The Home Turf

24 May

While it is true that the name of our blog is a fairly self-explanatory sports reference, it (unlike many other things you will find on here) has some deeper meaning.

First, it was thought up when Capt. Farrell was retelling the story of his first post to me – explaining that a celibate lifestyle was his home turf, and with how funny that story was to me, it was clear we need to start writing our adventures down, and that “The Home Turf” was the clear choice for a name – that was one week ago.

*Some people chose celibacy. I had it thrust upon me.  This is captain farrell, and yes, I just shamelessly stole a joke from the Simpsons. Don’t be alarmed, I’ll be popping in here and there on this entry. 

Second, as you may know or at least have guessed by now, we are both from New England, and we miss it terribly.  The northeast (this excludes any and all of southern New York – we still like northern New York)  is our home turf – it is cold but virtuous, has ridiculous accents but wonderful expressions (example: Wicked Pissah), and it has the greatest sports franchises in the world.  Not surprisingly, we will both believe until the day we die, that there is nothing more beautiful than New England in the fall.

What Capt. Farrell and I were like as children (had one of us been of a different ethnicity)

Third, the home turf for Capt. Farrell and I, is just what we are doing here.  We have been known to communicate in many ways: simultaneous conversations while watching t.v./playing video games; cost-to-coast phone calls; text message, email, and once or twice even through the mail; we have also been accused of telepathy.  The common thread through all of these interactions is that they are all for the purpose of telling stories.  We have always had stories to tell one another, no matter the stage of life.

*My dad and Thor’s older brother still talk about this all the time. Personally, I think that it’s a byproduct of spending 300+ days per year together, every year, between the ages of 3 and 17 or so. The resulting rapport borders on low-grade telepathy.

A few examples:

To start the day in elementary school

We were in the same elementary class for every year but one, and we always sat next to one another, and began the day with stories from our wicked exciting lives outside of school.

*One of my favorites is  was in fourth grade or so, when I was giving you a hard time for not coming over to my house the previous day when you said that you would. You explained that it was because the pedal came off of your bike, leaving sharp, exposed metal that continued in its circular path as it slashed through your thigh, causing you to bleed all over the place and need stitches. I think you even showed me the blood trail on the sidewalk.  Or when you excitedly came in one day and told me that you’d given yourself a concussion and knocked all of your front teeth loose while ice skating.

When we were in elementary school, Capt. Farrell had a cat. I don’t remember its name right now, but sadly the cat passed, and his father, (we’ll call him Maverick because I like him as an X-Men character) buried the unfortunate feline beneath a lilac tree.  This was in the spring/summer, and we went on with our summer plans, sad, but having learned a lesson about the circle of life.  One day that fall however, Capt. Farrell came to school and he was visibly upset.  As we were in New England, as fall rolled around the frost descended upon the shallow grave of Capt. Farrell’s cat.

*That cat had many names. We got him on Christmas, so his initial name was Noel. We all agreed that that was a pretty stupid name, though, so dad and I lobbied for Shithead. My mom deemed that “too offensive”, so we went with Dickhead instead. Finally, it fell to me to rename him. Big mistake: I chose Zeke.

Now, I am no geologist, but my understanding is that the frost tends to move the soil around a little bit, or more specifically, when it freezes things within the soil, they might expand or contract.  Unfortunately, Maverick had not buried the cat too deep, and before long that fall, there was a solitary paw sticking out of the ground.  Capt. Farrell arrived to school white as a ghost and proceeded to relate the story to me, despite our teachers objections, of how his cat had been buried alive several months ago and had perished while trying to escape.  Needless to say we were freaked – it was all too Stephen King-ish, (a-la Pet Cemetery) especially because he too, is from New England, and had been recently sighted in our hometown.  It was soon explained that we were incorrect, but just to be on the safe side, we didn’t go near the lilac tree very often.

*My all-time favorite memory to recount from our childhood is that we had a running contest on who had the most cumulative stitches. I was pretty much in the driver’s seat from day one, on account of a german shepherd nearly mauling me to death when I was four years old. That ~40 stitch lead was just insurmountable. You made a valiant effort, between the ages of 5 and 12, to catch up, but you were only doing it 3-7 stitches at a time, so you never quite pulled it off. I kept adding to the count in my own right, but you still almost caught up.

