Saturday, December 08, 2012

“Hangover Days”

c. 2012 Rod Ice
All rights reserved

It was a cold evening at the Get Go on Water Street in Chardon.
Three figures huddled by the window, all residents of Geauga County. Carrie Hamglaze, a former elected official and schoolteacher; Mack Prindl, editor of the Parkman Register newspaper; and Rhonda Ronk, a bubbly, young employee who was on her break.
I had stopped for fuel and a cup of coffee, plus a copy of the Maple Leaf, before driving home to Thompson. But the sight of this trio drew me toward their table.
“Well,” I cheered. “Is this an informal meeting of our writers’ group?”
Carrie stirred her Irish tea. “Pull up a chair! We’re having an informal confab.”
“This is more like a wake,” Mack groaned.
Rhonda sipped her soda. “That sounds depressing!”
“No, he’s right,” Carrie agreed. “I still have a hangover.”
“Hangover?” I stammered. “From what?”
“The election,” she answered.
“No,” Mack disagreed. “From Pittsburgh losing to Cleveland.”
I shook my head. “What??”
“They’ve been like this all night,” Rhonda giggled, while tapping her nails on the table.
“Obama won a second term!” Carrie squawked. “I didn’t think it was possible.”
“The Browns won, 20-14,” Mack echoed. “I didn’t think that could happen!”
“Slow down,” I begged. “You are both talking at the same time.”
“America is doomed,” Carrie choked with caution. “We are on a slippery slope to full-blown socialism!”
“NFL football is doomed,” Mack moaned. “If a scrub team like the Browns can win over the ‘Burghers, the league is finished.”
“Friends, please!” I said, intently.
“They’ve both got a terrible hangover,” Rhonda sighed.
“America is a resilient nation,” I observed. “Regardless of the political winds that blow, we move ever onward.”
“Onward without scoring,” Mack whined.
“Not true,” I disagreed. “The same can be said of pro football. It will endure.”
“I knew the party should have chosen Rick Santorum!” Carrie said.
“If only Roethlisberger could have started against Cleveland!” Mack wished out loud.
“Stop complaining!” Rhonda frowned.
“Indeed!” I said in agreement. “Stop complaining and start planning... for tomorrow.”
“The mainstream media was against us,” Carrie declared.
“The referees were against us,” Mack echoed, sadly.
“Really now,” I laughed. “Isn’t it pathetic to hear fans of a team with six Superbowl rings crying about bad penalty calls?”
“The bias was clear!” Carrie exclaimed.
“The bias was clear!” Mack repeated.
Rhonda shook her head. “This is getting old!”
“Personally, it seems obvious that the GOP shouldn’t have brushed off Ron Paul so easily,” I said. “They could have used the energy of his supporters at election time.”
Carrie rubbed her eyes with disbelief.
“And I think the Steelers should have come to Cleveland with a greater sense of respect,” I continued. “The Browns are a better team than their record would indicate. Things are moving in the right direction.”
“Hah!” Mack huffed indifferently.
Rhonda played with her jewelry. “I think Rod is making a lot of sense!”
“Our future as a republic is in peril!” Carrie exploded.
“The future of the league is in doubt!” Mack predicted.
“No, no, no!” I shouted.
“No!” Rhonda agreed.
“America would have been wise to listen to the Tea Party!” Carrie insisted.
“The NFL referees should have listened to Coach Tomlin!” Mack roared.
“Look,” I said. “Active involvement in the political process is something I endorse. By anyone, of any persuasion. That is how democracy functions. But it seems clear that voters desire something other than the bland choices offered by Republicans.”
Mack held his breath.
“The same could be said for Pittsburgh,” I concluded. “Rhetoric about championship rings doesn’t carry the team forward. Instead of talk, working harder will produce genuine results.”
Rhonda giggled to herself.
“I can’t stand that guy!” Carrie complained.
“I can’t stand those guys!” Mack echoed, painfully.
“Are you listening to me?” I wondered.
“The failures just keep piling up,” Carrie said.
“The losses just keep piling up,” Mack warbled.
I had begun to feel tired. But my friends weren’t done just yet.
“Obama didn’t win a mandate!” Carrie taunted.
“The Browns didn’t win a Superbowl!” Mack teased.
I closed my eyes. “This conversation is going nowhere.”
Rhonda nodded in agreement.
“We have lost to a fellow who has us sixteen trillion dollars in debt!” Carrie whispered.
“We have lost to a team worse than the Buffalo Bills!” Mack hissed.
My coffee was cold. I looked longingly at the front door.
“Joe Biden is nothing more than a rodeo clown,” Carrie shrieked.
“Brandon Weeden can’t buy his team a first down,” Mack squeaked.
“Words mean nothing,” I said. “Deeds mean everything.”
“We need Ronald Reagan to come back,” Carrie moaned.
“We need Big Ben to come back,” Mack groaned.
I bowed my head. “Okay, wallow in self-pity if you must. History has been written. But the future is still a blank page. What you do today will chart the course of tomorrow...”
Rhonda gestured frantically. “Oh, no! My break is over! It’s time to get back to work.”
“That applies to the GOP, and to the Steelers,” I pronounced. “It is time to get back to work.”

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Blogger Aaron Bell said...

well, well, well, look who i found out here on the great big internet... enjoy reading your posts my friend, hope life is treating you well. -- aaron bell

1:21 AM  
Blogger Rod Ice said...

Hey Aaron, great to hear from you. Lots of memories from RR 425. You might've heard that Bruce Weber passed away. He will be missed. Peace to you.

2:00 AM  

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