The Day Before The Football Game

>> Monday, September 13, 2010

Last week, I was packing up to go to the season opener for the Penn State football season.  That, by itself, is not unusual.  I've been doing that for several years now. 

What was different was how experienced we all have become with the process.  Darling Husband and I had already put the suitcases and most of the "ordinary" stuff in the car the night before.  We were hoping to prevent random acts of unpacking by Toddler, and excessive shedding by any stressed-out four-footers.  What was left was the ceremonial "packing of the foodstuffs".

I put oatmeal and cookies and meatrolls and potatos and plates and cups and can openers and plastic utensils into a bag, and I put ice, and beer, and milk, and yogurt, and juice and chicken nuggets and hot dogs and broccolli into a cooler.

In the meantime, Toddler was removing cookies and plastic utensils from the bag and trying to put them both into his mouth.

By the time I was done putting (and re-putting) all the food, food byproducts, and food eating products into travelling containers, I was beginning to wonder if I was packing for a tailgate or a camping trip.  (Someone on Twitter asked me what the difference was.  The truth is that when camping, you are limited to what can be cooked on heated cook surface and stored in a cooler.  When merely tailgating, you can use the heated cook surface before and after the game, but they you have the added option of take-out or the microwave and refrigerator in the hotel room to make munchies for the hot tub while the kiddies sleep.  Families with older children or no children have the further option of going out to eat after the game and taking home leftovers.  Families with small children are welcome to try this event, but if the small children fail to nap during the afternoon game and have begun running in circles to stay awake, using the hotel room as a crash-zone and relying on the delivery driver and the in-room microwave is much simpler.  Like I said, we are becoming quite experienced at these experiences.)

The only ones that seemed to be unprepared were the cats.  Darling Husband came home from work at noon to begin the feeding-four-footers-for-the-weekend routine.  When Big Black Cat heard the sound of the cat food can opening early, he came tearing down from the bedroom into the kitchen.  Sadly, when he next heard the click of the timed-opening-food-dish closing, his whiskers fell in disappointment.  If you listened carefully, you could almost hear his thoughts. 

"Yay, food, food, food ... what?  Oh no!  They are going away again!  Where are the suitcases?  I didn't see any suitcases.  How long are they going to be gone this time?  Who is going to pull at that yucky stuff out of the litter boxes so my paws don't get dirty?  Who is going to clean up after Girl Cat when she blechs hairballs all over floor?  Whose feet am I going to sleep on?  What will I do when my head itches?  How many new things am I going to have to remark with my facial glands when they get back?  What cats and dogs are they going to go see, and how long will it take me to get that 'other pet' smell out of my stuff?"

Poor Big Black Cat.  He is getting more domesticated every year, and he just doesn't get football with all the yelling and cheering and travelling.  You may think that reaction is normal, but I had once had a cat that seemed to understand football.  He'd come up on the back step and peer in through the glass every time the game was on.  If we'd open the door so he could hear the commentary, the cat would start to purr. 

I miss that cat.  I wish these guys got the whole concept like he did.  Life would be so much easier if they did.


Claire Hayes September 13, 2010 at 3:08 PM  

A blast as usual. Thank you. You brighten my day.

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