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Scoping It Out
by Eric Miller

After dragging my sorry bare assets uptown for a colonoscopy, the only magazine I could find to read in the waiting room was apparently printed by Johannes Gutenberg, based on its date. Then I received a call on my cell phone, which I was stupid enough to answer.

"I can’t talk,” I said.

Asked why, I told the caller that I couldn’t drop everything for him because I was in the middle of scoping out a situation involving someone's hand in my cookie jar, and that my ass would be in a sling for about two more hours."

"Well, I could say "up yours for not jumping at my beck and call, but you sound legit, so I won't butt into your business," he told me.

But the doctor did.

On the way home, I worried that my daughter was too involved with the high school quarterback. She loved his passes, but I found them offensive. Sacking the quarterback was taking on an uncomfortable connotation for me, and although I'm not a religious kind of guy, I found myself resorting to the "Hail Mary" for solace, but it never seemed to reach my intended receiver.

"Since when do you watch basketball?,” I asked my daughter when I got home.

“Today, she replied.”

"Is that a tear dribbling down your face?"

"Yes, I had tears in both eyes before you got home, but I was called for double dribbling."

"How foul for someone to call you on that.”

"Listen Dad, I'm not in the mood for your full-court press of verbal wordplay right now.”

"Is there something heavy duty in play here?"


"Want to talk about it?"

"No, but I know that won't stop you.”

"Shoot,” I said, blocking my urge to say more.

"I've been cut, not even benched, by our narcissistic quarterback, so I'm thinking of lettering in another sport."

"Which means Stretch Simpkins, the center on the basketball team?"

"Well, I am on the rebound.”

I found her reading an art history book a few weeks later, so I asked if she was brushing up on something.

"I'm tired of limiting my dating to jocks. I've learned that I have to diversify my dating portfolio, as well as go contrarian. So, I've hooked up with a fine arts major whom I met at the art museum," she explained.

"Fine arts as in any art form developed primarily for aesthetics and/or concept rather than utility?"

"Yes, just as in passing an ovoid ball, or trying to slam-dunk a big round ball through a netted hoop."

"Well, maybe you'll actually marry a doctor, yet."

"Yeah, but with my luck he'll be a Ph.D. in Latin."

"Point, game, set, match,” I announced through my clenched fist, which elicited  the grin I hoped I would get."

"You're not as good at this as you used to be, Dad."

"No, ma fille, you're just better at it than you think you are," I said, feeling less sharp than I had in quite some time.