Thursday, April 11, 2013

It's What I Do

A bit of dialogue from a scene in the movie Van Helsing, a farcical Dracula story:
    (Igor is poking a caged werewolf with a cattle prod.)
    Dracula: "Why do you torment that thing so?"
    Igor: "It's what I do."
A trait passed down to me by my father is a fondness for teasing. Not all the time and not everyone, but when the perfect opportunity arises I'm there.

Nat, a coworker at a firm in Virginia, was an Irish Catholic, a transplanted Illinoisan, and a *big* Notre Dame fan, especially during the football season. He was so partisan he was blind to reason. I once heard him complaining about the treatment of Notre Dame football teams by sportswriters.

Now let me tell you, over the years no team has received better treatment from national sportswriters than the Notre Dame football team. At least once they have been ranked in the top ten with a record that included *two* losses.

Nat left us to return to Illinois and get married, and it happened that his departure coincided with the football season. A few weeks after Nat left, Notre Dame, favored also by post-season bowl committees, had been given a berth in a bowl game despite a 6-5 record. Not unexpectedly, they lost.

I cut a column out of the next day's sports section of a local newspaper, did a little shopping, and found the perfect sympathy card, a "Sorry for your loss" sort of card, vague about what the loss might have been. I signed the card, took it to work, and got everyone there to sign it.

I sent the card to Nat, the column about Notre Dame's loss enclosed. Several evenings later the phone rang.

Loudly, and with outrage:

Don't you have anything to DO? Don't you have a fucking JOB?

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