Thursday, July 20, 2006

A Doctor's Note

Nana V is going to babysit tonight so both Bump and I can go to softball. The thing is, playing softball without beer. . . well, what's the point?

I often say that playing golf without beer is like playing catch by yourself: you can do it, it's just not very much fun.

But softball without beer is much, much worse than golf without beer. I'd rather play softball without a bat than play softball without beer.

In fact, up until a few years ago, I didn't even call softball "softball." I called it "Drink Beer Outside With Some People We Know and Some People We Don't Know." Cumbersome, maybe, but it certainly described what I did more accurately than "softball."

About a hundred years ago, when I started playing softball in the office league, bringing the beer was an informal, ad hoc process. Team members took turns; if you hadn't brought the beer yet that season, your turn was coming up. Each player bought whatever he or she wanted, and because there were a lot of cheap (and poor) bastards on the team, we drank a LOT of Busch Light and Schaeffer.

I kept my complaining to a minimum, even though I thought the quality of the beer left something to be desired (jeeezus, spend the extra three dollars and get Miller for chrissakes). Then, on one fateful day, the Office Idiot brought a twelve-pack of Budweiser. A twelve-pack, for the whole team. It was warm.

The next season, I collected $20 from everyone and took beverage direction into my own hands. I bought in bulk and kept the excess stock in our spare bedroom. I filled the cooler at home and iced it down during the day with the free ice I could get as a Hill staffer. I washed the disposable plastic cups we drank from and we reused them from week to week. ("A dollar spent on a new cup is a dollar not spent on beer.") New players caught throwing away or damaging their cups were harshly chastised.

We purchased a wheeled cooler specifically for softball and the team named him Luke (Cooler Hand Luke, get it?).

I served as the Director of Refreshment Resources for four years. I kept stats on how much beer I purchased, how much we drank, and the beer per player average of each game. I kept every receipt, just in case the operation was ever audited. The year Lumpyhead was born, I passed on the title to another player.

The current Director of Refreshment Resources is a very capable man. He brings the right amount to each game, and selects appropriate softball-quality beverages. We don't reuse the cups any more. I'm pretty sure he pays for ice [grimace].

This season, we got a new cooler. Luke had literally fallen apart on several occasions, and was held together by odd repair attempts and hope. The team observed a moment of silence for Luke on the day he was retired.

So, softball tonight. The thing is, it's pretty obvious when one is not drinking beer on the softball field. I've been staying home with Lumpyhead lately, rather than going to softball, so tonight Bump and I will probably tell the team what's going on. I made this fake doctor's note:


E :) said...

LOL - that's a great post.

Hope you and Bump have a great time, albeit without beer.

Bump said...

My only regret is that, at the retirement ceremony for Luke earlier this season, I did not sing "Dust in the Wind."

Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah said...

1) It's a good excuse, even if it's not a real doctor.

2) If Bump ever sings "Dust in the Wind" for Luke, I just ask that I am able to be present.

Mom at Work said...

Bump -- I think you would have had to sing "Rust in the Wind" for the hinges that were (barely) holding Luke together.

Daddy L said...

You folks call what you drink in the U.S. beer??? ;-D I'm just blown away how seriously you took your refreshment duties. Wow!

This post made me laugh. P had similar thoughts when she was pregnent, "What's the point of going to _____ if I can't drink?"

My usual reply was, "So I can drink."

nonlineargirl said...

Nice note. You are the queen of Clever Ways Of Letting People Know You Are Pregnant. You may need some cards like the ones a friend made for me. They had my name, and under that: "Pregnant Lady". He also made a few that said Very Pregnant Lady and suggested I reserve those for days when I needed special dispensation.