« Steps | Main | Despite all appearances, this post is just five words long »


I believe they call it...the sweet science

Hey, can I stop being all beatific for a second and spend a few pixels mocking my beloved elder son?  Because I can't keep the hilarity to myself a single moment longer: Charlie plays tee-ball.


He looks all serious and athletic, right?  Ready to catch a...well, I'm not that familiar with the lingo, but I believe the spheroid object that is employed in this particular recreational sportive discipline is called...a ball.


Think again.  While the pigskin is in play — wait, a pigskin is a football, right?  While the...shit, I don't know, goatskin?  No, that's a banjo.  Danskin?  Probably not.  Guinea pig's about the right size, though, right?  While the petskin, then, is in play, Charlie is talking trash to a teammate through the protective mesh of a soccer net.  (The child in the foreground, the first baseman, can actually play.  I have it on good authority that he's seventeen years old and was recruited on the sly from the Dominican Republic.  I have absolutely no proof that his Froot Loops were laced with steroids, and I for one deplore the savage whispering campaign that will begin shortly after I press publish.)


Charlie's first at-bat.  Yes, as a matter of fact, he is preparing to jam the ball down into the tee, demonstrating an understanding of the game that is — oh, let's just say fundamentally flawed..  See the disembodied hand reaching into the frame?  That is the hand of one of the volunteer coaches, heard earlier to ask another, "We don't need the helmets, do we?"  See the screeching taking place just off the sidelines, or whatever they call those them in baseball?  (I hear that in the majors those lines are made of pure cocaine, but here on the farm teams they just use vanilla Nesquik.)

(This post was sponsored by Nestle.)

(Ha, no, it wasn't.  If it were, I'd have given them their terminal accent aigu.  And then murmured something about how breast is best, hurriedly and sotto voce, as if I were apologizing for having to say it, and then offered you a sample of Pixy Stix — just mix with the appropriate amount of clean water, which I am sure you have easily available and in abundance, before giving to your baby — to confuse the issue entirely.)

Anyway, that's me, just out of the picture, shrilly requesting that the coach give Charlie some pointers on how to hold a bat without killing himself and/or others.  And shrieking, "YES I BELIEVE WE DO NEED THE HELMETS IF MY CHILD'S PRECIOUS SKULL ISN'T TOO MUCH GODDAMNED TROUBLE."

Whoa.  Sorry about the caps.  The Nesquik's making me speedy.


So Charlie got a helmet and some help.  The coach appears to be telling him, "This flappy appendage at the end of your arm is your...what's that?  Right!  Your hand!  Over which your brain should probably be exercising some sort of control!  There...are synapses firing somewhere within that helmet, right?  Flap once for yes."


Judging by his smile, I can only imagine that at this moment Charlie was visualizing the future, getting the call from the majors, suiting up in the early morning, walking out onto the turf for the first time, unhurriedly taking his place in the starting gate only two places out from the rail, whuffing and whickering gently as the sweet, sweet scent of victory tantalizes his flaring nostrils.

I know I am mixing my metaphors but I'm reading Seabiscuit now and it's absolutely riveting, much more engaging than baseball, which bores me right out of my racing silks.  Yesterday I asked Paul to get me a horse.  And I just know he was about to reach for his checkbook, but something — perhaps the last fifteen years of knowing me — made him hesitate.  "Why?" he asked, mystified.  And I can't believe he even had to ask that when it is obvious.  Duh.  Because racing...is in my blood.