I had almost forgotten about it. It had been so long. It was part of my past, much like tapered leg jeans, crying at the end of Mister Holland's Opus, or being a productive employee. It was who I was, not who I am. Or so I thought. Until Saturday, when I was reminded all over again.
I was at the first Bama home game of the season, waiting near the will call window a couple of hours before kickoff for my tickets. Normally, the tickets arrive a couple of weeks before the season starts, but due to some snafu this year they didn't. We get our tickets from Ben, who orders eight in all. My sister and I buy one pair, and this year he sold the other three pair on the internet.
So while Ben was in line at will call, I was talking to one of the other guys who bought tickets from him. We'll call him Earl. Earl and I had been chatting for five minutes or so when he paused and gave me a look. I wasn't sure what was going on and was wondering if maybe I had a rabid nose hair or something. Then, he said it.
"I hope you don't take this the wrong way. I mean, I don't want to offend you or anything but... has anybody ever told you you look exactly like Steve-O? You know from that show Jackass?"
And by the way, how necessary is it to clarify which Steve-O you're talking about. What, am I gonna get him confused with the famed 18th Century composer Steve-O or Supreme Court Justice Steve-O?
Anyway, we talked about that for a few minutes. Once I had assured him that it didn't bother me to be compared to Steve-O, he brought his wife over so that she could see me. Maybe I should start charging. Just when I was starting to feel like the guy who met Andy Griffith, Ben walked over with the tickets and we dispersed.
Once inside the stadium, I stopped off to grab a hot dog and coke. Gulp! Cokes had gone up to $6 and hot dogs were $4. Last year, both were $3.25. It's a good thing I didn't break that ten the other day at Sonic.
Our seats are in the same spot as usual this year, with some familiar faces around as well as some new ones. I thought I would introduce you to a few in case I decide to write about them later in the season.
Let's begin with our returning characters from last season. First, we have Audrina and Lo. Now, I like Audrina, but I'm not crazy about Justin for her. That being said, he's still so much cooler than Heidi's boyfriend, Spencer. I mean, is it just me? Does anybody like Spencer? Talk to me, people.
Oh, sorry. I guess I got sidetracked. I'm good now.
Sitting about three places to my right is DUI. You might recall him from past seasons. DUI is the guy who mixes his Jack and Coke in the stands, makes a minimum of six restroom trips per game, and basically smells like he's wearing 80 proof cologne. Except Saturday, DUI brought a girl with him for the first time. He only got up twice to go to the restroom and never did I catch the scent of alcohol. If this keeps up, I might even have to change his nickname.
Back for another long season in their joyless existence are the two ornery old couples two rows in front of us. They never stand. They never cheer. The men complain the whole game. And if these early leavers haven't already left by the end of the 3rd quarter, it's probably a good idea to hit them in the head with a program to see if they're still alive.
Behind me and to the right is a guy I refer to as Ultimatum. He'll say things such as, "If we don't score on this drive, I'm leaving." Then after we don't score, he'll say, "OK, if we don't score on the next drive, I'm really leaving." Still, I like Ultimatum. He's emotionally invested and takes the losses really hard, like me. He never brings a woman with him, which leads me to wonder if maybe he used one too many ultimatums in his life.
New for 2008, we have a guy who I have dubbed Carlin. This pottymouth sits directly behind me, and appeared to be doing a perpetual tribute to George Carlin's seven dirty words the entire game, with heavy emphasis on the F word. He displayed a firm grasp of the F word and the ability to use it as at least six different parts of speech. However, his grasp of the remainder of the English language is questionable at best.
In front of me and to the left, and also new this year, is a girl I have affectionately tabbed OMG. She appears to have little to no interest in football. Instead, OMG is constantly texting and checking her phone throughout the game for new messages, mobile Hills updates, and who knows what else. JK, OMG. XOXO
In front of me and to the right is a guy I call Vandy. This Eddie Enthusiasm is a hardcore-fan-wanna-be. Many of you probably know the type. A pseudo-expert who wears the team colors, cheers, groans, and tries to make insightful comments during the game, but fails miserably. He always seems to be a few weeks/months behind on his team news, and certain information seems to have alluded him. Little obscure facts like: Last year's starting wide receiver was a senior. Therefore, he's no longer playing. So quit yelling his name.
Saturday night, he was looking at the scoreboard as they flashed scores of other games and saying things like, "Ooo, Michigan barely won" and "Arkansas is losing to Monroe" and then excitedly, "Vandy beat South Carolina!" Um yeah. We know. That game was Thursday night. And that's how Vandy got his name.
Most everyone was already in their seats getting ready for pregame festivities when Earl made his way down the aisle. Upon seeing me, he flashed an abnormally big smile, stuck out his hand to shake mine, and yelled, "Steve-O!!!!"
Then later, during a break in the action, Earl leaned up and said, "Hey man, I gotta get a picture of you after the game. Nobody will believe this!" Fortunately, he'll be sitting next to us all season.
Maybe it's true what they say, that everyone has a twin. I know I do. One thong-clad semi-celebrity to which I will forever be linked. Though only one of us is banned from ever performing again in Terrebonne Parrish, Louisiana.
"Well, there's a football in the air across a leaf blown field. Yeah, and there's your first car on the road, and the girl you'd steal..."