“That was way outta the strike zone, you bozo!”
I’ll never forget the time I was playing center field in a Colt League baseball game and my dad got kicked out of the stadium. Self-conscious teenagers tend to notice when their dad is booed by an angry crowd.
He was sitting behind home plate, riding the umpire the whole game. Dad’s face was beet red and he was yelling like a man whose arm hair is on fire. Finally, the umpire had enough. He threw off his mask, twirled like a ballerina, pointed at my dad and yelled, “You’re outta here, buddy!”
“Yeah, that’s right, the truth hurts, doesn’t it!” Dad said as he headed to the parking lot. The other team’s fans serenaded him with a sarcastic standing ovation. Knowing full well that Dad was fighting for our team, I forgot my embarrassment and looked at it from his point of view. That umpire was costing us a victory. Right?
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So was my dad an angry, abusive man? Absolutely not. He never raised a hand to Mom or any of us kids. He just hated incompetent umpires. In fact, all I can remember are Dad’s small character flaws and peccadillos, the ones that caused me embarrassment as a teen.
Thinking of him now, all I can do is crawl to the mountaintop, cup my hands to my mouth and proclaim to all the world these fatherly words of wisdom: “That was way outta the strike zone, you bozo!”
Way to go, Dad. Way to go.