Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Nurse the Hate: The Doctor Star Pony Incident

I was reminded of an incident which happened a couple of years ago at Leo’s old rental house.  While things in his household are usually “nontraditional”, things had careened to an out of control place when he took in an old neighbor.  Leo’s old neighbor was a woman that found herself out of options when her current roommate took to sleeping with a pistol by his bed, which as days marched on actually seemed like a reasonable course of action in sharing a household with her.  However, at this time we didn’t know this.  She just seemed very off.  Oh, why sugar coat it…  She was at best “mentally imbalanced” and at worst suffered from a wide array of mental health and dependency issues that had left her committed to institutions.  

The decision to move a mentally ill woman with a prescription drug issue into your house is a terrible one.  Looking back it would have been a better decision if Leo had decided to move a Lowland Gorilla into his home.  It would have been much less of a fuss.  Leo’s intentions were all good.  I believe that Leo thought he was acting in a Christian fashion, his thought being to help get this woman back on her feet and bank some good kharma.  Unfortunately he did not factor in the challenges of living with a shut in that lurched between angry confrontations with him and manic unpredictable behavior.  

The real down side for the band was this is where we practiced.  On a weekly basis one could never be sure what was waiting upon arrival.  Sometimes it was pleasant chit chat.  Sometimes full on bad craziness was in full swing.  The incident in question involved was when I walked in to the house to see this woman screaming at Leo.  Leo stood in the dining room with his arms extended in the “what?  I mean no harm” pose.  Sugar stood between Leo and the woman with an uncomprehending expression, as if she couldn’t quite get her arms around the nature of the argument.  It had something to do with Leo revealing in conversation the name of one of her friends.

Leo’s roommate:  “You are so fucking high!  You don’t even know what you are doing!  Don’t say his name!  He is the biggest drug dealer in Akron and he is my friend!”  

Leo:  “Who?  Doctor Star Pony?”

Leo’s roommate:  “DON’T SAY HIS NAME!!!!!”

Leo:  “Doctor Star Pony?”


Leo:  “With Doctor Star Pony?”

Leo’s roommate:  “NOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!  DON’T SAY HIS NAME!!!!!”

Sugar:  “Leo!  For God’s sake!  Stop saying that!”

Leo:  “Doctor Star Pony?”

Leo’s roommate and Sugar:  “NOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!”

It is important to note a few facts.  Leo was under the impression that “Doctor Star Pony” was the name of her friend, the alleged “biggest drug dealer in Akron”.  In fact, his name was something like Dennis Scallopini, and he was a harmless working class guy that sometimes slipped Leo’s roommate extra painkillers he received from a workman’s comp injury.  Leo had somehow misheard “Dennis Scallopini” as “Doctor Star Pony”.  While you and I would immediately think “Doctor Star Pony?  I must not have heard correctly.  No one could possibly be named Doctor Star Pony.”, Leo just rolled with it.  I can’t imagine what Dennis thought when he heard Leo introduce him to others as “Doctor Star Pony”, but things in that house moved in a direction of their own accord, and he probably had picked up on that (being a doctor and all).

Now, imagine walking into a house with this going on.  It’s not easy to get your head wrapped around.  On the one side of the room is a woman that is convinced that her friend is some sort of El Chapo figure and to even speak his name out loud courted imminent danger.  On the other side of the room is a guy that is positive that a man named “Doctor Star Pony” comes over to visit his mentally ill roommate and is unaware that he cannot say his name under any circumstance.  It took some time to get sorted out.  Finally we went down to the basement to practice and she went back to putting up Christmas decorations in the September evening.

That’s what Whiskey Daredevils practice was like in 2014.      

Monday, April 25, 2016

Nurse the Hate: Chasing My Dream Part 2

I'm not saying that I don't go through my mail that often, but I just discovered this letter that had been sent by LSU head football coach Les Miles to my attention last month.  As you may recall, I had made contact with the LSU Football Team to let them know of my desire and intention of becoming their punt returner for the next four years.  I was shocked to learn that I do not have any remaining NCAA eligibility as it has been too long since graduating from Kent State.  The fact that I am no longer considered a Heisman Trophy candidate is quite sobering.

I will, of course, petition the NCAA to see how I can make myself eligible.  If you read this letter the same way that I do, I think you will agree that Coach Miles wants me on the team but his hands are tied by these draconian NCAA regulations.  I will obviously continue to train and chase my dream of being the first middle aged man to return a kick for a game winning touchdown in SEC conference play.  As a private aside, I am slightly concerned that as I have not played full contact football since the mid 1980s there might be some physical adjustment period for me to get used to being hit by 200+ pound world class athletes with a 50 yard running start.  I'm sure I will adjust though.

Geaux Tigers!

April 25, 2016

Les Miles
Athletic Administration Building
Baton Rouge LA  70803


Thanks for your response regarding the NCAA eligibility requirements regarding “five years to play four years from the time you start college”.  I was completely unaware of this stipulation.  I would imagine I could maybe fudge a year or two, but as I graduated from Kent State 20+ years ago, it will be difficult to explain away these past decades. 

I was obviously very disappointed to learn I would not be able to join the team to get ready for the 2016 season.  My meniscus has healed nicely though my trainer has referred to my speed as “maybe sort of slow even for a middle aged guy”.  I have been led to believe that this might be detrimental in returning punts at the Division 1 level of college football.  However, I am confident that I possess a certain “moxy” that would translate well to the SEC.  Les, as you know, football is a game of angles.  Like a changeup in baseball, my speed or lack thereof would certainly make for a different look in the return game. 

I will take a closer look at the NCAA regulations.  Perhaps I can make some sort of petition.  More importantly, don’t hold a spot for me on the 2016 roster.  I’ll see if I can get this policy changed while you concentrate on bringing "us" (as I will obviously now refer to Louisiana State University) a championship.  Let the guys know I will continue to train with the hopes of joining the team in 2017.

Geaux Tigers,

Greg Miller