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10/31/2005: "Happy Halloween"
Despite being tired and depressed, I'm going to honor a RATYHTL
Halloween tradition. Here's a very, very rough draft of a story I
wrote on the train this morning.
Coach Podestra The Obscure
"OK ladies, let's look alive out there!"
And that's when the boys suddenly stopped in their tacks, exchanged
glances of curiosity, and raised their hands in unison. It was Jeffery
Mullheimer who was the first to speak up after realizing, following a
brief, uncomfortable silence, that Coach Podestra would not be
acknowledging them, either individually or as a group. "Excuse me, but did
you just use 'ladies' as a pejorative?"
Coach Podestra blinked hard, as if he expected upon opening his eyes, to
find the boys once again running about the field. Instead he just blurted
Chucky Liddell, who was generally considered by other boys to be the
brightest member of the team, and who, for his combination of brains and
athletic ability had been voted Captain, immediately ascertained that the
sudden breakdown in communication lay in the coach's understanding (or,
more accurately, his lack thereof) of the word "pejorative". "If I may?"
he started and then, hearing no objections, continued, "I think what Jeff
is trying to say is that your earlier comment could easily be misconstrued
as being misogynist." as soon as he'd finished the sentence Chucky inwardly
winced suddenly understanding that the coach would face the same issue with
"misogynist" as he had with "pejorative".
Coach Podestra let loose another "What?" but before Chucky could begin to
explain his explanation, Jeffery, who had mistaken the coach's question as
an exclamation of surprise and denial akin to "A misogynist? Me?", launched
into an embarrassed apology saying, "Of course I'm not accusing you of any
malfeasance: not in the least. All I'm saying is that an outsider might
easily mistake your use of the term 'ladies', which I'm certain was used
affectionately as a sort of…well, to be honest, an incitement of the
athletic abilities of women; which would certainly be ridiculous as we are
playing soccer: a sport in which many women - Mia Hamm being one name that
naturally springs to mind - have excelled."
"I must take umbrage," said the unfortunately named Billy Carter, an
offensive left wing, "not with your argument, which is admittedly well
founded, but with your use of the word 'malfeasance'. While I'm sure that
it was technically a perfect usage of the word, I've always
preferred to apply it to public officials."
"I have the same pet peeve about the use of 'malfeasance' but I think that
Jeff was perfectly justified in his usage of the word. After all, if an
adult who is in a position of authority over a group of four and five-year-old
boys - as Coach Podestra is - propagating reactionary philosophies such as
misogyny doesn't constitute malfeasance, then I'm not sure what does," said
Andy Hartman a defensive wing coming to Jeffery's defense.
As Billy was conceding that both Jeffery and Andy were probably correct and
that in the future he would endeavor to be less of a "Linguistic Tyrant"
Keith Chung, the goalie stepped forward and said "I'm, most likely, making
a mountain out of a molehill but did the usage of the word 'ladies' strike
anyone else as …well, homophobic?"
Several of their boys nodded their heads in concurrence and one, Marty
Shoemaker, said "That's exactly how it struck me! Exactly. Thank you Keith
for having the courage to say what I'm sure many, if not all, of us were
Emboldened by this sudden praise, Keith, who was normally a rather reserved
child, elaborated on his original position saying, "And the implicit
homophobia is even more disturbing when you consider that we are all nearly
a decade shy of puberty." Then, anticipating a barrage of objections, the
goalie hurriedly added "No, now I'm by no means suggesting that one's
sexual preference is formed during early adolescence; I'm merely pointing
out a little extra element of irony."
At the last comment the boys began chuckling as a forgotten Coach Podestra
stood in stunned silence watching the conversation gradually evolved into
a discussion of everyone's appreciation of Sylvia Plath's poem "Daddy".
Slowly, Coach Podestra walked back to his car. Something in his life had to
change. He didn't know exactly what but he knew that a change had to come
soon or he would spend the rest of his life longing to be as erudite as the
preschoolers whom he attempted to coach at soccer. And so he drove. He
drove long into the night, leaving the radio off so that he could think.
Around ten o'clock at night, Coach Podestra formulated a plan for setting
his life back on the right track. He turned his car around and headed.
Shortly after midnight, Coach Podestra entered his home bearing an
expression of relaxed confidence that was so foreign to his features as to
render him practically unrecognizable. This is most likely why his wife of
thirty-one years, who was laying in bed reading a book about the Ark of the
Covenant, mistook him for an intruder and shot him through his right temple
with a small pistol which she kept on her nightstand, killing him instantly.
Replies: 26 Comments
on Monday, October 31st, crapmonkey said
i love that plath poem.
on Monday, October 31st, billzebub said
Aside from the use of the homonym "new" in place of "knew" in the next to last paragraph, this was your most well-edited work yet, Rod. Kudos. And it was also quite amusing.
on Tuesday, November 1st, Nigel tailwind said
Did Waldo Jeffers play sweeper?
on Tuesday, November 1st, Rodney said
Sorry about the "gnu". Sign planned in Washington; Pedro feex later, OK?
on Tuesday, November 1st, razlerja said
I always considered 'malfeasence' related to financial misconduct or negligance. Perhaps I've been a linguistic tyrant, too.
on Tuesday, November 1st, eric said
thanks for the post rodney i needed my fix
on Wednesday, November 2nd, Dean Santamaria-Capetanelis said
Am I the only person who read that passage with Coach McGurk's voice in his head and the kids from 'Home Movies' supplying the other voices. Not to say that it sounded cribbed from a cancelled cartoon but when I think kids and soccer I immediately jump to that frame of reference.
on Wednesday, November 2nd, briannirvana said
i can recite daddy and lady lazarus from memory.
i love you sylvia, and when i get there we'll sing and dance and make love till you sing, 'love set you going like a fat gold watch.'
on Wednesday, November 2nd, ebbv said
Actually I'm kind of surprised I didn't think of McGurk like Dean, but I didn't. Home Movies is pure genius, though.
