With the NFL referee lockout over and the union refs returning to action tonight for the Ravens-Browns game, many of the locked-out officials are making the most of their last few hours of not being hated by fans and media.

“It’s been a fun ride,” said veteran ref Ed Hochuli. “I haven’t found one flaming bag of dog feces on my front step all year long. Unfortunately, that’s about to change.”

While the refs are excited to get back to work, they also need to get back in the habit of disguising their identities when out in public.

“I’m pretty sure all that goodwill is going to evaporate when I blow my first holding call,” said one ref. “Then it’s back to waiting three hours after the game before it’s safe to go home. Maybe I’ll go hit the mall one more time while people still have some inflated sense of respect for me.”

Heckler George