Yesterday, there was a Very Important Sporting Event on, and you can imagine how I've thought of little else. But despite my complete indifference to said Very Important Sporting Event, Ned was all up in it.
"There's a very important baseball game on," he told me. "Whooo de whooo and bleeee de bleee blee are godogodoooling, and it's really super important, and I'm gonna watch it."
Ned is not one to be pushy, generally. He's kind of a polite Southern boy. So when he says something like "I'm gonna watch it," I know there's no messin' around. He knew we had Charlie's party to go to, which started at 4:00, and his Very Important Sporting Event was at 7:00, so he recorded it just in case. But he mentioned to me 90 times that he was GOING TO BE WATCHING Very Important Sporting Event afterward.
So we saw Charlie, and it was nice to hang with him and hear his funniness, and people from my old job were there, so that was cool, too.
Plus, we all got Chuckzillas. As long as I've known Charlie, he's made these his-head-on-Godzilla things, and you're supposed to take them on vacation with you and pose Chuckzilla in front of something cool. Here's Chuckzilla in front of my computer! Wooo! Exotic.
So I'm sorry to tell you that after the party, it was still light out, and Ned stupidly said, "You want to try to go to that garden you'd wanted to go to?" There is a beautiful mansion/museum/grounds/gift shoppy kind of place made strictly for girls, in Winston-Salem, called Reynolda. And yes, it used to be owned by the Reynolds people, who brought us cigarettes and the untimely smoking-related demise of half my family. How delightful that I frequent the place, but hey. It's lovely. Cigarette money is lovely.
We'd planned to go to those gardens BEFORE the party, but Ned had been terribly late, and I suppose he was making it up to me, but the first hour of his Very Important Sporting Event he found himself traipsing around a bunch of roses with yours truly, over here. Sparkly Rose Blossom, over here.
Which, you have to hand it to him. The only thing I can liken it to is if the series finale of Sex and the City were on, and I missed it to go with Ned to a penis factory or something. I mean, big gardens are to women what penis factories are to men. That is a perfect analogy, what do you mean?
He even sat with me on a little bench, in the middle of said garden, and let me kiss on him and be all romantical, when you know the whole time he was thinking, How long do we have to be in this godforsaken garden before I can go home and watch Very Important Sporting Event?
Finally, I'd had enough of stopping to smell the roses, and funny funny garden jokes ("You can say THAT again," I said when we looked at something called Echo roses.)
(Do you need a minute to gather yourself? I know this is some hye-larious stuff, here.)
We were just walking out when
"SON OF A BITCH," Ned yelled, and I turned to see him covered in brown. Dudes, some bird exploded on poor Ned. I mean, that bird was flying back from a food truck that'd served room-temperature guacamole or something. He had bird poop in his hair, on his collar, on the bottom of his shirt, in his soul, you name it.
"This is the THIRD GODDAMN TIME a bird has shit on me in my lifetime," he said, taking my hand sanitizer for the first time, ever.
"Wait. You've been pooped on THREE TIMES? Who gets that?"
"THAT'S WHAT I WANNA KNOW," said Ned, whose mood may have taken a turn.
The drive to Greensboro is about 35 minutes, and Ned didn't WASTE any time. Getting home was not NUMBER TWO on his list, and if you'd like I could tell you more garden jokes. We had a shitty goodbye, and he went home to shower and watch Very Important Sporting Event, finally, while I went to my neighbor Peg's cookout for awhile, because I haven't vomited nearly enough lately.
Guess who's never gonna get over Typhoid Peg. Ever.
My POINT is, it was two hours later that I got back to Ned's, and his Very Important Sporting Event was on, and he was grousing that, like, 29 innings had happened and yet the score was zero to zero. I guess that's bad or something. He had kind of thought the thing would be practically over by then, but it wasn't, and he was starved, so he paused his recording and we walked down to a restaurant near his house. When we got there, we'd both forgotten reading glasses, and the menu may as well have been written in hieroglyphics for all we could see, so Ned had to literally RUN back to his apartment and get our glasses while I enjoyed some delightful bruschetta.
When he sat back down, breathless, he noticed behind me was a TV. "Oh, no!" said Ned. "Very Important Sporting Event is on! Can we switch places? I don't want to see how it ends." We did, and every time I even GLANCED that way, he'd shout "DON'T TELL ME!" as if Very Important Sporting Event were what I was watching and not the hot man of color at the bar.
We got back to Ned's and he resumed his recording and dudes. That Very Important Sporting Event would.not.end. It wouldn't. It was 11:30 and I said, "I really have to go to bed." I lay there trying to sleep, and just as soon as I'd drift off, I'd hear Ned saying,
Then I'd drift off again.
Roll. Zzz. Zzzz. Zzzz---
So that was restful. But then at 2:00--
what woke me up was the utter LACK of noise. I got up, and there was poor Ned curled up on the couch, fast asleep. "Why don't you come to bed?" I asked. Ned looked at me blearily. "It's not done yet. I just fell asleep because this thing won't end. But I have to know what happens."
"Why don't you just Google it?"
Ned looked at me like I'd asked why we didn't skewer his cat with a few vegetables and grill her over a flame in the trash can. He turned the TV back on.
And who, WHO, do you think sat there like an exhausted idiot, watching that sporting event at TWO IN THE MORNING with Ned, and he was right, it WOULDN'T end, and it was THREE A.M. and there we sat, and that thing kept going ("Do they give up, eventually?" I asked Ned, who gave me the cat-on-a-skewer look again) when all of a sudden?
Ned's recording stopped. IT STOPPED! In a million years, Ned would not have predicted this Very Important Sporting Event would go on THIS LONG, because WHAT DOES other than Sting, and boom. His TV just shut off.
And that, folks, is when Ned picked up his shoe and threw it across the room and broke a picture. "OH CRAP! I DIDN'T MEAN TO BREAK A PICTURE! "@&@&%$$*!"
"I'm sorry I lost my temper," he said. "Are you kidding? I'd have set the WHOLE CITY on fire," I told him. And I would have. He'd KILLED HIMSELF to watch this thing in its entirety, and gotten pooped on, and avoided the TV in public, and, well, yeah. I'd have punched the Pope.
In the end, Ned had to Google the results of his Very Important Sporting Event.
His team lost.