JERK OF THE WEEK: The Old Man, the Heroic Man, and the Desperate Man
The week of March 9 was absolutely brutal for me. I'm sure no one else was a fan of March 9 either, given that the clocks moved forward the night before. I saw someone on Twitter say that they felt like they were hung over, and that sounded about right. If I didn't know any better, I would've thought that I downed an entire bottle of vodka the night before.
My solution to this is simple: Never move the clocks back in the first place. I don't see any reason to do it anymore. No one likes it when it gets dark outside at 4:30 in December, and it's depressing for those who work 9 to 5, as they barely see any sunlight until March. I understand that there's some trepidation about this because kids will be going to school in the dark in January, but to that, I say big whoop. If some kids get run over by cars because it's too dark out, I say that's just natural selection.
The return of Daylight Savings time wasn't the primary reason the week of March 9 sucked for me, however. It was because of free agency. For those of you who don't follow the NFL, football players who have expiring contracts are allowed to sign with other teams beginning on the second Tuesday in March. This week is especially busy for me because I grade all of the signings and update my rankings pages. At one point on Tuesday, I was grading stuff that happened four hours ago because I was so far behind.
I remained in my house that week, but things slowed down when Saturday rolled around. I was actually able to leave my house for the first time in exactly seven days. When I stepped outside during the afternoon to head over to the gym, I had to cover my eyes.
"AHHHHHH THE LIIIIIGHTTTTT!" I shouted, even though it was cloudy and raining. My neighbor, who just pulled into his driveway, looked at me like I was a raging lunatic.
I had a solid workout, save for the part where I nearly threw up in the pool because I wasn't used to actually moving around. Afterward, I saw the old man who told me I don't have a real job a couple of weeks ago. Rather than pimp out his granddaughters to me this time, he asked me what I thought about the Eagles' signings. I tried to offer my opinion, but he just replied, "Ah, the Eagles make great signings, you have no idea what you talking about!"
I wanted to reply, "Then why'd you ask me in the first place, a**hole?" But I figured he'd just respond by telling me that I don't have a real job again. Plus, I didn't want to get sucked into another conversation with him. It felt like I came out of a black hole the last time I finished talking to him.
Later during the day, my girlfriend asked me if I wanted to go to Target with her and then out to dinner. I thought this was a good idea. Not only was this another opportunity to get out of the house, but given that it was now night time, I would no longer have to deal with the blinding sunlight piercing through the storm clouds.
This turned out to be a great decision. Not only did I have a nice time out, but I also gathered some material for Jerks of the Week that I otherwise wouldn't have while cooped up at home...
The Old Man:
Target was surprisingly eventful. After my girlfriend put some clothes in the shopping cart - workout pants, among other things - we got to the candy and food section.
Me: Skittles! Dove chocolates! Doritos!
Girlfriend: You don't need all of that!
Me: Yes, I do. I need it all!
Girlfriend: But we have so many bags of chips.
Me: But not Doritos! It's important to always have a bag of Doritos, just in case.
I put a giant bag of Skittles, two things of Dove chocolates and the Doritos in the cart, all while my girlfriend shook her head, disapprovingly.
We gathered up some other things and went to the checkout line. As we were waiting, my girlfriend spotted some of those celebrity magazines - you know, the ones where they have stories like, "Kim Kardashin's baby is really a vampire bat!" or "Is Brad Pitt an evil demon from another dimension!?"
Girlfriend: I always look at those magazines, but I never buy them.
Me: I don't think anyone buys them.
Girlfriend: That's not true. People definitely buy them.
Me: Yeah, maybe crazy, old cat ladies, but that's it.
Girlfriend: I think a lot of people buy them.
Me: Actually, I could see that. I was having this conversation the other day. I don't get why people are so obsessed with celebrities. Like, who cares if Jennifer Lawrence got a new haircut? There's no reason for anyone to care about this. Do people lead such boring lives that they have to obsess with people who don't even know that they exist?
Girlfriend: Babe, we're in public, can you not go on one of your rants?
I grumbled as I began placing things on the conveyer belt. The cashier, an old man near 70 with an impressive, white mustache, began chit-chatting with my girlfriend. I was kind of in a trance and not really paying attention when I heard him go, "Heh, heh, heh, you swimmers are all the same."
My girlfriend is not a swimmer. In fact, we've agreed that I will one day teach her how to swim. He thought she was a swimmer because she was wearing my sweatshirt, which said "Central Swimming" on it. Underneath it: "Walter." Apparently, he thought that my girlfriend's name was Walter.
I told him that I was the swimmer. He revealed to us that his son used to swim at West Virginia. He seemed like a nice, old man, but he was paying more attention to our conversation than his actual job. He kept folding the same clothes over and over again, and he would put articles of clothing in the same bag as the food items. I also saw him ring up the same $25 dress twice because he was going on and on about how his son was doing some Alcatraz swim-a-thon.
Me: Hey, not to interrupt, but you charged us twice for the same dress.
Old Man: Oh ho, you have a sharp eye there, shonny!
The old man then rang up some headache medicine my girlfriend wanted to buy. He had to ask her for her birthdate for that, apparently just to make sure she wouldn't cook meth with it. She recited her birthdate to him, but kept entering in the date incorrectly. The year required four digits, but he repeatedly typed in the final two, giving him an error. I kept trying to interrupt him to point out what he was doing wrong, but he continuously muttered, "I'm sho shorry, shonny, thish computer sheemsh to be broken!"
Yeah, it's broken, all right... or, maybe, you should enter in four digits when the prompt asks you to.
We were eventually able to tell him what he was doing wrong, but it seemingly took hours. I was worried all of the restaurants would be closed by then, but we were in luck - Red Robin, which was right across the street, was still open...
