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Flattland - "Seminars and Canadians"

<i>"My attention was diverted by a reprint of that August, 1999 photo of Mike Ditka in a tuxedo standing next to Ricky Williams in a wedding gown. In 1999, it was amusing. In 2004, I associate Mike with his Levitra promotions and find myself disconcerted."</i>

Hi!  I am getting to write this particular column under the influence of sleep deprivation coupled with the background noise of the Official Year-End Closing Instructional Meeting for Fiscal Year 2004!  Right now, some highly alert Government Official Individual is prattling on about ‘warrant cancellations' with such zeal that I strongly suspect he has a gigantic bong stashed underneath the podium!

Today, it is my highly important task to listen to bureaucratic types spend upwards of three hours explaining every possible way to tell us, basically, to do what we did last year (Slightly disguised as something entirely different).  One topic, I think it was "Exception Analysis", was referred to as "sexy".  Yet again, I lost track of exactly how I ended up doing this for a living.  The person in front of me spent roughly one hour nodding enthusiastically at every other word whether or not any point was being made at that particular moment.  This person burned himself out and departed after the first hour, having expressed all of the agreement he could fit into one meeting.

The stress of not being able to weasel out of this meeting is exacerbated by the biological urge to fall over unconscious at any given moment.  After a long evening of chasing around however many children it is that we have and getting them into bed, my wife and I managed to retire at roughly midnight.  She gracefully reached across to me to whisper this sweet nothing into my ear: "SRONNNNK."  I still don't have the heart to tell her that she sounds like a severely congested water buffalo when she sleeps.

She ceased sronking by roughly 2:30 in the morning, which the cats took as a cue to begin randomly breaking household objects until it was time for me to get up and go sit through a meeting.

As Ron Popiel would chime in, "But wait!  There's more!"

It is also IRS Week!  While Walter Jones sits at home lamenting his lack of a twelve billion dollar contract (With all seven years voidable contingent on him actually signing it), the rest of us Normal Income People get to tear our hair out over the complicated process of handing over all of our money to the government.

Sing along with me, now!

"My country steals from me…
Financial Misery, of thee I sing."

If one stops to contemplate precisely what it is our various dollars are being spent on (At this point in the election cycle, it is likely being spent to provide Mr. Bush and Mr. Kerry the opportunity to publicly state, "You suck.", and "No, YOU suck."), one is generally compelled to laugh aloud and/or staple one's tie to the ceiling in an attempt to hang oneself. 

Now that I have gotten that out of my system, I can progress to Seahawk News of the Day:  It's the Off Season, and there isn't any! (Editor's Note: Except, of course, for the release of the NFL Schedule...)  That was easy.  It is my solemn promise to the editor, who will surely edit this part out, that I will actually check to see if that statement is factual sometime before The Deadline. (Editor's Note: Well?)

Given that this is, with the exception of the two days of the NFL Draft (Let's be more honest, here:  Your average person is only interested in the first draft day.  It is not coincidence that the last guy picked is deemed, "Mr. Irrelevant".), the most boring part of any given football season, I have been expanding my focus in order to quench my thirst for Sporting Events.

Considering that absolutely nothing is happening in football, it is still more interesting than actually watching baseball.  As a young athletic person, baseball was the sport I more frequently played, but the sport still consists primarily of spitting and scratching oneself.  Lately, I've been occasionally glancing at hockey.  Now, I don't really know the specific rules of hockey (Assuming there are any), but it is still a very interesting sport to watch.

Hockey isn't as good as the NFL in satisfying my fascination with strange names, though.  Taking into consideration that my entire experience of Canadian Culture consists of having watched Bob & Doug MacKenzie ("Get out, you hoser."  "Take off!"), I suppose I simply do not understand the pronunciation involved.

Take, for example, the name "Patrick Roy".  Upon observing this name, I am inclined to think it would be pronounced, "Patrick Roy."  I would be extremely ignorant.  It is actually pronounced as a sort of nasally French grunt, "wu-AH".  This is a sound that I would traditionally associate with the expectoration of something which sounds like the actual hockey pronunciation of "Christian LaFlamme".

It is, however, still fun to watch.  Drifting back to the NFL…

This morning's Sports Weekly featured a… uh, feature regarding a look back at the 1999 NFL Draft, written competently by Matt Pitzer.  This further confirms that NFL Writers are running out of current events to discuss. 

No, seriously, it was an intriguing write, but my attention was diverted by a reprint of that August, 1999 photo of Mike Ditka in a tuxedo standing next to Ricky Williams in a wedding gown.  In 1999, it was amusing.  In 2004, I associate Mike with his Levitra promotions and find myself disconcerted.

Fire off your scintillating insights, inquiries, but not Levitra solicitations (I get roughly 47 of those per day) to trav@spinn.net

Trav Flatt


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