My Grumpy Dad Tries To Multi-Task

There are a few statistics out there that show men have a harder time multi tasking. If you needed any more proof, look no further than this late night addition of #GrumpyMonday.

This week Dad takes my little brother Griffin to a baseball tournament in South Bend, Indiana.

And chaos ensues.

As per usual we've got the story written by@MattStevens and my commentary in brackets and bold.

My 16-year-old son and I spent the weekend in South Bend, IN, where his baseball team played in one of those autumn “showcase” tournaments.

The venues were many, including high school fields in Elkhart (where they have at least five statues of elk made of various materials standing downtown); Mishawaka, to where people of means have been fleeing from a decaying South Bend since the 1970s; South Bend, where pockets of decent neighborhoods remain only because some stubborn people refused to flee while they could still sell their homes without taking huge losses; and the stadium where the University of Notre Dame squad plays in the spring.

There wasn’t so much as a guy wearing a Notre Dame baseball cap at the game we played at Notre Dame’s own damn stadium!

You’d think if your own damn stadium were hosting some of the best high school players in five states and Canada, you’d send at least an assistant coach to see if the next Clayton Kershaw might be falling into your damn lap!The people running the program can’t even muster the energy to travel to their own stadium to scout players!

Anyway, that’s not what I’m writing about today.

Today, I’m writing about a multi-tasking effort that failed so miserably that I considered jumping off a bridge over the unidentified river that runs through the city of Elkhart, Indiana.

So, I asked the maintenance guy at the field in Elkhart if I could plug my charger into an outlet in the shed that holds the wheelbarrow, baseline chalk and other junk for the field.

[Tess' Note:

As the boys were warming up for their next game—in Mishawaka—I remembered that I’d been right to think that I’d forget the battery and charger in the shed in Elkhart, which was about fifteen minutes away. Those bigger batteries cost over $100. I pointed the Kia Sorrento back toward Elkhart.

So, I was driving with my daughter Tess’s old IPhone 4sThe reason for the call was that I’d learned from one of the other dads that NFL Sunday Ticket

Who wouldn’t want to watch live football on his phone, IPad, computer or other device?I found out that I had to type in my DirecTV user name and password to start it. I had no idea what they were, since I hadn’t been to the website since opening the account in 2006.

and I think the same lady works for both companies and only answers my calls—and she told me once that she was Filipino).

“Oh, yes, Mr. Stevens, may I call you Matthew? I’m sure we can help. Let me get someone on the line to take care of your problem,” she said.

“You mean I sat on hold for forty-seven minutes and you’re going to re-route the call?” I groused. “Are you the receptionist?”

“Please hold, Matthew.”

“I didn’t say you could call me…”

Too late. The music was already playing. As I drove through downtown Elkhart, I made a point of looking for signs on the various bridges that would tell me the name of the river below. I didn’t see any. The GPS was running on the 4s at the same time, and the lady’s voice over-rode the hold music to tell me to turn left on Falls Road. I spotted a police car sitting at the red light to the right and decided to pull up next it and ask the cop if he knew the name of the river.

“Hi. I’m from Ohio,” I began. I didn’t want to leave town without knowing the name of the river that runs through Elkhart. I haven’t seen any signs.”

“It’s the Elkhart River,” he said with a slight smile.

“Oh. Makes sense,” I said. “Thanks.”

Sorry about the Ohio thing.”

[Tess' Note: Insulting Ohio! Damn!]

Wow, I thought. This guy lives in the flattest, most corn-infested, God-forsaken state in the union (with apologies to Iowa, Nebraska and Kansas) and he’s taking shots at Ohio?

[Tess' Note: YEAH DAD YOU GET EM!]

As I turned into the high school parking lot, the music stopped and the Filipino lady’s twin sister greeted me.



“I’m here to help with your problem.”

“Which one?” I chirped, risking a fifty-eight-minute investment.

“You are trying to log into your DirecTV account so you can activate the mobile app for NFL Sunday Ticket?”

[Tess' Note:

“Correct,” I said, flatly.

After updating my email address (an address that hadn’t been active since 2006 was still on file), she said she would send me a temporary password. Then, she’d walk me through the steps for activating the mobile app.

“Sounds good,

At the same time, I was driving toward the field, praying that the shed hadn’t been locked for the weekend after our game had finished.

“I don’t have your email yet,” I said.

“I’m sorry, Matthew. I can send it again,” she apologized.

“Wait,” I said, reading a message at the top of the 4s screen. “My phone says I can’t receive emails during a call.”

She must have been wondering what kind of antiquated phone this grumpy old man was using.

“All right Matthew, I can call you back in two minutes after you have used the link to change your password. Are you still at 440-717-9352?”

No,” I said. “That number hasn’t been active since 2009, when we realized there was no point in having anything but cell phones.”

My phone rang as I was re-setting the GPS to the address of the field in Mishawaka.

“Matthew? Hello. It’s DirecTV. Were you able to access your account and change your password?”

“Oh. No. I haven’t done it yet,” I said. “But you’ll be happy to know that I found my camera battery and charger.”

“Well, that’s certainly good news, Matthew,” she replied, as if to pretend she actually knew what the heck I was talking about all the way from Manila. “So, I can call you back in two minutes.”

“Better make it five,” I said. “I’m not the sharpest tack in the box.”

“All right, Matthew. I will call in five minutes.”

The virtual keyboard on the 4s is so damn small that I kept hitting the wrong letters as I tried to type the password—and the GPS lady kept telling me to make turns.

[Tess' Note:

Then, the phone rang.

“Yes. Listen. I’m going to need more time,”I’m trying to drive from Elkhart to Mishawaka to get back to my son’s game, and I’m having trouble typing on this bullshit phone of mine. Call me back in two minutes.”

“All right, Matthew,” she said.

I typed as I turned and almost plowed into a corn field. (Am I confessing to a crime here?against the law to text and drive, but I’m not sure about changing DirecTV passwords and driving.)The phone rang.

“Hello. Matthew?”

“Still not done. It keeps giving me an error message. I’ll try again. Can you call back?” I pleaded.

“Is there something I can help you with, Matthew?”

“Do you have a gun or some poison you can send me a link to?” I replied, gritting my teeth.

“I will call back in a few minutes, Matthew.”

“Thank you,”I grabbed my camera and walked to the top of the grandstand while typing the new password into the phone (which is not easy to do while wearing sunglasses with bifocals).

Success! Finally!I held my middle finger (symbolically) above the login button and tapped it like I was trying to poke out somebody’s eye.In a few seconds, a live telecast was blaring from my phone!

“Yes! Yes!” I shouted—just as the umpire screamed, “Strike three!”

I didn’t have to turn to feel his mother’s glare.

“Oh, God. I’m sorry. No. I’ve been trying to get the Sunday Ticket app on my phone for hours and it finally happened just as your son struck out. So, I was happy. Not that he struck out, but that I finally got the thing to work. The pitch looked low to me, by the way.”

Tess' Note:

The phone rang.

“Yes! It’s working! It’s all good! Thanks for your patience,” I said.

“That’s very good, Matthew,” she said. “Is there anything else I can do?”

“No. Cancel that gun. Okay? At least until after the football season.”


Whew! That was a crazy one!

Here are the hi-lights from Griffin's tournament. He's a pretty good player right?

I'd go through all that to watch my brother play any day.

Do you have trouble multitasking?

What do you think sports fans? Is that App worth it?


And grumpy this the craziest story yet?


Join us again for Grumpy Monday next week on Vingle :)

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