Saturday, October 30, 2010

Fear the Bud?

The Texas media's fascination with "pot-smoking San Francisco Giants fans" is, well, fascinating. Watching some of the coverage from media-types during this week's two World Series games in The City, one would think AT&T Park sold joints next to the garlic fries and gave away "Fear the Bud" shirts to the first 20,000 fans. TV guy Newy Scruggs gained some national recognition when, during his live report from McCovey Cove, he actually saw people smoking weed. This is outside the park, mind you, not in the kids' Whiffle ball area beyond the left field bleachers. Rangers' left fielder Josh Hamilton told reporters that he could smell marijuana smoke wafting through the air during Game 1. Some media outlets gave the impression that the whole park was passing around a roach clip during the seventh inning stretch. There is no denying that some fans sneak cannabis into the game, which is both inappropriate and illegal, but come on Texas media, YOU are the pot (pun intended) calling the kettle black because Hamilton is, admirably, a recovering crackhead and Manager Ron Washington this year admitted to cocaine use. Yes, Giants' pitcher Tim Lincecum was caught with marijuana in his car. There's no defending that. But because of that, we all need to watch which stones we throw -- especially at stoners.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

It's autumn, so why not fall?

One of the most embarrassing moments of my life happened when I was a senior and was late for English class. All of the other students had settled in and the teacher was taking roll when I stepped up into the portable classroom and caught my foot in the doorway. Not only did I tumble big-time, but my backpack flew over my shoulder and landed in front of me. The commotion caused everyone to turn around and burst out in laughter. I could only sheepishly smile as I made my way to the front of the classroom, second row, where I sat red-faced for all to see. Even my teacher -- my kind, sweet teacher -- could not help laughing at the tumble, which did not result in physical injury but certainly injured my pride. I didn't blame my classmates for laughing, as I would have done the same. The fact that the laughter continued on and off for about half an hour didn't help, but I deserved it. I heard the "have a nice trip? see you next fall" line about half a dozen times. So that stood alone as my most embarrassing tumble for about a quarter-century ... until this morning. My wife and I were enjoying a leisurely walk in our neighborhood when we passed by (ironically) the house of my former high school biology teacher, who was outside with two other people. We exchanged pleasantries as I turned my head with a smile, and suddenly my left foot caught a raised portion of sidewalk and I took a tumble worthy of my high school days. There were only four witnesses for this fall, not a whole classroom, but I was just as embarrassed. I bounded right up and kept walking as our neighbors asked if I was alright. I joked that I should sue the homeowner as my wife began suppressing her laughter while trying to look sympathetic. I bruised my left knee and scraped both palms, though the injuries were minor. I couldn't move on and turn the corner quickly enough. At least I could walk away from the scene of the tumble this time; no sitting at the front of class listening to the snickers.