Rodney don't be depressed, you're my hero. <3
on Wednesday, November 2nd, crapmonkey said
i love lady lazarus.
"out of the ash i rise with my red hair
and i eat men like air"
on Wednesday, November 2nd, matt said
I probably provided the coach with Dennis Franz and the children with the voices of british adolescents.
on Wednesday, November 2nd, Doc said
Thanx, I needed that....
on Thursday, November 3rd, briannirvana said
back when i was really suicidal and paranoid, i had visions of sylvia. I spent christmas night of 1999 with her. i was never aroused or anything but we talked for hours and hours.
i can recite most of her songs from memory.
i sing the songs to zoe all the time.
so crapmonkey do you rise with your red hair and eat men like air?
thats sexy, aint it?
do you have any of her books? Ariel, the bell jar, or collected poems(1981)?
if i could be with one woman in heaven it would be sylvia.
maybe someday ill sing to you crapmonkey, if you let me^_^
on Thursday, November 3rd, briannirvana said
seriously, all of my lovers have heard me recite plath or lowell or berryman or sexton after intercourse
sometimes i do blake or keats.
but usually its the confessional poetys i recite after getting off.
dont laugh, its true.
i can recite from memory most of plath's ariel. like 35 songs.
in my dreams i am confronted by berryman and lowell who i challege to a duel of singing.
wghen i meet anne sexton or plath, i seduce them, ive seen plaths nude hips. i sung to her while caressing her white fat hips.
o baby in heaven im gonna fuck sylvia until her brains fall out.
on Friday, November 4th, crapmonkey said
i have all three of those books. i like her poetry a lot.
i dont know if i eat men like air.
and you singing to me sounds a touch on the crazy side. :)
on Friday, November 4th, briannirvana said
i recall the first time i heard of the confessional poets.
it was 1998, my dad bought me a book about the 20th century.
and i dont know why but plath spoke to me big time, her poems lady laz and daddy were in the book. after a few days i found myself quoting the songs. its a trip that i can just recite them at any time without making one error.
i think in another life i was a greAt orator.
when ever im down i recite the poems to myself. try it sometime, it makes you think about how ideaslic life really is.
as for the reference I eat men like air, sylvia was reffering to the fact that she is a woman living before the civil rights movement really took off. so every man she sees she either kills (becasue he's an oppressor of woman) or she has intercourse with them in her head (if their charming).
so no matter what, she sorts through the men in her head and eats them as easily as taking a breath of air.
what are some of you fav songs?
mine aremiss drake proceeds tyo supper,nov graveyaqrd, natural history, metaphors, old ladies home, the stones, mushrooms, leaving early, waking in winter,face lift, morning song, blackberrying last words mirror, crossing the water, poppies in july, and all of her songs about bees.(her dad was a beekeeper before dying when sylvia was 8 of gangreene in his big toe.
on Friday, November 4th, Dean Santamaria-Capetanelis said
Damn. Everybody is talking about Sylvia Plath and all I can muster is Coach McGurk. I feel short bus special.
Brian, did you ever live in Chicago with a girl named Elsa?
on Friday, November 4th, sully said
That coach was a jerk and he got what was coming to him, that's my take. It's a morality tale about ignorance and stupidity and how, with just one false move, Karma can get you. Great tale Rod!
And yes, Home Movies was awesome. Do they show it any more? Haven't seen it in over a year.
on Saturday, November 5th, briannirvana said
is that a reference to the chicago fire that a cow started?
when have i ever mentioned chicago. if you knew me you would know like everyone else that i have lived with my mom and dad an brother and sister since 1974. i never lived anywhere but lemay and affton missouri. lemay is south st louis, affton is west of st loyuis. i live in south st louis noiw. in 1995 we moved to afftion in 1999 we moved back to lemay and south st louis.
im listening to elton johns greatest hits II.
yeah, im drunk and dancing.
on Sunday, November 6th, Paul Kircher said
I wish Gil Thorpe ended that way
on Sunday, November 6th, toolbuddy said
Good story. He got what he deserved. I give it 5 thumbs.
on Tuesday, November 8th, MrStinky said
Weird the same thing kind of happened to me. Except, I didn't come home wearing a grin. I was wearing a mask, carrying a knife, and telling my wife I was gonna get her. Luckily, she only grazed me. But still, art imitates life, hu?
on Wednesday, November 9th, briannirvana said
maybe the coach should have been reading ulesseys instead of a primal scream from a female divorcee with a shit load of baggage.
on Thursday, November 10th, Paul Kircher said
Do you love Vienna this much?
on Thursday, November 10th, briannirvana said
oprah has a bald spot on her head, like nancy grace of court tv.
i heard they spread butter and horse shit on thier head to get the bald spot to not show on camera.
on Thursday, November 10th, briannirvana said
katie and tom are gonna name the kid accxeres.