I am at my parents’ house with my wife and three kids. Soon my sister and her husband and three kids will be here. And my brother and his two sons. It will be 16 people – crazy!
But, right now it is just a few of us here and everyone is kind of doing their own thing. So I sat down to watch the Birmingham Bowl. If you are a fan of the Memphis Tigers or the Auburn Tigers (yes it is Tigers v. Tigers), then this game realty matters. If you are just an insane college football fan, then this is wonderful. However, most people are not on the edge of their seats waiting to see if the 6-6 Auburn team will win as SEC teams usually do, or if upstart Memphis coming off a 9-3 season will win one for the little guys.
This is a lazy afternoon and a meaningless game. As I watched and the game went to commercial, I found myself with the clicker in my hands and I channel surfed until I landed on Bob Ross, the guy who teaches amateurs how to paint. Ross is dead now, but for years, he did a show on PBS. His soothing cadence made it actually interesting and even more, relaxing, to sit and watch the paint dry.
I lingered, listening to Ross tell about making “Happy clouds.” I didn’t turn back to Memphis-Auburn. My dad happened into the room and he and I together watched Bob Ross turn a blank canvas into a snowy mountain scene. Then I asked my son to turn the overhead light off. I couldn’t do it myself. Dad and on the sofa were each slipping into a Bob Ross induced coma. We weren’t “watching” any more. Bob Ross gently lulled us to dreamland.
What does this say about me at this point in my life? Rather than watch Memphis’ big quarterback (6’7”) try to move the ball against that SEC defense, I wanted to doze while Bob Ross “mixed in a little blue with that titanium white, whatever you like.” Who have I become? I used to be able to sit and watch football, hour after hour, game after game. Now, I still love football. But today, I found myself more attracted to listening to that soft voice paint “happy clouds.”
Bob Ross is off now. We’re back to Memphis and Auburn. My younger son, a real sports fan, insists on leaving the game on. It is 10-10 and Memphis just barely missed a go ahead touchdown. It is 3rd and 6 from the Auburn 9 yard line. Oh! Interception in the end zone! My son is exultant in his joy. Why is rooting for Auburn? I have no idea. Why is yelling “In your face, Memphis!”? Why am I blogging about this?