My Twenty-Year High School Class Reunion was One for the Ages

IMG_0365.JPG

I graduated from high school in 1997, so last summer was our 20-year class reunion. It was an event I’d been looking to for quite some time, because I couldn’t wait to go back and impress all of my old classmates.

As planning efforts got underway on Facebook, I got into a very nasty fight on the page dedicated to the reunion with the class president. The bone of contention was the reunion’s location. She originally announced they would be renting the clubhouse at the local country club, where she’s a member. But I was able to start a counter-movement by letting everyone know I could get use of the banquet room at Beef's for free, and then we could have the after-party at my apartment complex's pool. After a lot of name-calling and personal insults posted on each other’s Facebook walls (mostly by me, truth be told), we decided to put it to a popular vote. The country club won pretty handily, so I decided to make the best of the situation.

Me, my youth football team’s DC, my offensive assistant who is on probation for selling my counterfeit Oakleys, and my cousin the workers’ comp attorney were all in the same class and decided to attend together. There was one hitch in this plan, as my DC and my offensive assistant never technically graduated. My DC quit school as an act of protest the day after our high school football awards banquets, when he was passed over for Defensive Player of the Year. My offensive assistant simply walked out of the locker room after our last football game, never to be seen at school again.

The night got off to a good start, as the four of us arrived in style in my DC’s Chrysler Lebaron. My DC – never one to stand on ceremony – backed his LeBaron into one of the “reserved” spots at the entrance, and ended up straddling that spot and a spot set aside for elderly club members. Little did we know that act would set off a chain reaction that would put him behind bars.

Trouble was literally brewing from the second we stepped into the place. My DC had an after-work meeting with the local Rent-A-Center manager about some delinquent payments, and hence, he didn’t have time to change out of his Sonic uniform before the reunion. One of the club members who was there for a squash tournament and sporting a sweater tied around his neck said my DC wasn’t properly attired and tried to have the club manager make him leave. My cousin pointed out that club policy is collars at all times, and there’s a very regal looking collar on the Sonic uniform, so the manager had to relent. The class president also was absolutely furious when she saw my DC and offensive assistant there. She tried to get them to leave, claiming the reunion wasn’t for “dropouts,” but she could tell from the determined looks on our faces that we weren’t going anywhere.

With those preliminary bumps in the road past us, things went along well for a while. Like a foghorn, ten pumps of Tim McGraw Southern Blend cologne announced my presence to all in attendance as I walked into the main dining room in my letter jacket with a determined look on my face. I was busy regaling other classmates with stories from our region championship (3-way tie) season, showing them my youth football championship rings, boasting about my salary of $27/hr plus bennies and a cell phone, and making fun of the honor roll kids.

However, the train started to veer off the tracks about an hour into the reunion. Several club members complained to our class president about my offensive assistant trying to sell them “Oatleys” in the men’s restroom and then spilling Fireball that he’d snuck in on a club member. The president was threatening to call the cops if he didn’t leave, so he did. My DC – who by that point had taken down a good 12-15 shots of Fireball -- got into a loud argument with our classmate who received the Defensive Player of the Year award over my DC. It quickly devolved into a shoving match and ended with two tables full of food getting knocked over.

So my DC was both angry and inebriated when someone pointed out that a tow truck was leaving the country club parking lot with his Lebaron. My cousin noted that he’d seen the aforementioned sweater-wearing squash player on his cell phone in the parking lot near the Lebaron about twenty minutes before the tow truck arrived, so he must have placed the call.

Upon hearing that, my DC decided to go confront the squash player. He ran to he squash courts, and before any of us could restrain him, raced onto the squash court, crack blocked the squash player to the ground, pulled the sweater arms tight around the guy’s neck, and began demanding that the guy agree to pay the towing fee. It took me, my offensive assistant, and two caterers to pull my DC off the guy.

The security guards then escorted my DC out of the club through the dining area where the reunion was being held. As he was escorted through, my DC yelled “you never could tackle for shit” at our teammate who won Defensive Player of the Year and then raised the roof as the strode out of the room.

The president was sobbing and yelling at me that we had ruined the reunion with the commotion we’d caused and that she might get kicked out of the club. I told her this never would have happened if we’d had the reunion at Beef O’Brady’s. I also suggested that her son would be well-advised to buckle his chinstrap and have his head on a swivel when he faced my youth football team in the autumn.

The three of us got the hell out of there and met up with my offensive assistant at Beef O’Brady’s. But by that point, the squash player called the cops and claimed he’d been “assaulted.” Everyone knew where we were at, and the cops showed up about thirty minutes in and took my DC out in handcuffs. He spent the night in jail. Turns out the sweater-wearing squash tool didn’t call the towing company at all – it was the class president, but that’s really neither here nor there. Justice was still served to both on some level.

February 21, 2018: I Make My GTurd Nephews Take Infield Practice in a Gravel Parking Lot

IMG_0259.JPG

I give up.

