first will and testament

Tomorrow yours truly takes to the gridiron for his annual bit of exercise — the annual non-workplace-condoned tackle football game — and it seems like there is no better time as I cling to my thirties to get a few things down here in writing should I take a tight spiral between the eyes.

Lest you think I’m only harassing you with this self indulgence, you’ll be happy to know I took a bit of reflective time after arriving at work early this morning, while the office was still quiet, to pen the following to some of my closest coworkers:

Good morning, all,

I had trouble falling asleep last night, kept awake by the nagging feeling that my storied athletic career will be coming to an abrupt end during the tackle football game this Saturday (Danehy Park, 1pm). And I thought, should I be removed from the field — never to regain all my faculties — I’d like to leave you all with one good joke. Not just a good joke, but one that is worthy of all of you and that reflects my diligent years in the Writing Seminars department at Johns Hopkins University, where they trained us to become giants among dwarves. Or was that the science fiction society I joined by mistake during pledge week? I should have known that Abba Labba Cadabra was not a Greek organization… but I digress. Without further ado:

****One (hopefully not last) excellent joke, expertly written, guaranteed laughs****

A few days ago we all received an important email about Eco-Abt’s name change to “ESP-Eco,” now absorbed and re-branded by the Environmental Sustainability Program. Well as a past contributor and all-around charmer I was invited to the program’s launch party, where I met the program’s new ambassador to China, Ing Lei. I was chatting him up near the shrimp cocktail platter, falling back upon my expansive cross-cultural skills gleaned in the Peace Corps, when a group of Chinese investors came in, fresh from meeting with Abt leadership about buying our company and turning it into a cheeseburger factory. So I thought I should introduce the program’s new ambassador to China, and before I knew what I was saying I said to the group, “Do you know ESP-Eco Ing Lei?”

One of the investors said, “We all speak English.” Mr. Lei just shook his head at me.

****End to a thrilling and masterful joke****

As you can imagine, my stature at work just continues to grow.

But I’m feeling ready to meet my fate tomorrow. I’ve made it through a rigorous training program, running four times for roughly 20 minutes each time… just enough to wake my muscles up from the year long slumber they happily entered after last year’s game. I’m still debating the long underwear move… supposed to be cold tomorrow. Think I’d rather be too warm than too cold, but if it gets uncomfortable it requires a full timeout to remove the long underwear from under one’s pants. Not a quick or even permissible change… especially when women and children may be present. What would Tom Brady do? Lose in the playoffs? Touche.

So if things go dreadfully wrong tomorrow, i.e. if I don’t have at least three catches and one touchdown, I’d like to make a few provisions here:

  • To Karen, loving wife, mother of my darling kids, I leave… well everything in the house here. Sorry about the leaking skylight and the uneven driveway. And the lawn won’t mow itself. Remember to change the oil in the mower once or twice a season. Dump the old oil over the fence on the neighbor’s lawn.
  • To my lovely children: you guys own the place already. I will leave you without my constant question: “Who’s in charge here?”
  • To my parents: I’ll admit, now that you’re reading this, that you were right. I should not have played the game, much less worn three pairs of long underwear and succumbed to heat stroke on a 31 degree day.

I’m remembering now that my last post was pretty morbid, so maybe I should make an abrupt turn here. I mean 39 is not exactly the exit ramp, am I right? I mean I’m starting to see the signs, like “Doomsville, 250 miles,” but that’s a lot of miles left to churn. Lot more road food to consume, more radio tunes to hum. Speaking of tunes, I went on a hike recently with Sydney and her piano teacher and the Sharon Conservation Society (I kept typing conversation society… I should start one of those… “Hello, hi! Thanks for stopping in, where are you from? How was the traffic? Did you find parking okay? I’m throwing a lot of conversational balls here, feel free to catch one and throw it back. You’re leaving? So soon? May I ask why? Why can’t we get any members???”), and the highlight of the outing was when we came across the beautiful scene pictured below.


That picture seemed to just be crying for a song, so I’ve got a tune in the works called “borderland” that you can hear at It still needs my bandmate’s input, and possibly some professional contributions from my brother out west, so stay tuned or check back on the music site later for a more final version in the coming weeks.

Ok, so that’s all from here. If I do wind up in a body cast after the game tomorrow I’ll make sure they set me up with some sort of voice-to-text software so I can at least blog away the hours in the recovery room.


About ericf73

A modern-day combination of Noah, Godot and Clark W. Griswold.
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