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Groinman salutes the Air Force

This is Officer Lee Groinman.

That’s right, Seattle’s Proudest Cop!

It’s back in the Bible somewhere, probably in the book of Psalms, in the chapter where they wrote on pride, where they say “Thou Shall Not Be Boastful!”

I get the premise, read the book, but lost the notes. Today I may be ‘Forgiven’.

The day started out really promisin’. I had no tickets to the Air Force game and was just gonna’ wing it, just buy a ticket and sit where I please…

It was still early in the mornin.'

I headed to the bathroom to do the duties and brush my teeth. Where’s my toothbrush! I caught a glimpse of Elsie, my 80-pound female Malamute, she’s sittin’ next to the TV watchin’ FOX news with my purple and gold toothbrush, it’s hangin’ out of her mouth like a Churchill cigar!

ELSIE!!  Do you want toothpaste with that?

The doorbell rings, still in my boxer’s, I answered the door.

Ya’ gotta’ just love it when a day starts like this…

‘Who the Hell is this?  At this early HOUR!!

I opened the door to find my step-kid Ben at the door!

I hadn’t seen Ben in nearly two years, since he joined the Air Force.

Ben, in his Air Force BDU’s, and me in my Fred Meyer skivvies…

Ben! How ya’ been!

“Just fine Sir!”

He’s gained 30 pounds!!

“Sir, I’d like you to meet some of my unit.”

But Ben…

“ Sir, your Skivvies are not Air Force issue, but under the circumstances, with no warning, this will be overlooked…

Capt. Morrison, this is my step dad, Officer Lee Groinman.”

Capt. Morrison inspects me and my skivvies and smirks out the followin’…

“It’s a pleasure to meet you Officer Groinman! A White Sale at Sears perhaps?”

Sometimes ya’ just don’t get off on the right foot…

“If you’ll just step up and around the corner Sir, you may meet the rest of our, er’ unit.

What ya’ gonna do?

So I stepped up, and around the corner, which meant into the full view of my driveway and that of my neighbor, not to mention the street. The “rest of the unit” serenaded me with the followin’…


Hey, they weren’t all that bad…

Still in my skivvies, my neighbor Helga, on her own personnel ridin’ mower, was comin’ around the backside of her house, mowin’ up a German storm... As she’s gettin’ treated to a real good look... and with a total look of disgust, she screeches out the following…

“Yeah. Yust another day at da’ Groinman’s!”

I saluted.

Ben asks me, “Sir may I have a word with you?”

Can I put on my pants?

“Sir, I have a special day planned for you, a trip you won’t forget, and it’s on ME! This, as a thanks, a thanks for all the things you never did for me. 


YOU Ain’t Drivin’ Squat Junior!! Ya’ ain’t got a DRIVIN’ License!!

“Oh, but I do Sir”!

Where’d you get a LICENSE??

“Oklahoma SIR!!”




This seemed to get a bit of a riff up with the rest of the boys. Ben seems a bit miffed…

“But Sir, I bought you a ticket to the HUSKY GAME!! We’ve got a rented van and I’m driving!!”

Well, a RENTED VAN!! Why didn’t ya’ say so!

The last time I saw Ben, he couldn’t even drive the family mower...

Now  we’re heading off to Seattle for a DAWG game!

Let’s just see how a Okie handles some Seattle traffic…

“But Sir, Ben pleads, we have to go now, the time is short!”

Just let me grab some clothes, brush my teeth, and fetch my boots!! They don’t call me the ‘minute man’ for nuthin’ you can just go and ask your mother.


Right! Hey! How’d my toothbrush get HERE!!

Now you go up and see your Mama, Ben, she’s the one still in bed with the Army boots.

“Yes Sir! And are these the new pups! This must be Elsie! She’s beautiful! What a specimen! And the male here, Elvis looks just like Rocky!”

That’s Eli, Ben, ELI!

“Sir, can I ask you this?

Why did you wait so long to tell me about Rocky’s death?”

Ben, you were in the middle of boot camp. Do you think I’d pile that grief on you too, just to add to the pressure?

“Good thinking Sir! But you know, some nights, it seemed so real, it seemed that Rocky was sleeping just below my bunk, it was so weird, but felt so, ya’ know, like home, so reassuring...”

Yup, sounds like Rocky...

