South City Confessions: Parents shouldn’t force their kids to play sports

Know when to say “it’s okay to not play”

Advertisements

He was serious this time.

I walked up to the playground and the first words out of Vinny’s mouth on a hot and dry Monday afternoon were, “daddy, I don’t want to play tee-ball anymore.”

I didn’t argue. For two weeks, my son had slowly but surely lost interest in playing the sport. Six years old isn’t an age where a boy or girl should be forced to play a sport in order to satisfy some childlike urge from their parents or in order to feel like they belong. Vinny wasn’t having fun, so he was done.

As a matter of fact, I can’t fucking stand parents who force their kids to play sports at any age. There’s nothing worse than the dad with a very tight Under Armour t-shirt on screaming on their kid to keep their glove on the dirt or for a nine-year-old to perfect a pitching motion. I’ve seen all of it and felt like walking up to the parent and jamming the aluminum bat up their ass. For fucks sake, pick your battles and don’t be the overly oppressive parent. It doesn’t matter which sport, all the overbearing parents look the same. Continue reading “South City Confessions: Parents shouldn’t force their kids to play sports”

A Birthday Party Gone Terribly Wrong: A few words about Corey Hall

When senseless gun violence takes a good life

If you ask me, I bet Corey Hall couldn’t wait to see his friends and family at Ballpark Village on Sunday night.

He was turning 38 years old, had a lawnmower business getting ready to hit its busy season, and was a newlywed. A hard-working father, Hall was going to kick back and enjoy in downtown St. Louis at an event perfectly titled, “Eat, drink, chill.”

Hall never left Ballpark Village. He was an innocent bystander caught in the crossfire of a scuffle between two other people, resulting in gunshots being fired his way. Corey Hall was shot in the head and died at 2 a.m. early Monday morning. A birthday party gone terribly wrong.

Quite frankly, I’m beside myself right now. I’m angry. Pissed off in the worst way.

Let me get this out of the way before you jump to assumptions or roll your eyes: I didn’t know Corey or any of his family members. We were two regular dudes abiding the law in a city that is getting ripped to shreds by senseless violence. There’s no cure or simple way to stop it either. I didn’t know Corey, but I feel I like do today sadly.

I am father, husband. and 36 years old. I spend way too much time around Ballpark Village driving for Uber. Last Tuesday, I was a matter of yards away from where Hall was, watching a game in the AT&T Rooftop Deck. It could have been me if those two people had ran into each other a different night.

You see, that’s what you do when tragedy happens to someone that you don’t know. The first thing you do is attach it to your own life and wonder what if. It’s too scary to focus on for too long, so you shift your focus to the family and friends torn apart by the tragedy. I can’t imagine Hall’s parents or his wife. The idea of his kid growing up without a dad, not knowing the reason why his dad was taken so soon.

A father shouldn’t bury his kid, but the kid shouldn’t bury his old man without knowing why he died. Hall died for no reason other than someone feeling tough and protected by carrying a gun on their person. I wonder why you can’t get into a baseball game across the street with a gun, but you can walk into a place of business right across the street. A simple metal detector would have stopped this. Well, maybe.

I don’t have answers. I’m simply mad and sad about an innocent man dying. In September, an innocent family man died in Philadelphia, and I wrote about it here. It pissed me off and I made a comment on Facebook that I regretted. I won’t do that here because there are no real answers.

I won’t say ban guns. That doesn’t work. Taking away guns doesn’t help hard-working people who like to own a weapon to protect their own or just feel safe. A gun in the right hands isn’t a bad thing.

I also don’t think it should be incredibly easy to acquire a gun. A tighter more complex protocol wouldn’t be too invasive and may weed out some of the mad souls who shouldn’t own a weapon. Such as, if you get an assault charge or domestic battery or anything having to do with violence, your ability to carry should be restricted. Start somewhere and go from there.

Honestly, I don’t know what the true answer is. The Ballpark Village shooting is a sad occurrence that places another black eye on the city of St. Louis, and that’s a shame, because most nights, the venue lights up like a Christmas tree, bringing revenue and good times to the city.

One would think it was a safe place to enjoy a birthday. Corey Hall thought it would be on Sunday. He was 38 years old, married, a father to two kids, and had a good local business. Anytime a proud STL native dies in the name of senseless violence, it’s a tragedy.

This violence isn’t limited to St. Louis though. It’s a common event all over the globe. Everywhere. People shoot others for no reason other than rage, jealousy, and ignorance. How can you stop something that’s spreading every single day? When the higher-up authority decides to truly take a look and alter old rules.

I wouldn’t want their job. It surely won’t be easy to figure out.

I’m just a writer who took to the keyboard to write about a good soul lost too soon. A proud South City native who hates seeing violence rip his city apart.

I’m not at a loss for words, but I sit here without a solution. I’m powerless.

That’s all I got.

South City Confessions: I want no part of the single life

Confession: single people scare the shit out of me.

I’m not lying. When I drive drunk single souls home every weekend, I hear it all. A woman dressed to kill who can’t find the man she wants or berates the one sitting next to her. The guy in the super-tight polo shirt who clicks away on his phone at a woman while he taunts his buddies. “Hey bro, guess what she just said??”

