10/07/2006 - 2:52 p.m.


Sometimes when I am on the road, I think deep thoughts about life in general and my life in specific. Sometimes I just crank up the radio (or what passes for cranking up the radio when you are a delicate flower and dislike loud noises.) Yesterday, I spent much of the time driving and trying to remember. Oh, the things we do for love.

It started somewhere between Redgranite and Oshkosh. As for time, it would have been sometime between 11:00 and noon. I know it happened after I realized that my itinerary would need revising. Given the visitation rules, I was not going to make it to see three clients in three institutions in the single day. My first client had been too much of a talker for that. My first order of business was to decide where I would eat lunch and I decided on Oshkosh rather than Omro. My second order of business was to turn on music that I could drive to.

Driving music is different from regular listening music. While I might listen to Bach or Beethoven at home, driving music must have a beat. Dance music, such as the music Danielle often favors, is annoying on the road. I usually settle on country music, which is very easy to find even in remote areas of the state. So country music it was. On came the DJ and he was speaking to some guy. I think the guy owned a car dealership that was some sponsor of the station but I was only half-listening. And then the discussion turned to baseball.

By now, after more than 21 years of marriage, I should have learned to tune out baseball talk. I might be happier if I learned to tune out baseball talk. But the love of my life is a baseball fanatic. I've learned to tune in, check how much I need to stay tuned in, and then respond accordingly. So the baseball talk caught my interest.

It seemed that the car dealer was rooting for the Yankees over the Tigers. Around my house, rooting for the Yankees is considered a horrible offense. Around my house, if any offense were considered to deserve thrashing, rooting for the Yankees would be it. Truth be told, you would be hard-pressed in most of this state to find people to root for the Yankees. The Brewers, perhaps, the Cubs perhaps, the Twins perhaps---and maybe some other teams that might have a chance to win---but not the Yankees.

The DJ, though, did not let this infraction of societal norms go unnoticed. "The Yankee?" he questioned. "The Yankees." And then it came. The line that I wanted to remember. "Given George Steinbrenner's money, isn't rooting for the Yankees something like rooting for the house at a casino?"

I instantly knew that FogieKnight would want to hear the line. I also instantly knew that I have a terrible time remembering such lines. I rarely tell jokes because I cannot remember both the joke and the punch line. I rarely repeat one-liners because I simply cannot reproduce them. So I flew into action.

First, I turned off the radio. Distractions were bad. Distractions would defeat me. I thought about pulling over and writing down this pearl but I was hungry and wanted to get to lunch. So I repeated the line. Over and over and over and over.

And I remembered! I came home and last night was able to tell FogieKnight about what it was like to root for the Yankees. And he smiled. Given the effort I had gone to, he should have had a good belly laugh---but he smiled and admired it. I guess it was worth it. I'll probably try it again.

So, if one day you see a woman driving down the road in rural Wisconsin muttering to herself, do not wonder whether she should be committed. Know, instead, that she is working to preserve her marriage. She is trying to remember some funny line from somewhere for her love---and never mind that she might just forget the way home in her effort.

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