The Heroic Man:
The Red Robin near us has really gone downhill lately. The last time we were there, which was about half a year ago, they had a TV actually in the ground as soon as you walked in, and there were plenty of hot waitresses walking around. Now, there was no TV, and all of the waitresses were either fat or old. At this rate, Red Robin will either close down or explode sometime in the near future.
Our waitress, who was extremely obese, pretty much sucked for the most part. She took our order, but didn't bring out our drinks, appetizers or actual food - she had other people do it for her, probably because they ran out of butter to fit her through the aisles. I also ordered extra fries on one occasion, but it took her like 15 minutes to bring them out. I figured she was carrying the fries and forgot why she had them in her hand. I imagine she said, "WHY ME CARRY YUM-YUM FRENCH FRIES, ME WANT EAT FRENCH FRIES NOM NOM NOM NOM!!!" And then she remembered that she ate forgot them while she walked by our table.
Another thing that pissed me off was when we wanted to order dessert. My girlfriend told her she wanted a root beer float, while I wanted a vanilla milkshake. Our waitress just shook her head and said, "You have to order your desserts through the touch panel on your table."
Really? You couldn't take our dessert order yourself? Why are you even here in the first place? I'd be fine with no waitress if we could just do the touch pad for the entire order, but the screen was super sticky because they didn't clean it.
The clientele also sucked. One woman, who was having dinner with her dad, was approached by the manager, a skinny black guy with a very soft-spoken voice. They get into an argument, prompting her to shout, "IN FRONT OF MY FATHER!?" and then she stormed out.
Meanwhile, there was a table comprised of four old people next to us. I didn't think much of them until the manager walked over to them. He began speaking to a 65-year-old man who looked extremely smug. The manager was in awe of this guy, and I quickly saw why - he was wearing an Olympic gold medal around his neck!
My girlfriend and I eavesdropped on the conversation. The smug man told the manager that he won the gold medal in bowling (wtf?). The manager then asked the smug man if he ever thought about framing the gold medal, and the smug man looked at him and arrogantly said, "No, I wear this everywhere I go." The manager then bowed and said, "Thank you for honoring our country!"
OK, where to begin? I initially questioned whether this guy was legit. I didn't even think bowling was an Olympic sport, so I asked my girlfriend to look it up. Bowling, apparently, was in the Olympics once - in 1988. So, this guy would've been 38ish back then, so the timing is right.
But that just begs the question: If you won a gold medal in bowling, why would you even wear it around everywhere? And how, exactly, is bowling in the Olympics honoring your country? It's freaking bowling. People who weigh 300 pounds can be successful bowlers. Not that I have anything against bowlers, but I don't think there's anything "honorable" about winning a gold medal in it. The Olympic committee must not have either, because they banned the sport after that one-time shot.
The fact that this guy feels the need to wear his bowling gold medal "everywhere" indicates that he has nothing else going on in his life. He won his stupid gold medal, and now he's living in the past, where the highlight of his day is getting thanked by soft-spoken managers at Red Robin.
This gold-medalist bowler is no hero. He's a has-been bum. And if he's the best celebrity that Red Robin can draw, then that restaurant is going to close down or explode even sooner than I initially thought.
The Desperate Man:
I watched some of the college basketball conference tournament games once I got home. Some of the earlier contests were almost over by the time I got back, but Arizona-Oregon was about to start, so I watched that.
Bill Walton and his broadcast partner were talking to the camera just prior to the second half when something caught my eye. I had to take a picture of it. Let's see if you can spot it:
No, it's not the crazy circus sideshow freak smelling Walton's shoulder. Not that there's anything wrong with circus sideshow freaks smelling the shoulders of old men. That's not what I'm referring to. Let's take a closer look, shall we?
The hot brunette in the background? Absolutely. Whoa, momma.
But there are attractive women everywhere, so why does this one stand out? Well, two reasons. First, there aren't many female sportswriters to begin with, but the attractive ones are very few and far between. I feel like if you're an attractive chick who likes sports, you almost have to get into writing because there are two things that most heterosexual guys like: sports and boobs. If you have both, you'll have a successful career.
Second, well, that one isn't apparent quite yet. Let's take a look at the next shot:
The hot brunette is looking at her laptop, preparing to write about the game. Meanwhile, the guy to her right is preparing to ask her out on a date. Look at him. He looks like he's thinking desperately about what he's going to say to this sports-writing hottie.
Let's see what happens next:
Walton is looking at the clown's crotch - again, not that there's anything wrong with that - but the more hilarious occurrence is happening behind him. The guy cracked a joke that he thought was awesome, so I think I know how this exchange went down...
Desperate Man: Hey, you're cute, I mean, you want to hear a joke?
Sports-Writing Hottie: Uhh... OK?
Desperate Man: Why did the chicken cross the basketball court?
Sports-Writing Hottie: Why?
Desperate Man: To put the eggs through the hoop!
Sports-Writing Hottie: Hmm...
Desperate Man: Get it? Because the chicken has eggs, and there's a hoop on the basketball court, and the balls are substituted by the chicken's eggs? HA HA HA HA HA HA!!!
Sports-Writing Hottie: I have to get back to writing.
Is there any doubt that this happened? I mean, maybe the joke was a different one, but still. The guy looks like he said the most hilarious thing of all time, while the girl is just looking down and seemingly thinking, ugh, why is this creeper telling me horrible jokes while I'm trying to work?
Well, I say it was a valiant effort. I couldn't have said anything more creative; not without alcohol in my system, anyway. And you have to admit: That joke is somewhat close to being remotely funny.
Either way, Desperate Man should at least be proud that he tried to game Sports-Writing Hottie. It is the effort that counts, after all. And besides, it's possible that he could've been even more pathetic. He could have worn a gold medal for bowling around his neck.