THE FIRST SUNDAY, this former football writer went to a flea market. The second Sunday it was looking for a new house in the suburbs. Today I may simply go bonkers.
In case you haven't noticed -- only monks in Tibet and Japanese soldiers still hiding on Pacific atolls qualify here -- there's a pro football strike going on. Oh, they're still playing in Canada (is it "block that rouge" or "rouge that blocker?"), and the college and high school kids are still flailing away at each other. But it's just not the same.
Neither is America.
Did you know, for example, that storm window installations are at an unprecedented high?
That leaves are being raked in such record numbers that Bill Agee has pinpointed Hefty trash bags as his next corporate target?
That there are more spotless garages in this country than at any point in American history?
I also suspect there are a zillion people out there just like me, going through acute cold-sweat, cold-turkey football withdrawal. So I offer some modest suggestions for the fanatics to cope with The Strike Nobody Wanted.
Call Your mother. Just ask "What's new?" and glide through the equivalent of halftime. Ask about Uncle Harry or Cousin Louise and you can coast to 60 Minutes. Call her again on Monday night. A lot can happen in 24 hours.
Listen to Howard Cosell broadcast baseball. Just turn off the sound the way you always do, and pretend its Monday night.
Call your bookie, collect. It's the only time in your life he'll accept the charges, just to talk to someone. "Hey, wanna get down on Baldwin- Wallace-Wittenburg?"
Go to the racetrack and admire the horses -- all those four-legged athletes want is a percentage of the oats.
Introduce yourself to your children.
Go to Joe Theismann's restaurant and stiff the waiter. Chances are he's an out-of-work football player. Then run, quickly, to your car and never look back.
Hug your wife/husband-girfriend/boyfriend. You never know how much time that could take up.
Go to the downtown YMCA and watch the lawyers play basketball. And you thought the suicide squads were tough.
Take a Sunday drive around the beltway, but be on your best behavior in Prince George's County.
Call the Larry King Show. By the time he takes you off hold, the football strike will be over.
Move to a city with cable television. It's amazing how easy it is to get into curling from Manitowoc, luge relays from Kitzbuel, roller skating races from Frankfort.
Get in line early for a D.C. driver's license. By the time you leave the line, they'll be playing the 1986 Super Bowl.
Picnic in the park. The fields around RFK Stadium offer total solitude these days. No baseball. No soccer. No football. No fair.
Call the Washington Capitals. They're gonna have the hottest ticket in town. Also, the only ticket.
Call George Allen. No, wait -- he'll call you. If you can run the 40 in 18 seconds or less, he'll ask you to sign with his new team in Chicago.
Call Joe Gibbs. He's very lonely.
Call Al Davis. He'll move you to Los Angeles.
Call Roger Staubach and ask him how do you spell relief.
Call Pete Rozelle. He's not very busy these days.
Call Bowie Kuhn. He taught Pete Rozelle everything he knows.
Call negotiators Ed Garvey and Jack Donlan anything you'd like.
Call it off, fellas. Enough is enough.