Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Finally, Hurricane and Football Seasons are Here!

One month to the day, our most recent visit to New Orleans was marked by the arrival of Gustav. Our closest New Orleans friends (pictured above on Aug. 1) report no major damage. They didn't have the good sense to seek shelter, so they just sat there, looking out over the Mississippi. While they did get soaked, they didn't lose an arm or anything in the strong winds. New Orleans folks are a hardy lot.

My son's first girlfriend (pictured above) reports that the French Market, where she lives, received only "horrible, horrible rain" and wind gusts that, while strong, didn't even mess up her hair. Asked if Gustav's strength might have been overestimated last week, she had only this to say: "I never estimate a man's strength. They talk a lot of smack, so you never know how strong they really are anyway." This did not set well with her boyfriend, who found this disrespectful and has since written her off.

More smack ... Speaking of talking smack, during the Auburn game Saturday night, three young people who apparently didn't score student tickets this year found themselves in Middle-Class Suburban Section 34. During the second quarter, one young man's braggish tales of romantic conquests escalated to an unacceptable level. It must have been my glare that prompted his female friend to say, "Gosh, Brandon, shut up! Keep your voice down!" At which point I turned around and said, "Thank you. I couldn't take it much longer." Brandon, however, seemed offended. "Here's the thing, Brandon," I told him. "I'm sitting here with, like, six kids. And none of us really needs to hear this."

"I'm sorry. It's just that I'm used to sitting in the student section."

"Well, Brandon, clearly this is not the student section. You need to be more aware of where you are. The adult section isn't impressed."

Brandon didn't say anything else because, I suppose, he was too busy sucking on the half-dozen miniature Jim Beam bottles that he left behind when he and his entourage exited the stadium at the beginning of the third quarter. They also left behind a nice pair of sunglasses, which I brought home and soaked in antibacterial soap and will call "mine." These will replace the nice pair of $6 sunglasses I bought at Target two weeks earlier -- the same sunglasses that leave marks on the sides of my head and give me an excruciating headache. This is not a side effect you can anticipate when you spend six hard-earned dollars at a retailer like Target. My reward for enduring some 14 days of discomfort, all in the name of retinal protection, AND Brandon's boorish monologue during the first half of a football game is Brandon's pair of high-quality sunglasses. Or Brandon's friend's sunglasses.

Thanks, Brandon!