Tag Archives: Scott

Names for Scott’s Soccer Team

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So, our boy thepittmite is going to be coaching an under-8 boys’ soccer team this year, and he has to come up with a name for them. Here’s what I’ve been able to come up with so far. Any other ideas, People of the Internet?

    Proposed names for Scott’s soccer team:

  • Ball Chasers
  • Dandies
  • Lil’ Bastards
  • Spice Boys
  • Handballs
  • Hooligans
  • X-TREME
  • Batman (8-year-old boys universally love Batman)
  • Peckers (with some sort of a bird logo
  • Goalies (this is Scott’s area of expertise — kicking the ball seems so juvenile)
  • Bears
  • Volvos (callin’ it what it is here, moms)
  • Shorties
  • Cowboys
  • Aliens
  • DC Show-n-Tell
  • DC Community Service
  • Dachshunds
  • Jesuses
  • Virgins
  • Bad Touch
  • “Winners”

So what say you, Web? Any ideas to hurl thepittmite’s way?

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Dispatches from the Road: Icing the Bear

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Joey in toga

When Joey suddenly wrapped himself in a sheet and yelled "TOGA!", we knew it was all down hill from there.

It was Long Beach, in July 2004, at the Holiday Inn. It was a comfortable hotel, very clean, and the room afforded plenty of space for four young men secure enough in their sexuality to see no wrong in sleeping two to a bed. If you’ve spent literally full days at that point crammed into an ‘89 Bonneville with three other guys, of course, it doesn’t take much for a given space to appear downright roomy by your perspective.

As you entered the room, to your right was a small alcove with a sink and vanity. Just beyond was the door to the shower and toilet. That door open outward, so as not to swing in and hit a person sitting on the toilet. It was a thoughtful design, but that night, as Scott showered and I brushed my teeth, I found its fatal flaw.

See, the gap between the door and the door jamb was just a little too wide. Not so wide you could see through it, but wide enough that the blade of a pocket knife could slip in and have room to work on the latch of the door. So, actually locking the bathroom door was more of a courtesy – a temporary encumbrance to let someone know that the space was occupied more so than any type of actual security measure.

Without giving the observation much thought, I finished brushing my teeth, casually slipped my knife in and jimmied the lock, opened the door, and tossed my plastic cup of ice water over the shower bar.

Scott yelped, and we all had a good laugh.

Unwittingly, however, I’d begun an arms race that would end in a cataclysm that we could not have foreseen when we embarked on our “Slap the Nation” adventure.

Bigger Boards, Bigger Nails

A day passed. Next in the shower was Cameron. Ice water was at hand, but the previous vessel seemed inadequate. A plastic cup has its place, but the room did come with an ice bucket that was just waiting to join the party.

We filled it with ice, then with water, and let it sit while Cameron bathed, doubtlessly dreaming of the strippers and hookers that awaited us in Vegas without much thought to poor Scott, who only hours earlier had stood in his same condition, cold, shivering and alone.

I jimmied the lock, and there we waited, posted by the door, listening for the shower to cut off. Timing was everything. We needed to get the chilled ice water over the curtain rod before the curtain opened and Cameron had space to dodge the onslaught of ice. The water stopped, the door flew open, and the ice water rained on our bleached-blonde friend.

Cameron squealed, and we all had a good laugh.

Knowing Your Victim

Third for assault was Joey. Joey hates beer. We made the mistake of buying beer we hated. Ice bucket, ice, and God-awful beer bought from the cheap liquor store around the corner from the hotel. Perfect.

The venue was different. We didn’t want to wait for Joey to shower; we wanted to get him while he was even more vulnerable than that. We waited until he was on the toilet.

We didn’t have to wait long.

Messed up bathroom

Cameron, surveying the damage after we assaulted Joey in his sanctuary.

The door swung open and we acquired our target. Joey looked at us with puppy-dog eyes, helpless and unassuming. In the blink of an eye, it was over. The grooves of grout along the tile floor became tributaries of bad beer flowing around islands of ice cubes. We thought the room stunk before we drenched him with beer, but there we left him, our poor Joey, good ol’ Joey, awash in beer and his own extremely unpleasant stink.

It was a terrible way to go… to the beach, which we did, like, a few minutes after we busted in on Joey.