Hey bro, I don’t give a shit. I couldn’t care less.

Let me explain. I’ve been married for 13 years and living with my wife for nearly 16 years. On May 6, we celebrate the 16th anniversary of our first date in Columbia, Missouri. I haven’t been single since May 5, 2002. If I was given a mulligan, a chance to do it all over again, I’d do the exact same thing. Continue reading “South City Confessions: I want no part of the single life”

South City Confessions: Ladies, if your heels hurt your feet, stop wearing them

You’re better than a fancy painful shoe

And with those ten words, man reconstructed the paths of time, helping ordinary women bring the feeling back to their toes.

Seriously, for fucks sake, women need to stop wearing high-heels if they hurt their feet i the process. Pleasing the freaky toe-licker crowd isn’t worth the hassle of your foot turning into the shape of a prune by the age of 25.

Since I drive for Uber every weekend, I get at least three women who climb into the car complaining about her feet hurting. This is what I’d like to turn around and tell her: Continue reading “South City Confessions: Ladies, if your heels hurt your feet, stop wearing them”

School Shootings: A true look at our mad and irreparable world

Stopping them is still no easy task.

True story. There’s a waiting area for parents on sight when there is a school shooting. Can you imagine that? It’s like taking your kid to the doctor, but the doc may have a gun. You just have to wait.

A shooter in South Florida today walked into a high school and killed “many” students and injured at least 14 others. There wasn’t a reason or warning given prior, or one to be found after the horrible tragedy.

There never is a reason. The only explanation will be that the human species is capable of bad things, and we will be left wondering when it will happen again.

The superintendent for Parkland High School said there were cops positioned outside the school, but the shooter still managed to unleash chaos on the school. Many, including myself, have asked for stronger security at schools to prevent these attacks. Today, it didn’t work.

As a parent, all I can think about are the parents of the kids lost or injured. I imagine getting that phone call while I am out and about, or at home. I can imagine my heart clenching up and the need to call my wife and parents. I would be instructed to stay home and wait by the phone by police, because the shooter would still be at large.

Obviously, I would disobey those commands, and drive to the school. I’d park a few blocks away and get as close as I could on foot. Sooner or later, I would probably be restrained. Thinking about it makes me mad and sad at the same time, like a person trying to run through quicksand in his or her own mind.  Continue reading “School Shootings: A true look at our mad and irreparable world”

Five Things I know

Ford, aging, cold, and Kaczynski teasing.

Wake up, god damn it! A little Petey Greene for you this morning. If you don’t know who I’m talking about, track down the wonderful yet underrated Don Cheadle film, Talk to Me.

Now that I have your attention, let me provide a few thoughts that are rumbling around my head this not as cold Tuesday. There have been some favorable responses to the rants as of late, so perhaps I’ll drop a few more unfiltered takes here. Merciless prose bombs unfit for Midwestern house husbands and fulfilled yoga instructors.

Without any more bullshitting, here are five things I know:

5. Harrison Ford was a killer movie star once upon a time. He’s 75 years old these days, and while he hasn’t lost all of his swagger, there’s nothing like the timeless badass from Star Wars, Indiana Jones, and Blade Runner. I liked his recent reprisals of two of those legendary roles, but as I re-watch those older flicks, I have to admit the man had a star quality that few actors have these days. The man was Humphrey Bogart if he fought Nazis and cracked a whip while rocking a fedora. He even drove a fast ship.

A pure cinematic pleasure who didn’t have to put on 15 pounds of muscle or change his appearance to convince you he could take your woman and save the day all in the same night. Just watch The Fugitive, where he plays down the hunk appeal and goes chasing waterfalls while trying to prove his innocence. I think I’ll watch the Presidio and Witness next.  Continue reading “Five Things I know”

2017: The end of the year rant

2017 represented so many things that it’s hard to put it into words, but I’m going to try. Donald Trump took office, Hollywood’s elite took a blow, the Patriots won another Super Bowl, the NFL became less popular, a versatile fleet of film took over cinema, and the Astros won a World Series. Anybody hear much about the NBA? Me neither.

Now, this won’t be your grandfather’s yearly rundown. What I say will most likely offend Star Wars fanatics, political maniacs, and civil minds. But, if you hang with me and keep an open mind, you’ll understand where I stand in the end. So, without much order or pre-existing thought, let’s look back at 2017.

TRUMP and POTUS

Thanks a lot, Hilary. The Democrats really screwed the pooch here. Clinton is a war criminal, liar, and deplorable idea for a President, so it was only fitting that a clueless billionaire got the keys to the office. Trump doesn’t have an iota of knowledge about running a country, and being that more than a few of his business ventures have failed, he may not be as sharp with money as some seem to think. He takes Twitter more seriously than foreign policy, and will probably end up getting us all killed. But hey, Barack Obama was so bad, right?

The Democrats should go get their shoe shine box and think about what they have done to our country. They have four years to come up with a better plan than albino calf Hilary. Continue reading “2017: The end of the year rant”