Red Plaid Shirt

Every time I wear this short-sleeved, red plaid Polo, I feel a little like my father.

I tried to subvert the association with my genuine-issue, German army cargo pants, blue suede Adidas, and red, white, and blue sweatband, but still… I feel like my Dad.

My father coached my little league team, the Braves, in 1980-81. Coach Wagner. I figure he was about my age now. Anyway, somewhere on a dusty wall of photos, there’s a framed collage of my Dad coaching the Braves. (I can remember the mom who was taking the photos telling me she was spying on the other teams — that was twenty-three years ago.) And he’s wearing the shirt: red plaid. (Plus — the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree — sunglasses and a baseball cap.)

I was dressed for comfort and speed today because I knew it was going to be a doozy. At work, we soft-launched the long-awaited MTV Movies site. I’ve been working on it in one way or another — mocking up design, brainstorming content, building and growing the L.A. bureau, covertly assigning movie editorial — for five years or more. Of course, MTV gave us the green light a month ago, and mandated that we get it live by the MTV Movie Awards (June 10), so the last three weeks have been, as you’ve perhaps witnessed by proxy, fairly insane. Well, we did it. Then went out and celebrated (on me, yikes).

Now, my Father is a waste water treatment plant manager. Doesn’t sound too sexy, does it? Yeah, it probably isn’t. It’s not a gig at Dateline, or Sony, or GQ. But yunno’ what, my Dad, with his logos-based wisdom, makes your m’ f’in’ water safe when those Baby Ruths roll up on the Chicago beaches. If he says it’s ok to swim, it’s ok to swim. He comes down on The Man when his effluent spills into local creeks. He helps itty bitty towns in rural Indiana understand the mighty and bureaucratic Environmental Protection Agency. He makes good. He always says, “Do the ordinary extraordinarily well.”

Good guy. Cool shirt. Thanks, dude.

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