Mulligan

Another Mulligan for you: this one is Richard, one of my favorite actors from Soap.

In golf, if you want a do-over, you take a mulligan. In the kitchen, if you’re short on dinner ideas you take whatever’s lying around and make mulligan stew. In great American literature, if you’re Mike Mulligan, you set out to prove your old steam shovel is better than modern automation

Something in that paragraph ought to pertain to this blog, which has once again gone on radio silence, but not for lack of trying. I even wrote an entire post on Wednesday, but the cleverest part was the title: “The Dark Side of Football.”

And yes, I know all I’ve talked about lately is middle school football, which did factor into my considerations, but from Tuesday last to Tuesday this, I timed five middle school football games (plus officiated two volleyball matches). It was supposed to be six, except for the part where my schedule didn’t mention Friday’s games, so I didn’t get to the field until the first game was ending.

Barring any more schedule glitches, this most recent Tuesday should have been the end of the home season, and it would have been unremarkable except for a boy in agony and the part where the middle school was using the high school field, which offers lights, allowing the games to stretch interminably into the night.

If I ever figure out what it was I was really wanting to say about all of this (at the time of writing I thought perhaps we were looking at a second concussion syndrome, but after a day in the hospital — the boy, unknown to me, turns out to be my sister’s electrician’s son — nothing was found to explain this boy’s literal screaming pain beyond possibly some separated ribs), then you might yet hear about The Dark Side of Football, but as of Wednesday I was writing and writing, trying to find an end that wasn’t coming because the beginning was way too pedantic.

Or there was the entry I initiated to notify you that critical race theory has come to Gunnison, and the numbnuts — there is no kind word for people who know so little — who just now believe this is what is being taught in Gunnison schools also want a school board recall without understanding that there could have been an election.

We don’t have school board elections around here. We got rid of them probably 20 years ago by default, and in all this time, there have never been more candidates than available seats. But we still have term limits, so the one who is term-limited is being replaced by a woman who home schools her children while the other board members who were up for election will continue on.

If you were really that upset about non-existent critical race theory, then you had a chance to take your views to the voting public during the scheduled election that happens less than a month from now, rather than deciding you want to burn an additional $120,000 of taxpayer funds because you’re too stupid to look at a calendar.

I am giving Justice Antonin Scalia the last word (for the moment) on critical race theory, even though it probably never landed on his consciousness throughout his entire judicial career. When the U.S. Supreme Court considered a pair of cases involving public displays of the Ten Commandments, Justice Scalia said, “Ninety percent of the people believe in the Ten Commandments, and I’ll bet you 85 percent of them couldn’t tell you what the ten are.”

[The justices okayed the display in Texas, but not the one in some southern A state — Alabama? They split the decision both times, and Stephen Breyer cast the deciding vote in both cases.]

After dithering for a transition and finding none, I will just move onto the subject that has occupied much of my week: the way yet another woman has interfered with the smooth workings at Pat’s Screen Printing.

Okay, it’s not even really true this time around, but I’m in that phase where I want someone to blame, and it’s making for a convenient narrative. Last year not once but twice new wives convinced their husbands their long-held jobs at Pat’s were not good enough for them (one of the men ended up at Ace Hardware, which seems like a lateral move at best), and I’m always going to be bitter about that, even though it worked out for the best in both cases and friendships have been maintained.

Brayden, whom we hired in March, came with a girlfriend who knew about the job as he was hired, so this seemed safe. But now they have broken up. And are still cohabitating, which has become untenable. So Brayden — who let Kara know via a text at 1:30 a.m. Saturday — is going to go home to Denver to move in with his father.

I can’t really blame his girlfriend, a woman I’ve never met, and I don’t know who broke up with whom. But Brayden fit so neatly into a hole we didn’t even realize we had, and he came with that rare yet coveted skill set: artistic talent and mechanical ability. Pair those together, and we found the first person who managed to tame our three-year-old automatic press that came with a hefty price tag and extremely little support from the seller.

So now, after feeling rather smug as the only business in town without a staffing shortage, we have a staffing shortage. Kara and I don’t see any point at all in advertising for help — we’d be only one among the many. You can’t even see the names of the stores for the large “Help Wanted” signs festooning every window and door. The other screen printer in town has been advertising for weeks for “an EXPERIENCED screen printer” (good luck with that).

In my fantasy world, Brayden, who only graduated college in May, moves in with his dad and discovers living at home at 22 is different than doing so at 18, and that he misses us and his job terribly and comes back to us in time for next summer’s ramp-up.

Since that’s probably not Brayden’s fantasy at all — he does seem quite sad to be taking his leave, but the rent at home is free and he wants to save for graduate school — I doubt it will happen that way, but for now I’m contenting myself by blaming his blameless (more or less) girlfriend and assuring myself of his return.

In the interim we are going to once again go lean if not mean and see how long and how far our existing complement gets us. Early this year Brayden fell into our collective lap of his own volition, bringing in an unsolicited resume — maybe there’s another option out there just waiting to fall into place.

That’s what I’m going with, at any rate. It’s all I’ve got.

And this is all I’ve got for you this week, too. I hope it was edible, or at least didn’t impact your score too adversely, or at a minimum leads to a comfortable retirement as the boiler in a newly-dug foundation. At the very least, maybe you’d like to go back to those old episodes of Soap, hm?

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