Monday, November 08, 2010

Why I'm Happy I Can't Eat Raisin Bran




[Map courtesy infoplease]


It’s Sunday evening, and I was going to write about how thankful I am. After all, I’m all about the Thanksgiving this month. However, as I waited for this antediluvian computer to warm up, I glanced over at what MY WIFE was watching on television. And there I saw a reason to believe that nothing we do has any meaning and we may as well lie down and die now before we suffer further indignities.

My Big Friggin’ Wedding was on the tube. Near as I could tell, it was a show about the ungrateful and ignorant preparing to be married to the shallow and cruel. I think it all took place in New Jersey, a piece of real estate I can’t see anyone willingly admitting to being from these days. Jersey has always been a somewhat easy place to poke fun at – what other place with that many oil refineries would call itself The Garden State without even a hint of irony? – but, between this show and Jersey Shore, it has now gone from being the slightly slow cousin of states to being intentionally stupid and seemingly proud of it. I thought Wife Swap was the absolute nadir of television programming until I saw this hideous excuse for entertainment. My Big Friggin’ Wedding makes Wife Swap look like NOVA.

Disclaimer: I know a few intelligent folks from New Jersey. All of them, so far as I'm aware, no longer live there.

MY WIFE, showing her intelligence, decided to stop watching that disaster and, instead, make a phone call to her sister. I was asked what I’d like on the tube. Despite some evidence to the contrary, I’m something of a typical American male. I opted for football. She switched over to the Philadelphia – Indianapolis game, and then left the room.

As my eyes stopped bleeding, I noticed that one of the teams was wearing a uniform with which I wasn’t familiar. I recognized the Eagles, but these weren’t the Colts on the field with them. Oh, wait a minute! The announcer informed me that the Colts were wearing ‘throwback’ uniforms. That is to say, they were increasing the stock of merchandise they could sell to their fans via the expedient of wearing jerseys and helmets which they had never before worn in the entire history of the franchise during their time in Indianapolis thus giving pangs of nostalgia, not to mention nausea, to folks from Maryland. See, the Colts, as anyone with knowledge of football history knows, were originally from Baltimore. They were adored in Baltimore, and sold many tickets to their games. Therefore, they did the obvious and moved to Indianapolis.

The NFL is funny that way. Cities with perfectly respectable and profitable franchises lose them because some other city offers the ownership a new stadium and legions of formerly unclothed suckers… excuse me, that would be fans… to whom they can sell merchandise. The citizens of Baltimore were all wearing Colts shirts, some of them even in the design of the throwback uniforms the Indianapolis Colts were wearing in Philadelphia only yesterday, so obviously they needed to move to someplace where there were, in the football sense, previously-naked people.

Want to feel utterly ashamed to call yourself a football fan? Here are the teams that have changed cities since the inception of the league:

The Boston Redskins moved to Washington. The Cleveland Rams moved to Los Angeles. The Chicago Cardinals moved to Saint Louis. The Dallas Texans moved to Kansas City. The Los Angeles Chargers moved to San Diego. The Baltimore Colts moved to Indianapolis. The Houston Oilers moved to Tennessee. The Oakland Raiders moved to Los Angeles. Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Rams, formerly from Cleveland, moved to Saint Louis, while the Saint Louis Cardinals, formerly from Chicago, moved to Arizona. The Los Angeles Raiders decided they liked it better in Oakland, so they moved back. The Cleveland Browns, a beloved franchise like the Baltimore Colts, moved to, interestingly enough, Baltimore. The citizens of Baltimore, knowing well the heartbreak of losing their own beloved franchise, said a figurative "Screw You" to Cleveland and welcomed the Browns with open arms. The NFL, seeing that owners had decided that Houston and Cleveland were both horrible places to be, opened new franchises in Houston and Cleveland. And, of course, both the New York Giants and the New York Jets have been playing their home games in New Jersey for decades, but they're too ashamed to admit it.

I think there may be one or two I’m forgetting about, but you get the idea. Football fans are insane and will stand there being kicked in the gonads for as long as you wish to continue doing so, provided you give them the opportunity to buy many different shirts.

