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The Zipper Ripper

Writing about the current state of the Mets is a bummer. Instead, I'll tell you a funny story.

I don't think I'm embellishing any details, but it's been awhile, so I apologize if I inadvertently fictionalize anywhere.

Flash back about 15 years ago to my college days. As a sophomore, I won an award (third-place) from the New Jersey Press Association for a feature I wrote about our athletic director's eclectic tastes in literature (he liked Chaucer) and music (Gregorian chants).

The problem was that the awards ceremony coincided with the one day a week in which I guested on our radio station's sports talk program, and did the sports report for the 5:30 news.

If you knew me in college then, you knew that, at the time

a) I hated being on the school newspaper


b) I lived for doing the sports talk show and the sports reports more than anything else.

Something happened the night before the ceremony and I got into a nasty argument with my roommate (it was over something newspaper-related). The result was that I slept four hours, at best.

We were scheduled to leave at around 8:15 a.m. The sports talk show aired at 8-9, so that meant I couldn't be on that day. We ended up leaving at 9:10 a.m. So I had missed a chance to be on the show.

Our driver that day had decided to pull an all-nighter to finish a project. He was going on zero sleep. I seem to recall six or seven of us trying to fit into a car meant to seat five. It was decidedly uncomfortable. And I was with a group of people whom I wasn't exactly pleased to be with.

After an hour's drive, we arrived at the hotel for the awards banquet. My first stop was the bathroom.

I go into a stall, did my business and zippered up.

If you're a male, you know that there are three things that can happen when you zip up your pants.

One- nothing

Two- You hit a "roadblock" (remember Ben Stiller in "There's Something About Mary?")

I ended up with thing #3...

At the conclusion of my hand's uphill climb, I pulled just a little bit.

And the zipper came off into my hand.

Have you ever seen a nice pair of pants with a zipper missing?

It's a very distinct look.

I walk out of the bathroom and do my best to cover it up. I have a bookbag with me, so rather than wear it on my shoulders, I carry it in front. That basically meant I was walking around as if I were pregnant.

We go to look for a table at the banquet and our driver, the editor of the paper, decides we have to sit with someone important. So we end up sitting at a table with the publisher of the Philadelphia Inquirer.

So I'm sitting there through this awards ceremony, knowing that I'll have to get up at some point to receive my award and be acknowledged. And I'm praying that this guy won't notice that I'm grabbing my certificate with one hand, while "covering up" the vacant spot with the other.

Thankfully he didn't.

After getting my award, I'd decided I'd had enough. The others in my group wanted to stay and brown-nose. My goal was to get the hell out of there.

So I left the hotel, grabbed a cab and asked to go to the nearest train station.

We got there. I believe the fare was $12. I only had a couple of $20s in my pocket.

"I don't have change," said the cabdriver.

So he ended up getting a 67 percent tip. And I ended up missing the train by a minute or two.

This was costly.

I had figured I could salvage the day by racing to the radio station by 5:30, and doing my sports report.

After I got to my destination, I had to take a bus back to campus. That meant another wait, and a crawl through rush hour traffic.

I got back to my room at 5:45 and flipped on the radio.

"And now it's time for Rob Sinatra with the sports."

Rob Sinatra proceeded to deliver what I thought was the best sports report I'd ever heard. He probably rattled through 30 scores without messing up once. I was convinced that he'd be doing all my sports reports from then on.

Did you ever see the Charlie Brown cartoon in which he's all excited about somethingorother, a series of unfortunate things happen and in the final panel he says "Maybe I'll just go home and lie in bed all day."

That was me on the conclusion of that day about 15 years ago.

It's also the story of the 2009 Mets season.


James K. said…
That's a great story MWO. Thanks for sharing and congrats on the award! Haha.
Stormy said…
Cool story! Thanks for sharing!
Anonymous said…
I guess it was not a Serval Zipper.

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