bunt sign

Thursday, October 18, 2001

Every time the Boss goes on the road, I fear for my future. It's not that I'm afraid he'll drop in and find me munching bonbons and watching the soaps when I should be working (although that's possible, except the bonbons would be celery sticks and the soaps would be (this week, anyway) baseball games).

The reason I'm nervous is that I've ridden with him. I know what kind of a driver he is, and I know that his life (along with that of anyone who gets in his way) is in danger every time he gets behind the wheel (or at least any time he gets behind the wheel with the motor running). Some day he's going to run off the road (or worse), and I'll be out of a job. I don't think the Company will last long without him, and I'm not sure whoever takes over would want me to stay on anyway.

So I wait to hear from him, the way I wait to hear from David when he goes skydiving. Yeah, that's a fair comparison.

He left his office in Nevada at noon today, heading toward California for business meetings. I told him to drive carefully, but I said it in an offhand manner, as if it's something I say whenever anyone goes for a ride. I didn't say, "Don't drive off the edge of a cliff," or "This time try to remember there are other cars on the road," although those thoughts were in my head (along with "Watch out for that tree!"). I didn't ask him to check in with me when he gets where he's going. I don't want him to think I'm obsessing about it.

Some time tomorrow I'll get a phone call (or a fax) and all will be well. I'll pretend it's just another day, but for me it will be a reprieve. I'll know that I'm keeping my job for at least another week ... until he heads home.

The other side of the story is that when the Boss is away from his office I get caught up on the work I can't usually do because of his monkey mind. He's always thinking of a new problem to solve. Some are real, but most are imaginary. All of them require an immediate response, which usually means that I get a phone call and have to drop everything and hunt for a cancelled check from 1998 or a file from 1987.

He's so afraid that someone will put something over on him that he'll spend hours chasing a nickel. I have to mail him a copy of every check I write, with a copy of the invoice being paid, so that he can satisfy himself that I didn't make a mistake. He doesn't think I'm stealing from him, and he knows I'm not stupid, and he's already checked every invoice before it was paid, but he can't live with the chance that something is getting by me. It's borderline paranoia without borders.

So it's kind of a relief to me when he's traveling, even if I do worry about him. He phoned about an hour after he left, so I knew he must be on a twisty mountain road somewhere in the Sierras. He complained that he couldn't remember the number of the fellow he's supposed to meet tomorrow. I didn't have it, but I could tell him where in his files he could find it. I'm hoping he pulled over and stopped before he started looking for it.

red sunset

Sunset sky.

I know no one wants to hear this, but too bad. I can't keep still about it any longer. Fox is doing a horrible job telecasting postseason baseball. They paid a ton of money for the exclusive rights, and the result has been a disaster for the fans.

  • Half the games in the first round were shown on the Fox Family Channel, which is unavailable on many cable systems. Obviously, they did this as a ploy to get those systems to add the channel.

  • Fox showed the first game of the National League Championship Series in the middle of the afternoon on Tuesday. They did this so we wouldn't miss the grand finale of Love Cruise that night. (And as a bonus, we got to watch previews of that historic event all through every game for the last week.)

  • The fact that Fox is doing all the games means that most of the best announcers (Jon Miller of ESPN and NBC's long-lamented Bob Costas, to name two) are silent (or calling the games on the radio).

  • Tonight in the second inning of the game in Seattle, Fox took so long doing promos that we missed the first pitch. They had to show Edgar Martinez's single on a replay.

  • And this Sunday, when there will be possible elimination games in New York and Atlanta, both will be played at night, and both at the same time, so that Fox can show us the Packers and Vikings playing football in the afternoon.

Okay, I know nobody cares about any of this, but that's why I stuck it way down here.

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