Another thing that happened today was that I found out I can no longer eat raisin bran.

I was watching the New England Patriots (formerly the Boston Patriots, but they moved to Foxboro and annexed five other states in the process) play the Cleveland Browns (the new ones, not the old ones currently residing in Baltimore) and I decided to have a snack. I poured myself a big bowl of raisin bran, deluged it with milk and sugar, and brought it into the living room to enjoy with the game. I took a big spoonful of it into my mouth and realized, as I was chewing on it, that I was in serious pain. It was as though I had decided to chow down on a mouthful of razor blades.

Pain is not what one expects when eating a sweet and tasty breakfast cereal one has enjoyed since childhood. So, thinking that perhaps I was victim of some sort of singular sensory oddity, I scooped another huge spoonful into my mouth. Same thing. I was in immediate searing pain as I chomped down on the flakes. Then I realized what was happening. As I chewed and made the crispy flakes into smaller bits of crispiness, they were getting up under my new denture and cutting my gums to ribbons.

All of which might make you wonder why I’m happy. Well, I’ll tell you.

First off, I have teeth. Thus far, raisin bran is the only thing I’ve been unable to enjoy since getting my dentures. If it were, say, 87 B. C., rather than 2010 A.D., I’d be stuck eating gruel the rest of my life. I’d also probably be living in a tree and painting myself blue, but that’s beside the point. In addition, I’m married to a woman who doesn’t resemble, even in the least, a resident of New Jersey. And the Colts lost. That, in itself, is usually enough to make me happy. The rest is just gravy, which has never cut my gums to ribbons, thank you. Also, when I awoke at 9 o’clock on Sunday, I realized that it was the weekend to set our clocks back an hour, so I then set them back to 8 o’clock and became an hour younger than I had been just seconds before.

Life is good. All you have to do is look at things in the right way.

Soon, with more better stuff.


33 comments:

Gaston Studio said...

LOL and I so agree that you just have to look at things in the right way!

Jenn Flynn-Shon said...

I was convinced you were going to say the pain was coming directly from the television as that game was an all out horror show on Sunday. Don't forget its the Ravens in Baltimore...

That's why I'm a Packers fan. One team, one stadium, one cold as hell, cheezy location their entire existence.

Cricket said...

Heh, heh. You're absolutely right, of course. and this isn't so far off, if you're all about the Thanksgiving this month. for many, Thanksgiving is all about the football, see? Still "on message."

I thought, for a minute there, that raisin bran was out 'cos all that extra fiber was causing you to soil yourself in disgust. Glad I was wrong :-P

word veri: mogerful. Hm. There's a joke in there somewhere. A little more coffee and maybe I'll see it. Have a mogerful day? Shut up or I'll give you a mogerful? I dunno. I think I need another mogerful o' coffee. Now.

Julie said...

Life is good. All you have to do is look at things in the right way.


I like!

Sandi McBride said...

laughing so hard I spilled my coffee, cause it put me in mind of Evil Sister who is from Jersey, but SOUTH Jersey so calls herself a native of SC now that she has packed up and moved lock stock and smoking barrel to the lap of the south (South Carolina). We have her practicing saying Y'all and over yonder...by George I think she's got it!~
loved this!!!
Sandi

haphazardlife said...

You were an hour younger, but it just evens out with the hour older you became in the spring, and did they have blue paint in 87BC?

- Jazz

Uncle Skip, said...

Uh, huh! Thanks for the research, Jim. You could have let them get soggy. But limp bran flakes are just so gross.

Hilary said...

Perspective is indeed everything. Yours is always enlightening.

Chris@Knucklehead! said...

I think you're being unduly snarky to the state of New Jersey, but since I'm one of those you alluded to (from NJ but no longer lives there), I'd better not dwell too long on the subject.

Your take on franchise relocation is hilarious. Most cities that lost teams (with the notable exception of Los Angeles) were given new ones. What sense does THAT make?

