He's Wondering Whether Grandpa Tag Is in the Bag

Now as you might know, after their honeymoon in Fontana, the Grocery Store Bagger and the daughter moved into our house so the happy/sappy couple could save money for the Bagger's weekend jaunts to the track.

It's been a rough couple of months capped off by the daughter's announcement the other night that she'll know in 15 days whether she's pregnant. Right away I'm thinking immaculate conception, of course, because that's my little girl, and then I hear this belch from the other room.

It wasn't the wife this time, because she was in the bathroom coloring her hair, and it wasn't the other daughter, you know, the one who can't find a date, because she was on the computer -- I presume, corresponding with some inmate.

So I knew who it was, and that's when it dawned on me the Bagger hasn't been spending all his time lying on the couch in my house, and all this time I thought my biggest nightmare would be having to make small talk some night with the guy. Maybe that's what the daughter was trying to avoid.

"You could be a grandfather," the daughter said, and since I've described the Bagger in the past as a "bowling ball with ears," I would imagine one of the first places I'll take my grandchild will be to a plastic surgeon.


NO, IT'S not been a great week, and on top of that, I'm looking at women's tennis as the only thing to write about for five days.

Did I mention Sports Editor Bill Dwyre is back in town too? No, it's not been a great week, and you know Dwyre's love for tennis and Notre Dame, and I wonder what his father-in-law-to-be thought when he saw Dwyre waiting at the end of the aisle on his daughter's wedding day.

Fortunately, I had Tuesday off to get ready for this trying week, so I sought refuge in the desert, accepting an invitation to play the Trilogy Golf Club at La Quinta, site of this year's Skins Game after Thanksgiving.

I just wanted to play golf, but they had a news conference first, which required that I pretend I was listening, which wasn't too difficult because I've been married a long time. And I already knew Tiger wasn't playing, so they couldn't say anything of real interest.

As far as I'm concerned, the Skins has run its course. No one is going to care about it until the millionaires put up their own money. I mentioned this to the guy from ESPN who runs these things, and although he didn't say it, I gathered from his expression that if they're not going to take "Around the Horn" off the air any time soon, the Skins might outlast "60 Minutes."


WHEN IT came time to play golf, I got stuck with the Kiner family. Ralph Kiner is the distinctive broadcasting voice of the New York Mets, and he spends his off-season in the desert with his sons. Together the family looks for people to rip off on the local golf courses.

Right from the start Kiner wanted to know how the Bagger was doing and why I'm so mean to the slug. Then he said we were going to play for money, he was going to win and give it to the Bagger. Kiner has been broadcasting Met games for more than 40 years, so I wasn't surprised he took an interest in the loser.

His sons, Mutt & Jeff, were nice enough. Every time their dad hit a ball on the green, they gave him the putt, so I never won a hole. I never told them about the daughter back home who needs a date -- just in case one of them was single.


USC HAS a bye. UCLA loses at Washington State, and I rarely travel so we can have the money to send Dwyre to Notre Dame when he wants. The Lakers are away, and who cares what the Clippers are doing? The hockey teams are gone too, and I have two more columns to write. So it's either tennis the rest of the week, drag racing or taking time off to be with the family.

So I'm here at Staples for tennis, taking comfort in watching a bunch of women who I imagine won't be pregnant any time soon. They have their careers, after all, and have never met the Bagger -- the lucky girls, so I better not hear one grumpy word out of any of these prima donnas, or I might have to make fun of them.


CHANDA RUBIN won the first match, then needed more than 40 minutes "to pull herself together," as a spokesman put it, before she'd meet with the media. Would you wait 40 minutes to hear what Chanda Rubin had to say? Me neither.


PETROS PAPADAKIS told a hilarious story on his morning radio (1540) show, and without interjecting any crude language or degrading talk about women. He said Jack Haley, appearing on Fox, has a segment called, "Haley's Comments," which is sponsored by Jack in the Box. The other day, Papadakis said, Haley was asked about the Lakers' four-game trip in his Jack in the Box-sponsored segment, and Haley said, "The Lakers will be eating a lot of McDonald's at Burger King" this week.

Papadakis, who works with Haley at Fox, also offered this insight into Haley's reporting on the Lakers: "He fears the Lakers, and [Laker publicist] John Black." I fear he might be right.


SIGNING QUARTERBACK Rob Johnson makes sense. Johnson is notorious for holding the ball too long, which is good, because it will give the Oakland Raiders' aging receivers time to shuffle down the field.


TODAY'S LAST word comes from the Indianapolis Star:

The Star reported that Colts' owner Jim Irsay was appalled at the suggestion that getting a membership to Riviera might lead to his bringing his football team to L.A. "I can't control it when people try to stir things up," he told the newspaper.

If only they were all that easy to break in.


T.J. Simers can be reached at t.j.simers@latimes.com.

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