No Hard Feelings, Mr. Leitch

leitch

Will,

I’ll start by letting you know that I have the utmost respect for you and your writing. I’ve never actually met you, but you seem to be a decent enough person. That’s why it pains me to say this…

You’re dead to me.

At least for the next week.

As a longtime Falcons fan, the playoffs are not something I’ve seen that much of. This miserable franchise has mentally and physically abused me. Chris Chandler has taken me into the woods and watched while Craig Heyward and Eric Metcalf sodomized me and Michael Vick jerked off on my forehead. Honest. It happened.

But for the first time in years, I truly have a reason to be happy about this team; to think that they aren’t one torn ACL away from being 3-13 again. God, I hate that Jamal Anderson had the ligaments of a 90-year old woman. And that Chris Chandler was, in fact, a 90-year old woman.

Kurt Warner may think God is on his side, but that’s just stupid. It’s clear that, with Atlanta coming within 2 minutes of winning the NFC South, Matt Ryan not turning out like Joey Harrington and John Abraham playing the entire season without the letters IR next to his name, God is on our side.

We’ve had a strange relationship, you and I, Mr. Leitch. Your website. My unhealthy obsession with a broken horse and MySpace. You were cousin Larry and I was the oddly likeable Balki Bartokmous. Or something.

But you’re a Cardinals fan…

That’s why, until Monday rolls around and one of us has a legitimate reason to be drunk again the following Sunday, I’m forced to hate everything about you. Your much-too-nice, must-be-hiding-something demeanor. Your unique ability to not be aroused at strip clubs. I hate it all this week.

If I lived closer to New York, I’d offer to buy the first round as Michael Turner runs roughshod over the Arizona defense and you hang your head in shame. If I had a semi-respectable website that people actually read, I’d suggest we place a friendly wager where one of us would write the other’s site for a day. Sort of like a crappy mayor’s wager. Instead, I would just like to begrudgingly say, goodluck. You understand.

No matter what Facebook may tell you, we aren’t friends. You can send me all the pieces of flair you want, but we’re still sworn enemies.

Until Monday.

Then, I’ll totally comment on your status updates.

Regards,
Adam Smoot (I Party With Smoot)
apartment718.wordpress.com



I Hate Because I Love… Or Something

fins1

The last time the Dolphins took the field for a home playoff game, it was the year 2000, Jay Fiedler was the signal caller and I was sitting in the upper deck of Pro Player Stadium, hammered on $12 beer. Lamar Smith took a hand-off and bounced to the corner of the endzone, in overtime, to give the Dolphins a playoff victory and the chance to get spanked by the Ravens in the ensuing round. They haven’t made it back to the postseason since, and because of that, my NFL fandom has been severely hampered. Allow me to explain.

I hate the Dolphins. I know, I know. Bright Orange Seats and all that. But, while I fell in love with the Marlins, there was no part of me that actually cared for the Fins. I’m a Falcons fan, and nothing could ever change that. The great thing about sports, though, is the ability to have two rooting interests: your favorite team, and anybody who plays against the team you hate.

All real sports fans have a team they wish would burn in hell. Because my dad is a Jets fan, for me, that team has always been the Dolphins. Watching Marino get blown out in the final game of his career brought me almost as much elation as being in a packed bar, with 200 other Falcons fans, for the ’98 NFC Championship game. It’s not enough to just despise a team, though. They have to also be good. Hating Marino in the playoffs is a hell of a lot more fun than hating Cleo Lemon in a meaningless game in December. When a team is historically terrible, the hate is replaced with pity. It’d be like taunting a team of wheelchair-bound, autistic 8-year olds. And that’s what post-2000 Dolphins-hating felt like.

One win. One. Freaking. Win. How the hell do you hate a team whose season slogan is “Fail. Forward. Fast.”

