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Inspirational Reads

The Wrong Side

March 2, 2010

A certain social networking site has been hitting me over the head with the fact that today is my friend Amber's birthday. Like me (and most of you), she's a fellow blogger and like me (and most of you), she's also a frustrated author.

And, while Amber is definitely a very attractive young lady and she's also quite talented and funny, these are not the traits that originally attracted me to her blog and such. Well, it didn't hurt; I'll be honest there. However, the thing that made me sit up and take notice? Her love of college basketball, specifically the lowly and woebegone Indiana Hoosiers.

Hold it. This isn't a sports post. Don't go screaming into the darkened alleyways.

Also like me (but not many of you), Amber is a displaced Hoosier. Where she grew up in the "hills and hollers" of southern Indiana (as my mother is wont to describe the southern part of my home if it's an entirely different nation), I was a northern Indiana brat. While we certainly have quite a number of good to decent teams in the north, Hoosier Hysteria was born and sustained in the southern part of the state. The model for Hickory High School from Hoosiers fame? A southern high school.

Anyway, these days, Amber calls Louisville home. I've been to Louisville a few times, but my very first time in the city that no one knows precisely how to pronounce was quite memorable.

When I was a freshman in college, I was on the Mock Trial team. If you are unfamiliar with this notion, a Mock Trial is a competition wherein teams are handed a case and each member of the team then assumes a character, either a defense attorney or a prosecutor, or any number of witnesses that can be called by either the defense or the prosecution during the course of the case. You are then judged by how well you know the case, how well you act out your part, and how well you convince the judges as to the guilt or innocence of the plaintiff/defender.

It's all great fun.

Now, the mock trial team at my undergrad was headed up by a man who was the very definition of a gregarious extrovert. Spend five minutes sitting in the same room with the man and it felt as if you had known him most of your life. He was a sitting judge in the city town village where my college was located as well as a professor of law at the school. He was also a Lieutenant Colonel in the army and had turned a tour of duty in Iraq during the first Gulf War as well as serving in the Philippines when Mt. Pinatubo went up. In all, the man had done some living, and he was willing to tell you pretty much anything you wanted to know. Or not know.

So, our first real competition took place at Bellarmine University, which is in Louisville, KY. It's on quite a scenic plot of land. Our first night there, we were going against a team from Tennessee Tech. We felt pretty good about this, since most of us had never heard of Tennessee Tech, let alone worried about their law school. I don't remember much about them specifically, other than that they had one girl who was a bit of a strawberry blonde and was cute, and there was a tall, lanky guy who, I think, wanted to punch me at some point during the trial.

Anyway, I was called to the stand. I was serving as a professor of physics and an accident reconstructionist. The case was a civil suit, wherein someone had gotten drunk at a party, drove home, and was hit by a train, and she was suing for damages to her car and her injuries (the train clipped the back of her car, spinning her off the tracks and into a field). Well, not only was I able to play a convincing physics honk, but I was also able to pretty clearly prove that she actually tried to speed across the tracks and beat the train. I drew a pretty convincing picture on the board behind me, and when I sat back down, I looked up to where the coach for the team was sitting in the back of the room. He had a big, dopey, happy grin on his face, and when we made eye contact, he started pantomiming like he was masturbating.

I about fucking lost it.

So, we went through the case and all and we scored pretty good marks. It was our only competition for the day, and so we retired to the hotel room. Everyone decided (since the school was paying for it, anyway) to eat downstairs in the hotel restaurant. Which also happened to be a bar. Which didn't really check for IDs.

And, the night quickly spiraled out of control from there.

The coach, he didn't really care, as long as we paid for our own drinks and didn't make too great of a scene. In fact, he was in there, too, drinking with us. Hard stuff, too. Not just beer. And the man sat there at the table, not so much talking to us as he was serving court.

Finally, during one momentary lull in the conversation, I turned to him.

"Say, just what the hell were you doing in the back of the room after I retook the stand?" I asked him.

"Oh, that!" he said, a twinkle burning his eye and a smile trying to sneak onto his face. "You had done such a good job that I was in the back, jacking off for you."

Holy shit, did I love this man.

We proceeded to get shitfaced drunk. At one point, I staggered into the bathroom, only to find the coach at the next urinal over a moment later (there were only two, so no real party foul was committed). As he began tossing his whizz, he leaned his arm against the wall and then his forehead against his forearm.

