Tuesday, August 14, 2007
THC meets with Ron Zook: Part II
Hey, Jebus here. I'm a professional journalist now, so I did what we do and flew to Chicago with OPS to cover the Big Ten Media Conference. His meeting with Ron Zook is, chronicled here. If you haven't seen it yet, you need to.
So, we're in Chicago and I was just starting to have fun when I got a harried phone call from OPS. Here's the transcript from the call (that got me out of bed):
OPS: Wake up, shithead. You don't even want to know what happened to me this afternoon.
JHC: I'm pretty busy here. What do you need?
OPS: Whatever. Zook is fucking weird and I'm out of here. I'll walk back to Iowa.
JHC: Hang on. You're with Zook? Sweet! How's his tan?
OPS: He's a freak, and not the cool kind. I'm grabbing my shit and leaving. Between what you got and what I got we can make the rest up.
JHC: Hang on. I told you there'd be things you didn't like. That's part of being a journalist! We're pros now, man. Sack up! It's not all free fried food, adultery, and plagiarism. What's the big deal?
OPS: ... he keeps smelling me.
OPS: Yeah. He made me buy new shampoo and then he sniffed me like a hothouse flower. It was like he was trying to sniff my insides...
JHC: He's a "sniffer", huh?
OPS: How the hell do you even know what that is? You know what? I actually don't want to know. I'm getting my stuff and taking off. Later.
JHC: No! Stall him. I'll be there in 5 minutes.
OPS: What? Where are you? What happened to busy?
JHC: We have adjoining rooms. I put them on Hawkeye State's Amex.
[adjoining room door opens and Jebus comes out]
OPS: Dude, put some fuckin' pants on, it's 3 in the afternoon.
[Jebus goes back into room, comes out seconds later looking groggy but strangely focused]
JHC: Let's do this.
OPS: Are you still drunk? Did you shower today? Did you shower this week?
JHC: What week is it?
OPS: I'm getting my shit. You freaks do what you want.
[OPS enters room with JHC following]
Zook was sitting in the corner of the room, which was totally dark, except for the lamp in the corner. His leathery face may have been obscured but we could feel his steely glare.
"So you needed back-up for the Zooker?," he spit out.
OPS walked over to the bed, grabbed his notebook, his bag, and he muttered, "family emergency... this is Jebus... later" toward Zook and as he passed me on the way out he whispered, "you boys have fun". He left the room and as the door slammed the Zooker shouted after him, "GOOD GAME" with authority.
Zook didn't move. We had a timeless staredown but finally gave up because it was so dark we couldn't tell if one of us blinked. I went over to open the blinds. Zook saw his opening and was up like a shot. He slipped in behind me, got on his toes, and got a cheap smell in, I felt the heat of his proboscis graze the back of my left ear.
".... what... what is that?", barked Zook, baffled.
I looked at him knowingly and said, "Hi, coach. I'm Jebus H Christ with The Hawkeye Compulsion. Why don't you have a seat and lemme ask you some questions."
Zook backed into the chair and sat down hard. "What was that scent?", pleaded the Zook, more to himself than anything else.
I started the interview (I may have been slightly slurring my words), "I think it's clear you have things moving in the right direction on the defensive side of the ball. You have J Leman, who's got tremendous hair, by the way..."
"HE DOES!", Zook interrupts, and instantly perks up.
"...but I want to know what makes you think you're going to be able to build something over the long haul here? If we assume you aren't cheating, which you clearly are, how are you going to succeed as a football coach at a basketball school if you couldn't succeed as a football coach at a football school?"
"How tall are you, son?"
"What do you weigh?", the Zook continues.
"Why can't I smell your hair?", the Zook pleads petulantly.
"Can we get to the interview here?"
"Can we get to the interview here?", mimics Zook, childishly.
"Coach, come on. Let me do my job."
"I am sooooooooo sick of foot-ball! Jiminy Christmas, doesn't anyone want to talk about fishin'? Or newsy stuff? Ask me about water skiiing!", cried an aroused Zooker.
"Let's shift gears. Why don't we get out of here and go catch a drink?"
At this point, Zook positively leapt to his feet with an aggression and athleticism that both surprised, and intrigued, me. I also noticed for the first time that flat front pants were an ill-advised fashion choice because he was aroused and not ashamed. Before I had a chance to say anything he was hustling me out the door with a hand just a little too low on my back and his ever present nose was just fucking hovering on my shoulder. I didn't like his intentions but I liked his moves.
"I know just the place! The Zooker will treat you to a nice haircut!"
"... I thought we were going for a drink?", I asked suspiciously.
"Place I have in mind, you'll get both!"
I pointed to his crotch and asked, "you bringin' that too?"
He looked down and proudly swiveled his hips lasciviously, exclaiming (just a little too loudly), "The Zook Hook? Oh yeah!"
Part III, is here.