My dad has still never forgiven the Brooklyn Dodgers for moving west . . . and he's not even a Dodgers fan.

Craig said...

'Fall-Back Sunday' is Jen's absolute favorite day of the year. . .

An' see, that's another reason to like my Lions (Lord knows, there's few enough of 'em) - Ever since Detroit stole 'em from Portsmouth, OH back in the 30s (and I don't know if the good people of Portsmouth, OH are still pissed over that, or not; tho I'm guessin' that most of 'em are Bengals fans these days), they've been at least in the Detroit metro area the whole time (altho there are those who will speak of their 27-year sojourn at the Pontiac Silverdome as a kind of Babylonian captivity). . . (And that's the thing that kinda cheeses me off - it's not like a 27-year-old stadium is exactly decrepit, or anything; there was just more money to be made from a new place. . .)

I understand how easy it is to poke fun at New Jersey (I mean, The Garden State? Seriously?), but some of my favorite people are from there (and some of 'em still live there, even. . .) Great adversity produces strong character. . . or something like that. . .

IT said...

I was in New Jersey a coupla times, mostly to get to NYC from Philly, but I stayed there once and it rained the whole time. What's with that?
I know some people in New Jersey. They're kinda family, but not exactly. It's a long story that will remain untold here... or anywhere.

Anyone who says LA hasn't got a pro football team does not pay attention to what goes on at USC.

I had to scrounge around the Internet to find out what uniforms you were talking about. Except for the helmets, they coulda been practice unis. Never saw anything like them before.

Buck said...

Don't get me started on the NFL. I'll only say I was a Johnny Unitas fan as a boy and quit watching the NFL soon after Unitas retired. The only OTHER thing to say on this subject is: Thanks for the post!

And yeah: it's most definitely how ya look at things.

Michelle H. said...

I don't know much about NFL teams moving to different places. So I'll just leave it at that (as you know, I'm all about hockey, and the only related thing is the New Jersey Devils. If you ever watched them play a game, you might decide Wife Swap and My Big Friggin Wedding is quality entertainment. But it's still all from New Jersey, so that might be condemning the state even more.)

Where was I headed with this comment? I'm not sure. So let me just wrap up by saying that when you mentioned raisin bran and having problems with it, I thought you were going to say about the other end of you. I'm just glad it wasn't that end, which goes back to looking at the bright side of things. Life is definitely good.

Daryl said...

When someone left a fa la la comment on my blog today I emailed and said: Thanksgiving comes first. So she emailed back Gooble Gooble

ToonMan is happy because the Giants in their normal uniforms beat the living daylights out of Seattle and the Jets finally won ... and I am sure all the college games he watched went his way as well .. there's a team with black uniforms and taxi cab yellow trim .. the fans wear lots of yellow ... that's all I know.

More better .. I keep meaning to tell you how much I love that.

slommler said...

I had a great weekend!! And Cleveland won!! Woot!! Unbelievable!! Shocked everyone! Especially the Patriots. Ha!
Sorry you can no longer eat Raisin Bran...that sucks!!
But as you say...life is good!
Hugs
SueAnn

Eddie Bluelights said...

I thought you were going to give me a run down on the rules of American Football LOL . . . . remember!! I know you told me about touch downs but it's all the first base and second base and all the jargon that gets me - totally unlike our 'rugger' LOL. Is there an idiots guide somewhere for ex-ambulancemen who now drive minibuses?
Glad I was not born in 87BC - although there are those who think I was!
Looking forward to that piece of creative writing!

Anonymous said...

V word = pothyper

Don't tell me a machine came up with that.

Maggie May said...

Well that did make me chuckle. Not you being in agony with the bran getting under the dentures ...... but the way you felt that you could be thankful that you had teeth!
My husband cannot eat cous cous because of the same problem!
I am hanging onto my teeth come hell or high water! (An English saying if that puzzles you!) Meaning no matter what!
Lay off that bran now!
Maggie X

Nuts in May

Sniffles and Smiles said...

