Saturday, December 17, 2005

Say, mister, can you help a fellow domer who's down on his luck? | by Jay

BGS reader Jamie sends us this tale of ticket lottery woe. Enjoy.

Need One

I can’t feel more like a loser.

It’s Friday afternoon. I’m hungover and sitting in my boxers with my black socks still on from last night. And now I’ve got the chorus to Crowded House’s “Been locked out” on repeat in my brain.

Ten minutes ago, a 20-year old kid gleefully told me I was “unsuccessful” in the Fiesta Bowl ticket lottery, which is a lot like saying Kerry took silver in '04.

It wasn’t supposed to be this way. See, I’m connected.

Not in a “Patrick McCartan, I-can-get-one-of-the-only-four-black-coaches-in-America-fired” kinda way, but in a “I’ve-sat-on-the-fifty-with-Chuck Lennon-against-BC and watched-the-aformentioned-coach-continue-to-believe-halftime-adjustments-are-illegal” kinda way. I can call Lou Nanni – well, I guess anybody can call Lou Nanni – and he sometimes calls me back. I’m hooked up.

Besides, I wear the jacket (see photo from the '04 USC game. The smiles tell me it was taken pre-game). At Notre Dame, we revere our athletic achievements with such reverence that we don’t have varsity letter winners; we have monogram winners (as I love to explain to anyone who will listen). I did not wrestle often. And I never wrestled well. In fact, guys on the team would get into fights over who got to wrestle me at the end of practice when they were exhausted ("I got Reidy!")

But I still earned my monogram, which is SUPPOSED to give me some juice over normal students (some of whom probably could have beaten me in a wrestle-off for tickets). Yet, the 20-year-old told me Monogram Club members got no special treatment in the Fiesta Lottery. First, I got no wrestling groupies (actually, none of us got wrestling groupies, which is a hazard of attending a school where women find guys with mangled ears unattractive). Now, I get no tickets. THEN WHY THE HELL DID I GET MY ASS KICKED EVERY DAY FOR FOUR YEARS?

Perhaps this is karma, paying me back for missing a bowl game to which I had a ticket. In December 1991, four classmates and I drove down to New Orleans for a bowl of cereal with Steve Spurrier. Ah, The Big Easy. Just thinking about that glorious trip makes me want to hurl, just for old time's sake. I have since learned that I am allergic to Hurricanes (took three subsequent trips to confirm the diagnosis; I believe in being thorough, medically), but back then I couldn’t get enough of the sugary poison. And Cherry Bombs! What heavenly host planted the seed of inspiration for a man to soak marachino cherries in grain alcohol and then sell them on the street for a dollar apiece? Alas, there is a much steeper price to pay for such nectar. I woke up New Year’s morning on the floor of an “aromatic” room in the luxurious Days Inn, stepped over ten of my fellow thrifty buddies and found the bathroom. Where I spent the majority of the next eleven hours. It wasn’t so bad, though. I mean, I eventually had nothing left to vomit, so the last 160 minutes were just dry heaves (which is a great ab workout, by the way). But at least I could see the TV from the cold tile floor, so the day wasn’t a total loss. And my mom even believed me when I explained missing the last bowl game of my college career because, “I got ahold of some bad crawfish.” But then my Uncle Gary told her that was a euphemism for too much booze. He seemed upset later when I asked my aunt about that strange blonde lady I’d seen him kissing in NYC.

All I want for Christmas is to be sitting in a Tempe hotel on January 3rd, hungover, wearing boxers and my black socks from the night before.

Jamie's a good friend of ours and a terrific writer. He also wrote a hilarious book about his days as a Viagra salesman.