Friday, January 16, 2009

Simple Man

Pat "Pattyo" Ring is a simple man. Give him a job, a Lay Z boy with a big screen TV in front and a team to root for and he's happy. Take today for instance. He's working that rocking chair like a granny knitting a scarf. He's cradling his favorite ice-cold, ribbon-award winning, traditional American beverage and the Sharks are taking on the Calgary Flames. We're over for dinner and his wife has prepared a wing-dinger: Grilled chicken and Wild duck (tule belle teal to be exact), asparagus and mashed potatoes. The dogs are out back romping contentedly and my children are suprisingly placid.
The thing about a simple man though, is that they like things straight. Predictable. Throw one curveball, change the plan or "jam-up" a guy like Pattyo? The whole works go flying like pee wee herman with a stick in his spokes.
Pattyo just got Hi Definition TV and CABLE. He's graduated to the big time. He can see the cuts and scars crystal clear on his favorite players faces. Witness the blood and snot flying off their noses like a Roman in the Colloseum. Ultra-mega-pixelated-clarity. Only tonight, for reasons unfathomable and unforgiveable to a simple kinda man, Pattyo can't get the sharks game in HD. He can get it on regular cable but that's not what he's paying extra for. That's not why he went through all the hassle. To his credit, he edits out everything for the benefit of the chilluns.
"These A-holes won't give me my HD! Somebodies gonna be sending me a refund check. Wellll, I'm glad we're paying extra for this POS HD cuz I'm refunding the entire MFer tomorrow." When he gets on a role, his voice starts to escalate until it echoes and you can feel the windows shaking. He mashes on the controller with his meaty thumb, hoping the extra exertion will return his world back into the comfort of simplicity. A world where you get what you pay for and things work out like they should. He's now pointing the remote at odd angles, hoping to change the channel back to MTPattyo.
I give him credit though. I've known him since I could suck on my thumb and his temper has steadily improved. He used to get so mad, his face would thicken with blood, the veins would pop out on his forehead and he'd pound his thighs with his fist like someone just stole his car. Once he smashed the windshield of his VW bug when it wouldn't start for him.
Sarcasm is his saving grace. "Welp, I'm glad we pay extra for all this magic BS because I'd just as soon watch the D thing from a TV with a dang antennae like we did back when I was a kid." One of the hallmarks of a thoroughbred simple kinda man is to have a strong sense of nostalgia.
The sharks score a goal in the first minute and all is forgiven. He stands up, pointer finger wagging a little rain dance, spinning as he taps his feet and calls his happy chimp call, "whooo whooo whooo". He pops the collar on his sharks jersey and lets everyone know that he's got the name of the guy that just scored that goal on his back!
He doesn't mind that Tanner is now flying around the room like an airplane, stepping on his baby brother. He doesn't even notice when the dogs scratch the slider with their paws. His LazBoy has hit a new steady, rocking rythmn. He's content, the king of his castle. Life is good. Things are simple and that's how he likes it.

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