With that and Ben’s visit with his maw, plus my ‘minute’ in the bathroom, teeth brushed and all, we’re off to SEATTLE!! Ben at the wheel, me, the old-man ridin’ shot gun, in a rented Chevy Van!

Yabba-Dabass-Do!! Life could not be better!

The Dawg losing streak was comin’ to an end, and me with a bunch of Fly-Boys, free ticket in hand!

Now Ben did a fine job drivin’ over to the game, only the most proper of insults were traded during the trip, after all, I was out gunned...Once we got to Qwest field and the parking lot, the tailgate began...complete with the improper insults...

“It’s a damn good thing I brought my Smokey Joe Barbeque! I hear Air Force Falcon, when smothered with the proper seasonin’ sauce, tastes just like Spotted-Owl!!”

“Only after a quart of Snow-Dawg Malamute yellow SNOW!!”

“And Your Mama wears Army BOOTS!”


It was about 30 minutes before kick-off, when Ben and Capt. Morrison approached me. “Sir,” Capt. Morrison started, “we won’t be able to stay for the entire game, Ben, would you like to finish?”

“You see sir,” Ben squeaks out, we’re headed out for New Orleans, on account of the Hurricane.”

I was a bit dumbfounded, Ben had leave comin’, he hadn’t been home in nearly two years, he did have a three-day pass once, but then there was that girl in Texas...

You’re going to New Orleans VIA SEATTLE!! Explain THAT!!

“Sir, that information is confidential.”

Thanks alot Gilligan, er Captain...

“Sir, if you could just return the rental van, we would be forever grateful.”

And quit callin’ me SIR!!

With that bit of information out of the way, we headed into the game. I was singin’ “Feelin’ Alright” the ‘Three Dawg Night’ version thru most the game, felt the Dawgs were in control.

As Captain Morrison had stated, my step-boy, the Capt. and the rest of the crew left shortly after halftime.

It was an awkward moment, kinda’ emotional, but after all, we were still just a bunch of guys, a bunch of guys at a football game! But they had a timetable to keep, and it was time for them to go...

Now you fella’s take care! Keep your heads down!!


I watched the rest of the game alone, wonderin’ if somehow my predicted 12-point victory margin could somehow play out, makin’ me some good bucks with my bookie in Reno, my bookie, “Little Timmy.”

It didn’t take long, and the point spread margin became moot. The “W” was all that mattered...

Now if we could just get one more stop, one more fumble, just one more...

Instead, just one more gut-wrenchin’ disappointment...

Somehow, this game hurt more than any in Groinman’s memory, a simple ‘non-conference‘ away game. Maybe I lost more than just a game. I’m thinkin’ of Ben, he was never much of a sports fan, more of a computer geek. I suppose we did have his mother in common...

Now Ben is headed off to New Orleans, proud as a Peacock just to help. I’m upset with the loss, happy for Ben, and hopeful for the Gulf Coast.

I do get to drive back to the Rental Car place in a brand new Chevy Van. Then sleep in a warm bed.

It may take me all the way to Tuesday to get over this loss...Ben and his buddies and all those in the Gulf, won’t even recognize Tuesday.

Maybe, I’m feelin’ jealous, wishin’ I could go...

I pull into the Rental Car lot to return the Van and the keys.

“That will be  $139.64 Sir! Tax included.”

Say WHAT!!

“Sir you did sign up for the optional-extended “Gold-Plan Auto” insurance with the “Premium Life” Option...”

I guess I just made my first “Hurricane-Relief” donation...

And quit callin’ me SIR/

Now if only my gold helmet clad Dawgs could give me some relief...

Sunday evenin’ comes around and I find myself spit-polishin’ Gloria’s Army boots with my Dawg Elvis, er Eli.

The phone rings, it’s Ben in New Orleans.

“Dad, this is real bad, worse than on TV! TV Just won’t do STINK!!

“That’s okay Ben, just keep your socks up and your HEAD DOWN!!


Now here’s your mother...”

He never even asked me about the score, that Ben, never was much of a sports fan...

Now for Cal...

Long past time for RELIEF!!

It’s happenin’ NOW!!

I’ll tell ya’ this right now Dawg fans...

The Dawgs may not be the best team in the Pac, maybe not even ranked in the top 50...





I just called my bookie in Reno, bets are secured...

It’s time Dawg fans... know your limits...

Officer Lee Groinman can be reached at malamute@4malamute.com

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