Assaulting the Sasquatch

That I was next was not lost on me. It was my fate, set by my own foolish, extemporaneous endeavor to pull a fast one on a friend. I could still see the flimsy plastic cup, cloudily opaque and clanking dully from the ice within, leaving my hand. It turned so gracefully in the air then plummeted, like the nose of a Japanese Zero on a kamikaze dive, first aloft and angled skyward before plunging toward its destiny.

From that point, I knew that every nap, every crap, every second I went un-soaked in ice was borrowed time. Verily, the train was coming, and there I was, bound to the tracks by the ties of my own poor foresight, incapable of seeing how far it still had to go.

I had to shower, but I could shower smart. In the corner of the bathroom was a pile of dirty towels. I retrieved two of these and tied one end together. I then wrapped it over the shower curtain rod and the hook on the back of the bathroom door, and knotted the other end. I then took my dirty boxers and shoved them into the knot, first so that I would have a frame of reference for detecting movement, and second, so the first person to stick their head in the door would immediately get a face full of Tony funk. It was an awesome trap, given what I had to work with. The Vietcong would’ve been proud.

The only other defense mechanism I had was myself. Rotund, hairy – a body only a woman with poor eyesight could love, and even then only in the dark. If they made it through the trap – if the dirty boxers didn’t deter them and the towel-lock didn’t stop them – they would have me to deal with: hairy, wet, naked, and at peace with my commitment to tackle the first poor bastard who came through that door.

I’d but barely begun my shower when they came for me.

The doorknob wiggled. The door opened as far as the towel rope would allow. Cameron had point.

“It’s blocked,” I heard him to say.

“It’s blocked? By what?” someone asked.

“I don’t know – it looks like a towel and his underwear,” Cameron said, sounding uncertain. The psychological presence of the boxers was having its intended effect.

“Well, push,” someone said.

Push? Damn. I knew my trap wouldn’t withstand a, you know, shove. So, as Cameron put his shoulder into the door and barrelled through my defense, I put my Plan B into action, expecting to turn the tables.

Like so many other little ideas I’ve had, it didn’t go as planned.

I flung aside the curtain and threw one foot out of the tub. It hit the floor, and I began to crouch in a sumo wrestler stance. I yelled, “Yokozuma!” I don’t know what it meant, but it seemed like a good idea at the time. Over my man parts was but a washcloth. (It was a big hotel-grade washcloth, by the way, for those of you snickering right now. A BIG wash cloth.)

It was at that moment that friction failed me.

First, I saw my foot – the one I’d used to step out of the tub. It was no longer on the floor. It was almost at the same elevation as my head. That wasn’t supposed to happen. I then became aware of the feeling of freefall. The door, the walls, Cameron – everything was getting taller as I fell toward the floor. I saw movement, and looked up to see my washcloth, the only covering I had, as it twirled freely through the air.

Then I landed. The offending foot was behind the toilet. The other was still firmly planted in the bathtub. I was as wide open and exposed as a man can be. Someone screamed. I looked up to see Joey and Scott scrambling to climb over each other, both in full retreat.

Not Cameron. No. He was committed. He looked back at the Scott and Joey and the tangled clump of limbs they’d woven trying to be the first one out of sight of this unexpected, grotesque occurrence. Then Cameron looked at what he was holding.

The plastic cup and ice bucket had given way to the trashcan, filled full of ice and brimming with water, just as the bow and musket had given way to the thermonuclear missile.

Cameron looked once more at me, grimaced, then closed his eyes and steeled himself. This was his duty. The voice in his head reminded him of that sacred creed: “Go big or go home.” Just as my destiny was to be soaked in ice water, so his was to do the soaking. And he’d pulled out all the stops.

He lunged. The spray of ice and water cast a rainbow as they moved, in slow motion, through the air. I called my senses together and began barking orders to my wayward limbs. Feet, together! Hands, grab curtain! Body, duck behind the sheet of vinyl; it’s all that might save you!

Back on my feet, I wrapped myself in the curtain. The water rained down on my shoulders, but the bulk of the ice hit in the curtain and collected harmlessly in the bottom of the tub. Like a refugee rescued from a frozen river, I was wet and cold, yes, but I was alive.

The last thing I saw was the door slamming home as Cameron fled. My towel rope dangled uselessly from the curtain rod, still tied, still with my underwear crammed into the knot. At the end of the rope was the hook from the back of the door. It still had a chunk of the wood from the door attached to it.

