I went over to Keaton’s for the Super Bowl. I was thinking of having him over to the pool house, since now I’m the one with the bigger TV, and watch it with him and Jacob (Matteo was telling everyone all week long that he wasn’t going to watch the Super Bowl), but I also needed some time away from the boys. I think Jacob was disappointed, but he seemed ok with it when I got back…especially as the game was pretty much over by halftime and he didn’t watch it through to the end.
(Comment on the halftime show: WTF?)
Keaton even had a couple of the guys over. There isn’t room for a whole softball team in Keaton’s apartment, but he did invite Sloppy Joe, Ryan and Travis, so we all got to catch up.
Y’all have heard more about Travis than the other two Parrots, since we had that little adventure when he turned up on my doorstep in the middle of the night a few months ago. He’s still living at that place he calls the ‘funny farm’ but says he and the staff there are talking about him moving someplace else soon, maybe even to his own place. He told us that his therapist doesn’t think it’s such a great idea that he go back to his parents’ house. It’s been over a year since he was in the hospital and he seems to be doing well, even if the night he got involved with that sketchy chick was a slip-up. At least that taught him a lesson about sketchy chicks you pick up in parks lol. He’s also talking about going back to school in the fall, which, if things play out right for him, he’ll be able to do in person and he’ll have managed to miss out on the ‘remote learning’ bullshit everyone’s been stuck with for the past year. (That’s everyone who doesn’t have private tutors like Dr. Peterson, and, I reckon, me.)
Ryan, who it’s been months since I’ve seen, looks great, I’m glad to report. Take-out business has apparently been real good at the restaurant where he works, and they’re keeping him super busy six days a week most weeks. (Ryan: “if they keep me working, I can’t get in trouble.”) So he’s making money, and he says it doesn’t cost too much to live at his sober living, so he’s putting some by for when he feels he can move into his own place.
We were surprised to hear it, but he’s had news about the motherfucker who kept him as a slave for two years. The cops finally caught up with him on sexual assault charges against a 17 year old. Because the victim is a minor, they didn’t give Ryan a whole lot of details, but they’re interested in having Ryan maybe testifying about what a sick fuck the dude is. They’ve even asked him if he wants to press charges of his own about being held prisoner. He’s not sure he wants…part of him would rather that the whole nightmare stay behind him, although the rest of us are all for putting the fucker in jail (Keaton: “let’s see how long he lasts there.”) I’ve never been through anything like the ordeal Ryan went through, but, if it were me, I’d want some kind of closure. And, yeah, probably some revenge too.
If Ryan looked great, the one y’all wouldn’t recognize is Sloppy Joe. He’s lost 50 pounds. Not having seen him since the quarantine started, it came as a shock, so I’m not sure which version of Sloppy Joe I like better. It’s not like he looked bad as a dang big guy, and all that weight certainly gave him one hell of a swing, but now he looks like he’d do a lot better at running the bases than he used to.
What happened? Remember when he got himself a ‘nice’ girlfriend for the first time, instead of the super hot models he was used to dating? Well…it was her. He apparently put on over 15 pounds during the first month of the quarantine, and she took matters into her own hands and signed him up for Nutrisystem without even asking him. He says it’s pretty simple: they send you food, you eat it, and you lose weight, just like they say you do in the commercial. That sounds a whole lot simpler than what they’ve been putting Matteo through, and Matteo had 15 and not 50 pounds to lose. Of course, Sloppy Joe had his own food police in the form of his girlfriend. She actually went through his kitchen and threw out everything that wasn’t Nutrisystem, so he wouldn’t be able to eat shit he wasn’t supposed to. Like I said, Danielle’s got a firm hold on Sloppy Joe’s balls. She even wants him to lose more weight, although I’m not sure that a 185 pound Sloppy Joe is gonna be the kind of power hitter the Parrots rely on him to be.
I gotta admit that I don’t get a lot of this diet stuff. I didn’t think Matteo was all that fat (despite what Robert said about him four years ago), and I didn’t think that Sloppy Joe was so fat. Yeah, he’s a big dude, but so what? And all those super hot model girlfriends clearly didn’t mind that he was weighing in at 275. So it’s hard to get what this Danielle chick (I haven’t met her yet) is insisting on. But then I’ve been lucky, I guess, and never had to worry about my weight. Joyce says I’ve got a “blessed metabolism”, but I’ve also always been pretty dang active…which I reckon is how you can have “a suggestion of a six-pack” (as Sandy like to put it) and still eat ice cream. Ok, I also don’t eat a whole container of ice cream at a sitting, but worrying about worrying about what I eat isn’t something I’ve ever had to do. Yeah, I know how lucky that makes me.
Actually Sloppy Joe’s gone beyond Nutrisystem. Danielle’s found something else for him to take too, these apple cider vinegar gummy things that sound totally grossass but which he swears are magic.
