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Charlie Hatton
Brookline, MA



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Howdy, friendly reading person!
I'm on a bit of a hiatus right now, but only to work on other projects -- one incredibly exciting example being the newly-released kids' science book series Things That Make You Go Yuck!
If you're a science and/or silliness fan, give it a gander! See you soon!

‘Time’ Is Not On My Side

The thing I like about football is that anyone can call a time out, at any time. In basketball, you only get time out if you have the ball. In baseball, barring an injury, most players in the field are never calling a time out. You ever see a baseball game held up so the shortstop can collect his thoughts, or to let the right fielder pour out his feelings to the bench coach? Me, neither.

“You ever see a baseball game held up so the shortstop can collect his thoughts, or to let the right fielder pour out his feelings to the bench coach? Me, neither.”

But in football, the time out call is available to anyone on the field, and to the coaches off the field. Just sidle up next to your favorite half-blind, pea-brained, paid-off-by-the-other-team zebra and yell for a time out. As long as your team has one handy, it’s all yours. It doesn’t matter whether you’re the star quarterback or the third-string jock strap polisher. The football time out is the great equalizer on the field.

I just wish life worked more like football.

How many times have I been in a meeting at work, and put on the spot with a question like, ‘What do you think of this plan?‘ or ‘Where’s that report you said you’d have today?‘ or ‘Are you, in fact, drunk at this very moment?‘ How sweet would it be to have a T.O. in your pocket in that situation, to get a quick sip of Gatorade and go over game plans before answering?

Or, in my case, to get a three-minute head start, and hope they haven’t figured out my hiding places. The janitor’s closet seemed too easy, so lately I’ve been alternating between the stairwell to the roof and the ladies room off the main lobby. If they find me there, I’m not going without a fight. I’m going out in a barrage of toilet paper and Glade air fresheners.

A free time out would come in handy in so many other areas, though. I’m constantly saying precisely the wrong thing in response to tough questions. For instance:

What do you think you’re looking at, buddy?‘ (‘I’m not sure; I’ve never seen a horse’s ass up close before.‘)

Are you going to sit there and watch football all weekend?‘ (‘That’s the plan — unless you’re going to stand there in the way like that.‘)

Hey, what is that — your finger?‘ (‘If it’s not, is this gonna cost me more?‘)

Obviously, those are the wrong answers to the questions. I don’t know what the right answers are, but I know those aren’t them. But maybe — just maybe — with a time out at my disposal, I could take a few minutes to clear my head, weigh my options, and manage not to get my ass kicked, divorced, and/or arrested.

Or, again, at least get the head start I’d need, if I wanted the fun of still saying the wrong thing, against my better judgement. There are times when being a smartass just for smartass’ sake is just too tempting.

That would be my downfall, I fear. Instead of using my time outs ‘for good’, I’d spend them getting the inflection just right on my responses — ‘horse’s ass‘ or ‘horse’s ass‘? — and doodling rude caricatures to accompany my insolence. Having time outs to rely on would actually get me in more trouble, rather than less. Apparently, I’m the Cleveland Browns of the non-football world. Peachy.

So, never mind. I’ll go back to thinking on my feet, and forget about the time outs. Some things are probably better left on the field.

But can I still get a set of cheerleaders? ‘Cause that would be sweet.

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One Response to “‘Time’ Is Not On My Side”

  1. LeeAnn says:

    I have recently discovered your site and am ejoying it very much. You do make me laugh alot.

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