Seeking again that familiar false sense of security, I locked the door. I turned the shower to hot, and washed away the ice until I had a place to stand and finish my shower.

It’s over, I told myself. Thank God. Now, there can be peace.

Prologue

Peace was fleeting. The following morning, Joey told us how he awoke that night. Cameron, Joey’s bed buddy, was writhing in his sleep, mumbling. Then he screamed, and began to whimper. Joey woke him enough to calm down and go back to sleep.

One can only imagine what awful trauma Cameron was reliving that night. But we know sleep helps you store things in your long-term memory. It prevents you from forgetting. And since that day, Cameron’s smile has been a little less wide, his laugh a little less loud.

Of course, that could’ve just been the venereal disease we figure he got in Vegas.

Dispatches from the Road: Football, Dirty Feet and the Sign People

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Scott

Don't let this man drive your car. Especially if it's a minivan.

I don’t remember the year precisely, but it was after 2000 and Douglas County High School had made it to the state football playoffs, so that should help narrow it down.

Scott and I were employed by the Douglas County Sentinel – he as a sports writer and I as a… well, I worked on toilets, fixed air conditioners, hauled rock salt and frequently wrote news stories and a regular opinion column. When the Tigers advanced far enough in the playoffs that someone was going to have to drive a ways to see the game, Scott was their boy.

Since he was going to be driving down and getting a hotel room anyway, he was kind enough to extend an invitation to Joey, Cameron and I as well. It sounded like a terrible proposition – drive down to the edge of the South Georgia swamps to watch a high school football game and stay in some backwoods motel in the middle of nowhere. So naturally, we were in.

For the trip, Scott invested in a new stereo. Not new speakers, mind you (or an oil change, tire pressure gauge or any transmission fluid to top it off) – just a new stereo. It folded down from the dashboard of his Saturn, aglow in bright pinks and blues. That it folded down from the dashboard of a Saturn made it conspicuous enough, but then it also had an animated display featuring dolphins dancing and frolicking as the music played. The rims on Scott’s car were not large enough to support such a system, and so it soon refused to fold down properly from the dash until Scott agreed to buy some spinners for the damned thing.

Now, if it’s Scott’s car, Scott insists on driving. He says it’s not a trust thing, but of course it is. Why didn’t Scott drive the Bonneville any further than from the gas pump to the front of the convenience store in the two weeks we spent driving to California and back? Because we couldn’t trust him after he said he couldn’t drive a minivan because it was “too big.” Scott’s style of driving is to avoid lane changes at all costs, preferring instead to tuck in closely behind a semi and all but climb across the hood and grab on to the truck’s rear bumper to pull the car along. He also has a thing about pedals, where he seems to forget precisely which one he is currently pressing, and so “gooses” it a little just to see what the car does. So, you end up with these little jolts of sudden acceleration and brake checks that cannot be attributed to any external factors, like the desire to pass a car or someone riding his ass even as he rides the ass of the tractor trailer in front of you.

We compensated for Scott’s erratic driving by first making our peace with God and ensuring that, unlike the rest of the vehicle, the seatbelts were in good working order. Then we proceeded to distract ourselves by laughing, joking and telling stories all the way from Douglasville to Waycross.

Once there, we found the hotel – a Day’s Inn, I believe it was, and a nice one at that – and checked in. Scott, Joey and Cameron were going to the game. I was going to stay in the room and see how big a dent I could put in a case of beer.

As the game – and Douglas County’s season – drew to a close, the three climbed into the Saturn and filed into the procession of cars departing the stadium. Looking about, Joey was unfamiliar with his surroundings (which, admittedly, isn’t unusual for Joey). He asked Scott if Scott knew where he was going. Scott replied that he did not, but was simply following the cars in front of him.

“Scott, those people probably aren’t going back to our hotel,” Joey said.

So, Scott made a “Scott U-turn.” A Scott U-turn occurs when, instead of turning around, you pull down a random side street and presume that you will be able to circle a block or otherwise complete a series of turns in the same direction that will, geographically speaking, place you facing the opposite direction from that which you were facing before you turned off onto the side street. Successfully completed, you’ll have no idea where the hell you are.

I do not know how they made it back to the hotel, except that Cameron swears they entered a tear in the space-time continuum and actually made it back to the hotel five minutes a full five minutes before they made it back to the hotel.

