounds, and you are physically manhandling an old drunk, and practically throwing him toward his car. Think for a second--what if he'd fallen and hit his head on a bumper? And died? Yes, I'm sure the old fart was trying to create problems and for some reason wouldn't QUIT trying to get his ass kicked, but you need to understand that doesn't give you the right to commit assault and battery. You want him to leave? Call the cops.

4. Other Bystanders, Including Me--this went on WAY too long. The first time it seemed necessary to intervene between these two idiots, someone should have been on the blower to the police. NONE of you know if either one of these jackasses had a pistol or knife, and stepping into that without some backup is potentially a recipe for disaster. I had my phone out, and I should have gone ahead and called, and my only excuse is that one of the dads doing Doofus Restraint Duty said to hold on. Good thing someone did finally call.

Anyway, people are something.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at March 29, 2007 10:04 AM