Monday, August 15, 2011

Catching Up With Some Old Friends

I’m going to do it.  This week, I’m going to try to achieve what I’ve always assumed was impossible.  No, I’m not going to watch an entire WNBA game or try to rapidly drink a gallon of milk.  And no, I’m not going to become a vegan or try to teach Deshaun Thomas (who – by the way – might already be my favorite Ohio State athlete ever) how to pass a basketball.  And I’m certainly not going to try to memorize all of the lyrics to “Informer” or try to physically lift Evan “The Villain” Turner’s girlfriend off the ground without the help of a forklift or some sort of advanced machinery.  No, what I’m going to attempt is much more difficult than any of these things.  That’s because I’m going to try to write five blog posts in five days.  I’ll say it again in case you didn’t catch that and for whatever reason have some weird personal philosophy that prevents you from rereading things: I’m going to try to write five blog posts in five days.  Yes, I know I’m crazy for attempting to multiply my output by almost infinity and yes I’m fully aware of how dangerous this could ultimately be, which is why I took all the necessary precautions and have paramedics standing by should the unthinkable happen.

For this first blog post, I figured I’d write about my journey to Indiana this past weekend because there literally isn’t a single thing that any one of you can do to stop me.  I initially went back to Indiana to play in the Travis Smith Memorial Golf Classic in Terre Haute but ultimately ended up staying at my parents’ house in my hometown for a few days after the event just because my mom kept making me free meals.  I’ve discussed my mom’s limited cooking abilities on this blog before, so intuition would tell you that staying for a free meal cooked by her would be like getting domed up by a great white shark – while the “what” seems pretty awesome, perhaps a little more attention should be paid to the “who.” 

But despite her culinary shortcomings, the fact of the matter is that she’s really not that bad of a cook and she can certainly cook much better than I can.  And most importantly, her meals are free, which is a huge deal because there’s no denying that the best things in life are free, even if they also happen to be slightly burnt and could probably use a little more seasoning.  Anyway, after constantly stuffing my face for a few days and putting on at least five pounds, I had no choice but to flee my parents’ house and come back home to Ohio lest I develop type 2 diabetes and what would have surely been a nice set of man tits.

By the way, I’d be remiss if I didn’t also mention that while I know this is fairly obvious and pretty much goes without saying, it’s impossible to adequately describe how glorious that first poop you take after a long weekend of gorging at your parents’ house is.  Every time I question why I visit my parents and subject myself to the self-loathing that comes with quadrupling my daily caloric intake, that post-visiting the parents poop is always there to remind me and is what ultimately makes me return time and time again.

But back to the golf outing.  Most of you probably don’t know this, but Greg Oden’s best friend since childhood, Travis Smith, died in a car accident in January of 2007, when we were in the midst of our freshman season at OSU.  Ever since then, a golf outing has been held in Travis’ hometown of Terre Haute, Indiana to honor Travis and benefit the local Boys & Girls Club.  This year, Greg financed his own personal team and asked me to be on it, most likely because I told him that I was a scratch golfer (to be fair, I thought “scratch golfer” meant that you typically get so frustrated during a round of golf that you stop keeping score and just scratch out the remainder of the scorecard). 

Since he hosts the event and can therefore do whatever he damn well pleases, Greg made sure that Team Oden had one more player than all the other teams, which was significant because we were playing a best ball scramble so our team had one more opportunity to hit a good shot than the other teams did.  I was obviously the anchor of the team but other Team Oden members included Mike Conley, Josh McRoberts, a former AAU teammate of all of ours named Reece who played pro baseball for a few years and is now going to play basketball at UIndy, and my roommate from my freshman year at OSU who played high school basketball with Mike and Greg.  Had this been a Gus Macker, we would have no doubt mushroom stamped the competition, won the thing with ease, and most likely had a celebration party at a local strip club where we would’ve let the strippers drink Hennessy out of our trophy as we did lines of coke off their breasts.  Sadly, though, this was a golf outing and not a basketball tournament, and the golfing ability of the guys on our team ranged from “atrocious” to “somewhat decent.”

The best player on our team was definitely Mike, who goes golfing pretty much every day and typically shoots somewhere in the low to mid 80s, but I found out when I got to the course that Mike would have to leave after 9 holes because he had a flight to Arkansas to catch.  This meant that I was going to be our team’s best player for the back nine.  As you can imagine, this was less than good news for our team.  I’m not exactly a terrible golfer (typically shoot high 80s/low 90s) simply because I go so often (I would go every day if I could afford it.  In fact, my life plan looks like this: “Step 1 – Get rich. Step 2 – Golf.”), but as a general rule of thumb, it’s probably not a good thing if I’m the best on the team, regardless of what sport we’re talking about.  This particular instance was no exception.

Since we sucked so badly after Mike left (and honestly weren’t really doing that well even when Mike was with us), we decided to do something about it and fix our problems, which is to say we decided to honor one of the great historic traditions in golf and cheat like crazy so people wouldn’t mock us for being horrible golfers.  Throughout the last nine holes, each of us took multiple tee shots on each hole, we interpreted “club length relief” as “put the ball back on the fairway and cut a stroke off your score”, we treated any ball that was within 20 feet of the hole as a gimmie, and we even just blatantly wrote down a score that was in no way anywhere close to what we actually got a few times.

After most of the holes on the back nine, Josh and I contemplated what to write down on the scorecard, because we wanted to obviously get a good score but still wanted to make sure we didn’t go overboard and end up accidentally winning the thing since it would’ve been obvious that we cheated.  In the end, our final reported score was a 9-under 62, which we thought was pretty good and would’ve been enough for a top 5 finish that would’ve got the ladies all hot and bothered.  But as it turned out, even with our blatant disregarding of the rules, we still finished something like third to last and were probably made fun of by everyone. 

