Like the other day, after my oldest son’s soccer game. His high school team formed an off-season team and is playing in a competitive league against, presumably, other high school off-season teams.
Now, generally, I’m the parent who’s pretty clueless as to the specifics of what’s happening on the field. I mean, sure. They make a goal, I can figure that one out. I’m not too sure about what constitutes “off-sides,” though. Basically, I just try to cheer positively, something along the lines of, “Way to be there!” and “Follow your shot!” and “Get it out of the middle!” You know, basic general stuff.
On Saturday, though, my son’s team played a team that was highly populated with European foreign exchange students. These dudes play some serious futbol. If you watched any of last summer’s World Cup games or ever catch any games on Fox Soccer Channel (which I watch every afternoon when my kids get home from school,) you get the picture.
Sneaky slide tackles. High kicks. Under-the-breath insults. And righteous indignation if the referees call any fouls that don’t go their way.
The game was a tough one, and my son’s team lost by three goals, to a team of guys wearing pink jerseys. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. But it just added insult to injury, ya know?
So he and his buddy packed up their gear, and we trudged to the parking lot. There was a long line of cars waiting to exit right on to the side street but no one turning into the parking lot. A bunch of cars that were turning left headed down the wrong side of the road, and we followed, since they were going our way.
Just then, a black Chevy Cavalier full of pink jerseys sped across some grass toward the road. I thought for sure they’d stop when they saw our station wagon barreling toward them, but the driver just grinned and turned on to the road right in front of us and cut in front of the car to our right to turn on to the road going west, the opposite of our direction. My hubs laid on the horn, and the jerkos in the Cavalier just laughed back at us.
That’s when my middle finger flew up alongside my head and slammed against my window, in full view of the carload of pink jerseys. Their eyes grew big and they looked like they wanted out of the car to come beat my a**. Except they didn’t want to lose their place in the line of cars going west.
The next thing I know, Matt is growling at the back seat. “Are you flipping them off?” he asked my son. “Stop it. Stop it right now!”
Geez. “I’m flipping them off, Matt,” I said. “They’re jerks.”
He ignored me and went on. “You do not flip them off, do you hear me?” he told our son. “It’s inappropriate.” He cast a scathing look my way. “I don’t care what your mother does.”
The other boy in the back seat – our son’s friend – was conspicuously silent. I looked back at the black Cavalier and jammed my finger back against the window where Matt couldn’t see it, smiling all the while.
And my inner 15-year-old considered flipping him off, too, but thought better of it.