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Christmas at the in-laws: Straight up ballin'!

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by Bubbler, Dec 27, 2007.

  1. Bubbler

    Bubbler Well-Known Member

    WARNING! Don't read this if you don't like long-winded stories!

    I have to admit ... I was not looking forward to Christmas at my in-laws. First off, the host is a recently divorced sister-in-law who wants everyone to live vicariously through her misery. Secondly, in many respects, I mix like oil and water with my in-laws. Nice people, but they basically think I'm the devil incarnate for reasons too numerous to mention.

    But I have to admit, I had a pretty good time. Why? Part of it was the whole in-law clan watched my niece dominate Black Sabbath's Paranoid on Guitar Hero, which was unintentional hilarity at its finest. Nothing like celebrating Jesus' birth by gathering 'round the ole PS2 to soak in lines like, "Make a joke and I will sigh and you will laugh and I will cry", especially considering most of them would consider Black Sabbath quasi-demonic taken at face value.

    But more to point, it was fun because I satisfied my basketball jones.

    When I arrived at my sister-in-law's house, I took my customary place in the back of the room by a wall. I didn't bother them, they didn't bother me ... and I could keep at least keep an eye on my kids and prevent them from falling to a quadriplegic future off my sister-in-law's balcony-like hallway.

    From that spot, I could see that a couple of my nephews were getting ready to hoop outside. I told another brother-in-law, about 10 years older than I, that time had passed for my 36-year-old ass to go out there and ball. He said, "the hell with it ... the boys will have fun with it."

    I thought about it for a moment and he was right, Bubbler needs to get his ball on. As I looked at my nephews out the window I thought to myself, “I hope you bitches are strapped, Uncle Bubbler's packin' some mad skillz!”

    Before I go on, you should know one thing ... I could be the most sedentary motherfucker on SJ. I had not touched a basketball in at least two years and probably hadn't worked any requisite muscles in anger for at least a year. What I have done is down Circle K Polar Pop Dr Pepper's as if they're life sustaining.

    You should know one more thing ... my 5-foot-8, white bread self has no basketball talent at all. None. Anything that takes effort and will I can pull off: defense and rebounding. Anything that takes skill? As in ... shooting and ballhandling? I would get dominated by joe-average wheelchair ballers. And that's when I'm in shape. My bloated candy ass self is about 20 percent of the suck ass peak of my hoopin' "powers".

    Finally there's this ... when I was more spry, I'd go out and play ball with these same nephews. At the time they were 10 to 12, and it was literally man against boys.

    I'd play way off of them, let them hit some shots, but if their ego's started getting the better of them, I'd go all Billy Madison, swoop down, and swat the mother fuck out of them. Or if the game was on the line, I'd drive the lane, dare their pre-pubescent selves to take a charge against my ever-growing wide body and go to the hole. The message to them was clear, nobody's getting uppity on my court ... Bubbler owns this motherfucker.

    Flash forward to Christmas Day. Nephew No. 1 is currently averaging double-figures for his freshman team, has grown past the six-foot mark, and has developed a nice outside shot. Nephew No. 2 is putting up similar numbers for his eighth grade team. He also seems to think his white-bread self can "break ankles" with his weak ass crossovers, but that's for later.

    When fat ass Uncle Bubbler comes roly-poly in' out the front door to shoot some hoop, you could see their eyes light up.

    "Didn't that jack ass bust my lip open throwing my shit when I was in fifth grade? I mean ... fuck ... he had like eight inches on me. And it didn't stop him from yelling, 'Harvey Catchings in the house! ... Milwaukee Bucks '83 representin' in the hizzy!' I don't even know what the fuck that means. First, why is my dipshit uncle saying 'hizzy' and what does Tamika Catchings' dad have to do with anything?"

    I might have been strollin’ on to the court like ReRun in the opening credits to What’s Happening, but I was walking into my day of reckoning. The question, "hey Uncle Bubbler, want to play some 21?" will haunt my dreams.

    I was fully aware I was out of shape and that my nephews were better. First time I got the ball, which was at least five possessions into the game, I knew I had to send a message that the old man wasn't out there to drink Pepsi and get my ass kicked.

    I took the ball to the top of the key. As is customary in 21, I was guarded by one of them, while the other played off either to trap or get to the basket for the coveted tip-in off the miss. We weren't fucking around either, if you were under 13 points, tip-ins were to zero, not minus-2, as was customary in my youth.

    Nephew No. 2 decided to guard me. Fucking weakly too. Even in my Dr Pepper induced near-diabetic bloat, I blew right by him up the gut. The only problem was that Nephew No. 1 came out and got in a good defensive position five feet out from the basket just after I picked up my dribble. Nephew No. 2 recovered and cut off the left side. I was fucked. I took a pratfall to my right and threw up the most ridiculous circus up-and-under prayer ever taken in driveway basketball.

    As my fat ass nearly collapsed to the pavement, I hear a collective "dang!" as I caught myself before I face-planted asphalt.