But yesterday, with every Brett Favre interception, every new wrinkle of that ridiculous Wildcat formation and every second that ticked off the clock, bringing the Dolphins that much closer to the division crown, my hatred was restored. By the time the clock reached zero and Miami was annointed AFC East champs, I was in full-fledged throw-shit-at-the-television angry mode. And it was awesome.

Now, with the Falcons and Dolphins both back from their vacation in Irrelevance, Idaho (at least, that’s where I imagine it would be located), my sports fandom is revved up to full throttle. It’s on Knicks-Heat mode right now. This, my friends, is fucking awesome.

There are, of course, some people I’d like to thank for this, as well:

Bill Parcells. If there’s a bigger douchebag, egomaniac, head-of-the-team football guy in all of the sport, I’d love to meet him. It was hard to hate the total incompetence that was Randy Mueller, Dave Wannstedt and Cam Cameron, but Parcells and Sparano? Totally hatable.

Chad Pennington. You sexy beast, you. You know, with all the clusterfucks the Dolphins have thrown behind center the last few years, I almost forgot what it’s like to be pissed at a quarterback for throwing perfect passes. You sir, give me the creative strength to come up with new curse words as I throw my TV remote across the room.

The Wildcat. Why is nobody completely destroying Chad Pennington when he lines up as a wide receiver? Holy shit, that’s infuriating.

Chiefs Patriots FootballBernard Pollard. When the season started, the AFC East was already decided. If any of these craptastic teams were going to make the playoffs, it was going to be as a wild card. Then, Pollard performed a minor miracle and the division was, once again, wide open. While, by the end of the year, Matt Cassell proved he’d be more than capable of leading that offense to the playoffs, those first few games–when he was still trying to figure out what the hell he was doing–were just enough to let someone else have a go at the division this year. (And, um, maybe next?) For that, the Dolphins and myself thank you, Bernard Pollard.

Brett Favre. Even though you should’ve been a Falcon, and I’ve had more than 10 years to stew over your Hall of Fame career with the Packers, I’ve never truly hated you. I don’t know if you would’ve been the same guy in Atlanta, and it wasn’t even your fault that you got shipped away. I’ve had no reason to hate you. And then you went and pulled that retirement shit last year, invaded my television, hijacked ESPN.com and eventually signed with a team whose fans are generally as obnoxious as your incessant news coverage. It was a match made in heaven. If heaven were a bar whose TVs showed only reruns of Murphy Brown with the sound cranked all the way up. How perfectly fitting then, that I got to angrily watch the Dolphins return to my shit list while angrily watching you put them there. Who the hell were you throwing to anyway? Do you realize that your team was the one in green? You suck. Go pull a Mark McGwire; take your HOF career, get off my TV and get the fuck on with your life.

There’s probably some more people I have to thank, but I’ll keep my list brief. After all, the important thing is that the Falcons have a date with the Cardinals next week and I have a team to hate for the playoffs.

Welcome back, Miami. I truly missed you.

Now go shit the bed on Sunday. I’ll be rooting for it.



Sunday Night Thoughts

majorjackass

No matter how much of a jackass you may be, know that you’ll never be as much of a jackass as this guy.



The Mailbag (12/27/08): It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year
December 27, 2008, 1:13 am
Filed under: Christmas, Family, Parties Where People Pass Out Drunk, The Mailbag

mailbag

Sometimes, the most difficult part of writing is coming up with a topic. That’s why, in an effort to make this blog more of an interactive experience, I’m having you, the reader, do all the hard work. Here’s what I want you to do. Email me some questions–could be personal, generic, or even completely random–and each week, I’ll pick one of them and dissect the shit out of it. No topic is outta bounds, so you know, don’t be afraid to ask about my third nipple or anything.

Send all questions to ad.smoot@gmail.com

This week’s question:

Q: Help. I’ll be spending Christmas Day with family. Since I’ll be the out of town guest, I have no excuse to leave early. That means at least 7 hours in a house with in-laws and relatives asking what I do for a living and why I’m still single. If I stay the entire time, I’ll likely commit a nefarious act or seven. How do I survive this?

