Like everyone else, I’ve been poked and prodded enough en route to departure gates to know that reasonably good security is not always fun. I submit to the indignities, as most of us do, with a stiff upper lip, understanding that the experience is a “necessary” part of the (already) unhappy flying experience, given some possible gruesome alternatives. Passing through the turnstiles at Foxboro to attend an AFC Championship game last January meant similarly inelegant searches of my body. But football fans are a notoriously physical bunch, and I agree they should be kept unarmed.
Passing through the gates at Fenway Park, by comparison, is a little like strolling into church. Oh, sure, if I have a backpack someone might peek into it meekly, but no one really rolls up their sleeves and puts effort into the task. Now that post-marathon Boston is upon us, one expects bags to get scrutinized more closely before Red Sox games. An unhappy but obviously necessary development. I hope we humans eventually evolve to the point when all the extra attention paid to our bags and pockets becomes an unnecessary waste of everyone’s time.
One way I think I might promote my mustard reviews, when they start to happen, is to produce a talk show in which I serve as host and chat with some of the world’s greatest luminaries and pop stars about mustard. Unlike all those unimaginative talk shows out there (Fresh Air, On Point), my talk show would never deviate from this one, key subject. The unwillingness on my part to compromise in order to get anything not done will ensure that I become (eventually) the darling of some quirky political group that emerges from the woods of Vermont, where I will own a house purchased with money that I will have made by selling ads alongside my mustard reviews (again, when I start to write them).
Can you imagine talking mustard with Beyoncé? How about Mikhail Gorbachev? I can and often do. I’ve imagined myself talking mustard with so many huge celebrities that I quickly become a celebrity myself, dressing in outfits that are various shades of mustard when I show up at world premieres (yes, even a mustard tuxedo!). And the jobs that will be created in the mustard industry as a result of people looking at the humble seed (“the seed that could”) in a new light will blow away anything we’ve seen in virtually any other sector of the market.
Now you tell me that you have a better plan for personal economic growth than this.
I recently fantasized in these pages about brewing a mustard ale. Imagine being the first person in the world to acheive a particular feat, as I was scheming to do by brewing a beer using mustard. Pride would have dripped from my pores like mash through a sieve. Alas, I’ve once again learned that when it comes to beer, never claim you can beat the Belgians at it.
I suppose it’s time to rethink my next beer and moniker. Perhaps “Horseradish Pat” is where I should be headed. Next task: brew horseradish ale.
A kind of death happens when your basketball team loses in the Final Four. It’s not quite like biological death in that the humans who comprised the squad continue to breathe and all that, but the team itself no longer exists and never will again, and you feel as though you lived and died several times during the game. Even if there is a consolation match left to play, it’s entirely irrelevant and will likely include benchwarmers who never would have appeared in the championship game anyway, had the team gone that far.
This was to be a synergistic year for the Syracuse basketball Orange, in my mind. The last time they played in the Final Four was 10 years ago this weekend, when they won it all for the first and only time. I was in Italy when it happened, listening over the internet to the semi-final game in the lobby of our hotel in Siena and, two days later, to the final in some airless common room in our hotel in Florence. The championship game ended at nearly 6 in the morning local time when Hakeem Warrick blocked a 3 point shot by a Kansas player, and later that night I asked my girlfriend to marry me. As weekends go, it was a pretty good one.
Whenever my teams end their season with a playoff loss (as the vast majority of our teams do), I remind myself to be an adult about it and try not to care. Sometimes, I go so far as to declare that I’m done with watching sports, which, of course, is the opposite of not caring. There are plenty of reasons to abandon the pastime of watching other people get exercise and have fun, notably that it sucks up huge chunks of time, but not watching because your team probably won’t win the ultimate game is essentially about avoiding pain.
I keep watching because the joy of a rare title game victory trumps the hurt of watching the other fans celebrate year after year. Alas, there wasn’t perfect synergy this year as I had hoped, but I still have the memory of ten years ago, when the Orange were crowned national champions, and my girlfriend became my fiancé.