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To Pants, or Not to Pants...
That is the question. (Also, an excerpt from "Restitution").
Last week, I stumbled across a rather strange news story that went down in Johnson City, TN. It involved a state representative named Jeremy Faison who was attending a high school basketball game between Providence Academy and Lakewood Christian Academy.
During the game, which was live-streamed on social media, Faison walked down onto the court to argue with officials about some calls he disagreed with. The situation grew more heated, and when Fiason was asked by officials to go back to the bleachers, he started to walk away, but turned back to one of the referees, pointed his finger at him, and said, “You can't tell me to leave the floor, this was your fault.”
That wasn’t the end of things. Apparently deciding that his verbal retort wasn’t sufficient, Faison physically tried to pull the referee’s pants down.
No, I’m not joking.
Fortunately for everyone, he was unsuccessful.
The incident was captured on video:
Anger, of course, makes people do irrational things, and kind of notoriously so at school sporting events where parents are emotionally invested in their kids’ competitions. But the thought process involved in this specific incident really does stand out to me as particularly fascinating.
There have been a number of times, over my nearly 50 years on this planet, when I’ve been pretty mad at someone. Yet, never have I had an inclination to exact revenge by depantsing one of them. The thought would have never even occurred to me.
I’m not saying it wouldn’t have been an effective tactic in a confrontation. After all, it would be pretty difficult for an opponent to mount much of a defense, or come chasing after you, with their pants down around their ankles.
Still, I guess I’m old school when it comes to pantsing. Back in my day, it was something friends (usually dudes) did to each other, on very rare occasions, as sort of a practical joke.
I’m not endorsing the behavior, or anything like that. In fact, in retrospect, I’d say it’s a terrible practice under pretty much any circumstance (unless, of course, we’re talking about a potentially life-saving measure in the event of someone’s pants somehow catching on fire).
I mean, I personally never liked being pantsed (not that it happened a lot), and I definitely regret the one time that I did it to someone else. But unfortunately, that moment was an opportunity my teenage, less mature self simply couldn’t resist.
You see, one of my buddies back when I was in high school was pretty into weight lifting, and one night at a party where the host owned a weight set, he was showing off to girls how much weight he could two-handed arm curl (he did that type of thing a lot, come to think of it).
As I’ve written in the past, one of my all-time favorite comedic precepts is an over-eager guy humiliating himself in front of a woman he’s trying to impress (it’s one of the reasons I’ve always liked shows like Three’s Company and Hello Ladies).
So yeah, once my buddy held the barbell up almost to his chin, I stepped in behind him, grabbed two fists-full of his jogging pants, and gave them a good downward yank.
Now, I should note that in my defense, and having sometimes worked out with my friend (including changing afterwards in the locker-room), I happened to know for a fact that he always wore boxer shorts (sometimes pretty loud ones). And I swear to this day that embarrassing him a little by exposing those shorts to a crowded room (while he was grandstanding for the ladies) was the extent of my intent.
Unknowingly and unfortunately, those ‘two fists-full of pants’ I described earlier included his boxer shorts.
Next came loud gasps, lots of screaming and laughter, the thunderous sound of the barbell dropped (hard) to the floor, and subsequent confirmation that it is indeed fairly easy to escape someone immobilized by their pants being wrapped around their ankles.
The good news was that I recognized the error of my action, and learned a little something about the unintended consequences of physical comedy. (In other good news, my buddy ended up dating one of the girls.)
Likewise, I hope that Mr. Faison has learned an important listen: pantsing people is wrong, but rage-pantsing unsuspecting sports officials is really wrong (especially when you’re an elected representative and a camera is rolling).
To Faison’s credit, it does appear as though he has taken responsibility (and feels remorse) for his actions, per this message he later posted on social media:
For years I thought how wrong it is when a parent looses their temper at a sporting event. It’s not Christian and it’s not mature and it’s embarrassing to the child have always been my thoughts.
Unfortunately, I acted the fool tonight and lost my temper on a ref. I was wanting him to fight me. Totally lost my junk and got booted from the from the gym. I’ve never really lost my temper but I did tonight and it was completely stupid of me. Emotions getting in the way of rational thoughts are never good. I hope to be able to find the ref and ask for his forgiveness. I was bad wrong.
I do kind of feel for the guy, as I too am in regular need of a proofreader, but I’m sorry to say that he has once again left me confused. What does it mean to totally lose one’s junk? Does he not understand what junk is typically slang for? I mean, junk is what the pantsing controversy was really all about.
Anyway, as a ‘Daly Grind’ PSA, I felt this was an important topic to discuss this week. You’re welcome, America.
Do you have any insightful thoughts on pantsing or high school sports officiating? Tell me them in an email, or in the comment section below.