A: Two words: You’re. Fucked.

(Ed. note: I purposely waited till after Christmas to post this, because, well, nobody should have the luxury of avoiding family. If I have to suffer, then so do you, buddy. But now that Christmas has passed, I’d love to answer the question, so that next year, this poor soul may be better prepared to handle this unfortunate situation.)

This is the holiday season, and unless you’re a 13-year old boy who paints his fingernails black and cuts himself with rusty scissors, grandma is gonna wanna talk to you all fucking night. And guess what? You’re gonna have to answer. And smile. And pretend that you actually care about her Wednesday night mahjong marathons. But there are a few things you can do to limit the migraine, so let’s make a list.

1. Go to the bathroom. A lot. Even if you don’t have to take a crap, occupy the bathroom at least once every hour and a half. Your trips to the little boy’s room should last no less than 15 minutes, and no more than 45, lest that lead to questions about your health, completely negating the reason you’re in the bathroom in the first place–to avoid conversation.

If you actually have to go, more power to you. But for those like myself, who can’t shit on command, use this time to meditate. Sit there for a while and think about your fantasy football team. Or what’s for dessert. Or the twisted things you’d do to the hot girl sitting across from you at dinner, if she weren’t your cousin. You know, if you’re into that sorta thing. Whatever you think about, just make sure to use those precious moments away from the family to regroup and mentally prepare yourself for another 90 minutes of torture.

2. Alcohol. You have two routes to go here; you can either be the one drinking the alcohol, or you can be the one serving the alcohol.

Drinking it greatly enhances your tolerance to meaningless conversation, and also improves your chances of passing out on a couch. The latter being the preferred solution to your original problem. Unfortunately, drinking also means that you have to stay long enough to sober up. Even worse, if you begin to sober up while relatives are still over. There’s nothing quite as painful as regaining consciousness in the middle of one of Uncle Stu’s proctologist visit stories.

Personally, I would opt for serving the booze. As the unofficial bartender, the only question you’ll be asked is, “Can you make me another?” You control the amount of alcohol that goes into each glass, so if you want the night to end a little earlier than expected, fill everyone’s glass with a little more vodka, and a little less orange juice. For some reason, being tipsy makes people think they’ve worn out their welcome, and Aunt Sally, the lush, will be begging your uncle to leave before she becomes the talk of next year’s Thanksgiving dinner.

3. Fake a sickness. Everybody already knows that family dinners are a drag, but nobody wants to be at the dinner table with the guy who’s constantly sniffling and blowing his nose. Sure, you’ll spend the first 30 minutes answering 348 different versions of the question, “What’s wrong?” But after that, you’re in the clear, as your parents will more than likely send you home with some homemade soup. Score! Just remember to seem genuinely upset that you won’t be able to stay. If you’re bold, insist that you stay until your annoying sister-in-law arrives with her snotty kids. You’ll come off as the perfect son. Just know that that could seriously backfire  if she’s running late, or trying to pull the same shit you’re already pulling.

4. Drastic measures. Come up with a list of the most horrifying answers to all of your family’s potential questions, and respond appropriately when asked. A few examples:

Q: So, what are you doing with yourself these days?
A: I work in the porn business.

Q: And how have you been?
A: Great. Doctor says the sores on my ass should clear up in about a week.

Q. Why didn’t you bring your lovely girlfriend?
A: Um, grandma, she died in a car crash a week ago…

So, there ya go. Next year, when you’re forced to spend an inordinate amount of time around people you can’t stand, you’ll have a handy guide to escaping the madness. But this year, I hope you wanted to slit your wrists and dip them in a tub of alcohol like the rest of us. Hey, fair is fair.



