Monday, November 28, 2016

Revenge is a Dish Best Served Cold, With a Side of Peruvian Cheese And a Most Curious Tea Set

This story is from yesterday, so I'm out of sequence now, because I still haven't finished the Philadelphia story.

If you remember, Eli 15.4 was in Detroit for 12 days last spring, trying out for a Tier One team.

He played great, was clearly the best goalie in the tryout (out of 12), and was the final cut.

It was the worst night of my life as a father. When Eli found out, he made a sound that was like an animal in terrible pain, like something had broken deep inside him.

Something broke in me, too.

Then, because we had no choice, we recovered.

It still hurts, though.

Well, he played that team on Sunday, the one that cut him.

They're having a tough season. Eli's team is in the top twenty nationally, but the other team is in the fifties.

The game was supposed to be at 11:30 on Sunday, but on Saturday night at 9, we found out it had been moved to a different rink--oh, and it was going to start at 9. So we had to leave home at 5:30 Sunday morning to drive down.

Eli has been struggling a bit with a borderline sinus infection (on medicine now, thank goodness), but he didn't care. "They're not scoring," he said, with a big smile. "Nothing. I don't care how I feel."

They didn't.

He left halfway through the game with a 7-0 lead. They only had 8 shots against him, but he was still in command. He's developed a kind of confidence that I don't think he had when we moved up here, and at this level, a goalie has to have that kind of confidence.

His team wound up winning 9-3.

We stopped at our favorite mall on Earth--Laurel Park Mall in Livonia--and went to California Pizza Kitchen for lunch before we drove back home.

I ordered a salad, received a different salad, and didn't care. This new, unordered salad had feta cheese.

"Do you like feta cheese?" Gloria asked.

"It's okay," I said. "Really, though, I prefer my cheese to be from the great Midwest--cheddar--or from the passionate Latin regions--pepper jack."

Eli started laughing. "Oh, Dad," he said.

"What? Have you never heard of Peruvian cheese mines?" I asked. "Sweaty, dangerous work, mining that pepper jack."

Eli was laughing and sort of waving at me.

"I think he needs a minute," I said.

"Maybe he's delighted," Gloria said.

"Delighted is NOT the word," Eli said.

After lunch, we went to the parking lot. Gloria started the car and began backing out, then stopped before she'd even gone three feet. "What is that sound?" she said. "Are we caught on something?"

No flat tire, I thought. No flat tire.

As it turned out, though, it was much stranger than a flat tire.

I got under the car and looked carefully. "We appear to be driving over an ornate tea set," I said.

"What?" she asked.

"A TEA SET," I shouted. "In a plastic bag. It's sturdy."

Logically, this was impossible. While we were inside, someone had to carefully put this bag under our car, because it was well underneath.

Impossible it was, yet true. Here is the curious tea set in question:

It was undamaged, remarkably, and I did my best setting it up with the care deserving of a fine tea set before we drove away, entirely forgetting to take a picture.


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