I’ve mentioned before that my sister polluted the family gene pool by marrying some loser who graduated from GTurd (Georgia Tech), is an electrical engineer, and never lettered in a damn thing in high school. Their two sons are every bit as frail and pathetic as you’d imagine. But my sister asked if I could try and teach them a few things before the upcoming baseball season so they don’t embarrass the family as much as they did last year, and I reluctantly agreed.

Thinking that second base was the only position they have any hope of not sucking at, I took them to the gravel parking lot behind Arby’s so they could learn that all you need to do is knock the ball down with your body and throw the runner out at first. After the younger one got hit in the face with a ball that took a strange hop, they both started crying and running away from the ball. I eventually started just hitting line drives at them to try and scare them into re-joining the drill, but no dice. I left and texted my sister to go pick them up from Arby’s, because I refuse to be seen with them anymore.

These kids were born to go to GTurd.

Halloween, 2017: The Greatest Youth Football Recruiting Night of the Year

Halloween is without question the best day of the year for recruiting potential players for my youth football team. I live in a somewhat dubious apartment complex, so there really isn’t much trick or treating that goes on there. Thus, me (dressed as Don Draper — borrowed my counsin’s K&G Menswear Suit and drank a tumbler of Fireball all night), my DC, and my offensive assistant who is on probation for selling counterfeit Oakleys decided to set up at my parents’ house. Since they live in a neighborhood with a lot of trick or treating, there are a lot of potential players that come through on this night. 

We set up agility ropes, a blocking sled, and tackling dummy and had all the kids who looked like potential players go through those drills if they wanted candy (we  shooed away kids who clearly weren’t cut out for the team and gave them that shitty candy in the orange and brown wrappers). We also set up a “Pen of Death” with chicken wire in which potential players were required to go in and do a “bull in the ring” drill with the DT with the Rat Tail, his Cousin Cody, and the FB/LB who can’t read. My DC, who was dressed as Pennywise, was threatening to kidnap any kids who refused to go in the pen and take them to the sewer. That may have been a bit over the line, but it worked, because several kids who clearly weren’t cut out for the team fled in tears. 

The good news is we found two or three potential stars for next year. Those lucky few who survived were permitted to bob for Fireball-infused apples and given a dozen expired eggs and encouraged to go throw them at the house of my neighbor who always calls the cops on me for being “too loud” when I throw parties at my parents’ above-ground pool. 

October 9, 2017: My DC Gave a Virtuoso Performance at His Bench Trial Today

[Note – Unlike all the other Stories of Success put on here so far, this one is current. If you’ve been following the travails of me, my DC, and my youth football team on the Main Board or the DawgVent, this update will make sense. If not, it may not.]

IMG_0224.JPG

I may have just witnessed the greatest courtroom performance this side of Atticus Finch.

As I’ve mentioned, my DC was arrested following our 20-year HS reunion for crack blocking someone on the squash court at the country club where the event was held. Today was his bench trial. Ordinarily, my cousin the workers’ comp attorney – whom I have on retainer (unlimited use of my parents’ timeshare in Westminster, SC) for our youth football team’s legal issues – would represent him. However, my cousin (allegedly) filed an affidavit executed by someone who may or may not have been dead when they executed said affidavit. As a result, he’s been suspended and cannot appear in court for the next 60 days.

My DC decided to represent himself and waive his right to a jury trial, and it turned out to be the right move. During the State’s opening statement, my DC interposed a variety of objections that, frankly, didn’t make a whole lot of sense. He went on tangents about the hearsay rule, the “best evidence” rule, removal to federal court, and the Daubert standard for expert testimony. The judge and the attorney for the state both tried to tell him it’s not customary to object during opening statements, to no avail.  The judge also had to instruct the bailiff to confiscate my DC’s cell phone after he made a couple of phone calls during the prosecutor’s opening statement.

My DC’s opening statement was a rambling diatribe about how this entire event stemmed from the fact that he was wrongfully passed over for defensive player of the year his senior year of high school despite leading the region in tackles. The judge asked him on several occasions to stop using profanity and barking at the prosecutor.

The state opened its case by calling the guy who actually won defensive player of the year our senior year because he was an eyewitness to the crack block and events leading up to it. My DC’s cross-examination of him was really a sight to behold. He started off by asking a series of questions about their respective senior seasons, and when the witness claimed to have led the team in tackles, my DC pulled a football program out of his shirt (I mean that literally) and slammed it on witness stand. The prosecutor complained she hadn’t been given the program ahead of time. My DC responded that he was about to “impeach the bejesus” out of the witness unless the prosecutor agreed that the court could “take judicial notice” of his high school statistics. He then started reading (in truth, shouting) his statistics into the record when the judge tried to resolve the dispute.

By the time the defensive player of the year left the stand, nearly three hours had passed and it was time for lunch. My DC promised the judge that the “smoking gun” would come to light in the afternoon, when he would be “aggressively cross-examining” himself. The judge announced we would reconvene in an hour, but begged the prosecutor to “for the love of God, try and work something out with this man so we can stop this.” The prosecutor ended up just agreeing to drop the charges in exchange for my DC agreeing not to go to that country club again.

In short, justice prevailed. We can now turn our focus back to where it belongs – on continuing our youth football team’s reign of dominance.