continued from yesterday...
Three carloads of us got caught in the convoluted maze that is the campus of Ole Miss. The directions given by the coach did not lead us right to where we were going. In fact, such a junction of streets did not exist. We followed the lead car as we had for a couple of hundred miles, having caught up to him after gassing up. The lead car carried four players, and the van behind us hauled two players. You would think that one of the kids could have texted or called their cronies who had already arrived for directions. The Hillbilly family was really not in dire straits, as we had ZERO players with us, and could just go back the three miles and check into our Holiday Inn with no one being the wiser. But I called #1, and he said, "Where ARE you, and who's with you?" Even the report of the six missing players did not perturb the coaches, who were apparently standing right by #1. Did one of them think to take the phone and direct us? Nope. That's not the way we do things at Newmentia.
The lead car eventually parked in a lot by some tennis courts near the big building with the blue roof. That's what #1 told us to look for. We hiked down a steep grassy slope, across a vacant parking lot, up a blacktop hill...and met the rest of the team walking toward us. "Go back! We're headed to the dorm to check in." Of course, we didn't know where the dorm was, and after following the Leader for several more miles, we lost him. No skin off our collective noses. We went to check into the only Holiday Inn Express in the world that has no swimming pool. The Pony was bummed. After a Chinese buffet, because what else are you gonna eat in Oxford, Mississippi, we called #1 in response to a text of a playing schedule that was unreadable. He put his driver on the phone, who told us to go into that big building with the blue roof, and there would be some girls with maps and schedules. That cleared things up a bit.
We spent three days going to games for Basementia's team and the JV and varsity from Newmentia. While the other two teams faired well-enough, the JV team did not win a single game. As an example of their suckitude, I present Exhibit A: they lost by 10 points to a team with a little person. Not that there's anything wrong with little people. I watch the Roloffs every week, and I'm not averse to sitting through Little Parents, Big Charlie, and while The Little Couple is not on my regular viewing schedule, I watch it if I run across it. But let's face it, basketball is not a game for the vertically challenged. For cryin' out loud, this kid was not superhuman. He was a good enough basketball player, much like my gal Hillary was likable enough during the Democratic Primary. But he was nothing special. He played about half or three quarters of the game. No way should he have been scoring. Any player with decent defensive fundamentals should be able to stop him. Use your feet to play defense, boys. Get into position. Arms up. If nothing else, let him shoot, and grab that ball after it leaves his hands. It's not goaltending unless it's on the way down.
#1 treated us like we were complete strangers. Unless he wanted money. He put his nose in the air and walked by us after games. He sat next to other players' parents while watching the varsity team. He did not call to inform us of his plans or upcoming games. The other players lucky enough to have their parents at camp chatted with them before and after games, sat with them, left to go hang out with them or get a ride to their dorm...normal things a kid would do if his parents drove across four states to take him to camp. But he DID come ask us, right in front of his camp roomie, if Roomie could ride home with us. What are you going to say when the kid is standing right there?
This stowaway put a serious cramp in Mrs. Hillbilly Mom's legs. T-Hoe is not third-seat friendly. The whole issue of not taking anyone extra with us was because with all our gear, there was no room to fold down the third seat. That, and it would save us at least 30 minutes on the return trip if we did not have to drive out of our way to Newmentia town. But there we were, Driver H and I, shoving things to and fro to allow the set-up of one of the third seats while waiting for the last game to start. In the 110-degree heat. After 15 minutes, we had erected a tower of suitcases, pillows, duffel bags, gym sacks, cooler, box, tote bag, backpack, 10-pack of Gatorade, laptops, and a huge freakin' shelf (purchased at the Oxford Goodwill Store by Hoarder H) that would rival a tottering tower in WhoVille. All we had to do was insert #1 and Roomie into the open seats. But no. Nothing ever works that smoothly for the Hillbilly family.
Roomie and #1 tried to hand their dorm room keys to their JV coach after the last game. "No," he told them, "you have to return those yourselves." He then proceeded to give his key to one of the mothers to turn in for him. He said he had to get something to take back home for his kids. I call shenanigans. In fact, I call double shenanigans, because he was about to upset our apple cart. And by apple cart, I mean the delicate balance between clutter and space in the nether regions of T-Hoe.
We crammed #1 and Roomie into the back seat, making The Pony squat on the floor for the ride to the dorm. The boys took their keys in, then came out and proceeded to paw through some T-shirts in the back of the varsity coach's Yukon. Driver H fiddled and faddled, thrummed the wheel of T-Hoe impatiently, and fumed that it was taking the boys longer to check out than it had to play a game. Just then, we heard the ding ding of T-Hoe's back door that signals the door, she is a-risin'. I thought Driver H had hit the door-opening button up by the rearview mirror. "What are you doing?" He glared at me. "I ain't doin' nothin'. I don't know what all these things are! Those boys must be putting something in." We then heard a crash, and saw the boys still digging through the T-shirt pile. Driver H got out and walked to the back of T-Hoe. "You're in the wrong car, Bud." Yep. It was the JV coach. My opinion of him, which accounts for diddley-squat, is that he wouldn't know his butt from a hole in the ground. Let the record show that factually, he doesn't know the back of a Tahoe from the back of a Yukon. The crash was Hoarder H's wooden shelf falling to the pavement, and a bunch of other stuff that toppled. Driver H stuffed it all back in as best he could, the boys came and climbed in, and Roomie had a bunch of stuff laying on him for the ride.
He can thank his coach for that.