Thursday, November 17, 2005

Honey, can we have a polar bear?

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!

20 comments:

naneth said...

This is the most hilarious thing I've read in a long time! I LOVE the refs' F and U on their shirts! Hehehe!

My poor Florida girl! It seems that 14 years might have thickened that southern blood by now.

Next year...ESPN game with ESPN idiot refs...may I suggest a few stategically placed badgers in the refs' locker room? Is it a prerequisite on an ESPN referee's resume to be a complete and total buffoon?

Bougie Black Boy said...

THIS IS hilarious!
and more importantly, that sketch of you--LOOKS like you. and that hat. I recognize it from many-moons ago!

Bainwen Gilrana said...

Yep, it's the same old hat. I found it when I was packing to move to this apartment, and decided I would leave it out where I would be able to find it again! If I have to be cold, I can at least be wacky about it!

Hmm. Strategically placed badgers may solve all our problems with ESPN and their personal referees. Good idea! But... who's going to catch the badgers?

Tirithien said...

I'll do it. I can handle badgers! :-)

Front Judge and Umpire... you'd think someone would notice this. ;-)

Are you thawed yet, my kola?

martie said...

Very humorous read! Reminds me of my high school years in Michigan attending high school football games.....it seemed to alway snow back then. BTW, my high school mascot was none other than the "Polar Bear"!

Love the drawing of the two of you!

naneth said...

Stephen, my beloved son, not only does the picture look like Bainwen, it also looks like Tirithien! We have a true artist amongst us.

I have a most enchanting picture of you wearing Bainwen's hat. When I hold it next to the picture she drew, there is no doubt you are twins!

Anonymous Assclown said...

I saw your picture and I think it's truly wonderful that two people born without elbows can meet and fall in love.
And for future reference, jeans are horrible to wear in the cold and snow.

Bainwen Gilrana said...

Okay, I couldn't find the "elbow" button in Paint!

naive-no-more said...

Have you thawed yet? I used to work building houses out in that crap and I was forever cold. Even after the highschool fall games, I wear many layers to bed because I can't seem to get warm.

Cute story and I loved the picture.

Bainwen Gilrana said...

Well, I'm less frozen than I was, and that counts for something. I probably won't manage to thaw completely until, oh, June. Unfortunately.

Tirithien said...

12 years in Scouts, A-C. Trips to below zero many times. I know what I'm doing.

Anonymous Assclown said...

12 years, huh? Then I'm sure you know all about the absorption rates and thermal properties of cotton fibers. And if I recall, aren't scouts "always prepared"? And you with no gloves or real hat? I'm sure I don't have to lecture you on the body's reaction to freezing temps - protecting it's core to the detriment of it's extremities i.e hands and fingers.
So explain to me again how you know what you're doing.

Bainwen Gilrana said...

Well, gee, I'm not sure, but it may have something to do with understanding one's body and knowing that we were within 2 minutes slow walk of a building where we could warm up anytime we wanted. It's not like we were out in the frozen tundra wilderness without supplies.

Let's keep the snark to a minimum, shall we?

Tirithien said...

If I ever need your advice for a camp trip, I'll ask for it. I was well-dressed for exactly what I was doing.

Aithne said...

Oh sure...you can think about adopting a polar bear, but I'm not even allowed to see them at the zoo!

Bainwen Gilrana said...

But if I adopt one I will bring it to visit you!

Aithne said...

Yeah! At least we live were it's cold enough it won't get homesick.

Anonymous Assclown said...

Not to belabor this, but it was 30 degrees with snow flurries on the night of the game (http://www3.niu.edu/athletics/football/agate05/Box%20Scores/NIU10.HTM). A quick look at some unofficial scouting cold weather guidelines teaches us a few things;
* dress in layers
* always wear a wool cap and gloves (wool being a material that maintains insulating property after getting wet, as opposed to cotton).
* have extra clothing available
* wear insulated boots and wool socks
http://www.usscouts.org/safety/safe_hyp.html

But hey, since you say you were dressed appropriately, who am I to argue?

Bainwen Gilrana said...

This argument is SO two weeks ago.

Anonymous Assclown said...

I've been out of town.