Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Zany Super Bowl Party in Indiana

COLUMN NOTES: Sometimes I write columns that might sound cryptic to those who don't live in my state or keep up with the news in my state. So here's a bit of background to the people mentioned below. "Vaneta" refers to Senator Vaneta Becker, the politician who wrote a bill to set performance standards for the National Anthem. I wrote about that here.

"Luke" refers to Senator Luke Kenley who is pushing hard for laws, even federal laws mandating that online companies collect sales taxes for state governments.

"Pat" is Representative Patrick Bauer, who has led Democrat walkouts the past couple of years because his party did not have enough people to stop what the Republicans want to do.

"Dennis" is Senator Dennis Kruse, who is pushing a bill to teach creationism in Indiana government schools.

"Charlie" is Charlie White, the Secretary of State who recently was convicted of voter fraud.

Finally the beer reference at the end is due to Indiana being one of the few states where you can't buy a cold beer on Sunday.

Wow, when I look this all over, I'm kind of embarrassed to say I'm a Hoosier.

HARBESON: It’s super living in Indiana

By DEBBIE HARBESON Local Columnist

> SOUTHERN INDIANA — My husband and I attend an annual Super Bowl party, which is normally a small gathering of friends, but this year our host’s home was bursting with guests.

At first, I thought this was due to increased interest since the game was being played in Indianapolis, but then I found out that none of these people had been invited.

I’m not sure why they crashed the party because none of them appeared to care about the actual football competition. As a matter of fact, one lady left before the game even started.

When the National Anthem began, “Vaneta” pushed past everyone, put her ear firmly against the speaker, closed her eyes and listened intently. She frowned twice, but when it was over she nodded with satisfaction and went home.

As the game was getting ready to start, I noticed a fellow roaming around, keenly interested in everyone wearing a team jersey. At first I thought he was just trying to figure out who everyone was rooting for, but he was more interested in where party-goers purchased their jerseys. When one guy told him he had found a great deal online, “Luke” pestered him the rest of the evening about paying Indiana sales tax.

Another odd fellow, “Pat,” stormed into the house, stood in front of the TV and announced that even though he and his buddies came to the party, they were not going to watch the game. He then stomped out onto the deck. When his friends didn’t immediately follow, he snarled and they slowly meandered out. After a few minutes several of them came back inside and eventually, when he realized no one was really paying any attention, Pat came back in too.

It was about this time that a battle broke out about the commercials. From what I could tell, one group of people wanted to watch the commercials and another group wanted to mute them. The “muters” mumbled something incoherent about the evils of corporations and, although they managed to occupy 99 percent of the couch, the other one percent retained in control of what mattered, the remote, and played the commercials at full volume.

Another commotion broke out during halftime. Hopes were unusually high this year for another wardrobe malfunction since Madonna was performing. However, by the time that guy came out wearing the sparkly shower curtain, everyone had given up and began discussing the famous wardrobe malfunction of the past.

This led to a huge disagreement. Many people thought the mishap could be explained scientifically as simply a function of the natural evolution that results when performing intense dance moves over time. However, this did not satisfy “Dennis,” who said that was just a theory and the malfunction could just have easily been a creation of the ratings gods. This really started a big bang that only ended when some crazy pastafarian mentioned the flying spaghetti monster.

And speaking of spaghetti, I found another group of people who didn’t really care about football. They spent all of their time in the kitchen, eating the free food and discussing ethics and voting with some secretary named “Charlie,” which they decided made the party an educational outing, which meant they could take home all the chicken wings, pizza slices and brownies they could bag without reporting it to anyone.

By this time it was the third quarter and I couldn’t take any more. I looked at my husband and nodded toward the door. He looked relieved and we thanked our host and slipped out. As we drove home, he said, “Oh no, I brought all of our cold beer to the party. Now we have none for the rest of the game!”

We both silently pondered the reality of the situation. We knew that even if we were lucky enough to come upon $300 million of misplaced funds on the way home, we’d still be unable to purchase a six-pack of cold beer to take home for the fourth quarter.

Because that’s what life is like in Indiana.

— Clark County resident Debbie Harbeson once experienced a wardrobe malfunction but no one even noticed.

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