Monday, June 15, 2009
Johnny Most always used to open his radio broadcasts of Boston Celtics basketball by saying, "This is Johnny Most, high above courtside at The Boston Garden, where The Boston Celtics are getting set to do basketball battle with [fill in the opposing team.]"
(In those olden days, Most sat in an overhang jutting out from the first row of the balcony at the old Garden. You had to have no fear of heights to be the Celtics radio man.)
Why do I grace you with the tidbits of trivia? Because I’m sitting… well, let me try to do it as though I were a latter-day Johnny Most.
"This is Suldog, next to a potted poinsettia in my dining room, where I’m NOT about to do softball battle with The Dot Rats."
It’s Saturday, the afternoon before gameday, and I already know I can’t play tomorrow morning. I’ve pretty much known it since last Sunday night, but I kept hoping my knee would heal enough for me at least to suit up. No go. It hurts just walking. There’s no way I can run.
I’ve been having trouble with my left knee all season, but I really jammed it a couple of times last Sunday. I was OK to keep playing then because the adrenalin was flowing, but once I had showered and cooled down, the knee kept throbbing and became swollen. I was limping on Monday, slightly hobbled through Wednesday. It’s reached the point where I can now walk normally, but if I make any sort of twisting motion with my knee, it complains mightily. If this were the last round of the playoffs, I’d suit up and give it my best shot until the knee blew out completely, but since we have another two months in the season, I figure I’ll trade off sitting out this week for (I hope) playing the rest of the way.
Since I’m sitting out, I get a chance to do something that might make these softball reports more interesting for my friends who read them even though they know little about the sport (which I am very grateful for, by the way. I can’t honestly say I’d be as loyal if every Monday you wrote about, say, knitting a quilt for your iguana, which is a pretty good analogy for what some of you must feel slogging your way through this stuff.)
Anyway, I’m going to take some photos of the guys. In that way, you’ll have some faces to put with the words.
(I’m afraid Chris Mauger is going to be terribly disappointed, though. I know for a fact that his favorite player from these reports, Cam Zirpolo, will not be present tomorrow. He has some sort of school function to attend. Perhaps it’s for the best. The first time people saw Bud Collyer, the cartoon voice of Superman during the 1940’s, a lot of them were crestfallen to find out he didn’t look anything at all like The Man Of Steel. It is sometimes better to remain a mythic character.)
[Bud Collyer, left; Superman, right]
So, now to bed. In the morning, I’ll be coaching first base, keeping score, and taking pictures. I’m tired just thinking about it.
And here it is Sunday morning. And The Lord said, "Let there be full Irish breakfast." And so there was. And it was good.
We were rained out. The good news is that I get to let my knee heal without missing two games. The bad news is that you don’t get any photos of the guys. I’ll take some next week, if I’m not too busy playing.
(This means that, when I take the pictures, there’ll be one of Cam Zirpolo, too. Be still, Chris Mauger’s beating heart!)
The Irish breakfast comes into this because, after we were the only team to show up at the field – we’re all hopeless optimists – six of us went to Donohue’s in Watertown. And they serve a tremendous full Irish for $9.95 – 2 eggs any style, Irish bacon, sausage, ham, beans, fried tomatoes, home fries, white pudding, black pudding, and toast. One of the best values in good eating on the face of the planet.
Four of the guys had no idea what white pudding and black pudding were. I tried to explain that it isn’t like pudding you think of here – a goopy sweet dessert – but more like a sausage patty, fried and delicious. The major difference between the two – white and black – is that the black has blood in it. Well, the mention of there being blood in it put three of them off from ordering it. The only one who decided to dive in the deep end was Fast Freddy Goodman, despite Leviticus forbidding the eating of blood.
(I think if you asked Fast Freddy who Leviticus was, he’d probably take a guess and say he used to be the bass player for Quiet Riot and why the hell should the bass player from Quiet Riot tell him what he can or can’t eat?)
Everybody else ordered pancakes, omelets, and the usual non-pudding suspects.
When our full Irish arrived, Billy Botting got brave and asked me if he could try the white pudding. I gave him a piece to sample. He didn’t die, and he said it was decent, but nobody else wanted to hazard the attempt. Fred liked both varieties. With breakfast foods, as with women, Fast Freddy considers variety the spice of life. The only thing he didn’t eat were the fried tomatoes, so I inherited those and thus had my vegetables for the week as well as my daily minimum requirements for grease, fat, and cholesterol.
So, that’s that. No games this week, but I still got 1000 words out of it. Of course, I could get 1000 words out of a ketchup stain on my tablecloth – and it would probably be just as full of pulse-pounding excitement as this was, too.
Tomorrow: a story about applesauce! Oh, Boy! You can hardly wait!
Soon, with that.