Archive for March 9th, 2005

Steroids? You’d Have to Be Nuts

March 9, 2005

[NOTE: In our haste to alight atop the bundt cake of America’s cultural dinner table spread, the Desperate Houseflies apparently overlooked an important aspect of our doo-doo diligence in starting this e’zine. As it turns out, there’s a fairly popular Internet parody of ABC’s television program “Desperate Housewives” running at Speaking on behalf of the other flies, I would like to apologize to the creator(s) and braintrust of that site. We are in no way attempting to pull traffic from that site, nor do we seek to benefit from the heralded work they are doing. Our name, as mentioned from the get-go here, was picked from a list of about 20 randomly suggested titles. Should there be the threat of legal action over this misunderstanding, we are prepared to go with our second-favorite name: The Starlight Vocal Band. We thank you for reading and for the delicious bundt cake.]

Last Saturday, Mrs. Wednesday and I took the eldest larva to the local community center to sign him up for tee ball, thereby launching our precious li’l maggot down the primrose path of organized sports. Soon, we genuflected tearfully, our knowledge-thirsty lad will eagerly glean the basics of baseball from his coach, a man who – if Little League still works the way it always has – will turn out to be a certifiable retard with a mullet, anger management issues and a cache of ancient dirty jokes and crude clichés. (“If they’s grass on the playground, let’s play ball… heh heh heh…”) He will know more about NASCAR (!) than baseball, and we will learn mid-season that he signed up to coach under the mistaken impression that it would count as fulfillment of his recent sentence of community service hours (a result of his conviction on charges of abusing a corpse, which was, of course, “just a big misunderstandin’”).
Let the fun begin.
It should be noted here that the eldest larva, despite being remarkably intelligent and off-the-charts tall for his age, is indisputably his father’s son. We base this on his looks; he’s the spittin’ image of his pop. The intelligence, height and – we’re hoping here – his athletic ability all come from his mother.
And that’s not all.
On the way home from signups, the larva expressed his disappointment over the whole affair. (He thought he would be playing tee ball that morning, so you can imagine his disappointment to find little more than a series of dour FCPA [Future Child Pornographers of America] members pushing pencils as they sat behind cheap folding tables.) He chatted about his uniform and speculated about what number he’d wear. (We’re rooting for #7, if you want to put that on your prayer list.) And then came the moment his mother has longed for, a Hallmark moment that provided immutable evidence of mother-and-child common ground:
“Dad, will my team always win? It’s good to win, right? If I can’t win, I think I won’t play.”
His mother burst into tears… of joy. This is a woman who effectively ended our first soiree with the new neighbors by having a meltdown of McEnroevian proportions over a game of Scrabble. (“You cannot be serious! ‘Chutzpah’ is a proper noun! He was Tarzan’s monkey, you cheaters!”)
Forgetting for a moment – a moment that may span the entire two years remaining before the boy moves to the competitive levels of Little League – that they don’t keep score in tee ball games, Mrs. Wednesday began to sympathize with Junior’s plight. She promised to help him in whatever way she could.
And she wasn’t kidding.
Fast-forward to a few hours later that same afternoon. After running a quick errand, I returned to a pleasantly quiet home. The larvae were sleeping, and Mrs. Wednesday was feverishly pecking away at the computer. When she heard me enter the room, she spun abruptly in the chair. I noticed a slightly crazed gleam in her eye, the same kind of look she had just before we painted our last house pink.
“Look at this!” she exclaimed, pointing excitedly at the monitor. The headline atop the story read: ‘Bonds Sounds Off on Cheating.’ A second window displayed the results of a Google search on the phrase “human growth hormone.”
I blanched as Junior’s future played out in my mind. I saw him, a whopping 6’5” first baseman with arms the size of Momma Cass, shattering the existing home run record in Major League Baseball, then being implicated in a doping scandal and called to testify before a grand jury.
“Mr. Housefly, did you knowingly acquire equine steroids from a local veterinarian? Please stomp your hoof once for yes, twice for no.”
I gently nudged the wife from her spot at the computer and did some quick research of my own.
“You know, Barry Bonds isn’t exactly the guy I’d pick to be my son’s role model,” I said. “He’s a jerk, he’s probably a cheater, and worst of all, he’s a Giant.”
Like a bio-engineered tree planted by the water, she would not be moved.
“Do you know about the side effects of this stuff?” I pleaded. And I showed her a quote from the Bonds story.
“They say it makes your testicles shrink,” he [Bonds] said. “I can tell you my testicles are the same size. They haven’t shrunk. They’re the same and work just the same as they always have.”
“Do you want your son to go through life with shrunken genitals?” I said condescendingly, confident that she would cave.
“Hasn’t affected you much,” she muttered under her breath.
Wounded and humiliated and wordless (after all, how does one argue with the truth?), I called a cease-fire and we retreated to our respective neutral corners. But I was intrigued by this Bonds stuff, so I read a little more.
“You guys are like re-running stories,” Bonds said to more than 100 reporters in attendance. “This is old stuff. It’s like watching ‘Sanford and Son.’”
I spent the rest of that day unsuccessfully trying to recall the episode of “Sanford and Son” that dealt with steroid allegations. Finally, I asked myself, How might that go?
LAMONT: C’mon, Pop. These aren’t my steroids. Maybe they’re Grady’s.
FRED: You big dummy. Grady ain’t been in here today. They’re either yours or… [Pauses, grimaces, turns toward kitchen]
ESTHER: [Enters from kitchen] Fred Sanford, you foo’! I ain’t took no steee-roids, and ain’t nothin’ shrunk on me. Look here! [Pulls skirt over head.]
FRED: Oh, it’s the big one! Elizabeth, I’m comin’ to join you, honey!
The good news is that I was able to talk some sense into Mrs. Wednesday. She canceled the order she had placed with the online pharmacy in Samoa, and she has agreed to wait and see how the first tee ball practice goes before she makes any further moves.
And I, intrigued by the tonsorial possibilities, am thinking of getting into coaching.