In lieu of a column on whether Major League Baseball’s new labor deal should limit players’ use of sugar cereals in addition to smokeless tobacco, I give you scattered thoughts…
Some of you may be aware that I recently left the friendly confines of Southern California for a 5-day excursion to the Big Apple. It had been more than a decade since my last visit, and let’s just say the natives had grown restless.
The obvious question upon my return is whether I encountered any Wall Street protestors. Unfortunately, one was seated next to me on the flight home.
Forget the rancid body odor, the overstuffed coffee-stained backpack and likely weeks between shavings — the worst part was her complete disregard for airline safety.
After enduring nearly 30 minutes of runway-based texting, I snapped.
“Look,” I told her, “I have no doubt you’re well-schooled on the finer points of FAA regulations. And I’m sure it’s vitally important that you fire off that last message to Scooter and the gang before we take off. But if you don’t shut it down immediately, and for the duration of the flight, I’m tossing you and that wretched phone straight out of the emergency exit.
“And for heaven’s sake, take a shower— you’re 99% filthy.”
Speaking of the trip, you really tend to notice the subtle differences between New Yorkers and the folks in L.A.
In fact, despite sharing ZIP codes with the likes of John McEnroe, Spike Lee and Joy Behar, I actually found the people there to be quite friendly.
Nowhere was this more evident than behind the wheel, where you simply don’t get the same brand of road rage on, say, the Long Island Expressway as you do on the 405.
Yes, people honk there, but it’s quicker and more polite, as if they’re saying, “Hey, watch it, I’m right here.”
By contrast, in L.A. you get the extended horn followed by a string of profanities, a series of choice hand gestures, a good mile of tailgating, and a healthy dose of resentment over the fact that you just interrupted a very important phone call.
It’s good to be home.
Well, sadly there’s no professional basketball to speak of. (Don’t get me started… The NBA can eat dirt at the moment.)
Which means I’ve had to fill the void with other pursuits. No, not hockey (please). I’m talking about the great American pastime — NASCAR.
Anyway, the news out of Charlotte, N.C., this week is that driver Kurt Busch (who also brews a mean lager) has parted ways with crew chief Steve Addington. The break-up was decidedly less-than-shocking, as rumors apparently had swirled for months.
Still, I can’t determine whether the last straw was Addington changing all of Busch’s radio presets to hip-hop stations, or if it may have been his replacing the driver’s favorite Royal Pine air freshener with Vanilla Spice.
In a partial-quote not at all taken out of context, NASCAR spokesman Kerry Tharp said, “Clearly, Kurt was frustrated with what happened with his car that early in the race, however his choice of language at the time was disappointing.”
I’m not sure when or why it happened, but somehow my number has landed on a distribution list for the local public school system.
How do I know this? Because last week I got a recorded message informing me (and all the other Southview Elementary parents) that Friday’s special assembly would begin at 10 a.m., and that our very own Brandon Butterfield had taken third prize in last month’s citywide science fair.
Way to go, Brandon!
So now I’m faced with a dilemma: Do I dare try to contact the Los Angeles Unified School District and inform them of their error? Or do I sit back and cling to the hope that, as mysteriously as the mix-up occurred, it will just as miraculously and in short order manage to undo itself?
Either way, I have to admit I’m looking forward to next Monday, when we’ll be having Salisbury steak, tater tots, green beans and peach cobbler. Sweet!