"Jesus," he groaned, "pissing like this is better than sex and only half as messy."

Holy shit, did I love this man.

So, we made it back out to the hotel bar where some cat had started playing the piano. So, of course we decided it was time to sing along and dance. While doing this, we befriended a older, Southern gentleman. A local. He looked pretty much like he had just stepped off the side of a bucket of chicken. He smoked a pipe and talked with a horse-country drawl that was maddeningly coy yet endearing all at once.

He enjoyed us. He told us stories of Loo-uh-veal. He talked about horses and told us that we needed to come back for the Derby.

Finally, he asked us, "So, where are you all from?"

"Oh, Indiana," I said. I was from Indiana, after all, and my college was in Indiana; many of my friends on the team, however, were from Chicago.

"Oh? What part?" he pressed. He seemed excited that we were from nearby.

"Rensselaer," someone said, "it's up near Chicago."

"Oh," the man said, puffing on his pipe, "you all is from the Darky side of Indiana."

You know that sound effect where the needle is pulled off the record player? I swear that noise went off in the bar when he said that.

"Excuse me," my friend Mark said.

"Oh, you know," the man said, clearly grasping for an out, "the Darky side. The southern part is closer to Kentucky, so it's the Sunny side of the state, and the other is the Darky side."

We all glowered at him, similar to a group of cats staring at a mouse in the middle of the room. A mouse that has just anally raped our favorite catnip toy and pissed in our saucer of milk.

"Uh huh," someone said.

And with that, we no longer were friends with the old man in the bar.

We ended up doing well enough to qualify for the national finals held in Des Moines, IA. But that's a story for another day.

So, there you go, Amber. I hope you have a happy, sunny side birthday. Because, apparently, that's the side of the state you live on.


Scope said...

I always thought the southern part of Indiana was the "Dark Ages" side, and the northern part? Well, "Rensselaer" and "Renaissance" are spelled pretty much the same.

mo.stoneskin said...

*turns back from darkened alley*

You don't like mice do you? Childhood scars? I know, I know, the time a mouse drank your soda...

Chemgeek said...

Does that side get less sun or something?

Travis said...

I love Bob Knight.

And I wish to God this post would have been about him instead of retards in Law-vol. That's how my wife says it. I don't think any two people in that state say it the same way.

carissajade said...

Is kentucky sunnier? I don't get his out. haha. I don't get a lot though. Oh racist old men. They live to put me in awkward situations.

EmcogNEATO! said...

I grew up in the Evansville part of the state. Where pretty much all we did was tell jokes about people south of the Ohio River. Ever heard of a small town of about 7,000 people called Mt. Vernon?

Yeah. Neither has anyone else.

Eric said...

No VJ today? Are you ok?

Amber Tidd Murphy said...

Well, what should I say? A post basically dedicated to me?! I'm... well, I was going to say speechless, but that isn't really true.

First of all, I love you, too.

Secondly, when I was a little girl, Damon Bailey (that's number 22 in the photo above, if anyone is reading this besides the author of the post) held me in his arms when I was an infant. He was a kid at the time -- our mom's worked together at a bank, or she was a customer or something. It's one of my claimstofamespice.

Thirdly, the major disadvantage to being from Indiana and mostly growing up in Louisville (Loo-uh-vul) is as followers: I get shit from bith sides! The Hoosiers mock me when I go back to my homestate, the Kentuckians give me hell in my everyday life.

You know what? I don't care. Louisville is super fine place to live, and I'm proud of being a cornfield girl from Bedford, Indiana, which is the limestone capital of the world.

In conclusion, this post made me feel honored and semi-turned-on. Clearly, it tops hubs only gift to me so far today: he's said I'm allowed to watch American Idol on the "big t.v." tonight, while he camps out in the other room to watch The Louisville Cardinals play basketball.

Seriously, dear vita-whatever-the-fuck-your-blog-is-called-now, you know how to make a broad feel full of special.

SkylersDad said...

There is a somewhat similar difference here in Colorado between those of us who were born in the mountains, and those who grew up from Denver eastward. We considered those people flatlanders and might as well be from Kansas.

Ed said...

Happy birthday yesterday, Amber.

That coach was a trip.

otherworldlyone said...

I think I love your coach too. Ha.

Happy Birthday Amber.

Nej said...

Mock does that bring back memories. :-)

My coach wasn't nearly as much fun to have around though.