Monday, October 14, 2013

We Wear Uniforms, Not Outfits.

If you are tuning in today to possibly read about something that matters, well, you may be out of luck. In fact, you might assign more importance to future posts featuring my 3D prostate growth chart or the top five best mammals to make into jerky. Yes, today the pond can't get much shallower without becoming simply a moist algae bloom.

This piece concerns irrational loathing. I won't go so far as to use the "h" word, since I know how damaging it can be, especially after having it used against me by my own children hundreds of times. Should I be upset at the frequency with which the little urchins screamed "I hate you!"usually for nothing more than suggesting they brush their teeth sometime before Easter? Probably not, but I still find it difficult to lob "H bombs" at anyone besides the Jerry Sanduskys and Ariel Castros of the world.

Have you ever despised someone or something with one hundred percent potency? I'm talking all Yang and no Yin, not ninety-five percent acrimonious and five percent compassionate. I'm talking about perfect, black malice with not a ropy vein of lukewarm empathy.

I've only felt this churn of enmity a few times during my five decades above ground: 

When a guy smashed into my daughter while she was stopped at a red light and then took off, I visualized acts of violence using nothing more than a wood rasp and three Bic lighters. 

I had a boss a few years back who held a graduate degree from the Ann Coulter School of Motivational Speaking and Public Humiliation. After having prepared a presentation for several days, I entered her office and placed a stack of my drawings on the conference table. Several of my co-workers sat quietly watching her. She closed her eyes and said, "I will not open my eyes until you tell me that this is sophisticated."

Rivulets of smart-ass responses dripped though my brain and then toward my oral cavity: Actually, no, it's not sophisticated. I went with a toothless Appalachian theme in honor of your mom. I held back and replied, "Uh, yeah, I think so."

She continued, squinting."Because if it isn't sophisticated, you're going to have to put on your big boy pants and start over again—you're aware of that."

I wanted nothing more than the ability to cause her bowels to spontaneously evacuate. 

Geez, I'm getting myself all worked up now. Anyway, I haven't felt those levels of vitriol with much frequency, thank the lord. But I did feel it again on Saturday when the number-two-ranked Oregon Ducks rolled into Seattle to play my Washington Huskies. The gridiron rivalry dates back to 1900.

How do I feel about the Ducks? Let's just say that if the U of O were my ear, I'd grab a steak knife and go all Van Gogh on that thing. 

After years spent wallowing in mediocrity, Oregon's athletic program was infused with over $230 million by Phil Knight, founder and chairman of Nike, Inc. and an Oregon alumnus. His uncomfortably narrow, overpriced shoes and gaudy apparel translated into lavish collegiate facilities in Eugene and sweltering sweatshops abroad. Here's Phil, performing a convincing imitation of a western buffoon in Ted Bundy clothes.


















The Ducks football machine spares no expense, donning a different uniform for every opponent. Here are some of Oregon's notable football fashion statements:


I have to admire their designers. It's got to be tough to find colors that compliment the distinct hue of kidney malfunction. 

Maybe I'm just jealous because the Huskies used to own the Ducks and now haven't beaten them for ten years. The frustration spilled over at Husky Stadium on Saturday. Two chubby U of O fans continued standing and dancing amid a sea of downtrodden UW supporters, taunting the crowd even after Oregon had sealed the victory. The guy next to me, very mild-mannered for the entire contest, suddenly screamed out, "Sit down, fuckhead!"

The crowd erupted in laughter. The guy sat down. The Huskies lost.

I hate the Ducks. Oops. Oh well.

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