Yes, indeedy...Life is good...and perspective makes all the difference! You, dear Jim, have a winning formula for life and happiness...and you NEVER fail to make me smile! You are the best ever! Hugs from your adopted sis'~Janine

P.S. BTW, it has always bugged me that the NFL lets teams move like that! Argh!!! But I guess it all evens out...I may not have been able to cheer for the Colts in Baltimore, but I could cheer for the Chargers in San Diego ;-) Sorry about the Raisin Bran pain...hope your gums don't hurt for any prolonged period of time! ~J.

Matt Conlon said...

I watched the first episode of Jersey Shore. I was flipping stations, and for some reason, I stopped on that channel, and it came on. Once the premise of the show was communicated I reached for the remote, but found I couldn't change it. The show is so disgustingly ridiculous...

I thought "There's no way this is real." and yet, it just kept going on and on.

And people wonder why other countries hate us. This is what qualifies as A) a lifestyle for some, and B) entertainment?

Anonymous said...

A
A
A

Nick said...

To eat raisin bran, take you teeth OUT. It will also be much easier if you let it sit in the milk for about an hour before you eat it, take out the raisins, too, and might want to nuke in the microwave for 5 min. There you have it, lovely 21th century breakfast gruel. Kids in New Jersey have been raised on it for decades.

Barbara Shallue said...

Ah, for a minute I thought my husband had taken over writing your blog, when you began talking about the teams who had changed cities. I've heard that litany before...
Love your perspective! Life is good!

lime said...

my husband was born and bred in NJ.....that explains sooooo much....

TechnoBabe said...

I keep trying to look at things in the right way, believe me. My kids and I lived for about a year in NJ and that was enough. Since I never watch television, I don't have an opinion about another waste of time show on the TV. If you are happy the Colts lost then okey dokey. I do like your one hour younger theory. Cool.

Shammickite said...

In answer to your blog post...
1. I went to New Jersey once. I didn't stay long.
2. I don't know anything about american football except that when OlderSon and The Equestrienne go to Bills games in Buffalo, she always roots for the teams with the horsey names, like the Colts or Broncos, or in a stretch, Cowboys or Redskins, cos they ride horses.
3. I love raisin bran.
4. That extra hour in bed was a lifesaver.

Phyllis said...

I don't even do football and thought this was funny. Thanks for bringing us cheer...I have given you a blog award over at my blog...come on over and see...
http://homeschooljournal-bergblog.blogspot.com/

Matt Conlon said...

Uh oh...

Suldog said...

Oh, my. I haven't unleashed my inner blog beast in quite some time. In the spirit of the Thanksgiving season, I'll probably cut Phyllis some slack and be nice.

Maybe.

Land of shimp said...

Jim, gum pain was so not where I thought this post would go. I read with trepidation, and growing fear.

"Jim is going to have some SERIOUS gastrointestinal issue, isn't he? And I let out an "Ewwwwwwwwwww!" that will echo round the Alps and back to me, like a shrill boomerang. I'm so afraid."

Yet I kept reading, because when friends explode? I risk the screeching boomerang both is support and in the hopes that it will ward off SERIOUS gastrointestinal issues for me, too.

And then there was gum pain.

I was so thankful, for both of us.

Jillsy Girl said...

I was born in NJ, but thank goodness my parents moved us outta there when I was 8. There's another award winning NJ show that I flipped on by accident last week called Jerseylicious. Oy.

3GirlKnight said...

I love your posts. It's like reading a pinball game. ;)

Stu said...

You know why my head's been in a different place these days, but it's no excuse for having missed this entry. Not only am I just reading this entry a week and a half late, but I'm therefore a week and a half late in replying with a hearty *F* *U* (I kid, I kid.)

Your Jersey putdowns aside, I am right there with you, especially with regard to teams being moved. I get that it's a business, but still, screw that noise. If you own a team and can't drive up attendance, you're doing something wrong, like keeping ticket/food prices too high. There are people in every part of this country who would become loyal attendants if they could afford it. Moving your team is a greed that gets its own special ring in Hell.