Excerpt from “Restitution”
My upcoming novel Restitution releases next month, so I figured it was time to share an excerpt with ‘Daly Grind’ readers. The below selection is from chapter 1. Enjoy!
Another scream was followed by the loud pop of a gun. Three more pops came soon after.
The mariachi music went dead. An overweight man with his daughter in his arm barreled out through the door. Other tenants followed, panicked and confused—an old man, a teenager, a woman in a towel. Alvar wasn’t among them.
The boy breathed hard. He swung his head to the street, watching his neighbors flee in different directions. He knew none would return to help. They were too scared.
With another pop of a gun, he clenched his teeth and ran inside. His backpack bounced off another tenant as he jogged up the stairs, skipping every other step. When he reached the third floor and entered the hallway, he gasped at the sight of one of the men from the truck lying motionless in a pool of his own blood. His head was pointed right toward the boy, wide eyes glaring through him. Part of his skull had been blown off, a gap in his hair leaving some brain exposed.
A man yelled from the open apartment door next to the body. Another man yelled back. One was threatening. The other was pleading. A woman screamed and whimpered.
In the dead man’s hand was a silver revolver. The boy pulled off his backpack and set it against the wall. He quietly made his way forward, as the shouting and screaming continued inside. Two men. One woman.
The boy knelt beside the dead man, avoiding looking at his face a second time as he pried the gun from his warm fingers. He looked the weapon over before gripping it the way he’d once been taught. He peeked inside the doorway. There he saw the other young man from the truck. He was lying facedown on the orange shag carpet. Blood spattered the short wall beside him, along with a bullet hole that had torn off part of the drywall. Across the room was the open window he’d seen his younger brother standing in from the court. The phone on the stand below the windowsill had been knocked over. Its off-hook tone began screeching.
The boy swallowed and entered carefully as another tenant raced down the hallway behind him. He held his breath through a stench of cigarettes as he stepped over the man’s body. The shouting belted back and forth, growing more aggressive. It was coming from the master bedroom to his left.
Will pantsing come next? You’ll have to buy the book to find out. 😉
Speaking of Upcoming Releases…
Tomorrow is release day for two new novels from my publisher, both written by talented authors I’ve worked with. If you like books with a paranormal twist, you’ll want to check these out.
The first is “A New Haunt for Mr. Bierce,” a murder mystery by Drew Bridges.
The ghost of Ambrose Bierce, American writer and civil war Union soldier, has been displaced from the home he had been haunting.
Enlisting the aid of a “haunting agent,” he finds a new residence that has the requisite dark history and terrible secret that makes it appropriate for haunting. Here he meets new spirits who reside in this version of the afterlife, a middle place between life and the ultimate destination.
Against his intentions, Bierce becomes caught up in the unsolved mystery of his new haunt. In partnership with an old friend, a Buddhist priest named “Sid” who has inhabited the spirit world for 25 centuries, he reluctantly involves himself in the matters of still living people. Bierce and his friend also become aware of the presence of mysterious “others” who are spirits who never held human form.
Bierce, Sid, and other new spirit friends ultimately find themselves as part of a quest to save a human life, rescue another spirit from oblivious, and discover the identity of the “others.”
You can learn more about this book and order it here.
The second title is “Death of a Fallen,” a paranormal thriller by Kelly Hollingshead.
Mysterious forces are driving a deadly wedge between Riley and his best friend, a fallen angel named Jonathan.
A year ago, Riley had come to put his trust and his very life in Jonathan’s hands, but something is happening to Jonathan, something very dark, and it’s putting Riley at risk. He was once Riley’s most trusted friend, but now Riley is beginning to fear him and for good reason.
They will both face impossible decisions, which mean only one of them will survive as the forces of evil once again come after them.
You can learn more about this book and order it here.
Obligatory Dog Shot
First snow of the season.
One of my favorite bands back in the 90s was Live. They had lots of big hits, including “Lightning Crashes” and “I Alone” from their “Throwing Copper” album which sold over 8 million copies.
Front-man Ed Kowalczyk’s soulful writing and vocals were a big part of the band’s success, and also the reason why their much less recognized song, “Dance with You” was my and my wife’s wedding song.
Some inner turmoil led to Kowalczyk leaving the band in 2009. He returned in 2016, after producing a couple of solo albums. “Alive” was the first of them, and while it unsurprisingly carried a similar sound to his work with Live, it’s been fairly described as more religious and spiritual than his earlier material with the band (though there was a lot of faith imagery in those works too; albeit more subtle). The song “Grace” is a perfect example.
“Alive” is a strong album with a number of very deep songs.
That’s all for now. Thanks for reading today’s Daly Grind.
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Also, if you’re not caught up on my Sean Coleman Thrillers, you can pick the entire series up at a great price on Amazon. And if you’re interested in signed, personalized copies of my books, you can order them directly from my website.
Take care. And I’ll talk to you soon!