Man, there's that Steelers cap I've had my eye on. We're talking the real deal here, an official NFL Pro Line sideline cap—the exact one Coach Cowher wears on Sundays. I've had my eye on that baby for a while now, and it's time I made my decision. It all boils down to this: the cap or a hot meal for the wife and kids.

Shit, that's a no-brainer.

It's not like the kids are going to starve to death if they miss supper one night. Especially not little Justin. He's turning into a real porker. I don't think I've ever seen him without a pudding pop jammed down his maw. Patrick could afford to lay off the sweet stuff, too. As for baby Amber, she's still on the bottle, so if we're out of formula for a day, she can just go on the tit. That's what God made 'em for. I will look so damn sharp cheering on Jerome Bettis and the boys next season in that cap.

I'm sure we have enough food in the house to make do. Jeanie can work miracles with a can of soup and a bag of rice. And, man, the things she can do with noodles. Casseroles are one of her specialties. Tuna, ground beef—you name it, she can mix it up with noodles and soup. Of course, I won't be able to pick up any ground beef if I get this cap, and I think we only have two cans of tuna left from the last time it was on sale. Good thing Jeanie's got an eye for bargains, otherwise we'd have a hard time making ends meet. But, hey, we got noodles, so nothing's coming between me and that Steelers cap now.

I definitely won't be able to take the kids to a movie this weekend, but that's fine. They charge way too much for movies these days, anyway. And the kids could use some exercise. They'll thank me for buying this cap when they're healthy grown-ups because they were running around in the yard instead of sitting on their fat rumps in some darkened theater. If they still insist on zoning out, they can do it in front of the TV for free. Or I can put on my beautiful new Steelers cap and do a little show for them.

If only I hadn't bought that official team Starter jacket last month, I'd have enough for the cap and the food. But I got no regrets about the jacket. It's been real cold lately, and it keeps me warm. Especially if I wear my new Champion reverse-weave Steelers sweatshirt underneath.

Boy, things sure were tight that month. I was barely able to scrounge up the $250 to buy that official Jason Gildon gameday jersey, much less the $39.95 for the piece of authentic souvenir Astro Turf from Three Rivers. We had to put off buying Patrick that new pair of corrective shoes, but it's not like he was a total cripple without them. Sure, he was a little wobbly on the stairs, but he wouldn't exactly be flying up and down them even with the shoes. Besides, a little adversity builds character in a child. He'll thank me when he's older.

Jeanie may scream blue murder when she finds out about the cap, but she'll settle down after a while. She wasn't complaining when I couldn't pay the gas bill because I got her that V-neck sweater from the Penney's catalog for her birthday. There's only one thing more important than feeling fine, and that's looking fine, because you can always look in a mirror to cheer yourself up.

Steelers cap, here I come!