Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The curse of the vomiting baby

First off, I did not trash-talk the baby.

Instead, mine was a caring voice of wisdom sharing essential truth: that, in the end, the little boy in front of me would be a happier and healthier adult IF he made peace with the fact that his school, unfairly assigned him at birth by his unhappy and unhealthy parents, would always play second fiddle to mine.

His team: Auburn; mine, Alabama. Enough said.

What I call truth-telling must have struck a higher power in a different way. The unhappy events that descended on the Alabama football program following my heart-to-heart with 6-month-old Joel St. Onge clearly indicate that I crossed a line, that some fragile Karmic rule, likely established by sensitive types most often found at T-ball games and in the University of Michigan locker room, had been violated.

Cub fans, the saps, blame a goat. Red Sox insufferables yap on about the Bambino. Alabama, I’m here to reveal, suffered for six years from the Curse of Vomiting Baby. And I guess I’m to blame.

As always, Auburn started it. The kid’s parents, Courtney and Peter, who post on this site, showed up at my house for the 2001 Iron Bowl with baby Joel wearing a tiny tiger suit. I remember his adorable little feline tail jangling about as mom and son watched the the game standing up. And at the very moment Santonio Beard crossed the goal line for the first of a long afternoon of Alabama touchdowns, Courtney must have sent a bolt of energetic horror racing into her first-born’s body. For when the zebra’s hands went up, Joel threw up. Projectile vomiting had replaced the PAT.

It was during the cleanup that I offered the boy the wisdom of my years. Tommy Tomlinson, a mediocre columnist who, like all Georgia people looks really precious in black, heard what I said, misconstrued my motives, then accused me of talking smack to a toddler.

Charge levied, the curse revealed itself soon after.

Who knew that the NCAA penalties, handed down in the coming months for the Fat Albert Means fiasco, would be twice as bad as anybody expected?Who knew that Dennis Franchione, who looks like a weasel, would turn out to be one?Who knew Mike Price would make headlines in Sports Illustrated not for football, but for his X-rated pillow talk with B-level skanks off the Redneck Riviera?Who knew Mike Shula . . . ? Really, who knew?

Worst of all, who could have guessed that Alabama would lose six straight to the people who spawned Bobby Lowder and dress their small children in hideous tiger suits? That Tommy Tuberville's smirk, impossibly, would grow wider than his ears. That the Auburn coach would moonlight as a proctologist? That each year would bring another invasive digit? That those fingers would become a fist? Then a fist with a friend?

After the 2006 rectal, I approached Joel's parents about making amends. But there was something in their neighborhood covenant banning animal sacrifice. We were stuck. Shula was fired. Who knew who would replace him? When would the torture end?

But it did end, and normalcy began to emerge when Mrs. Rich Rodriguez said no. She refused to leave West Virginia for Alabama, even though her husband had accepted a job that would double his pay. Since she wouldn’t move – it’s been medically proven that repeated contact to couch-burning fumes clouds judgment – neither would he.

From that snub, the karmic tumblers fell back into place. The football deities decided that Alabama football, which had been blessed so often, had been punished enough.

The ship soon righted, so fast it resembled the Poseidon Adventure in reverse. The great Saban took charge. Last year, he even managed to beat Auburn, and badly.

That brought my record against Joel to 2-6, and don’t think both sides aren’t keeping track. As a diplomatic overture, I’ve been meaning to ask his folks if I should send over some Pepto-Bismol.

Michael Gordon


Anonymous said...

Michael Gordon - you're probably a wonderful person, but I will forever hate you for being a Crimson Elephant. Leave it to a 'Bama guy to not grasp what was going on. TEH BABY WAS THROWING UP AT THE SIGHT OF A TIDE SCORE! He knew at such a young age that seeing 'Bama do anything good is reason to upchuck. There goes that superior Auburn DNA on display once again.

Yes, the Tide broke the Auburn run last year. And yes, the Tide will probably win 3 more in a row before the Auburn brass realize they brought in a complete fool for a coach. But we will keep our heads high.

WAR EAGLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

This was hilarious! Poor Joel... hope there are still puke stains on the carpet...