I came in the house last Sunday and my wife whispered, "George is in the living room waiting for the footballgame to start."

"Didn't you tell him there is no game this week?" I asked.

"He refuses to believe me."

I walked into the room and found George sitting on the couch. He put a fistful of potato chips in his mouth and pointed at the screen. "Oouhouhouh," he said.

"There is nothing wrong with the TV, George. The teams are on strike."

George looked at me as if I had lost all my marbles and grunted, "Umumumumum."

"It's nobody's fault, George. It's a question of power and who gets to keep it. Would you like to see a movie?"

George shook his head and crawled to the TV set and started feeling the glass with his hands.

"You have to believe me, George. There is nothing you can do that will bring on a football game."

He rubbed his head against the screen.

"George,you're getting hair oil all over the TV set," my wife said.

I made a sign for her to hush up.

Then George began hitting the glass with his head. I pulled him away and gently put him down in his chair. My wife gave him a handful of pretzels.

"Dubidubidou," he said, spitting out half the pretzels.

"What does he want now?" my wife asked.

"He wants to know why there is no football."

"You told him that."

"The reality of the strike hasn't sunk in on everyone." I took a fistful of dollars out of my pocket and said, "This is why they're striking. The players want more of these and owners want to give them less. Surely you can understand that, George."

He jumped up, rushed to the screen and slammed it with both his fists.

"Don't get mad at the set," I begged. "The TV has nothing to do with the strike. You can hit it all day and you still won't see an NFL kickoff."

Apparently George didn't believe me and started sniffing around the back of the cabinet.

My wife came over and whispered, "Get him out of here."

"It's not his fault there isn't a game. The man has never done anything on Sundays but watch football. You can't take something like that away from a person and expect him to act normal."

"Get him out of the house," my wife repeated.

I looked at George, who was examining the electrical outlet in the wall to make sure it was working.

"Why don't you take him outside and throw him a stick?" my wife suggested.

"George," I said, "you better go home. Someday the owners and players will make up their differences and then you can come back and we'll sit and cheer for the team of our choice. We'll call you when the strike is over."

George looked hurt and shoved some popcorn in his mouth. Then he went, "Ouurnnourn."

"What is he mumbling now?" my wife asked.

"He says NFL football can drop dead."

"He said that?" she gasped.

"Yes, but that's not what is scary. He said he is speaking for everyone who holds physical violence sacred."