Christmas: The Holiday with Balls
December 25, 2008, 9:50 pm
Filed under: Christmas, Depressing Realizations, Norm

norm

Whenever I need to get out of the house for a little while, I go to the same bar. It’s not a small, hole-in-the-wall type place like Cheers, the waiters don’t remember my name, but it’s my place. I can clear my mind, watch a game or just grab a bite to eat and be left alone. At all times, there’s something entertaining going on, too. An obnoxious Celtics fan yelling at the TV. A guy with bat ears hanging out at the bar. (Not even making that up.) There’s always something new. The bar has it’s share of staples too, though. Beer specials, the best nachos in either hemisphere and a creepy old man at the bar, wearing a shirt with a ridiculous saying on it. He’s pushing 85, but acts like he’s 20, and there hasn’t been a night I’ve been in that place that he wasn’t standing at the bar in his trademark sandals, shorts and BusteedTees-style ironic t-shirt.

12.25.08

Tonight is Christmas, and instead of spending it with family, I chose, instead, to come here. To my bar. After a Christmas Eve dinner on Wednesday, I’ve had my fill of family for the holidays. It’s 6:45pm when I walk through the front door, and Old Man River is hanging out at the bar, hitting on waitresses and wearing a shirt that says Christmas: The Holiday with Balls. I don’t quite understand why that’s funny, but it makes me laugh regardless. Clearly, he’s been here for a little bit, as he’s in mid-argument with a younger gentleman at the bar, about the Celtics/Lakers game, and I doubt he’ll be leaving for a while. He never does. He simply starts conversation after conversation with patrons, flirts with waitresses and jokingly threatens to punch each member of the male wait staff in the face; all tell-tale signs of a stereotypical regular.

But, this is Christmas. Surely, a man his age has son-in-laws to make uncomfortable, grandchildren to spoil and a fair amount of cheeks to pinch, so why is he here? I understand the woman next to me, whose husband is in South Florida on business. She can’t be home for the holidays. The three older ladies sitting in front of me seem to have just gotten back from Vegas, and are enjoying Christmas night out together. (They even ask, at one point, if I’m writing a diary. I say yes, because, well, how the hell do you describe a blog to your grandmother?) Myself? I just needed to get away from life for a while, and that’s why I’m here. But the old man is here all the time. Shouldn’t he spend one of the supposed happiest holidays of the year with his real family; not his drinking buddies?

Then it occurred to me. What if he doesn’t have anyone? What if this is his family?

I’ve long wondered if this man had a place to call home to begin with. Perhaps, he’s a man whose wife has passed on, and this is all the family he’s got left. Or a long-time divorcee who’s found a place to escape when the nights get long; a place he loves that can’t just leave him for the pool boy and take half his money. (Well, it can’t leave him, at least.) Or, worse, he’s someone whose never had anyone, and these waiters, this bar, is the only companionship he’s ever had in life.

Having spent the majority of my Christmas alone and depressed, I couldn’t help but see a little bit of myself in the old man. With the girlfriend out of town and no desire to see my friends or family, that place was all I had tonight. Just me, a plate of nachos and an escape from the sobering reality that, until Michelle gets back from Israel, I truly am alone for the holidays.

Christmas: The Holiday with That Sucks Balls.
/fixed



Rein Man… Reign Man…? Fuck It. I Give Up.
December 25, 2008, 12:32 am
Filed under: Childhood Stories, Christmas, Santa Claus

spelln-b

I suppose it wouldn’t be right for me to shit on Christmas without offering a logical explanation. Just because I was a stupid kid who believed in ridiculous fairy tales doesn’t mean that I think the entire holiday is an elaborate plot by department stores to sell hideous crap–that would otherwise never leave the shelves–to the brainwashed masses. Truth be told, I love Christmas. So what that I’m Jewish.

