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Strikethrough Saturday

Tim Dougherty | Tuesday, November 28, 2006

The Christmas season is now officially upon us, which means one thing – lists. Presents, party guests, Steve Spurier’s ballot – whatever. Ultimately, they’re all rash and petty. That’s why you should set your sights on more important things, whose allotted duration of execution is infinitely more forgiving. Like forever.

Everyone needs a list of 100 things to do before you die. Besides making you feel more ambitious, it also teaches you to procrastinate on a whole new scale. Most importantly, on that rare occasion where you do accomplish one of your life’s goals, no matter how insignificant others think it is, it just feels so good to take out that sharpie, make an opaque black mark, look around the room as if people actually care, and say in your best Ricky Bobby, “That just happened.”

Saturday was a big one for my list. All in all, I went 3-1, as an unprecedented four items were affected on what I will now refer to as Strikethrough Saturday. Most heinously, “Be present to watch my beloved Irish win a National Championship” was delayed, again. A big hit, as this one lies somewhere in the top five between being the Pope and having children of whom the first-born will be named D’Artagnon.

Unfortunately, this one remained unscathed on the list as a direct result of my third cross-off of the day, watching an ND-USC game at the Coliseum. Yeah, everything I said for the next two hours would have made a post-double-secret-overturned-call Pete Carroll blush, but then I put it all in perspective when I realized, dude, I have a Mohawk.

Yeah, I got it at a tailgate from some recent alumni with “Fear the ‘Hawk” (pre-Tommy Z buzz) shirts and clippers (much more potent than the local variety). I didn’t know them, but judging by how they depantsed during “Escape,” I assume they were Zahmbies. While half-nakedness is common place in Southern California (Saddle House Chop House, for instance), more na’ve Notre Dame onlookers might call them philanderers. Hey, all I know is they helped me realize one of my long-oppressed childhood dreams. (Eat that Mom and Dad!) More like philanthropists.

The highlight of Saturday, however, occurred before the break of day, when just past midnight I risked the break of limb, as I climbed atop the final frontier of the American west – the mechanical bull. Oh, I’d yearned for this for upwards of a month. How fulfilling it’d be to conquer steel, to prove the industrial revolution was just a fad. Like John Henry, except small, white and with an injury liability form for a hammer.

So there I was in Saddle Ranch, just me and metal covered with a cowhide rug. Star Jones, I named her, and she made Traveler look like a song girl. Well I rode Star long and hard. Finally, she bucked me off, but that’s the point really. Hey, if Tyler Palko was there, he’d have been so buckin’ proud.

And as I flew to the ground disoriented, I realized that my life does in fact have direction. 97 of them, actually. Only now my scalp points the way.