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Day 178: The Universe Consipres Against Me

February 2, 2011

Five days…I had five days to go.  In retrospect, it’s incredible I lasted that long.

I’m now aware of the participants of this year’s Super Bowl, and when it became clear, I didn’t recoil.  I was calmed by both a sense of relief and redemption…redemption that all the signals that the universe had sent me today were valid.

At approximately 7:55am, I was en route to my assignment at a junior high when I was cut off by a pickup truck, not by itself an uncommon occurrence in this town.  What grabbed my attention (other than the strangely courteous and locally infrequent use of a turn signal) was the horrific and scattershot plastering of black and gold throughout the truck’s body.


A similar vehicle sent a message on behalf of the universe.

Steeler Decal Overdose is a common malady in the Central Valley due the unusually high number of original Joey Porter hanger-ons from his salad days of championship glory.  I thought nothing of it, but the memory lingered within reach.

Upon arriving at the school, I made my way to the teacher’s lounge to drop my lunch into the staff fridge and stumbled into an impromptu birthday celebration for the vice principal.  Cake for everybody!


…this is approaching “weird” territory.

I arrive at the classroom and go over the plans for the day.  The subject of this class is “Tech/Life Skills’ and once preparations commenced my fear of administering the dreaded “Birds and Bees” discussions was quickly dissipated.  My task was to administer viewing of a VHS from the mid 90’s titled “Sew Cool: An Introduction to Sewing.”  The video, primed as a potential MST3K short, demonstrated various methods, uses and projects intended to instill a sense of usefulness to skeptical home ec students.  Students could repair torn clothing, construct pin cushions, make privacy door hangers…OHFERCHRISSAKES…


Source: "Sew Cool Productions", 1995

Almost immediately, the principal chimed in over the PA to remind the population that Friday was Jersey Day: wear your favorite team gear for the big game on Sunday!

The room started spinning…all of my efforts began crashing down around me…I began hearing voices…Vince Facenda…Myron Cope…Terry Bradshaw…Boomer Esiason…a 14-year-old kid…”Mr. Rossiter?”

I snapped back into clarity…someone was asking a question.  “Yes, you in the back?”

“Are you voting for the Steelers or the Packers in the Super Bowl?”

My attempt to avoid knowing the participants in the Super Bowl ended five days short of the game.  In a way, I’m relieved.  I no longer need to continue my self-imposed social media exodus and can ease up on my sports reception blackout.

It also means I can focus on a new goal: go as long as possible without knowing the winner or score of Super Bowl XLV.  I feel like I’ll have a headstart on this task; the day after the game is Lincoln’s Birthday, so no school, no water cooler smalltalk, more of a chance to isolate myself from undesired information.  I don’t know if I can reach the end of Year Without Football without discovering the victor, but if I can make it to the Beanpot Championship Game on Valentine’s Day, I’ll be satisfied with my efforts.

In the meantime, I can relax, safe in the knowledge that the most difficult part will soon be in the past.



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