Last night was the University of Toledo’s last home football game for the season. Why did they have it on a Wednesday? That’s all ESPN’s fault. But anyway… I knew Tirithien would want to go, since if we go down to Wright State next year this would be the last game he sees in the Glass Bowl (wow, that makes the stadium sound like it’s an aquarium). And I’ve been to every home game this season, so why not finish it out? I agreed to this, of course, BEFORE I realized it would be -800 degrees out last night. But even after I realized this, I still said I’d go. I’d just bundle up properly, and be fine, right? So here is my travel journal for my trip to Toledo.
4:30- Leave work. Notice that it’s very cold and windy, and yes, those are snow flurries. Crap.
5:14- Arrive at home. Home is further south than work, so it should be warmer, but it isn’t.
5:16- Feed squeaky guinea pig.
5:18- Remove work clothes. Begin bundling up. Flannel pajama pants, then jeans over that. Hmm, should I wear tights under all this? Nah, I won’t need that. Tank top, thermal top, fleece sweatshirt. Ah, nice and toasty for the first time all day! I’m disguised as a college student for this event—the fleece is a yellow UT sweatshirt Tirithien gave me. No one will know I’m not really a student!
5:25- Walk out to get mail.
5:27- Conclude that wind cuts right through the denim and flannel on my legs. Go back in for the tights.
5:38- On the road to Toledo, making sure I also have my gloves, hat, and scarf to wear as I get colder.
6:23- Arrive at parking lot where Tirithien is waiting. Notice that he is much less bundled up than I am. For comparison, see the below artistic rendering. (If you click on the picture, you can see all the details of our bundled-up-ness.)
6:24- Decide to go get pizza before the game, since kickoff is not until 7:30. (I’d thought it was at 7:00.
6:36- Arrive at pizza restaurant. Place order. Gaze at each other lovingly across the table, annoying nearby patrons in the process.
7:02- Wonder if annoyed patrons somehow sabotaged our order, since it wasn’t there yet.
7:05- Receive pizza. Yum! I’m sure that the eating of pizza is also helping my college student disguise.
7:30- Keep trying to flag down server to get a box for the leftovers. Hello, we’re missing the kickoff here!
7:35- Get box, get check. Go to bathroom while Tirithien is paying the check. (Thank you, sweetie!)
7:36- Realize that going to the bathroom while wearing so many layers is a tricky sort of maneuver.
7:39- On the road to UT.
7:58- In the stadium looking for seats. It’s snowing. This is a bit more than flurries. Tirithien looks up at the falling snow and says, “Now this is football weather!” I look at him like he’s crazy. There is no snow in football. Football is played in the fall. It does not snow in the fall. It snows in the winter. Snow means hockey weather, not football weather!
7:59- Sit on metal bleacher (okay, we had a blanket to spread out on it). Okay, it’s cold, but not intolerable. I can handle it.
8:14- Realize that since the game is on ESPN, there are going to be far too many media breaks and they’re going to be far too long.
8:20- Realize that ESPN must have brought their own referees, because these guys are obviously blind, much like the standard ESPN play-by-play announcer. Find common ground with similarities between ESPN’s abuse of hockey and abuse of football.
8:30- Realize that my toes are a little numb. Think longingly of my warm apartment and my TV on which I could be watching my Red Wings… nah, they were playing in Calgary. That would make me cold just to think about it.
8:40- Halftime show. Apparently the opposing team’s band does not do well in the cold. The opposing team’s band wears marching band capes. How embarrassing, they all look like they’re trying to be superheroes!
8:49- The Rocket band takes over. Wow, they must have saved their best show for the last game, because they were on step and sounded great!
9:15- Game resumes. It’s getting colder.
9:18- Realize that my coat is covered in snow.
9:38- Referees make phantom penalty calls that result in a touchdown for the other team. Decide that referees’ brains are frostbitten because they didn’t wear fancy knit caps like mine.
9:39- Try to tell Tirithien of this theory. Realize that my face is numb enough that I can no longer talk properly.
9:52- Notice that one referee has a big “F” on the back of his jersey. Ask if there’s also one with a big “U.” There is. Laugh at the idea of the F and the U standing next to each other. Note that maturity level is dropping with temperature.
10:20- More interminable referee bungling resulting in another score for the other team. Stand on the metal bleacher in front of me and shout, “Kill the refs!” as best I can with my numb mouth.
10:20:15- Tirithien decides it’s time to get inside before either (a) I freeze into a solid icicle, or (b) he feels the need to throttle a referee or two.
10:25- Go into campus library to thaw before heading back to vehicle.
11:15- Head back to Tirithien’s car, so he can kindly port me back to my own car. (I didn’t park on campus because they’d have charged me money to park there on a game day. I guess my student disguise isn’t that good.)
11:35- Head back north. Hope that I don’t encounter caribou or polar bears on my journey. It feels cold enough for them to be around, and hitting one of those would really damage my car. Besides, polar bears are cute.
12:16- Arrive home. No polar bears or caribou in sight.
12:17- Wonder if I raised a polar bear from infancy, if it would still be tame when it was grown.
12:18- Go inside and make hot cocoa. Thaw self. Put on warmest pajamas. Fall asleep.
I am glad this was the last game, even though it was a loss. I can’t handle this kind of cold! At least in hockey the ice is on the rink, not falling from the sky!