I have a whole different set of priorities this month.
I offer this little tidbit not as an excuse for not having posted to this page in five months (dog time), as I have no exuse for THAT other than laziness, ennui and a bird festival to run (about which more anon, of course), but as an excuse for not going to coffee much this month - and as long time readers know, coffee is where I get most of my best column material.
So what is my priority that is keeping me out of the public eye, local gossip and the continuing saga of popcorn wars?
The FIFA WORLD CUP, baby!
It goes like this: think of how much you love the NzBA, hockey, professional (American) football, the Eukanuba dog show circuit, NASCAR, the PGA, whatever silly sporting event pins you in your recliner with a cold one by your side shouting things like “pass, you dumbass” and “my grandmother drives faster than that!” at the top of your lungs at a very expensive piece of furniture. Now think of what a drag it would be if you only got to see it once every four years.
Hence, my devotion to catching as much of the World Cup as I can, a devotion so intense that I actively encouraged my parents to go on a long road trip so I can borrow their cable-TV equipped house (well, it WOULD be silly for me and annoying for the cable guy for me to hook up to cable for just this one month, wouldn’t it?), and I have sat up VERY late almost every night watching a bunch of foreigners in shorts (I missed the USA vs. Portugal game because I couldn’t drag my sorry butt out of bed at 3 a.m. - thus learning my lesson that it’s easier for me to STAY up than GET up. I won’t commit that error again) kick a ball around an enormous field while commentators with nearly impenetrable accents slowly catch me up to speed on what these players, most of whom I haven’t seen in action since 1998, have been up to lately.
I’ve only seen a few teams in action so far, but I’m already wishing I could reassess my picks for the Secular Johnson Pick’em league (I obviously way underrated Senegal, who last night executed as beautiful a play as I’ve ever seen, a precisely timed series of exquisitely perfect passes all the way from their goal to Denmark’s and ending in a very neat equalizer goal that left even Seamus Mallin kind of tongue-tied).
And so far I’m still functional in the daytime. I’ve been missing coffee but not missing work, and there’s all this Diet Coke leftover from several chamber events at which people cleaned out the pop coolers, denuding them of everything but Diet Coke, so there’s plenty, it’s all here in my office and it’s all now crammed into the fridge that shares space with Molly the Collie under my desk...
I shall probably drive my Wyoming Association of Municipalities colleagues batty next week, scheduling our social time around games, though I suspect that at least one of my treasured drinking buddies, the municipal judge at Opal, might be just as crazy as I am (we both own Newcastle United replica jerseys, to give you an idea). I’ll either drag them from bar to bar in Sheridan, Wyo (of course we’re starting at the Mint, where they know how to pour a proper pint of Guiness, according to my advance scouts) in search of one that will let me tune in, or I’ll be cutting us off at midnight so I can settle into my motel room for ESPN’s World Cup 2Night and the first game of the evening.
Yup, a whole different set of priorities in June...