Big Red Car here. Tonight, the NCAA Basketball Tournament begins. Or as The Boss says — tonight life itself begins.
So a word to all women about the NCAA Basketball Tournament, etiquette and general advice.
Ladies, this is a BIG freakin’ deal
Ladies, the NCAA Basketball Tournament is a a very big thing in the life of your man. A very big thing. Do not downplay it. You are messing with the invention of fire here.
If you are pregnant, I would give serious consideration to somehow delaying the arrival of that bambino until after the tournament wraps in early April — the 8th of April to be exact.
Witness the fact, ladies, that the President of the United States was unable to complete the US budget — as required by law in early February — but he was able to get his Final Four bracket done on time and picked Indiana.
Sure the budget is a roadmap to spending $3,700,000,000,000 over a year and sure we have an enormous financial crisis at hand which threatens the very existence of our Nation but the President has a $20 bet on the basketball tournament. And no guy, even Newt Gingrich, would really find a fault with that. This is way more important than politics or the survival of the United States.
You have to keep things in perspective, ladies. This is very important stuff.
What can you do to help?
Let’s be honest here. Guys are so pathetically predictable this represents an enormous opportunity for you ladies to bank a huge gob of goodwill usable for all fashion of future things. It is the face of opportunity. Use it to your advantage. We all know Machiavelli has nothing on you, darling.
Pragmatically, here are some things you can do to really leverage this situation to your own advantage. Let’s explore a few:
1. Go to Sam’s or Costco and buy a Suburban load of beer, soft drinks, salty snack foods (nuts, chips, pretzels, popcorn, cheese doodles — remember the beer), dips, rolls, condiments and deli meats. You can also buy some chicken salad from Sam’s. Some fruit is also appreciated. You may need to make multiple trips.
2. Pro tip: hide some of the snacks and beer in a safe place so that when the inevitable logistical nightmare rears its ugly head — out of chips, dips, beer, drinks — you can provide an instant remedy. This is worth at least one major holiday at your family’s home in the next 12 months.
3. Like the US Marine Corps, be prepared to resupply on the run but remember also that there are no games on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. This gives you some breathing room to evacuate the wounded and get the small arms ammunition, artillery rounds and hot chow up to the troopers in direct contact with the enemy. Odds are that your significant other will revert to some form of normalcy on those days when there are no games but it cannot be guaranteed. He still has to research Gonzaga’s box scores.
4. It goes without saying that the gameroom TV has been tuned up and that the cable package or Roku has been run through its paces and all pertinent channels have been checked, double checked and re-checked. Remove all items which are small enough to be thrown and add a couple of wastebackets — waterproof ones are better.
Put fresh batteries in the remote control and store a package of fresh batteries on top of the cable box.
5. Identify each and every chick flick that you have ever wanted to see and plan on viewing them on the bedroom TV. Get NetFlix into the act. Watch every episode of Downton Abbey again. Buy the big box of tissues at Sam’s for yourself.
6. Go with your best girlfriends to see every local cultural event that is playing during the Tournament. Drink margaritas, talk smack, eat TexMex and have a big old time. Stay out late and don’t fret about anything. The guy in your life will never even notice you are missing.
7. Put extra toilet tissue — a case should do fine — in the two bathrooms closest to the game room. Lots of clean hand towels and hand sanitizer. The sanitizer is only there as a hopeful gesture.
8. Go visit your parents especially if they live way out of town and this requires an overnight stay. But remember to have the extra snacks and beer in full supply. This is very important. Remember also that your Dad will be watching the Tournament.
9. If you live where it is cold, build a huge fire — uhhh, this does assume you have a fireplace, sweeties. Get that favorite book, the Lab and curl up and read that book and enjoy that fire and listen out for any emergency calls for beer or snacks. If anyone calls for our guy, tell them he is in surgery.
10. Whatever team your guy is rooting for — you love also. Even if you actually went to Duke, pretend you are secretly rooting for the Tarheels. Screw Duke, BTW.
Don’t try to reason with a guy who thinks that Louisville should not have beaten his favorite team even though they were a #8 seed. Agree with him that the officiating was spotty and his boys got screwed and deserved to win. It will just be easier on him and you. Again, you are building mad bank here.
Things not to do
It goes without saying that there are some things that you just don’t do during the Tournament. Remember it’s only going to be three weeks.
1. Do not invite your Mother to visit. There is nobody who loves their mother-in-law that much so why press it. If by some quirk of fate, Mom loves basketball — hey, it could happen, right? — beer, chips, dips and farting, well give it a chance but generally the Big Red Car says — NO!
2. Do not schedule any home improvements particularly any that would require your guy’s participation. None.
3. Do not accept any invitations of any kind whatsoever — even if Pope Francis calls and says he wants to pop over for a meet and greet — that conflict with the Tournament. None.
4. Do not schedule to go skiing, to the Turks & Caicos or to renew your marriage vows. It would be embarrassing to be left at the airport or church alone.
5. Do not schedule any medical procedures even childbirth. If you cannot hold that child off from coming, hope it is a girl because if it is a boy he will want to watch the Tournament himself.
The Tournament will not last forever. It will seem like it but no, it will not last forever and the goodwill you bank will be fungible and powerful. Apply a bit of compound interest and it will be a thing of beauty. Work your deal, ladies. Work your deal. This is low hanging fruit for guileful chicks like you.
Remember about withdrawal. The Championship game is on Monday but the glow of the Tournament will last for a couple of days longer and then you will deal with……………………………………..withdrawal. You are dealing with an addict, so let him down gently.
When your guy drifts toward the gameroom on Tuesday night with “that” look on his face, be kind and sweet. He is suffering the first pangs of withdrawal and his team probably did not win the Tournament. Be gentle.