September 20, 2006


BuccoBruceJpg.jpgHow bad are the Tampa Bay Buccaneers playing right now?

This story might give you an indication:

I'm driving home on Monday. I come up to the intersection of Bloomingdale Avenue and Bell Shoals in Valrico. I see a car stalled with its hazard lights blinking in the turn lane. Looks like a red Matrix. It's out of gas.

Directly in front of me, a black Mustang taps its brakes, as if it will be stopping behind the Matrix. He slows, I slow. I look and see that a woman who resembles the Snapple Lady is now out of the Matrix and trying to push it up to the crosswalk. Dressed in her work clothes - knee-length skirt, blouse, heels and hose - she is making almost no progress.

I can't stop at this point to help, since I'm already almost past her. The Mustang swerves back in front of me from the turn lane. We both go through the intersection. He signals to do a U-turn to go back. So do I.

I turn around and park at the Mobil station on the corner. He does another U-turn behind her and parks as the woman in the Mustang with him slides over to the driver's seat. He and I see each other. We don't know one another, but we smile and nod at our decision to help. It's not the smartest idea for me, given how sore my body is from the crash, but maybe this will load me up on a little "My Name Is Earl" variety karma.

I get behind the car and so does he. Snapple Lady gets out to do the push-and-steer thing.

"Why don't you get in and steer and we'll push," I suggest to her. She does.

I go to the back bumper. The guy helping me is still there. We shake hands. He's wearing one of those ridiculous phone ear bobs that looks like a Star Trek communicator on his ear. I'm about double his size and several inches taller. He's in shorts and sneakers and looks like an athlete. He's almost a dead ringer for Terrell Davis. I'm still in my work clothes.

Snapple Lady is now stuffed behind the wheel of her Tylenol caplet of a car, ready to steer. An uncomfortable moment passes as he and I wait for the turn lane arrow to trigger. Two. Three. Four. Traffic is whizzing past us. Then he speaks.

"What's going on with the Buccaneers?" he says.

"I don't know," I said. "I think they're just a bad team."

"You might be right," he says.

"No offensive line. Young quarterback. Old defense," I say. "Anyone who thought they'd be great before the season must have been dreaming."

"You got that right," he says.

Light turns green. We begin pushing. The car begins to move.

At a certain point, we get so much speed that we can't keep up with the car.

"Maybe if the Bucs pushed like that," I tell him, "they wouldn't be 0 and 2."

He laughs.

The car pulls into the gas station and we push it to the pump. He and I shake hands and get in our respective vehicles.

That's how bad the Bucs are playing right now. They're bringing strangers together in rush hour traffic.

Posted by Jeff at September 20, 2006 08:02 AM | TrackBack

This Bucs angle was just a way for you to post about stopping to help Snapple Lady. Making it engaging without self-serving is a Clinton-esque talent.

You should run for office, hot stuff.

Posted by: kate at September 20, 2006 07:18 PM
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