Monday, February 13, 2006

The Flying Tomato

Back from vacation, rested and ready. I won $25 bucks on the Steelers in the Bowl off of a co-worker, but I had to take a shower afterwards because I just felt dirty. I guess lousy refereeing was the theme of this year's playoffs, and the Bowl brought that theme to a whole new level. If you bet the other side and feel extremely cheated, and need closure in some way through verbally abusing a referee, Professor Vic himself is an accomplished soccer referee and could represent the general profession in the capacity of the recipient of such abuse. He's been chased off the field by illegal immigrants from every continent save Antartica, so a little "you suck, ref" is nothing to him.

So now all we have is the Winter Olympics. The upside is that, normally when watching highly trained professional athletes at the top of their game, you feel guilty being glued to the couch, washing down pork rinds with a bottle of chartruese. But chartruese is part of the pre-event preparation for the skier Bode Miller, so somehow it feels right. The other bright spot in the Olympics - Shaun White, winner of the snowboard halfpipe event just yesterday. He's got red hair! His nickname is the Flying Tomato. Finally, an athletic role model for the Hatcher to emulate other than Bill Walton, who I cannot stand. For awhile there I was clinging to a two-week stretch where Rodman dyed his hair red, but now I got gold medal winner Shaun White to look up to.

Vacation was good - they just opened up an indoor waterpark at the ski resort where we have a time share. So we did two days of waterpark and three days of skiing. I also laid out some money for a private snowboard lesson, during which I agitated to get to the half pipe the whole time and made the instructor refer to me as the Flying Tomato. She would say something like - "Look, dumbass, when you are doing to the toe turn, lean your torso back rather than forward." And I'm like - "Flying Tomato is my nickname! I know you may have heard my kids or the wife of Hatcher call me dumbass, but my real nickname is the Flying Tomato." The one and only time I had snowboarded before was at Professor Vic's bachelor party. The only thing I recall about that painful experience was the comparative joy of watching Carl on a snowboard. Disaster. It's like I tell my boys when they become obsessed, as they often do, with their comparative status - don't compare yourself to others unless you compare favorably.

At the waterpark, they have one of those standing waves, where jets shoot 1000 gallons of water per second up a hill, and you jump onto the top of the wave with a boogie board in hand. In true Hatcher fasion, my first run was a great one - I had total control of the board, and even did a roll without incident - not an easy feat. The crowd was wowed. So I then let myself drift to the side, where you get off the wave, and I am stoked, as the kids say these days. I hand the boogie board to the liefguard at the bottom of the wave, and not wanting to wait for him to clear out of my way, I step with my left foot to the side, right into the jet stream of water. I do a face plant and get swept right up the fabricated hill and thrown off the top of the ride. Chicks dig that. That's why I'm the Flying Tomato.


Anonymous the giant said...

Funny, I thought the Flying Tomatoe looked like Danny Bonaducii (aka Danny Partridge)....

I kept waiting for DAvid Cassidy (aka Keith Patridge) to come out and be depressed beacuase no one was taking his rock-n-roll career seriously......

6:38 AM  
Blogger Incredible Dirigible said...

Hatcher, your red-haired athletic role model should be Richie Cunningham. He fenced a French guy in one episode, & I'm sure he would've sliced him up like a carrot if Fonzie didn't take over.

6:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am boycotting these Olympics. They banned some poor bald bastard for taking Propecia. Next thing you know, they will ban athletes for drinking Chartreuse. I may be relatively apolitical, but even I have to take a stand sometimes. Plus, the Daytona 500 is next week.

7:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The greatest Flying Tomato feat was atempting to impress some young coeds by jumping a flight of stairs on the tomato-mobile MTB. The splat of the landing left tomato all over the pavement. Luckily you are a resilent tomato and could resume easier coed wowing techniques like the "cool pose".

7:53 AM  

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