    Somehow my total bullshit shot swished through ... and it was the worst thing that could have happened to me.

    (continued …)
  2. Bubbler

    Bubbler Well-Known Member

    (continued …)

    Now, not only were my nephews motivated to put Uncle Bubbler in his place for past sins and because it’s fun-as-fuck to beat up on a 36-year-old, but they had a shadow of a doubt that I could actually play. Bad, bad scenario for me.

    I spent the rest of the game fighting off double-teams and throwing up air balls that made World War I's Big Bertha gun look pinpoint in comparison. Oh I had some moral victories. I could still play D, I was especially good at trapping off the shooters' ball fake and I even took a charge or two. Of course, that means fuck-all in 21, and much of the time, they made the shot anyway, but dammit, my fundamentals were sound, Larry Brown would send me kudos for playing the right way, and Starman would rant about my adherence to defense.

    My offense, however, was abominable. After a while, they figured out I wasn't worth guarding, so I had to face the ignominy of playing against what amounted to a dare-you-to-shoot zone for the rest of the game. And for good reason, because I couldn't hit a motherfucking thing from more than 10 feet away from the basket. When I did score (read: cherry-picking under the basket vulturing tip-ins), I was sub-Eric Montross at the line.

    Worse ... my oldest niece's boyfriend decided to join the fun. Not nearly as good as my other nephews, he made up for it with his 6-4ish frame and good body control around the hoop. No more slumming for tip-ins for me.

    I got through the first game fine without feeling any ill effects physically. By game two, however, I was sucking wind like Lindsay Lohan at a coke-and-dick convention. I hit my nadir early in that game ... my lame-ass missed four straight point-blank tip-ins, including a fucking tip-in airball. At which point, my frustration got the better of me and I uttered out loud, "my game is bullshit!" The nephews chuckled because I swore and because it was true.

    I knew for damn sight when I miraculously got to 11, and then got tipped back to zero after yet another missed freebie, I wasn't going to win this game of 21 or any other played on the planet that day, but there's no way I was going out like a chump.

    I had guarded Nephew No. 2 more often than not. As mentioned, he seems to fancy himself as Starbury ... the uber-white, never-been-within-20 miles-of-a-real-playground far-southside Indianapolis suburban Starbury, but Starbury all the same.

    He was doing all of these jive-ass shoulder fakes and crossover dribbles, but it was a whole lot of talking loud and sayin' nothing. Almost none of it fazed even me, except for one maddening thing ... he'd ball-fake left, get me barely off my feet, and shoot right because I was too glacial to recover. One time, I got a piece of his shot, but he made many more and every time he did, he had this white-boy, I schooled-your-old, Uncle Bubbler ass cheshire grin on his face.

    Tired and badly needing a Dr Pepper infusion, I dug down deep. That shit wasn't going to ride anymore.

    Late in the game, with him in contention for the win, I got my chance. I went out to guard at the top of the key and he did his typical double crossover to make me think he might actually drive the lane. Little bitch hadn't driven the lane the whole game and I stood my ground in good defensive position. He picked up his dribble and once again tried his move.

    Not this fucking time. I never left my feet. Surprised, he tried a half-hearted fadeaway, but I was ready. As if I magically tapped five seconds of energy and hops from my youth, I conjured some serious UP's, got my left hand in perfect position, and swatted his shit right back in his face.


    I didn't say any of that, of course, but I was feelin' it. And I felt re-energized. I notched another massive moral hoopin' victory just before the end of the game when I beat all three of them off the dribble for an honest-to-God well-defended lay-up.

    It got me half of the four points I think I finished with in the final game.

    Straight up, off-the-chain ballin'!
  3. BYH

    BYH Active Member

    That was outstanding.

    and I'm glad I don't have teenaged nephews.
  4. Angola!

    Angola! Guest

    Did you drink any Jagermeister beforehand?
  5. Diabeetus

    Diabeetus Active Member

    I was laughing so hard after that line, I had to take a break. Great, great post Bubs!
  6. BYH

    BYH Active Member

    Yeah that was my favorite line too.
  7. Chef

    Chef Active Member

    I concur.

    Great story.
  8. Flying Headbutt

    Flying Headbutt Moderator Staff Member

    This was my favorite part, by far. In fact, I was riding through Georgetown last week and telling a friend that story about Mutombo. But that's as good a spoof as I'll ever see of it.
  9. KYSportsWriter

    KYSportsWriter Well-Known Member

    As always, another great story.
  10. mike311gd

    mike311gd Active Member

    Dude. After nine consecutive hours of drinking, I don't have the attention span to read this. But this is my solemn promise to you that I will read it before Saturday. You're a master of the craft, and I'm sure this is another classic read.
  11. spup1122

    spup1122 Guest

    Can I retract my vote for poster of the year and change it to bubbler?

  12. westcoastvol

    westcoastvol Active Member

    Bubs, you might hear some laughter in the next day or so, as I'm in Hong Kong reading this and with me being a day ahead and all, you might hear my chuckling a few minutes before the Pats-Giants kickoff.
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