The Douche in the Ski Cap


Dude, check out my it’s-so-deliberately-meant-to-be-cool-that-it-actually-deems-me-a-complete-and-total-fucking-loser ski cap! Let’s ball!

As soon as I saw the guy in the ski cap, I knew he was a douche.

Fucking fuck, it was obvious. We’re in Southern California, where it’s pretty much been 90 degrees every day. Sans any sort of precipitation. Furthermore, we were standing inside the Laguna Niguel 24 Hour Fitness club. No ski cap needed.

Regardless, there he was, smirking, laughing, walking with the strut of the young man unaware he will ever age. We were both on the basketball court, waiting to play the next game. I was brand new, a 42-year-old from New York whose better days on the hardwood are, I sadly admit, in the past. He was a guy in a ski cap. Oh, and a sleeveless cut T-shirt. He would look at his arms from time to time, nod approvingly, then continue to play.

Again, douche.

His team won the last game, so I presumed the five new guys (myself among them) would challenge. But he didn’t like that idea. He looked at us—a bit saggy, a bit older, none with a ski cap—and decided squads should be shot for, “to make it more even.” I wanted to punch him in the fucking mouth, right then and there. Alas, it would have ended badly. He’s 22, in a ski cap and sleeveless T-shirt. I’m 42. Bad back. All piss, little vinegar.

So we shot. I wound up on ski cap’s team. And he was friggin’ infuriating. Lemme go Marty Blake for a moment and break out the scouting report …

Ski Cap McFuck: Probably 22, 23. Muscular and quick. Never, ever, ever, ever, ever passes or looks to pass. Plays, literally, no defense. Dime-a-dozen cocky asshole; at least one can be found on every pickup court in America. Needs to lose the ski cap—it makes him look like a fucking toolbag.

… I’m back. Our team wasn’t good—but primarily because Ski Cap McFuck and his sidekick, Point Guard Who Never Passes and Goes 1-on-3 All The Time, refused to get back on defense, refused to distribute the ball. Initially, I set picks for Ski Cap McFuck. But when I’d post up down low (something I still do well), he’d ignore me and launch 3s—some of which went in.


The game was to 15. When the score was, like, 10-5, I noticed McFuck had stopped playing defense. Like, he wasn’t even jogging down to that side of the court. I went over to him and said, “What are you doing?”

“This,” he said, nodding toward the court, “is a waste of my time.”

I can’t think of the last time I’d wanted to hit someone so hard. I shot back, “Well, maybe if you played some defense …” picked up my towel and left.

The whole experience reminded me why—although I love basketball—I hate pickup at gyms. I hate the arrogance, I hate the selfishness, I hate the ski caps.

The only thing I love? This thought: One day, in the not-too-distant future, Ski Cap McFuck will be 42. He’ll probably have a wife, kids, a mortgage, school shit to attend, bills to pay, a car to repair. Muscle will turn to fat. The ski cap that once covered hair will be gone, replaced by a messy recede.

He’ll show up to play ball, and some kid half his age will quit midway through, declaring it all a waste of time.

And Ski Cap McFuck will know how it feels.

7 thoughts on “The Douche in the Ski Cap”

  1. Nice touch on the scouting report. I still have my Ski Cap McFuck rookie card. I’d put it on eBay, but it’d be a waste of my time.

  2. Quick question, Jeff, that I’ve been meaning to ask for a while. Why so much profanity in your posts? Do your kids read your stuff? (hope so, you’re a good writer and they should be proud of what you do). Do your kids’ friends read it? If so, are you OK with all of the constant profanity? Would you be OK if your kid started a blog and wrote like that? You take a lot of time to tell us what a great father you are and how you’d like to be a role model for your (and other) kids. Seems to me you can make your points without all the nonsense.

    1. The blog is my vent. That’s what it started as when 1 person was reading it, and it remains that way. I love to curse. Not around my kids, but they’re fun, peppy words that add zip (whoever says cursing is “lazy” is wrong. They’re fun, flip words. And, no, my kids don’t read the blog. It’s PG 13

  3. Great piece. However, one advantage to being the old pick-setting fart on the court is that if your teammates are young but not Ski Cap McFuck douchey, they will be in awe that your old ass can run with them. Then again, I learned early that if an older person is participating in anything basketball-related with younger people, he’s probably pretty damn good, or he wouldn’t have the confidence to play. I think back to a free throw shooting contest on a cruise when I was 27, and it was a bunch of people my age (and younger) at the very windy half-court at about the highest level of the ship — and a guy who looked like he was 75. I pointed at him and told my wife, “That guy is going to win,” explaining to her what I shared here in the previous sentence. And, yup, of course he won.

    1. I agree. I’m approaching 50 and we were on a cruise a couple years ago and three on three teams were randomly set up for a bracket tournament. I had another guy my age and a thirty something guy as teammates. We rolled and got tons of cheering because we were taking out team after team of punks. We lost in the finals after about 5 wins. Team that beat us was anchored by a giant (6’8″ maybe) and a point guard type that must have played small school college. We took them to the wire though. Loved the respect afterwards as players hung around and talked while we cooled down.

  4. If these types of guys bother you, why oh why did you move to Laguna Niguel? It’s Mordor for douchy orcs like this guy. Should’ve moved to Long Beach or the South Bay.

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