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The Dolphin’s surge


Lance K. Pugh

I know that it is a manly thing, but I just cannot take the time to follow sports unless I have managed to place a small, friendly, never against the law, impeccant, innocuous wager. I do not use the Internet, a bookie, cash, the telephone or in any other way bet as I might, should I be lying doggo in Las Vegas, where secrets stay and cash has a mind of its own.

It was with great anticipation that I prepared to watch the most recent Super Bowl, that testosterone laden salute to bear wrestling strength and having the kick of a colt. I began by cooking up a batch of chile, using a recipe that I learned while cooking over a campfire surrounded by Buckaroos in the outback of Eastern Oregon. I complemented this zesty and piquant firestorm with a homemade corn bread laden with tongue-torching jalapeños mixed in sufficiently to surprise and inspire a circus fire-eater.

I turned on the pre-game, which, apparently, had begun sometime in early December, only to learn that the reception was grainy and rainy, not the stuff that my High Definition monitor preferred to project. I picked up the phone and attempted to order the game on a HD channel and was greeted by someone who seemed to have spent days practicing the fine are of playing dumb.

I could not detect the accent with any degree of certainty, but this fellow’s skill with English seemed less than that of sorting rocks. I approached the issue from various angles and attitudes. I simply wanted to pay to see the game clearly and cleanly.

He asked me to explain my wishes several dozen times, then fell back on his conclusionary fortress: It cannot be done without either signing up to watch football during baseball season or seeking a summary judgment from the FCC, accompanied by a waiver from the NFL, the shaky signal broadcaster, Home Land Defense and two-thirds of the still living members of the NFL Hall of Fame, located in Canton, Ohio, though closed on football’s greatest day.

I tried logic, puffery, charm, abject supplication and thunderous threats, all of which fell at his feet like mugged milquetoast. I kept rephrasing my request until half-time, which I failed to notice, such was my dogged determination to watch the game in High Definiton.

The screen was growing less visible by the minute, though for reasons having nothing to do with broadcast quality. In my zeal and single-minded focus I was slow to realize that the chile was blackening on the stovetop and the corn bread had caught on fire in the oven, setting off the fire alarm, automatically calling the alarm company and shrouding the kitchen in a thick fog of smoke.

I hung up the phone and determined, after the fact, that it was prudent to use oven mitts while extricating the pan of flaming corn bread from the oven. After ten minutes of first aid for my blistered hands I opened the front and back doors, set up a fan. Within a few minutes I could see across the kitchen well enough to realize that the game was over.

It was then that I spotted my wife, Annette, who had entered the kitchen clutching one of the two novels she read that day. With an ember-like gaze she asked:

“So, how did the game turn out, Super Bowl Boy?”

Quickly remembering that the game was played in Dolphin Stadium in Miami’s Dade County, I offered: “Well, the Dolphins played swimmingly, but the Jalapeños were too hot to handle.”

(Lance was last seen taking the snap and pumping the ball toward his two deep receivers, a couple of squirrels in his walnut tree, both of which were aiming to conk him with spirals of their own. Meanwhile his dog, Spooky, got hold of the chips and dip and soon had most of the players covered. You may tackle Lance’s attention at lance@journallist.com.)



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