The NCAA National Championship. Alabama is playing Clemson in a fight to the death. I am in a living room with my elderly mother-in-law, Mary, preparing to watch the big game.
Mother Mary sits beside me, sipping seltzer water. Mother Mary is eating ice cream. Mother Mary is hard of hearing.
The phone rings.
She answers the phone.
“HELLO?!” she hollers into the phone. “YES! THAT’S RIGHT! WE’RE WATCHING THE GAME! HOW ARE YOU, EDNA?”
“OH, ISN’T THAT NICE?”
I’m tuning her out and focusing on the television. This is, quite possibly, the most pivotal game of all time. These are the best teams in the—
“HAAAAAAAH! IS HE STILL ALIVE? OH, I REMEMBER WHEN HE WAS A YOUNG MAN, HE WAS HANDSOME! REMEMBER WHEN HE USED TO WEAR THOSE BASKETBALL SHORTS! REMEMBER? THOSE REALLY TIGHT SHORTS? LORD HAVE MERCY, I DIDN’T HATE THOSE SHORTS.”
Shoot me now.
“YES! THAT’S RIGHT! THEY WERE SUCH SKIMPY SHORTS FOR SUCH A WELL-BUILT, STRONG BOY!”
The Lord is my Shepherd…
Clemson scores. Alabama
is falling behind. This is difficult to watch. Our team is making big mistakes.
“UH HUH! I JUST SPOKE WITH BEVERLY YESTERDAY! YOU KNOW SHE HAD THAT GOITER CUT OFF HER NECK LAST WEEK? DO YOU KNOW THE DOCTORS CUT IT OPEN AND FOUND SOME TEETH AND HAIR INSIDE IT? BLESS HER HEART!”
This game is tense. In fact, I am so nervous, I am about to make a puddle from all the stress. But the important thing to remember here is—
“OOOOOHHH NOOOOOOOOO! SHE DID?! REALLY? OH, GOD LOVE HER! I HEARD SHE HAD HIP SURGERY! HOW IS SHE? OH, SHE IS? THAT’S WONDERFUL! ISN’T SHE JUST THE SWEETEST THING? BUT A LITTLE BIRDIE TOLD ME HER POTATO SALAD TASTED LIKE FERTILIZER!”
Alabama is still behind. Their defense has been drowning. We are falling. I don’t…