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THE IDLE AMERICAN
Wednesday, February 9, 2011 • Posted February 9, 2011

Aunt Maude Puts Foot Down…

Thanks to timely intervention of Aunt Maude, Homeland Security was able to cross off a potential problem at Super Bowl XLV. Oh, Uncle Mort, her 98-year-old hubby, meant no harm. But, if he’d carried out his scheme, probability of gumming up the works loomed large.

Maude said Mort had been acting strangely for several weeks. His plans came into sharp focus on the eve of Ground Hog Day when he dozed off—as is his nightly ritual—while watching TV news. As Mort’s snoring reached full bore, his Big Chief tablet fell to the floor.

Open to the front page, it revealed his plan to "get rich" at the Super Bowl. Maude, drinking in details, flatly vowing that Mort would NOT attend the game in Arlington….

* * * * *

I don’t know if she confined him in leg irons, locked him in the barn, tied him to a tree or put double-strength sleeping pills in his Ovaltine. Had I read the details Mort had formulated, I’d have restrained him, too.

We’ve known for decades that Mort—along with National Football League brass—would have graduated with highest honors from the P. T. Barnum School of People Fooling.

Who could deny Barnum’s contention that a "fool" is born every minute?...

* * * * *

With 45 years of Super Bowl experience under their belts, honchos of the NFL have found that Barnum hit the nail of truth squarely. They’ve determined that a quarter-million or so fans will show up to pay money for just about anything the league wants to sell. Football fanatics are drawn to THE GAME screaming, "Feed me!," and the league is happy to accommodate. The NFL has layers of trappings for both attendees and a vast TV audience, including a football game!

All Mort wanted to do was "piggy-back" on the NFL.

At least that’s what Maude learned upon reading details of his nefarious scheme….

* * * * *

On the "to do" portion of the list, Mort wrote of affixing "Thicket Emergency Vehicle" signage to his golf cart, his only means of conveyance. (It would take six hours at top speed to make it to JerryWorld, assuming a slight tailwind.)

He reminded himself to "shine his helmet"—the one he wore in World War II—as well as his "Honorary Deputy Sheriff" badge. Mort borrowed a stethoscope and portable oxygen bottle to legitimatize his appearance. He scrawled reminders to "wear dark shades and a press pass around his neck." Further, he’d hang a walkie-talkie and billy club from his belt and "be sure to bring along a marks-a-lot."

Mort thought his "get-up" would get him past the ticket-takers at the plaza party, where fans paid hundreds of dollars to stand outside the stadium and watch the game on jumbo screens. Once admitted, he’d spend the first half drawing fake knotholes on the stadium wall with the marks-a-lot. During the second half, he figured it would be easy to identify fans whose refreshment excesses had eased them into a state of warm lubrication, or, as he put it, "amiable incandescence."…

* * * * *

He’d line up sober helpers to man the fake knotholes. They’d then charge fans $50 for one-minute views. Fans would welcome the offer, amazed that anything sold at the Super Bowl would go for a mere half-hundred. Mort dreamed of wheelbarrows overflowing with cash.

"I don’t need to worry that they don’t see anything," Mort analyzed. "They’ll think there’s something wrong with their eyes. The NFL will wonder why they didn’t think of it."

Mort envisioned hundreds of thousands of fans telling their grandchildren about how they "saw" Super Bowl XLV for just fifty bucks. Reminds one that millions of baseball fans claimed to have been present in Atlanta Stadium for Hank Aaron’s homer that put him at the top of the list ahead of Babe Ruth….

* * * * *

He figured his scheme to be a "no-brainer." If it turned to mush, he’d apply the well-known theory that it’s easier to apologize than to get permission.

Kinfolks are congratulating Maude for "putting her foot down," even if it meant Mort missing the biggest game of the year.

Realizing that seeing the game was a high priority for her husband, Maude arranged for a neighbor to record it. When Mort sobers up, wakes up, gains release and/or calms down, she’ll make sure he’s invited over to see the game, perhaps as early as the last week in February….

* * * * *

Dr. Newbury is a speaker in the Metroplex. Send inquiries/comments to: newbury@speakerdoc.com. Phone: 817-447-3872. Website: www.speakerdoc.com.

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