When Push Comes to Shove …

k-asu… you don’t want to make this person mad.

And by “this person”, I don’t mean the 300-pound, angry, Muppet-monster doppelganger on the right but the innocent looking woman on the right, my beautiful spouse Kathie.

Short version of the story:

Last night at Sun Devil Stadium, there were some drunken 20-ish guys in the row behind us who kept bumping into my 73-year-old mother every time they moved. Reality is there’s not a ton of leg room but, magically, this kind of thing doesn’t happen. Three times, four times … each time with an apology coming.

Same guys and their friend then were throwing popcorn at each other, trying to catch it like seals, further jostling everyone while idiot friend is in the aisle on the edge of falling into the people across the way. One stray kernel hit spouse’s head and that’s when the veins started to pop a little in my neck.

Leader of the idiots offered to switch seats with us and I told him those have been our seats for 20 years (actually 21 in her case, 16 in mine) and we ain’t moving.

Fast forward to ASU’s second touchdown and drunken idiots dive out of their row, knocking my mother into the guy sitting in front of her.

And that was that.

The guy she fell into came up the aisle and gently was guiding the drunken idiots out of there.

I came next.

And then came Hulk Smash Dalton, screaming things, some of which I probably shouldn’t write here. Her favorite was “if you’re going to push someone, push me” which sounds remarkably defiant until you realize she’s saying this knowing 300-pound angry spouse is standing right next to her.

Now …

I’ve been telling her for years that the ASU games are more than just the game, that we know the people in our section because we’ve been sitting together all this time. We don’t get together out of season but, for the seven or so times we gather each fall, we’re a family.

One of the crew, seeing me in the midst of a debate with the drunken idiots, came down into the aisle to make sure I was okay. And then another, knowing the first one to come down had a bad leg from a skiing accident, roared in like a hurricane, face purple, veins popping out of his neck.

So, to recap, at this point I’m separating my wife from the guy she was yelling at with one arm and trying to grab the second member of the crew around the waist with my other to pull him out of the mess before the State Troopers arrive.

Spouse and I got back to our seats as things continued up the stairs … and it ended badly for the drunken idiots, one of whom made the incredibly stupid mistake of touching a State Trooper’s Smokey Bear. Even if it was accidental, it was stupid – I’ve known since I first saw them at ASU games when I was 13 that you don’t even make eye contact with a State Trooper because they have zero sense of humor.


As all of this was happening, I was thinking of my dad who passed in March … and was happy he wasn’t there, because I would have had to pull his 73-year-old Irish tuchas out of this mess because he never did grasp how old he was.

So what’s the lesson in all of this?

  • You don’t mess around in Section 22 of Sun Devil Stadium
  • You don’t make spouse angry. You wouldn’t like her when she’s angry.
  • She learned … finally … what I mean when I told her that we’re a family up there. Always have been, always will be.
  • Never – EVER – think about going near a State Trooper’s Smokey Bear.

And now, in Brick Kathie’s honor …

Jonathan Dalton

Jonathan Dalton is a 40-plus-year resident of the Valley and has been helping folks buy and sell homes since 2004. He can be reached at 602-502-9693 or info at allphoenixrealestate.com.