Monday, October 24, 2005

How Our Enemies Will Defeat Us

I JUST LOVE THIS. I put on the Jets–Falcons game, and just before New York's first possession, I start to do some dishes. While I washed, the Jets somehow screwed up their first snap, in a way I don't know yet, and BOOM—the Falcons have the ball. Oh, I am happy this is a Monday game, which guarantees I will fall asleep before the bitter end. And now, just as I have been typing this, Testaverde lost the ball on a sack, which fell into the hands of a Falcon. Challenge is in and review is pending. Just a gay night out with Gang Green.

Verdict: Fumble. Atlanta ball.

God, I'm glad I don't bet on sports.

I have a short week ahead of me. Thursday and Friday are mine to enjoy. I am tempted to take a trip to Atlantic City, grab a cheap motel room somewhere along the White Horse Turnpike, and sleep over instead of packing two long drives into one day.

My parents were enthusiastic about the idea, especially the sleepover part. They worry when I take long drives. I am inclined to agree with their overprotectiveness in this specific situation. Nearly 3 hours on the road both ways, the second trip after anywhere from 3 to 6 hours of poker. And that drive doesn't get any more fun if it's a losing session. At least in Las Vegas, I have a shorter drive (or even walk) back to the hotel or a restaurant after a loss. From either AC or Foxwoods, I have a goodly stretch to meditate on the situation.

I am not committed to the idea of a trip. I have few vacation days left. I had hoped these days in October would allow me to enjoy the fall weather. But now it seems like we will get some more rain this week, as a result of Hurricane Wilma. Interestingly, in the 2 weeks or so since Wilma was named, I haven't heard a single Flintstones joke. People are no doubt sensitive about extreme-weather humor after the ravages of Katrina.

There will be no jokes about the name of the storm that just made tropical storm status. After running through the regular roster of names, we are now burdening the otherwise innocent Greek alphabet with the names of our kill-storms. So sometime later this month, we may have Hurricane Alpha ravaging what intact coastline we still have somewhere on the continent.

At this point, you really wonder if paranoid conspiracy theorists are too far off the mark when they mutter breathlessly about the weapon designs of electricity genius and madman Nikola Tesla. He claimed to have developed machines that could start earthquakes and influence the weather. All this with late–19th Century technology, not computers or even radar. Is this what we were trying to destroy 3 years ago at Tora Bora — not merely the al Qaeda leadership, but also a subterranean trove of whirring, Victorian-era weather gadgets, poised to spread drought across our nation's breadbasket, drive floodwaters into our river valleys, and plunge our cities into darkness with massive blackouts?

No, far too obvious The enemy will surely use far more subtle means, like causing Vinny Testaverde to fumble for a third time just now and drop a ball virtually into the arms of a fleet-footed defender for another touchdown. Make the day following Monday Night Football into a second Monday, and demoralize a nation. Or at least the Jets fans in it.

Lucky it's a short week.

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