In college, to keep up with one another

Capt. Farrell and I went to very different schools, one in Massachusetts and the other, Illinois.  As a result of our dramatically different college experiences, we always had fantastic stories to share with one another, like the time CF introduced me to the concept of Jungle Juice, and explained just how it had affected his previous evening.  (It involved a three man slingshot, full cans of beverage, and the other end of his hallway) or when I taught him what a lobby-couple was, and explained our sophisticated method of driving them away. (water balloons, five gallon buckets, and of course, a three-man slingshot, culminating in a car chase, my roommate hiding in a drainage culvert for two hours, and lots of awkward tension with classmates)  other examples include the infamous mushroom story, the locked in a medieval church, my roommates chasing a raccoon across our roof, the Munich adventure, four dates w/ four girls in six days, and the ever popular CF “what do you mean this test is open book/open note?!?” story.

*The Munich Adventure was amazing, and actually inspired me to adopt the practice of ‘teleporting‘. In short, whenever I was at a bar and I was just too drunk to deal with the hassle of the walk/cab ride home, I would simply keep drinking until I woke up, the next day, in bed. After all, if you could find your way back to your hotel in Munich in that state, then I could surely navigate my own neighborhood. 

*My personal favorites from my own experiences were 1) waking up in the woods with no pants on and 40’s taped to both hands, and 2) standing in the snow, soaking wet, in nothing but shorts- when my girlfriend declared that I wasn’t allowed to pass out, I loudly declared “goddammit woman, I’ll do what I want!” and passed out purely out of spite. Both are probably worth their own posts. 

After college, to stay up to date

After college, CF and I stayed in touch more regularly, for several reasons.  1) I was getting married.  2) We lived much farther away from one another 3) We still had awesome stories to tell, but they were now mixed in with semi-adult topics, like marriage and relationships, money, and of course, stupid people around us.  For CF, it was often stories about people he met in California, like the time he texted me at 5 a.m. LA time to tell me, “Dude, I just did shots of Patron with Dennis Rodman!”  Other times, he regaled me with tales of allowing rich-from-their-divorce cougars buy him drink after drink, until he decided it was time to go home, by himself.

*To be totally honest, that cougar thing only happened once or twice. The quickest way into my heart is still to buy me a beer, though. Women don’t typically buy drinks for guys, so it’s a total power move. On a side note, one of my sincerest regrets is that we didn’t have any chances to hit the bars especially hard in our younger, singler, recklesser days. Not even because I think we would wingman excellently for each other, but, setting that completely aside, mostly because we have too much shame nowadays to do stuff that used to be commonplace. 

*One of Thor’s more interesting quirks:

Part of my job description is listening to entrepreneurs, at the very earliest stages (oftentimes pre-seed funding), describing their latest and greatest business ideas. Understand, one of my mantras is that the idea doesn’t matter a tenth as much as would-be entrepreneurs think it does. Things like work ethic, connectnedness, access to capital, and good old-fashioned luck matter at least as much, and in many cases far more.  

Still, there is a certain threshold for quality of idea that any startup with big aspirations must hit. The idea has to immediately be both intimidating and deceptively simple. If your reaction is “wow, this could actually shake things up a bit, and the path to that outcome is plausible too. It’s really surprising that only 1 or 2 other people have thought of this” then you’re onto something. So it’s frustrating, to say the least, when most of the entrepreneurs that I speak with abjectly fail at this. The ideas that I hear are usually just no good (pro tip: if your business idea is to “be the Facebook of (blank)”, then just stop. (blank) already has a Facebook. It’s Facebook. Same goes for Google.).

The best part, though? Thor routinely calls me up with ideas that absolutely pass that test. Seriously, the man is a machine. He’s better at coming up with viable startup ideas than I am, and I work with startups. Some incubator should just put him on retainer and throw small amounts of capital and qualified manpower at his ideas. Not even joking, they would make an absolute killing. 

This quirk has developed over the years, due to my incessant scheming of how we will become wildly rich, very quickly, and CF’s patience in explaining to me what constitutes a good business plan.  So far, no dice, but I still have a few ideas…


One Response to “The Home Turf”

  1. captain_farrell June 21, 2011 at 1:36 am #

    you’re the indian baby

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