PIGS FOR THE SKIN
American Reporter Humor Writer
TAMPA, Fla -- Please be advised that the contents of this column may conjure up feelings of anger, seclusion and dismay among female readers.
It is my insincere wish that women effected by the behavior which it outlines will be galvanized into action. Perhaps something positive will result. Maybe the formation of a focus group will ensue.
Action is long overdue, many would say.
I should also caution, for testosterone-laden members of the audience, that this composition may leave you susceptible to perceptions of your own insanity. You may find yourself on a journey down a path to self-discovery.
You may re-evaluate your priorities in life in an effort to improve the lot of those around you. You may even break down and cry in a realization of powerlessness.
Allow me to plead, half-heartedly, for the birth of LAFF - an acronym for Ladies Against Football Freaks (not to be confused with Los Angelinos For Flint - Larry Flint for governor).
Either all this OR you'll simply close this page and go back to work. (I accept that my reader demographic is wholly comprised of "people trying to look busy at their workplace computer").
Despite your sex or proclivity for football viewership as a vehicle of entertainment, it is my sincere desire that you can appreciate my honesty and use this literary tsunami in a positive manner. At the very least, I hope you enjoy this startling re-creation of an autumn Sunday in the life of Larry Lieberman:
10:12-10:17: Wake up on couch and decree the abolition of bathing effective for another day. Have daughter #2 (you use a numeric system when married to a Catholic) scratch unreachable spots on back which would normally be acquiesced by water pressure and/or soap.
10:18-10:42: Eat frozen waffles over sink and organize newspaper into three sections - those with compound words, those with sports or entertainment articles and those with coupons.
10:43-10:45: Dispose of sections of newspaper with compound words and deposit sports and entertainment information into a well-ventilated space for perusal at designated "time." Place coupons into wife's inbox/underwear drawer.
10:46-12:01: Write thought-provoking "Monday Moron" column addressing the fallacy of rehabilitation and high rate of recidivism within America's criminal justice system. Include whimsical anecdote on Bob Barker as spokesperson for the FBI reminding all Americans to help control the prison population by having their felons spayed or neutered.
12:02-12:07: Erase thought-provoking "Monday Moron" column and replace it with intellectually-incapacitating fluff about a football-season, Sunday timeline.
12:08-12:09: Giggle quietly as I watch my 128-pound neighbor jump on his Harley and head out for a "Christian motorcycle rally." (To Walter Mitty among others, philanthropy can be viewed as its own form of vigilante justice.)
12:10-12:14: Accidentally hand-feed my wife's "to-do" list through the industrial paper shredder. Replace "to-do" list with forged document in wife's handwriting stating that today's things to be accomplished are "enjoy football games" and "mow lawn." Place check mark next to each item to signal completion.
12:15-12:29: Playfully smash a dozen eggs on the car and garage door. Tell neighborhood boy I will tell his parents that he egged my home if he doesn't cut my lawn. Also demand that he place the contents of my industrial paper shredder into his dad's garbage can (just to be safe). In a fit of guilt as he performs the task, offer him lemonade.
12:30-12:59: Analyze the effect benching Peter Warrick in my fantasy league may have on his statistics going forward (like he cares). Decide to go with Andre Johnson as my starting receiver because of advantageous match-up with the Jaguars.
1:00-1:09: Log on to the Internet to set my fantasy football lineup. Have trouble dialing up and then realize the site is locked due to time constraints, leaving Peter Warrick as my starter. Cross Bill Gates from my Hanukkah shopping list and pray for a case of non-lethal food poisoning for the Cleveland Browns defense so Warrick has room to roam.
1:10-2:28: Work the remote control like a bottle of disinfectant at the Playboy Mansion during the "Salute to Syphilis" fundraising benefit, making sure no less than two football games are being closely monitored at all times.
2:29-2:32: Explain the origin of babies to my inquisitive eight-year-old during halftime of the Eagles-Bills game. When she asks a follow-up question, hand her a tape of her birth and explain to her how to make microwave popcorn in complete silence.
2:33-5:41: See 1:10-1:28.
5:42-5:45: Give four-year-old son my tools and help him "get started" assembling the swing set using the picture on the carton as a guide sans directions.
5:46-5:49: Order various foods to be delivered in a boxed container and instruct driver to bring the items around to the back door, which is seven steps closer to the couch than the front door. Leave message on my internist's answering machine regarding scheduling of seasonal angioplasty.
5:50-6:21: See 2:33-5:41.
6:22-6:25: Compensate delivery driver by signing over daughter #2's birthday check from Aunt Millie. Ruminate about how "slow-cooked" ribs are amazingly prepared and delivered in around forty minutes, apparently using a time machine.
6:26-6:27: "Slow eat" ribs in a minute flat while pondering why I am pondering the concept of "slow-cooked" with so many more pressing issues facing today's complex world - like that it's third and twenty for the Eagles.
6:28: Watch Eagles punt as I take four ibuprofen and consider that there may be a radon leak in my house causing me to think like a pork chop on hashish. The thought of pork reminds me to brush my teeth and say a prayer for Rosh Hashanah. (Happy New Year to all of my Jewish comrades! Enjoy the ceremonial dropping of the matzah ball in Tel Aviv square!)
6:29-7:23: See 5:50-6:21.
7:23-7:26: Throw bedsheet over deformed swing set so that neighbors don't think I've taken up drinking as an occupation - again.
7:27: The wife strolls in and proclaims she is home from work. I feign excitement while giving her a hug.
7:28: Once again I begin pondering, "She went to work? When did she leave? And where are the kids?" (18)
7:29-7:34: My wife drives to the DeMeo residence and picks up daughter #1 from her sleepover, which ended promptly at 10:00 AM this morning.
7:35-7:41: "Quality time with the family"
7:42-8:21: "Quality time in well-ventilated space reading designated sports and entertainment information"
8:22-11:43: See 6:29-7:23.
11:44-11:58: Try to trade Peter Warrick for a 2004 fantasy football draft pick.
11:59: Email Sunday's "Monday Moron" column to the editor with plenty of time to spare before midnight deadline. Can you spell oxymoron? (21)
12:00: Receive confirmation from editor that column has been received when he replies, "What is this for again?"
12:01-12:18: Have discussion with wife in which she reveals that the doctor has recommended she take her birth control pills on a new rotation which will eliminate her menstrual cycle altogether. "They can do that?" I muse. "If so, life as we know it has just changed forever."
12:19-12:21: Put sheets on the couch again.
12:22: As I fall asleep, ponder how I'll never forget where I was when the news came down about that not having to experience a period whatsoever thing.
12:24: Wake up and finish ribs over sink in the darkness of the kitchen.
Larry Lieberman also provided a numerical word count for each paragraph, but we dropped that feature in the interest of editorial sanity.