Who doesn’t like to drive down every single street and see bright, colorful lights on all the trees? If Hanukkah were this festive, I might actually remember to light the menorah once in a while. You’ll never find a hundred people waiting in line at the mall to sit on the rabbi’s lap. And mistletoe; what an awesome idea. Hey, look, there’s a complete stranger standing underneath a few leaves. I think I’ll go make out with her. If you tried that any other time of year, you’d be washing the mace out of your eyes for a week and a half.

But I do harbor a deep-rooted hatred for the twenty-fifth of December. It dates back to 1989, when I was an ultra-shy, reasonably intelligent third-grader, attempting to win his first spelling bee. Round after round, I mauled the competition, until it was down to myself and two others. The three of us were spelling our little asses off, and when my next turn came up, I stood up, confidently, and spelled my assigned word:

Raindeer. R-A-I-N-D-E-E-R. Raindeer.

Yea, that didn’t go so well. I think Brian Donalds won the spelling bee that year. It didn’t matter, though. My 8-year old heart was broken by a large-bellied, bearded man’s penchant for mystical transportation with huge fucking antlers. Diva. Why couldn’t he just fly his fat ass around on an ordinary H-O-R-S-E?



Santa Claus is Coming to Town (And Breaking into Your House Because You Don’t Have a Chimney)
December 24, 2008, 2:00 pm
Filed under: Childhood Stories, Christmas, Santa Claus

santa

I remember waiting up at night for Santa to come down the chimney with his overstuffed bag of goodies. I remember leaving cookies out for him, hoping it would increase the chances that, under the tree the following morning, would be one of the larger toys from his sack. Or, at the very least, something other than a lump of coal.

Seriously, what’s up with that lump of coal bullshit? What a smarmy piece of shit that Santa Claus is. Like I needed a fistful of blackened rock to tell me I fucked up that year? Right. Because six detentions and a parent/teacher conference weren’t enough of a giveaway. I grew up with the understanding that, if I had nothing nice to say, I shouldn’t say anything at all. Or say it quietly to someone close by. But, not Santa. He thinks you’re a colossal crew up and he’ll stop at nothing to let you know it. Go blow Prancer you fat fuck.

But, I was a kid. I wouldn’t develop these hostile feelings toward the world’s jolliest man until much later in life. Back then, visions of sugar plums danced in my head, and so I sat up and waited for him to gracefully float down my chimney and deliver the goods.

I never actually caught him in the act, though.

For starters, I was 6, my bed time was 8 and Santa didn’t reach Miami till sometime around 3 in the morning. At least that’s what my mom always said. Also, we had no chimney, So I had no idea how the hell he was going to get in without a key. (My parents wouldn’t even let me have a key until I turned 15, so there was no way my mom was giving one to a bearded fat man who made absolutely no attempt to hide his love for little children.) To get in my house, Santa would have to have some serious magic powers or be perfectly comfortable performing a B&E. But, most importantly, I was Jewish, so I wasn’t sure exactly why he was visiting my house to begin with. Whatever. As long as he brought presents.

Things with Santa never added up, though, and it took me a while to catch on. I mean, why would my mom always leave out the most godawful almond cookies for him? Nobody on Earth likes almond cookies except my dad. Wouldn’t you want to impress the one man responsible for the happiness of your children every winter? Instead, every Christmas morning, there would be a plate of untouched cookies on the kitchen table and a happy dad sitting in front of it with a glass of milk…

And if Santa owned his own toy shop, why was he always on the side of the road, begging for money?

And elves? Elves, my ass. Jesus, Kringle, who are you? Nike?

Well, now I’m older and I know the truth behind Christmas. It’s a fucking sham. I mean, there’s no way one man could deliver that many gifts to that many houses in one night. The United States Post Office has a hard enough time delivering an envelope 3 blocks away in less than a week. There’s no such thing as Santa, or reindeer, or elves. Just TBS’s insistence on showing Home Alone seven times a day. And the NBA shoving pseudo-rivalries down my throat.

But, hey, there are presents involved, so maybe this Christmas thing isn’t so terrible, after all.

Don’t get me started on Easter, though.