I was recently trying to get a friend of mine who is not a baseball fan to come with me and watch a baseball game be played.
“I don’t know… how often do they have baseball games?” she asked.
“Baby, they play baseball every night,” I replied, only I didn’t say ‘baby,’ and I did ask for the check immediately afterward like the cool guy in a restaurant scene from a movie. We hadn’t ordered any food yet so everybody got pretty confused, especially the waiter, who had been pretty sure he wasn’t getting a decent tip before the bill was zero dollars. But, that’s what happens when you’re 100% dedicated to living your life as a cinematic stereotype.
The point is, they don’t play baseball every night. I mean, sure, other baseball games will be going on this evening, but none of them will have the Phillies. None of them will have Chase Utley leaping back and forth to the delight of millions. None of them will have Roy Halladay making a lineup feel terrible about themselves. None of them will have the obligatory shot of the aces that aren’t currently pitching sitting in the dugout together, having a laugh or just straight chilling.
And we have to deal with that.
1. Talk to your family
Ugh, I know. Look at them in there. Eating dinner without you, again. You could sit in here, pretending to watch a Phillies game. They don’t know the team schedule. They don’t know anything. They just sit in there, eating, or studying, or crying–the whole time not knowing how many games the Phils are up on the Braves or even who Michael Schwimmer is. It’s disgusting.
But maybe this time, wander in there and ask a few questions… maybe learn something new about your kids. Why has Timmy been walking around with a crossbow strapped to his back? What is that cat doing here? Why has Rebecca been in a wheel chair for the last six months? Where did your wife go? These are all inquiries that have entered your head at some point, and now’s your chance to get to the bottom of them.
2. Fuck it, watch TV
A librarian would never tell you this, but we’re in a golden age of television. Not that the programming is especially tolerable–actually, in the summer, it somehow pumps the chemical toilet of reality TV even harder–but it is on all the time, with a record number of channels.
Chances are, you get at least several hundred of them. There is no way you can’t find something to fall asleep to in your work clothes. Sure, there’s that gap of time between getting home from the office and going to bed at night that you’ve got to fill before passing out, but that’s what’s so great about TV: it never goes away. Its right there, in front of you. That’s why you got the bolt lock on the basement door, right? So the kids know when to leave you alone? And it’s not like you ever go downstairs without locking it, so… I’m sure they get the point.
If your children can’t get all their essential information across to you in the time it takes you to sprint from your car to the basement door, then they just need to learn how to talk faster.
3. Play a board game
These are still around, right? Sure they are. How else are stoned college students passing the time between 711 runs and failing at life?
Oh man, remember college? You were the king back then. All those parties you had at the old apartment with Steve and Chris and Lemonhead. Why’d you call him Lemonhead, anyway? Was it something to do with a girl? Or beer? Probably. Those were good times. Maybe you should call that girl’s number you’ve saved since your sophomore year just to hear her voice on the voicemail again. Its not weird. Its nostalgic. Besides, you saw on Facebook that she moved out of the area. So you can’t even drive by her house anymore.
4. What was I thinking about again?
Oh, yeah. Board games. Do you have any of those lying around? There’s no way the kids have any. Anytime you see them they’re nose-deep in an electronicacy of some kind. Except your middle child. The one with the temper. That kid stopped getting expensive Christmas presents because he just wound up throwing them into the wall. God help the world when he inevitably gets a driver’s license. No wonder your wife probably left you after she read “We Need to Talk About Kevin.”
The good news is, if there is a board game in this house, it definitely hasn’t been touched in a few years. So all the pieces will be there.
…is this even your house?
5. …what time are the Phils on tomorrow?
I know. Might as well be forever.