There comes a time in every male person’s life when he must finally make use of the fly on his trousers. Standard-issue zippers that sit front and center on one’s pants are useful to humans of the female persuasion mainly to aid in getting slacks on and off; to us males, it serves the more practical and essential function of enabling us to expel unneeded fluids without our peers having to look upon our bare bottoms. No doubt, urinals and pee-troughs weren’t invented until some form of the fly was, which afforded a man quick and (relatively) discrete access to his “member,” as they used to call it in porn magazines of my childhood (and perhaps still do – I wouldn’t know).
Still, boys don’t go right from using diapers to employing the zipper fly on their miniature trousers. Zippers and snaps are nothing but a pain to a 4 year old child, there to mimic their father’s clothing and make them look like cute little adults, which they are not. Despite the fact that adult men are famous for sticking their penises through things, it’s not something that comes naturally to a young boy. It takes practice to get through the two layers of clothing one is typically clad in. When it comes time to pee, young boys prefer taking the easier route of dropping their drawers right down to their ankles in the men’s room of Fenway Park, or else not bothering with niceties and letting it all out in their dungarees.
Eventually, boys become able to manage their snap and zipper combinations and see the value of releasing their pee without revealing themselves to the world around them. At least most boys do. Recently, I made use of a public restroom and came upon an adult gentleman with his trousers down and his naked cheeks getting some air right there at a urinal. So startling and discomfiting was the image that I actually did one of those sitcom double-takes just as the bottomless man was glancing over his shoulder to see who had come into his personal bathroom.
Perhaps this man had some penile affliction that made it painful to use the zipper function on his pantaloons, but if that were the case, he might have opted for a stall, of which three were available. Having said that, I know of no law that prevents a man from exposing his bottom while peeing, except, perhaps, the laws of good judgment and tact that we all are meant acquire as we age.
Every weekend I turn on the TV in search of professional football, and I’m always relieved to find the Dallas Cowboys on. Even though the Cowboys aren’t based anywhere close to me geographically and have only the most peripheral of connections to us folks in New England, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t get to see them each and every weekend. Thankfully, I can sleep at night knowing that one of the very few games I will see on Sunday or Monday will feature those lovable Secessionistas, despite the extremely low odds that they will make the playoffs. (I also love seeing Jerry Jones all the time. He seems like a great guy! I wish they’d do more one-on-one interviews with him.)
Seeing Tony Romo on TV every weekend also reminds me that my Dad felt very connected to the Dallas Cowboys. He loved Roger Staubach, not just for his football playing capacities and the fact that he forewent his prime years in the game in order to serve in the US Navy, but also because he apparently attended mass regularly.
But back to the Cowboys: they currently hold a record of six and six and thereby are mathematically still capable of making the playoffs. If they do somehow make the playoffs, we’ll get to see them on TV one more time (losing to some weak-ass NFC outfit). This just adds to their appeal and my delight in finding them on my television practically 24/7.
I know this isn’t really possible, but because I hold “America’s Team,” as the Cowboys are called, in such high esteem, I grasp onto faint hope that some magical week may appear in the NFL Calendar which has the Cowboys playing all three nationally-televised night games: Sunday, then Monday, then Thursday.
( I know, I know: “Dream On!”)
Once a year or so, I take my kids to a park to run them around under the guise of showing them how much fun it is to fly a kite. I also take them fishing once a year, expecting the march to the fishin’ hole to extract a certain number of the day’s footsteps from their under-exercised frames. The difference is, when I take them fishing they ultimately catch fish, whereas when I take them kite flying they do not catch fish. Unfortunately, neither do they end up flying kites.
We have a large park in our neighborhood, with tennis courts, basketball courts, 3 ball fields, and lots of nooks and crannies for teens to brood in while drinking their peculiar mixture of highly caffeinated energy drinks, low-end vodka, and embalming fluid. In our quasi-urban environment, it’s about as good as kite flying territory gets. I took the kids to this park recently in near hurricane conditions in a vain, final attempt to get their kites into the air long enough for them to experience boredom and never again ask to fly a kite. However, despite the high winds, the three (admittedly cheap) kites we brought refused to rise to the occasion. I’ve come to the conclusion that the problem is the park’s lowland geography relative to the land surrounding it. This must cause some sort of natural downdraft such that every time we manage to catch a little air, another gust sends our devices crashing to the ground.
The good news is that the kids don’t seem to mind too much, at first at least. They run back and forth with these flightless kites bouncing along, upside down, on the ground behind themselves. Eventually, boredom is achieved, though not for the reasons I had hoped.
I didn’t grow up a pie lover. Offered the choice between pie for dessert and no dessert at all, I’d usually opt for the latter. Who are these strange people who long for pie, I’d wonder. Have they been deposited here by aliens who actually like fruit in their desserts? Have they never experienced a gooey brownie?
The pies of my youth were especially unappealing. No one offered me blueberry pie, or cherry pie, both of which looked awesome in Family Circle pictures but apparently couldn’t be had in upstate New York. Instead, we got Quebecois meat pie, which might have been good but was for dinner, not dessert, or, cruelest of all, mincemeat pie, a concoction of all the things kids feel, at best, tepid about. Raisins? Figs? Ginger? Suet? For dessert?! Sorry, I have homework to do.
My grandmother also made something called “tarte au sucre,” or sugar pie, which is, basically, a strong-tasting brown sugar bomb in a shell. In Canada, it was either that or a dry biscuit that was probably OK with coffee, but wasn’t particularly good otherwise. I’d eat sugar pie, though, because it didn’t contain any fruit.
Lately, I’ve emerged from those dark, pieless days thanks to my son, who has demonstrated, via near-daily consumption, the wonders of warm pie with ice cream. Apple pie, strawberry-rhubarb pie, or blueberry pie, heated in the microwave until oozing and steamy, with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream on top, is now, in my opinion, a tier-one dessert. This means it ranks up there with chocolate chunk cookies, Texas cake, and my mother’s best (though not original) concoction: caramel brownies.