Guy Ellis

The last rites of Christmas

They say that if you wish to make the Gods laugh simply tell them your plans for the future. My future plans, last week anyway, were to assemble a gaggle of Christmas toys and presents for my children to take possession of on the morning of the holiday. The Gods were with me- I somehow managed to put together a small Star Wars galaxy and a video-game racing car “simulator” all before 3 AM for a holiday that began at 6 AM – sharp!

Don’t get too embarrassed 

Speaking of kids, I was visiting with a friend here in town this week and he shared some things about his son. My friend’s son had his picture in the paper a few weeks ago for a high scholastic honor but his name in the cutline, or caption, was out of sequence with the accompanying photo. That particular instance wasn’t of my doing, although I average about three mistakes a week so I understand how easy it is to get something out of line or misspelled or misplaced. In any event, Matthew Gallman, on behalf of my co-workers please accept my apologies for the gaff and congratulations on your achievements. Your father is rightly proud as you should be, too.

A little bit of sports

It’s college football bowl season again and Oklahoma is fortunate enough to have all three Division IA universities represented. Best wishes to the Sooner and Golden Hurricane fans in your team’s bowl games. And for the Cowboy fans, hey, it was a great season no matter the outcome of the Holiday Bowl. Take heart, too- my alma mater lost to Panhandle State on the gridiron this year.

My brother lives in Boise and he attended the Roady’s Humanitarian Bowl on Wednesday night. He was there not because he is a fan of Maryland or Nevada – the battling teams – but because a car lot was giving away free tickets to the game to anyone who test drove a car in the days leading up to the contest. So after spending an hour at the local Ford dealer my kin left the lot with tickets to the game but no new vehicle.

The answer to the obvious sports question about my brother living in Boise is: yes, he lived there when Boise State beat OU in the Fiesta Bowl. And as an OU fan living through Boise football season is a test of endurance for him because everyone knows he is an OU fan and everyone there is a Boise State fan and, yes, they still speak of that Fiesta Bowl daily on all of the sports radio stations and at all the water coolers up there.

A quick story from my granddad

School days in my grandparents’ time was a lot different than it is today. I’m skeptical of the four-miles-uphill-both-ways-in-the-snow trek that my granddad claims he endured during his elementary days. But, he’s earned the benefit of the doubt and, besides, he didn’t have it nearly as bad as one of his classmates.

Seems a friend of his got a stick horse for Christmas one year. Well, granddad’s buddy was pretty excited about it and when school resumed after the break the youngster decided to ride his stick horse to school.

So off he went but when he made it to the schoolhouse his enthusiasm had waned a bit and noticeably. Eyeing the situation the schoolmarm approached her pupil and asked him what the problem was.

“Well,” the student began, “I rode this here stick horse to school today but I feel as if I ran the whole way.”

Book club

There’ll probably come a period sometime this season when Old Man Winter locks everyone up for a spell. Prepare for it now with a good book! I’m no Oprah- not even close- but here are a few suggestions:

For plain old escapism I recommend Louis L’Amour’s “Sackett.” You won’t have to think too much and the whole experience is pure entertainment.

If you like to ponder then I’d suggest “A People’s History of the United States” by Howard Zinn. Don’t let the voluminous size scare you off – the book covers 1492 to the present so just pick a chapter/time period you think is interesting and start there.

Dad was never much for reading history books. He told me, “Aw, it’s so depressing because you know how it’s going to end.”

I have to mention my personal favorite, “The Son Also Rises” by Ernest Hemingway. You can’t go wrong there.

Kids: Smarter than I figured

Back during football season I was chatting with my son before a home game he was going to be attending – his first Ridgerunner game ever.

“Ridgy is going to be there, you know,” I told him.

My kids think Ridgy is the greatest thing since sliced bread so that news got the little first grader all fired up.

Sensing that he may know something more about the subject than myself I asked him, “What is Ridgy?”

“He’s my friend,” the boy replied.

Not wholly satisfied with that response I pushed a little farther.

“Yes, he’s your friend, but what IS Ridgy?”

Annoyed, my precocious offspring replied, bluntly, “He’s a man in a bird suit, Dad!”