Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Breathlessly Tolerant of Rum, Pigskin, and Dancing Men

I'm alive. Somewhat of a surprise after the way I felt Saturday morning. I know you have all heard of food poisoning, but apparently you can also get sick from drinking bad rum. A word of caution. The impurities of rum settle to the bottom of a bottle.

I discovered this fact too late. I was fine after the first nine or ten Sailor Jerry and Cokes, but somewhere between the last four or five I got poisoned by the dregs of the bottle.


In other news I am coaching not one but two flag football teams. On one team I have a dozen eager, albeit slightly impatient first graders. The other team is stocked with 18 second and third graders. Double the practices has left me short on time and energy, but I excited about the upcoming season. Games start this Saturday.

My favorite moment thus far came from my own six year old son. After he yanked down the fourth or fifth runner in practice I tried to explain for the umpteenth time that we were playing flag football and not tackle was against the rules.

He calmly explained, "I was going for the flag, but it's easier to grab if you knock the other person down first."


I was sad to hear about the passing of Patrick Swayze. My all time favorite Swayze movie was Red Dawn, a flick about a Russian invasion and occupation of America. Matter of fact my first ever stab at writing was a cheap knock off of that movie in which I rewrote the plot to star me and my buddies. Truthfully the only real differences were the names and the setting. I was probably about 12 and I'm sure it was horrible but I'd give a hundred bucks for a copy of the manuscript.


I'm sick of hearing politicians and extremists sugarcoat their bigotry by using the word tolerant. Tolerant comes from the word tolerate. I tolerate things I do not like. Saying you are very tolerant of another's lifestyle or religion does not make you open-minded. It's simply a clever way to say I despise who and what you are, but I'm too much of a chicken shit to admit it. Saying you are very tolerant is no different than saying ...

I'm not a racist, I have lots of black friends.
I'm not homophobic, my little brother is gay.
I'm not anti-sematic, I'm even circumsized.

Here's the deal. If you have to come out and say you're not something -- chances are you is.

And yeah, I know the grammar in that last line is crap, but it doesn't stink half as bad as using the word tolerant to portray yourself as understanding, compassionate, or open minded.


Another word that bugs me is breathless. Why do we use it when talking about something good?

He opened the jewelry box and the diamond inside left me breathless.
Her beauty rendered me breathless.
I was breathless as I witnessed the birth of my son.

All BS. Using the word breathless simply because you are too lazy to find the right adjective is wrong. The only time I've ever truly been breathless was when something bad happened to me.

The linebacker drove his helmet into me and rendered me breathless.
I was breathless after she kicked me in the shishkabobs.
I was too busy kissing his wife to defend the punch to my gut, but watching them walk away I was breathless.

Besides, we all need to breath to live. So how can anything that denies us breath and therefore our very existence be good?

Think I'll stick to overjoyed.

Here's a fine example ...

Reading Travis's blog leaves me overjoyed.


Lyzzydee said...

I am so pleased you are back , I have missed your wit !! I am sorry to hear of your poisoning, I would advise that next time you see just how far down the bottle you have got!
Good luck with your teams, I used to be involved in kids teams and its greatfun.

Alice said...

wait, really? you can get sick from rum? i mean, aside from the standard "drunk" and "hungover" which are my normal 2 symptoms of rum consumption..?

Monnik said...

I had something similar happen to me this weekend. Instead of the dregs of a rum bottle, I got sick from the beer I swiped from unattended coolers in a tailgate parking lot.

Oy. Hope you're feeling better!

Love the rant on tolerance. I completely agree.

Cloudia said...

Great post, Coach!

Who wants to be tolerated? You said that SO well.

Love your humor, guts, and alchol advice ;-)


Comfort Spiral

Mike said...

Great stuff! You can get food poising from rum? I would have never known!

Deborah said...

Glad you're back. Call me. We have things to discuss. Oh, and you KNOW Captain Jack leaves me uh, breathless -- among other things. :-)

Janna Leadbetter said...

Travis, good to have you back! Excellent post, done just as you do best. *applause*

jjdebenedictis said...

Welcome back!

It must have been bad rum. Good rum is obedient and stays where you put it.

Debra She Who Seeks said...

Sorry to hear you had the "26 ounce flu," big guy.

Barbara Martin said...

For a rum lovin' man, hopefully you'll be dropping by my blog on Saturday for "Talk Like a Pirate Day", part of an international celebration.

Many years ago I drank Captain Morgan Rum because I liked the picture of the cavalier on the front. It goes nicely with lime or lemon juice.

Travis, you gotta take care of your liver...

Hit 40 said...

The "breathless" ads are ridiculous. Commercialism is terrible. I guess one silver lining of the bad economy is that frugal is now vogue.

Hit 40 said...


I almost forgot. Liquor can go bad? I have never heard this before. I have some really old liquor downstairs.

Are you sure your wife is not poisoning you?

Eric said...

I was just sitting here today wondering what happened to my fav read Travis. I'm glad you're back, and really happy the poisoning wasn't permanent. I am ashamed to admit I have used the breathless word a time or two, but hearing your take on it, I can definitely see why that's bad. I'll do my part to avoid it in the future. Welcome back though. Oh, and I'm busy coaching 5th & 6th grade soccer players. It's non-competitive, so it's almost always alot of fun.

Jenn Jilks said...

Did I miss the fish story, Travis? It is a fine photo.

Teresa said...

Sorry to hear about the tainted rum, Travis. Good luck to both your football teams.

Jan Mader said...

You tell it like it is...I like that.

Please tell me that vodka can't go bad! That would make me sad.

Stephen Parrish said...

