The music starts, and the scene fades in. The television theme show music plays softly in the background, as a short montage full of shit eating grins is shown on screen. The lower third displays the words “Filmed in Front of a Live Studio Audience” are shown, before quickly fading away. The shot starts in front of the Solex home, per the norm, but quickly transitions to a crowded youth soccer complex. Hundreds of little asshole kids are running around, their socks pulled up to their knees and their noses running like a faucet. Trailing after these little shits is a herd of fathers, toting their eight-dollar Walmart camping chairs over one shoulder. This is the socks with sandals crowd, people. This is the kind of crowd that will shut down a cargo shorts factory in the dead of winter. This is the kind of crowd that’s perfect for Steven Solex. The shot transitions to the sideline of a game. Steven Solex is shown, in all of his Dadittude. Steven is is sporting his usual all white New Balance shoes, calf length socks and cargo shorts. But his “#1 Dad” shirt has been replaced with a vomit green t-shirt with the words “Raptors” written across the front in a font that you would normally see on the signage of your local yoga studio’s logo.
“Alright, now Jebidiah! Here we go!” Steven shouts on the field, his hands forming a megaphone around his mouth.
Steven sits back into his chair and elbows the father in the camping chair parked next to his. “See that? You see that, Jeff? That’s my boy. That’s Jebidiah Freakin’ Solex, Jeff.”
“What are you talking about Steven?” Jeff wonders, folding his arms across his chest.
“You see that play? Perfect pass,” Steven’s excitement for soccer pass has Jeff perplexed, but Jeff plays it nice.
“That’s great, Steven.”
Steven pulls a bag of sunflower seeds from the right cargo pocket on his shorts, and tosses a small handful into his mouth. Steven offers some Jeff’s way, who politely refuses with a hand wave.
“You’re loss…Jeff,” a bit of attitude from HOW’s number one dad draws an odd look from Jeff, but both men return their attention to the game on the field.
“There ya’ go Jacob! Do your thing, son!” Jeffrey shouts encouragement to his son on the field.
“Ya’ like that, Steve-o? That’s my boy!” Jeffrey fights back with some bragging of his own.
Steven looks shocked, “What’d he do?”
“You didn’t see that? He dribbled seven times in a row!”
The little shit didn’t even pass one defender before having the ball taken away, and this asshole is bragging to Steven like…
“He’s the next Messi Steven! I’m swear it!”
Oh, Jesus. This guy is going to go there.
“That’s what we call him around the house. Little Messi!”
Steven doesn’t even look in Jeff’s direction. This is common behavior on the sidelines of youth sports these days, and Steven has learned to deal with it. In fact, he’s usually a part of…
“Yeah, Jeff. Jebidiah is our little Ronaldo! And Ronaldo is a far better player than, Messi. I’ll tell you that right now!” Steven’s volume is lowered by a cheek full of sunflower seeds, but his tone has become argumentative. Only problem is that, Stevens wrong in this case.
Come at me, bro! Messi’s better.
Anyway, these two American fathers who have no idea the first names of the athletes their mentioning continue to back and forth.
“Yeah, well. When little Jacob was playing baseball, we called him Little Bonds!”
Steven raises an eyebrow.
“Why? Trouble with performance enhancing drugs?” Steven’s eyebrow stays raised, but the look on his face is clearly patronizing.
“No!” A childish response from the secondary, less than Solex, soccer dad. “He just hit a log of dingers! What’s your problem anyway?! Huh?!”
Jeff swells his chest up, challenging the alpha-male of the sidelines.
“You better watch out Jeff, you keep taking in all that air and you’re going to float away,” Steven’s pathetic attempt at being witty drives Jeff back into his chair.
“Yeah,” Jeff begins muttering under his breath. “Well, Alex Redding’s going to kick your butt this weekend!”
Steven gasps, and inhales a sunflower seed. A coughing fit forces Steven to his feet. He begins stomping his foot into the ground, and causes a major noise disturbance in the otherwise tame sideline full of parents.
“What(cough) did you(cough), say?!” Steven shouts the question, his face beet red.
Jeff tucks his chin, and mutters once again. “You heard me.”
Steven finally dislodges the sunflower seed with a final, violent cough. He then turns his attention to Jeff, and walks right up in front of him. Blocking his view of the field.
“Aled Redding? Really? You think he is going to kick my butt, do ya’?”
Steven drops to a knee and gets eye to eye with Jeff, and shoves a finger right into Jeff’s prickly face. What? He didn’t shave today, I guess.
“Alex Redding is just like any other fool that’s joined the Lee Best Invitational and tried to earn himself a title shot without putting in the pain staking hours of actually working for High Octane Wrestling. He comes in with his fancy little attitude, wins himself a couple of matches and suddenly everyone’s talking about him like he’s next coming of Elvis Aaron Presley or something. I just don’t get it. It seems that people have completely written me off, including you Jeff. But I’ll tell you what, I’m three and zero in twenty-twenty, Jeff. I’m ranked number one in the HOW rankings, and I’ve been a spotlighted wrestler for weeks on end. Is that some kind of fluke? Has Alex Redding been the spotlighted wrestler? Has he? I think not. I’ve been that guy. Not this flash-in-the-pan, Alex Redding. So, shut your pie hole Jeff, if you know what’s good for you.”
Steven angrily marches back to his chair and sits down. The scene fades to black as Steven chucks a few more sunflower seeds into his mouth and turns his attention back to the soccer game.