Keaton: “there are no magic weight loss pills, man….maybe your Nutrisystem works, but your gummies are fuckin bullshit.”
Ryan: “if you want to lose weight, just hook up with a slave master who’ll keep you in a cage and you’ll be down to skin and bones in no time.”
Travis: “they’re feeding us too much frozen pizza where I’m at…maybe I should start taking those.”
Sloppy Joe: “you can get them at Walmart, although Danielle orders them from me off Amazon. She’s got Prime.”
Me (to Travis): “dude, you don’t need apple cider vinegar, you look fine. And I’m with Keaton…those gummy things sound like bullshit.”
“No, really,” Sloppy Joe said. “They work. Look – I’m all the proof you need. Danielle said her mom lost 30 pounds eating them. You just have three after every meal and the weight disappears.”
“I’m telling you man,” Keaton said, “there are no magic pills. Look what they’re putting bubba’s kid through. What’s he getting? 800 calories a day?”
“850,” I said.
“850!,” Sloppy Joe exclaimed. “That’s nothing. How old is the kid?”
“9,” I said. “Haven’t you been watching us on TV?”
“Will you still be my friend if I said no?”
“Yeah, man, it’s okay.”
“Of course it is,” said Keaton. “The show’s fuckin gay most of the time. Especially when the camera’s making love to bubba here with his shirt off.”
Keaton got the two word answer to that.
“You’re telling me they’re feeding a 9 year old kid 850 calories a day?,” Sloppy Joe asked. That’s verging on child abuse.”
“Talk to Maya and Robert about it,” I said, “I’m only in charge of making sure the kid exercises six times a week.”
“Wait,” Sloppy Joe said, “he’s got to exercise on top of that? Man, that’s so fucked up, I don’t know where to start.”
“I know,” I said, “but he’s almost at his goal. With any luck, the diet will be over by tomorrow’s weigh-in…”
“Wait,” Sloppy Joe said again, “they’re weighing the kid in on TV?”
He really doesn’t watch the show, does he lol?
“Yes. They have balloons and shit ready for tomorrow if he makes his goal weight.
“I hope he makes it,” Sloppy Joe said.
“So do we all. He’s worked real hard at it. As far I know he almost never ‘cheats’ on his diet…and he goes through his exercises like I tell him to, although he does give me attitude most of the time.”
“What’s a kid that age doing in the gym? He should just be running around and playing outside.”
“Don’t act like any of this was bubba’s idea,” Keaton said. “When he got hired it was to teach the boys to play baseball.”
“You should be sneaking him food,” Sloppy Joe said.
“Yeah…and cider vinegar gummies,” said Keaton with a smirk.
“I’d get my ass fired and kicked out of the pool house so fast I wouldn’t know what hit me. Besides, Matteo’s being supervised by a nutritionist and a doctor and a whole shit ton of other people. I don’t think anything too bad is gonna happen to him physically as a result of being starved for a few months.”
‘There’s a shitload of damage being done to those boys by keeping them locked up for a year,” said Keaton. (I didn’t know he cared so much about Jacob and Matteo.) “The diet is the least of it. At least with bubba around though they’ve got a dude who’s not messing with their heads. I’ve met them – they’re great kids…but I’m not surprised that one of them had a meltdown last week about being kept away from his friends all this time.”
“Any kid on 850 calories a day would be melting down,” Sloppy Joe said.
“Actually it’s Jacob who had the meltdown. The other one.”
“The jock,” Keaton contributed.
“It’s real tough on kids being cooped up like they’re being kept…” I broke off with a look at Ryan.
“Don’t worry, man,” said Ryan, “you can say ‘prisoner’ around me. It’s over and done with. But I certainly can tell how it really must be rough on kids not seeing their friends…”
“Or getting away from their parents for a while every day,” said Travis.
“Do you guys mind if we watch some football?,” asked Keaton. “Some of us have money riding on the game, even if Kansas City isn’t gonna catch up.”
Keaton, who I hadn’t reckoned for a Tom Brady fan, had Tampa by a huge spread and (if he’s to be believed) pocketed $500 as a result. Sloppy Joe, who put his money on Kansas City, didn’t tell us how much he lost…but he did come in for Keaton’s lecture on how you don’t bet on the team you like, you be on the team that you think is gonna pay off. (Even with the lecture, I suspect Keaton likes Tom Brady lol.)
“It’s no big deal,” Sloppy Joe said, “Danielle doesn’t let me bet a lot of money on sports.”
What did I tell y’all about his balls lol?
So, even if there wasn’t much to the game, I had a great time watching it with the guys. Now what we need to do is get back on the field. Maybe if the governor can get his shit together before we fire him and get us all vaccinated we’ll be able to play ball again. Our Super Bowl afternoon taught me that I miss my buddies almost as much as Jacob misses his.