But not all was lost, though, because during the round Josh (who plays for the Indiana Pacers) confirmed what I had always thought was true when he essentially told me that Larry Bird (who is the Pacers’ President of Basketball Operations) is a total badass who drinks and smokes whenever he feels like it, says exactly what’s on his mind without a care in the world about who he might offend, and pretty much does whatever the f**k he wants because he’s Larry F’ing Bird. Learning this information and realizing that my idol is exactly as awesome as I hoped he would be is unquestionably a win for me, no matter where the final standings said our team finished for the day.

After the golf outing, we all decided to reject reality and have a pool party at Greg’s new house in Indy to celebrate our big win.  I showed up an hour after I was told the party was supposed to start because in my experience I’ve found that an hour is usually how long it takes for all the butt-naked hos to arrive and really get the party started.  You can call it fashionably late if you want to, but I prefer to call it “trying to time it up perfectly so I’m not stuck at a party that has a serious deficiency of butt-naked hos.”

Anyway, when I walked into Greg’s house, three things immediately stood out to me: 1) It was just Greg’s summer house that he plans on giving to his grandma because it’s not nice/big enough, and it was still nicer and bigger than any house I’ll ever own in my life, 2) A life-size sculpture of his penis was resting on the mantle above his fireplace, with the base of the shaft actually resting on the fireplace and the flaccid replica of his penis hanging down from the mantle so the tip of the penis was just a few inches from the fireplace, and 3) There wasn’t a single butt-naked ho in sight (I made up one of those three observations. I’ll let you figure out which one).  My first course of action was to bring this third observation up to Greg, as I said to him, “Greg, I’ve seen Entourage.  I know how you big shots party.  Where are the heaps of cocaine that are supposed to be randomly placed throughout the house?  Where are the people having casual sex in plain sight despite the fact that nobody at the party has any idea who they are?  Why are there not topless chicks walking around in the shallow end of your pool and kissing each other just because some horny dude at the party dared them to?  You call this a party?”  He responded by saying, “Shut up, asshole.  Do you want a beer or not?” and hitting me in the balls before he walked to the kitchen.  Touché.

Apparently this “party” was actually just a laid back get-together with less than 10 people, which was a serious buzzkill for me but probably was for the better considering that I’m scheduled to get married in less than a year.  Anyway, since the party kinda sucked by my standards, the only real reason I even bring it up is to discuss Greg’s house.  Now, the house wasn’t exactly a multimillion dollar estate with an Olympic sized pool and a guest house or anything wild like that, but it was still pretty sweet considering that it had a pool with a slide in the backyard, an upstairs and a basement,  nice new furniture throughout the house (including a brand new piano and a pool table), flat screen TVs everywhere, a sound system that could be controlled throughout the entire house, and a theater room with a huge projector screen and a couple rows of seats (and let’s not forget that this was just his summer house that he plans on giving away because it’s not cool enough).

As we were all sitting in the theater room, Reece asked Greg if he had any video game systems hooked up to the projector, to which Greg replied, “I have them all.”  Reece then decided he wanted to play Madden on Xbox 360 and I said I’d play against him, so Greg took a few minutes to get everything set up and then handed Reece and me some controllers.  But the controllers didn’t work because they were fresh out of the box and had never even been charged before, let alone used.  Reece and I quickly figured this out, so we walked to the closet where the video game systems were stored and we looked for the stuff we needed to charge the controllers. 

As we were looking, I noticed that all the game systems looked brand new and all the games and DVDs he had on a shelf right next to everything looked new too.  That’s when it hit me – Greg has so much f’ing money that he just thought to himself, “What does this room need? Hmm, maybe some video games”, went out and bought at least three video game systems and a bunch of games to go with, probably paid someone to hook everything up for him, and then just let them sit in this closet where he most likely had never touched any of them (as evidenced by the fact that there were still stickers on the controllers and they hadn’t been charged yet). 

When Greg walked back into the room, Reece and I had turned the TV back to Sportscenter or something.  Greg started to ask Reece why we weren’t playing Xbox, but I interrupted him because I just couldn’t help but address what was on my mind. I said, “Greg, do you ever just sit in this chair in your theater room of your summer house, push this button that makes your electric powered leather chair recline without you having to exert any effort whatsoever, watch TV on your gigantic projector screen, and think to yourself, ‘Holy shit I’m rich’?”  He stopped talking to Reece midsentence, turned his head toward me, looked me in the eye with a straight face for a few beats of silence like I was the world’s biggest dumbass, and emphatically said, “No” before he turned back and again asked Reece why we weren’t playing Xbox.  That told me everything I needed to know – this guy has more money than he can even comprehend.

Now, I know some of you are probably thinking “Congratulations, dude. You know somebody rich. Aren’t you f**king special?  Too bad you’re still a poor douche who won’t amount to anything with your own life.”  And to that I say, you’re probably right albeit kind of impolite.  The point of me telling you about Greg’s house wasn’t because I was somehow vicariously bragging through Greg or because I think I’m awesome for knowing a millionaire.  The point of that story is that Greg has more money than I could ever even spend and it kind of blows my mind to think about it and actually see it in person (since he went to the NBA, I’ve probably only seen Greg maybe 5 times a year and most of those times are at OSU’s gym or when we go out to a bar or something.  I’ve never actually been to any of his houses that he’s bought with his NBA riches until this past weekend). 

More importantly, the point of that story is that I’m now kind of beating myself up over the fact that I didn’t forge a stronger relationship with Greg when we were teammates and therefore missed out on a great opportunity to secure a spot in his entourage as one of his primary moochers. 

There’s no telling how many butt-naked hos I could’ve partied with by now.

Proud To Be An American But Even Prouder To Be A Buckeye,

Mark Titus

Club Trillion Founder