Or maybe it's just me.
Tuesday afternoon, I spent fifty minutes yearning for a school spirit butt pillow. Not for myself, of course. For Hick. Not that his butt needs extra cushioning. But I'm getting ahead of myself.
We had a school pep rally to kick off our basketball season. It was fantastic. The gold standard of pep rallies. Normally, I don't get all excited about such an event. I'm jaded. Introduce the teams, perform some mechanical cheers, blindfold the seniors and make them swing a wiffle ball bat at a pinata of the opposing team's mascot while it's yanked out of harms way on fishing line, and try to kill time so we don't have to go back to class. But this one was different.
Genius was called out of the stands to compete in a donut-eating contest. Catch was, the donut dangled on a string held by a cheerleader, and contestants had to sit on their hands and bite at the elusive dough ring. Genius had the misfortune of a floor donut. The last half fell off the string. We teachers lining the rail over the gym floor hollered at him to eat it anyway. Five second rule, you know. But he had to act all hoity-toity and refined and such. At the end, he picked up the donut as he headed back to the stands. I told my cronies, "If he eats that now, I'm going to smack him." He didn't. But later said he had thought about it.
At least Genius wasn't chosen for the catwalk, in which he would have needed to wear a tiny pair of kitty ears on a headband, and back-arch his way on all fours across the center line. Or the banana-eating contest, in which he would have been blindfolded at a table of bananas, with his opponents being spirited away so that he was the only one shoving bananas down his neck.
But the best part of the program was the flinging of freebies into the crowd. Plastic drinking cups, mini foam basketballs, and butt pillows! Oh, and candy. For some reason the kids were excited about the edibles. But we rail-standers were jonesin' for some posterior pillows. Dang if those cheerleaders didn't have a stack of about a hundred of them. Did they toss any our way? Nope. It's not like we were dangling off the side of Mount Everest courtesy of nylon rope and carbines. Even a cheerleader can float a foam cushion the height of a basketball backboard. Can't she?
Time spun out toward the final bell. A coach tossed a colleague THREE cushions. I cry shenanigans! Her boys are players! They don't need any butt pillows. But my Hick is a loyal supporter. While I attend all home games, he even travels to away events. Where he is often forced to sit on wooden bleachers.
I told my partner in crime, who was contemplating cutting out ten minutes early as soon as the bell rang, that I was willing to pay for a pillow. "Peruse the crowd with me," I said. "Which kid would most like to trade a butt-pillow for a dollar? I might even go two dollars to procure the elusive school spirit butt pillow." We had a little entrepreneur picked out just as the bell rang. Which spoiled that clever plan.
But what to my wandering eye should appear but three butt-pillows abandoned on bleachers so near. I hollered at Genius. He stepped right over one! Alas, as he is wont to do at home, he ignored me. My crime partner declared, "I'll go get them for you." Then she proceeded to go the long way and stop twice to chat with traitors who already had butt pillows, or had thrown them to others. She finally wended her way down the steps, across the gym, up through the bleachers, and harvested my trio of comfort. I thanked her profusely, and offered her a dollar. She declined. Because payday was so recent, perhaps.
I stopped Genius in the hall. "Look what I got! I can't believe you didn't even try for one!"
"Mom! Did you read them? They're from 2008. Sponsored by some financial group."
"Your dad's butt won't mind. He'll need them tonight. Make sure you give them to him before you leave. I might not be home by then."
"All right. Look! I got a mini basketball and a cup!"
"Great. They're not that comfortable to sit on."
"Good thing you got three cushions. They're pretty thin."
"Your dad will be excited. He loves things like this."
I arrived home just as Genius and Hick were getting ready to go. "Do you like your butt cushions?"
"What butt cushions?"
"Genius! Where are Dad's butt cushions?"
"I put them on the couch."
"I didn't see any butt cushions."
"How could you miss them? They're bright purple. On a tan couch. Ten feet in front of you."
"Well, I don't go looking at what's on the couch. Oh. Those are nice. I'll take one with me."
"Dad! You need more than one."
"Okay. I'll take two."
Hick called me after the game. "We won."
"I know. I listened on the radio. How did your school spirit butt pillows work?"
"I don't know. I forgot them in the car. I didn't want to walk back out for them."
I don't know why I bother.