It was King James in the Locker Room with the Football

Happy Birthday to Callaghan! We would have celebrated all weekend, but he came down with a case of food poisoning that knocked him on his behind pretty good, the poor guy. We canceled everything and holed up here at home. It’s a relief to see him feeling better again. Food poisoning, ugh.

One thing about Callaghan: he has a unique gift for enriching my life and keeping me on my toes with his often random, always unpredictable, documentary-inspired thought ramblings (of the likes I haven’t shared with you in a while).

Here’s one from recent days… he was in his studio, listening to a documentary about the history of the British monarchy, and I’d just wandered into the room:

“I don’t understand about the NFL,” he said in his usual out-of-the-blue way. “Don’t you think that, knowing the percentage of the population that’s gay, it’s weird that anyone would be shocked that some footballers are gay?”

“Football players,” I said.


“Football players play in the NFL. Footballers play soccer. And I agree… it’s beyond me why anyone would care whether football players are gay or straight.”

We’ve had variations of this conversation before.

But I was perplexed, as I often am at these moments of interaction with Callaghan.

“What led you to think of gay football players in the NFL?” I wondered out loud. “You’re listening to a documentary about the British monarchy…”

“OH, I don’t know, I guess I was thinking about it before because of that one guy… wait, oh yeah, it IS because of the documentary! It’s because of King James the First.”

“The documentary said that King James was gay?” I didn’t bother asking whether the documentary said that King James was in the NFL, as I’d already arrived at the conclusion that he wasn’t via my keen powers of deduction.

“No, the documentary didn’t say he was gay.”

“Then why…”

“Well, yeah, King James was married, but he didn’t really care for girls… he wasn’t famous for having affairs like the other kings were. I guess that was my train of thought. And then I thought about them in the locker rooms,” he explained.

“Locker rooms?”

“…and they did say that he preferred male company. They didn’t actually say he was gay, though. But yeah, that’s what got me thinking about football players.”

That clears up that mystery!


King James I

King James I


And now that it’s Callaghan’s birthday, we can go back to being consecutive ages again rather than appearing to be two years apart. (He enjoys saying that I’m a cougar, but being older than him by 14 months does not a cougar make.)

Pirates vs Vikings

I recently went to another amusement/attraction/theme park trade convention with Callaghan, whose work places him in the midst of this collective recreational industry. All I have to say is this: The Pirate obsession has to end at some point. It has to. I’m not just saying this because Pirates are annoyingly ubiquitous. It’s that and the fact that they’ve dominated our popular culture for so ridiculously long now, and I don’t like them, anyway. When did the first Pirates of the Caribbean come out… 10, 11 years ago? I wouldn’t know, since I haven’t seen it, or any of them. Pirates (and Johnny Depp, for that matter) do nothing for me.

If I want to watch some sea-faring bad-assery happening on a big screen, give me Vikings. Seriously, why is it always Pirates? Pirates are assholes. Vikings can be assholes, too, but they’re not assholes by definition, like Pirates are. The Vikings didn’t go running around on the high seas stealing other kids’ lunch money, like the Pirates did. Vikings had more important things to do. And I’m not impressed that Pirates were more colorful than Vikings, because all that means is that the Pirates plundered ships containing textiles from exotic, colorful places, and they exchanged their dirty clothes for clean ones in the plundering process. Pirates should not be given credit for their fashion sense. They stole it. Vikings, on the other hand, wore clothes in drab colors because that was just what they had at home, and they didn’t waste time attacking other ships in non-territorial waters like all cowardly criminals do (Pirates). The Vikings saved their attacks for coastal areas on land.

So let’s take a look.

Pirates: sea-faring criminals

Vikings: sea-faring explorers and warriors

Pirates: Skull and Crossbones

Vikings: The Hammer of Thor

Pirates: Schooners

Vikings: Longships

Pirates: Jolly Roger flag on ship

Vikings: Dragon Head mast on ship

Pirates: sword and gun

Vikings: battle-axe and spear

Pirates: head scarves, billowy linen blouses

Vikings: iron helmets, chain-mail shirts

Pirates: rarely bathed

Vikings: bathed every Saturday

And finally:

Pirates: Disney

Vikings: American National Football League