Thanks for the laughs. You earned your blog pay today.

Natasha Fondren said...

You are SO right about the word tolerant! It is SO insulting and condescending!

I've noticed my fiction has become riddled with "breathing" words, since I have asthma. I'm suddenly very aware of when we do or don't breathe. It's sort of odd. Like once per page, I remark whether or not they can breathe. I erase most of them, LOL, but it's funny how that never happened before I got asthma!

the walking man said...

MI has extended significant tax credits to Hollywood and you may be amused or not to know that there is a film crew in Detroit right now filming a remake of Red Dawn. Expected release date mid to late 2010.

Anonymous said...

Boy you Texans sure can turn a phrase. ;)
(Love the chicken shit part.)

I think your son's logic is perfect. Sure makes sense to me.

Great post.

G. B. Miller said...

Welcome back to the land of the flakes. Your wit was indeed missed.

My favorite overused adjective/adverb at the moment is "narrowed".

Like: She narrowed her eyes just before cold cocking him.

Bummer about the food poisoning. At least you didn't get it from McDonalds.

Angie said...

Travis -- glad you're feeling better, hon. :)

"I was going for the flag, but it's easier to grab if you knock the other person down first."

ROFL! Smart kid -- you need to keep an eye on that one.

a cheap knock off of that movie in which I rewrote the plot to star me and my buddies

That's fanfic. :D Welcome to the club, here's your membership card. [grins and leans on you]

On the whole "tolerant" thing -- massive word. [nod]


Hilary said...

The use of the word "tolerance" has irked me since way back. I too, blogged about it at one point. Your post prompted me to find what I said (in part) on the matter.

"Sadly, there are people who see immigrant as synonymous with illegal, Muslim with terrorist, and visible minority with foreigner. Too often I hear feelings expressed that sadden me. In the wake of 911, we were constantly reminded to exercise tolerance. Although it was intended as open-minded and giving, I found the sentiment to be quite distressing. I don't want to go about my life being tolerated. I want to be respected, if not always because of my differences, at least in spite of them."

Go easy on that killer rum. ;)

B.E. Sanderson said...

Sorry to hear about your alcohol poisoning thing. Glad you're better. =o)

"I was going for the flag, but it's easier to grab if you knock the other person down first." So true and so funny. Thanks for sharing that, Travis. It gave me my morning giggle. =o)

Rebecca said...

Rum poisoning, huh? I'm thinking it has more to do with the volume of rum consumed, rather than the fact that said rum was the dregs...

Charles Gramlich said...

The 12th shot of rum left him breathless because he was too busy throwing up to get air into his lungs?

Sorry to hear about your encounter with Demon Rum. I trust you have exorcised the evil properties and are now thinking more strongly of drinking the angel of alcohol, Abita Amber Beer.

Melanie Hooyenga said...

Glad you're feeling better.

Point Break made me want to go to Hawaii to learn to surf after I graduated from high school (although Mr. Reeves may have also influenced that decision).

Too funny about your son. :)

I actually have been rendered breathless by my husband on occasion, but I've recently figured out they're actually mild panic attacks. Go figure.

Melanie Hooyenga said...

Hillary, that's a great point.

Travis' Wife said...

If rum goes bad at the Erwin house ... something horribly wrong has happened.

Lots of funny things happened with the rum gone bad at the Erwin house things I cannot say to protect everyone involved.

There Be Pirates Running A Muck, people lost their parrots, and treasure chests were revieled. It was a fun time.

Lyn said...

Glad you survived the rum poisoning, Travis. I never even knew about this kind of thing.

Your son is very smart.

I'm so with you on the tolerate thing. My license plate says 'Drive Friendly.' Friendly is waaaay better than tolerant. Which I'm not, much.

Enjoy the kiddos.

That Janie Girl said...

Reading Travis' blog DOES make me overjoyed!

Glad you're back...that your hangover is gone...I want you to explain that drink to me, though.


Barrie said...

I was next to two (inebriated) women at the Phoenix airport who kept reiterating how tolerant they were and they made of the of most racist comments I have ever heard!!! It was awful.

Unknown said...

Welcome back! I am glad you survived. I hope that doesn't scare you from drinking altogether!

You're the one I was thinking of in my post when I said "if I you are creative and I didn't mention you...".. go back and grab your award and I am sorry. I am glad you commented to remind me ;)

Beth said...

A few of my bugaboos – “Let’s be honest...” or “Truthfully...”
What?? If we don’t preface a sentence in such a way, we’re at risk of being thought liars?

Clare2e said...

I was guessing your poisoning might have had something to do with the unfortunate Numerological Significance of 13 SJ&Cs. That hooky-spooky stuff'll getcha if you don't look out.

Phats said...

I love the flag football story that's great! Your son definitely has a good reason for doing it eh? I coached powderpuff this year Oh boy was that not fun.

Picks are up thanks for participating

Lana Gramlich said...

Kudos to your son. ;)

Rocketstar said...

Patrick Swayze was an all around good guy.

Thanks for the Rum note, I'll make sure to check the bopttom of the bottle from now on, not that my rum ever get's old enough ;o)

Junosmom said...

Hi Travis, haven't been by in awhile. My life is leaving me breathless. Oh, yeah, not supposed to say that, but some days, I do feel I've been running enough to not have time to stop to breathe. I love reading about the mis- or overuse of words. Here in KY, everyone is "blessed" by everything. They can't think of any other way to say it.

Bubblewench said...

So how long WAS that bottle of Sailor Jerry sitting around? You're puttin a scare in me! Oh wait, I never have a bottle around that long. Heh.

Good luck with all your teams!