Since this was going to be their vacation for the year, Joey and Cameron decided to go sightseeing. In Waycross. Surely, they supposed, everything there was to see would be within a brief walk of the Day’s Inn.

When they returned, they had with them some letters that they had found – the kind that are used on those illuminated marquees to advertise one-dollar pints and “Big Macks” (because the people who put up the signs are not paid sufficiently to be concerned with spelling). These letters were all over town, they said, probably owing to the strong storm that had moved through prior to our visit. Deciding that these made novel souvenirs – the ratio, they figured, was that three letters was good for one magnet, seven were the same in value to a T-shirt and one, folded in half with some chewing gum inside was equal to a postcard – Joey and Cameron went back out to find some more.

I stayed in the room, read the Gideons’ Bible and kept working on my beer.

A short time later, there was a knock at the door. I opened it, and Joey was there – alone.

“Where’s Cameron?” I asked.

“They got him,” Joey said.

“Who got him?” I asked, figuring Cameron had gotten busted for grabbing letters. Usually, if someone’s going to get arrested, it’s Cameron.

“The sign people,” Joey said.

I was puzzled. “You mean, the people who own the signs, or the police?”

“No, the sign people.”

That moment was the closest I’ve ever come to clocking Joey. It would be ill-advised, because the man is much stronger than he looks, and because he is well-liked and a lot of people would be unhappy to hear that he had been clocked. But when you’ve had a bit to drink, a friend is evidently in danger, and the person giving you information related to said friend’s whereabouts is so terribly ill-suited to the task, it’s normal to feel that you must take action. If you’re me, that action usually involves hitting something squarely on its chin before it can see it coming.

“What sign people?” I asked, growing desperate. The need to sock him was not unlike the need to pee. I tried to ignore it, but the urge just kept getting stronger.

“You know, the sign people,” he said. He looked unconcerned, but he always kind of looked that way. Unless someone was vomiting milk. That usually gets him excited.

In my mind, I was shaking him. I had him down on the walkway outside our room, standing over him, holding him by the shoulders and shaking him violently. The back of his head was bouncing off the concrete, and with each bounce, a stain of red grew ever wider underneath as his skull grew concaved on that side and flesh and hair gave way to the hardened mix of sand, stone and water.

In my person, however, I stood motionless, the door open, looking out into the dark at good ol’ unassuming Joey, who had just seen his best friend taken by the sign people and who was now either in shock or, more likely than not, just wanted to come in and eat a sandwich.

It was then that another figure stepped from the shadows into the narrow square of light from the open hotel room door. This one was tan-skinned and smiling. I couldn’t hit Joey. Joey wasn’t the type of person you punch. Cameron, however, was. So, I hit him.

“Ow! What was that for!?” he said as he stumbled into the room.

“That’s from the sign people,” I said.

That night we cracked open a few beers (not Joey) and made use of the hotel stationary to write a long and detailed letter. The letter was addressed to whomever might find it, and included a narrative, in first person and graphic in detail, of a romance that had allegedly unfolded in this room. The author met a man, a stranger in his early 20s, at the bar across the way. Their conversation began casually enough, but it brought the two to this room, where the author, at 46 years of age, found a sense of “fulfillment” he had never imagined possible. The men made love. Everywhere. There wasn’t a surface that had not been touched by casual, unprotected and anonymous gay sex.

The letter was then placed just behind the framed picture over one of the beds, such that it was unnoticeable until a guest would lie down for the night and notice it, just as they looked up to turn off the lamp beside their bed. There is would be, a small sheet of paper, something that did not belong there, just sticking out from behind the frame. One would reach for it, surely. You could not chance that it might fall free in the night. Besides, human curiosity is a powerful force. It can put men on the moon, or even on top of one another on an autumn evening in the Waycross Day’s Inn.

That done, we then set Joey about walking outside, barefoot, until his feet were black with parking lot grime. We dabbed the soles carefully with a wet paper towel and then, holding Joey upside down, helped him “walk” with his feet to the ceiling. His path led from the bedside to the toilet in the bathroom, and back again. They would not be easily noticed by cleaning staff more concerned with changing sheets and vacuuming the floor than inspecting the ceiling. Who really looks at a ceiling in a hotel, except the guest who finds himself prostrate on the bed, looking at the dirty footprints above and left to assume that some previous guest’s sleepwalking truly needs to be addressed by a professional.

Of course, if that guest would just read the letter, they’d understand that not even the ceiling was sacred.