The subject was something | Chuck's World
We’re going to have to talk about it, sooner or later. You know it, I know it. It’s not an elephant but it’s in the room nonetheless, and it’s going to have to be addressed. It won’t go away.
Actually, it will go away. Sorry. Didn’t think that one through. We still have to talk about it, though.
But we can postpone this. There’s a limited amount of space in this column. Maybe I can write around the subject, just fill the page with unimportant, trivial details until we run out of room. I do this all the time anyway; trust the professional.
I could certainly tell you all the fascinating details of how my son and I passed New Year’s Eve.
My wife graded her last paper and almost immediately stepped on a plane, deciding that the best way to spend what remained of her holiday was in the company of a nonverbal, incontinent, remarkably somnolent but occasionally cranky human with almost no motor skills. And his parents, a little.
But mostly him, a nearly 3-month-old grandson who compensates for his helplessness by surrounding himself with an amazing aura of cuteness.
So testosterone reigned in this house for a week, although historians will probably be neutral on its reign. Some cabinets were cleaned out. There was some involvement with the Wii U.
I personally took advantage of a free day and installed a new solid-state hard drive in my aging laptop, and those are 12 hours you just know I’m not getting back.
And then there were the brownies. Two men who don’t drink alcohol have Excess Deficiency Syndrome, which can make for a boring New Year’s Eve, so we decided to make brownies.
You can’t go wrong there, and I had a recipe stored on my new hard drive that had just been twitching for months, asking to be taken out of the folder and exposed to the world.
The brownie is an All-American invention, coming out of the Chicago World’s Fair of 1893, where we were also introduced to carbonated beverages and hamburgers, the Ferris wheel, the fax machine, Cracker Jack, shredded wheat, Wrigley’s Juicy Fruit gum, and picture postcards.
Scott Joplin is said to have invented ragtime while working at the fair, and Frank L. Baum was so impressed by some of the architecture on display that he kept this image in mind when he created the Emerald City in his Oz books.
And Bertha Palmer, of Chicago’s Palmer House, a remarkable woman it appears, suggested to a chef that the ladies attending the fair needed a dessert that was easy to eat in box lunches, and thus the brownie was born. It’s essentially forkless cake, although “brownie” sounds better.
So with my son’s encouragement, I took this remarkable recipe and started assembling massive amounts of butter and chocolate, all of which required careful melting at specific temperatures. This is where sobriety comes in. Do not drink and melt chocolate.
I made a few minor adjustments to the recipe, having been around the brownie block once or twice, and they were spectacular. Sliding past spectacular into evil, even.
I came across my son, later on in the evening, with a plate of brownie-like crumbs at his side.
“You know,” I mentioned, “those brownies are like 300 calories each. How many have you had?”
He had to think. “About 18,” he said, and that’s what I’m talking about.
But those were just brownies. The subject was football.
It has to be spoken of. Referred to. Written about. I can’t avoid it and neither can you. Let’s just be adults and do it.
I’m not talking about Seahawks fans; you’re fine, carry on. And I’m not talking about people like me, who grew up passionate about the game and then drifted away, only to be pulled back like Michael Corleone into crime whenever the Hawks get good, as they do sometimes.
No, I’m referring to those of you who have no interest. No passion. No idea. You people I can help.
Unless you just want to sneer and walk away, which is your choice and my, how attractive an attitude that is. C’mon. It’s a community thing.
The hometown team has a shot at the Super Bowl. At least come to the party. You can have a carbonated beverage with me.
Here’s a cheat sheet, then. You don’t have to understand it at all. You can still think of football as boring or violent or vulgar or brutal, fine. This will just help you get along for a week, or several weeks, depending. This will help you lie.
Shake your head slowly and say, “Russell. Freaking. Wilson.” Say it softly, like a prayer.
Hold your arms outstretched, gaze directed upward, and say, “Percy Harvin? I’m just asking here.”
When someone screams, “Beast mode!” nod and repeat it, but quietly. Like this. “Beast mode.”
Know that we beat the Saints big time back in early December. Know that we also beat Carolina. Know that the 49ers are a bunch of whiners. Know that we don’t get no respect. Know that our defense is awesome.
And know that it’ll be over, soon enough, even if the Hawks go to the Super Bowl on Feb. 2.
When I’ll be in Austin, Texas, as it turns out, watching the game with an infant in my arms, whispering “Beast mode!” in his ear and baking brownies, you betcha.