The Hacker’s Room

“But I kick that ball
And I pray it goes straight
If it does
The coach says “Good job, number 8”
He doesn’t even know my name is
Andre Kristacovitchlalinski, Jr.
But that’s the life I live”
The Lonesome Kicker– Adam Sandler

This afternoon I found myself engaged in an exceptionally dangerous activity…thinking. Yep, I was stuck in a waiting room in which I was unable to lose myself in any of the 12 electronic devices I carry. Consequently I was forced to spend the time thinking about…stuff.

Yes, you heard me, I had to think. So I sat there and let my eyes and mind wander. I stared at the ceiling and tried to figure out what they were made out of and what sort of manufacturing process was involved. Wondered about whether there was a trade publication devoted to ceilings and what it might be called.

My reverie was interrupted by the loud hacking of a man sitting a few seats away from me. The man sounded like he had swallowed the mother of all hairballs and was coughing with such force that I was certain that he was going to lose a lung along with whatever else was stuck in his throat.

His coughing proved to be too much for the lady next to me. With a loud sigh she stood up and made a point of switching seats. Instead of sitting on my right she moved to my left. Needless to say I was quite unhappy with her lack of courtesy. By switching seats she stopped serving in the proper role of shield and left me exposed to whatever it was that was going to come out.

Now as a father I am well acquainted with fluids. Add my time as a father to my fraternity years and there is no doubt that I know all about the things that can be expelled from your body. And that my friends is exactly why I was irritated with her. She had no business placing me in harm’s way.

I was just about to tell her how rude she was not to protect me from her cooties when something shiny caught my eye. Don’t ask me what it was because I don’t know, could have been the light reflecting off a watch.  Or maybe it was the guy wearing the gold chains and a cleveland rocks t-shirt.

He was something else, the gold chain man. I looked at him and asked if he was from Parma. Turns out that he wasn’t, said something about Pepper Pike. And of course I had to ask him if he had already applied for asylum. I ignored the blank look he gave me and explained that blue skies are normal and that we have a basketball team that wins championships. In fact all of our sports teams are winners.

Dude was so dumbfounded by the idea of being in a city of winners he just stood and stared. Maybe I made a mistake by not telling him that our rivers don’t spontaneously burst into flame., Dunno.

Of course the man from the iron lung disrupted my chain of thought with another burst of ear splitting coughs. I couldn’t help but wonder if this hacking was peeling off layers of skin from his esophagus. In fact I was about to ask him when I noticed that there was an empty seat on the left side of the woman who had been sitting next to me.

Since turnabout is fair play I picked myself up and moved into the seat. Better that he end coughing on her than I. Really, the more I think about it the more irritated I become. Who does she think she is, moving like that.

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