I went out to get
my paper this morning and found my neighbor Dalton instead.
He was slumped on
my stoop, looking as though he'd slept under a marching band. His eyes sported
five-pound bags, his right hand was bandaged and bloody, and his face was sunk
like a bad souffl�.
I said. "What happened to you? You look like a 20-car funeral!"
lacrosse happened to me," he grumbled. "The Competitive Elite Lacrosse
League. My little Ashley made one of those 'travel teams.' Pray it never
happens to you, dude."
"See, I really never thought Ashley was all that hot at lacrosse, and she's
only 14. But when she made this competitive team, all the parents said it was a
big honor. They said it's the only way to make your high school varsity, and
it's the road to a scholarship, and it looks great on your r�sum�.
"I'm not even
sure Ashley wanted to do it. But all of her friends made it, so she just had to
do it. What was I gonna do? Tell my little girl no?
you know, I'm writing a check for $1,500. Then it turns out, they practice or
play seven days a week on these things. And it's clear across town, so pretty
soon I'm standing on the sidelines every day of the week.
"My wife can't
do it 'cause she has to take Justin to hockey every day. Why an eight-year-old
nearsighted kid needs a 42-game schedule is beyond me. What is he, Wayne
Gretzky? Plus there's pylon camp and forecheck camp and backward-skating
lessons with his personal coach, Hans.
soon I got no life. Family dinners? Forget it. Every meal is in the
car--righthanded Taco Bell. I almost never see my wife awake. When I do, I have
to ask for I.D.
lunatic lacrosse coach schedules an extra 6 a.m. practice every day. It's like
the old bottle-feeding days. I'd be like, 'I got her last time. You get her.'
And Denise would moan, 'I had to stay up for Midnight Madness last night. Your
turn.' Then, at night Ashley is so tired, we end up doing her dang homework!
And we're gettin' C's!