Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Cleveland Invasion

Today I write to you from the tarmac of the Cleveland Hopkins International Airport, where I am totally sitting in a small plane that is delayed for takeoff to New York because of some combination crazy plane traffic and fierce Nordic winds or something. No one really knows for sure, at least not me anyway and last I checked I’m the only one talking to me and even then it’s touch and go. I just finished drinking a milkshake from Ben & Jerry’s. I got “Coffee! Coffee! Buzz! Buzz! Buzz!” (or whatever embarrassing-to-ask-for-by-name they call it) flavor but declined the whipped cream as I am on a restricted diet. Ha. That is a joke. I am also wearing a royal blue (and probably a little small when it really gets down to it) T-shirt I bought yesterday that says “Cleveland: You’ve Got To Be Tough.” It should say “Cleveland: You’ve Got To Be Tough- Especially If You Are Staying With My Parents.” That is another funny joke I just made up. Guess who is on fire today. This guy is on fire today. I am pointing to myself right now.

Anyway, I have spent the past few days visiting my family in Cleveland with special attention given to the Easter holiday. It was a short visit so I mostly just hung out with my family, ate ham, tried and failed to con my 6 year-old nephew out of Easter candy, ate some more ham, ate some ice cream, thought about and decided against eating some more ham, ate some sausage and stained my pants, and saw a couple old friends while I was at it. I also went to Easter Sunday mass at the church I went to for most of my life, which is where I ran into the girl I had a gigantic crush on for most of grade (or elementary as some call it) school. I hadn’t seen her in twenty years, but she was still looking just as beautiful as I remembered. And now of legal age! It’s nice to know that after all this time...I still don’t stand a chance. But at least now I’ve got my license. Who says I’ve got nothing to offer? (I am just now realizing I should have offered to drive her somewhere, anywhere in my rented Kia. It had a CD player and everything, though I totally would have let her control the radio if she wanted to.)

While I was home I was mildly saddened to find out that Jacobs Field, the stadium where the Cleveland Indians play, had been renamed Progressive Field (or something like that) after the popular auto insurance purveyor. I don’t understand why all sports arenas are named after large corporations now. I guess it’s supposed to advertise their company or something but in the end I just end up hating the company that put their name on the sports arena like that. For example, the existence of a place called the Staples Center only makes me not want to shop at Staples. I mean, I don’t want to shop at Staples anyway, but now I really don’t want to shop at Staples. Ditto about the Target Center, Quicken Loans Arena (maybe the lamest of all, like, seriously), and all those other places. Maybe it has the opposite effect on other people though. I guess I will just have to check Wikipedia. My friend Pat once suggested buying the rights to rename Jacobs Field for millions of dollars and then calling it Poopy Park. I would love to live in a world where a professional sports team plays its games at a place called Poopy Park. I don’t think that would ever stop being funny. If I ever become a rich, rich man, I will use my money to make such dreams come true.

Okay, we are still totally sitting here and not flying. People are getting restless, talking and texting on their phones, and craning their necks for a glimpse of a small bag of peanuts or something. I imagine it is only a matter of minutes before things get seriously “Lord of the Flies” in here. If only my grade school crush could see me now. I am totally going to hold the conch.

Dave Hill


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