To my girls, they’re right up there with homework, canned beets and soccer losses. It’s just the way of the world. It’s like dogs and mail carriers, cats and mice, my March Madness bracket and the truth – some things are just not meant to ever get along.
I’ve had my history of hardships with those in stripes.
However, as coach to impressionable kids and a functioning member of society, I cannot simply fire a navel orange at every official who makes the wrong call in a soccer match. Nor should I want to. They’re doing their jobs, just as I am.
Plus, there are at least 42 things worse than a soccer ref …
1. An empty Frosted Flakes box.
2. Losing one sock in your sleep.
3. Coloring something wrong in a coloring book and having no way to cover it up.
4. Getting syrup, chocolate milk or pizza sauce on your smartphone screen.
5. A cold tip of your nose.
6. A dead mobile phone battery during jury duty.
7. Wanting Chick-fil-A on a Sunday.
8. Having to pee when the first whistle goes off.
9. Paper cuts.
10. Losing your keys, wallet and work badge – again.
11. Going to training with three balls and coming home with two.
12. Running out of Q-tips.
13. Running out of syrup on Pancake Saturday.
14. Running out of gas on a rainy Saturday.
15. Rubbing your eyes after eating something with Texas Pete.
16. Getting your ass kicked in Spring Training.
17. “We Will Rock You,” when it’s not immediately followed by “We are the Champions.”
18. Little damned smartphone keyboards.
19. Forgetting your kids’ name when yelling at them.
20. A meteor shower on a cloudy night.
21. Missing Lauren Graham *and* Alexis Bledel.
22. Your alma mater *not* going to the Big Dance or a bowl game.
23. Friends who sell magic juice or real estate.
24. Slow Internet.
25. A bucket with a hole in it.
26. Anything Zach and Cody.
27. Los Angeles sports teams.
29. Boorish sideline parents.
30. Bratty kids.
31. Fat-free ranch dressing.
32. That Bernie doesn’t have a chance.
33. That John Kasich doesn’t have a chance.
34. The smell of the otter exhibit at the zoo.
35. Missed chances.
36. Cat shit in anything but the litter box.
37. When a butterfly slams into your windshield.
38. Falling in love with a dog and not being able to adopt her.
39. Running out of cheese.
40. Type 2 diabetes.
41. Type 1, too.
42. Having to compile a list of 42 crappy things because you can’t think of anything constructive to blog about.
1. How much do refs make?
How much what?
Trouble? Angst? Confusion? Now, let’s be fair. Some of those refs are people, just like you and me. In the NFL, they can earn as much as $200,000 per season. That’s not a 40-hour week, either. They work on Sunday only.
(Well, and some Monday, Saturday and even Thursday action.)
They get mad retirement benefits, and are freed up all week to do other jobs. You know, for spending cash. Or to buy some !@#$! glasses, for Jerome Bettis’ sake.
2. Why don’t they have dine-in at Little Caesars?
Oh, but they do!
There’s that one right there in the K-mart in Kannapolis. We’d go there after matches in the Summer Mexican League (a Mexican league in the summer, not a league for Summer Mexicans only.) Also, after some indoor matches.
That K-marts still exist is pretty cool, if you think about it.
Did you know, though, that …
Bill Murray and Eminem once worked at Little Caesars?
There’s a Little Caesars Food Truck that feeds the hungry and disaster victims for free?
I dressed as Little Caesar one Halloween, complete with pizza on a spear?
3. Why are planets and stars round?
Because cubes are notoriously inefficient orbiters. God knows better.
Gravity pulls toward the center of a star or planet. But, like your father, these heavenly bodies aren’t perfectly spherical. They’re a little bulgy around the equator. You know, where my belt goes. Planets get this way because they’re spinning at great rates of speed.
I can blame mine partially on sit-down Little Caesars.
4. How do you pronounce Iannucci’s?
It’s our favorite pizza joint in Asheville – and top 5 anywhere – and we’ve been saying it wrong the whole time.
We say it “ee-an-EW-chees,” and immediately dream of huge, floppy pizza served in the mountains, just a mile or so where we lived when Elise was born. Neither location – Asheville or Hendersonville – was open when I tried to call at 12:27 a.m. to see what they said when they answered the phone.
The real Italian name, Iannucci, is pronounced “yahn-EW-chee.” So for the food triple play of questions here …
5. Is your grandma a good cook?
Oh, kid. Are you kidding?
Are refs blind? Is Little Caesars cheap? Are the moons of Jupiter round? Ish? Kid, my grandma is the best cook. Tamales, pressed and rolled by the dozen. The best thing you’ll unwrap at Christmas, guaranteed.
My grandma makes green chili that will make your nose run and your tummy smile.
Empanadas, full of pumpkin filling, crispy on the outside, scrumptious on the inside. Tortillas, round as your face and soft as your daddy’s discipline. Stacks of them. A pot of beans, refried to perfection, aching to become one with one of abuelita’s tortillas.
Grandma Anita can also pull together a mean Thanksgiving feast, better than even white people do.
She can do it all, kids, my grandma.
And she’s never called a kid offside when they weren’t.