Monday, August 13, 2007

Head Game

(There are about three people in the entire world that will get every joke in this. You know what? I don't think I’m one of them. So, if YOU don’t, I wouldn’t worry about it. And I'll be back tomorrow with something that makes relative sense.)

The temptation was just too great. I had an opportunity to play one more softball game. I know I said I wasn’t going to, but I just couldn’t help myself. It’s in my blood, I guess.

I was driving by Clemente Smith Circle when I saw a game being played. I had nothing better to do, so I decided to pull over and watch it. That’s all I was going to do; just watch the game. I had no intention of playing. However, this one team just kept losing players in every way possible. Finally, they had only eight guys left and they asked me if I’d play, so they wouldn’t have to forfeit. What could I do? I said, “Yes.”

When I first got there, they had like twenty-three guys on the bench. Then one guy broke his ankle – I think his name was Fargas or something – and then another guy named Dylan Brian wrenched his knee and a player named (believe it or not) Ekim Relessov hurt his knee, too, and then Tigger Himmons couldn’t play because he saw some cops and he was on the lam, and then their pitcher, a Hispanic guy named Dusty, just walked off the field and never showed up again; nobody knew why.

Well, the manager, Meat Pittell, was just beside himself. What would the Flaming Bummers do without all of these players? He still had Munch Mikeoff, Jake Hatton, Little Jay Hatton, Fred Niceboy, Eric Pastramionrye, Harley Cymon, Bryan Smucker, Keef Goodyear, Gert Krueter (the ugliest woman in organized German softball), Bo Jaszkiewicz, Cocoa Crispy Moore, and Meat’s son, Cripes Pittell. But soon enough, Cripes collided with Smucker, and then Niceboy, backing up the play in the outfield, caught the ball in the nads. Little Jay Hatton - he’s about 4’8” and weighs 635 pounds – laughed so hard he died of apoplexy.

So then The Little Mermaid was in right field and a most amazing ballplayer - he was playing despite having no hips - named Pod Roboloff was in center. The Little Mermaid took a ball off the forehead, though, and Pod Roboloff - who was pretty hip despite having none - scored it as a hit and that caused a big argument and when the dust cleared, they had to take him to the hospital.

(I'm happy to report that he got brand-new hips while there, but that didn't help matters right now, of course.)

Meat went to his bench and put in the amazing 124-year-old Roddy Bibbley. Well, the first ball that was hit struck him in the chest and he just disintegrated into a puff of dust. Then Meat put in Jon Ronson, but in the middle of the next play, his wife came down, grabbed him by the ear and dragged him off to Nantucket.

This was all quite amazing to watch, by the way. I was having a whale of a good time.

Well, finally Jake Hatton got the third out when he fielded a slow roller and, instead of going to first for the sure out, he faked the runner back to third and then tossed the ball to the shortstop. Everybody on the opposition was so confused they just gave up and then it was the Flaming Bummers turn to hit.

The first batter was Conrad Bucket, a fearsome power hitter. He hit the ball so high, it never came down. The umpire ruled him out when the other team illegally threw in another ball and tagged him on his sixth time around the bases. Then Eric Pastramionrye drew a walk, but he was out when he refused to share his joint with the ump. Gert Krueter (the ugliest woman in organized German softball) then hit a home run that traveled 847-feet. Gert didn’t need to slide, but did anyway, and was thrown out of the game for ripping off the opposing catcher's leg with her spikes. Even though she was out, the run counted, making it 34 - 3 in favor of the other team, who I think was called the Rockies & Bullwinkles. Finally, special pinch-hitter Ben Ericwaaaaaaahhh struck out on two pitches, which nobody could ever remember having seen before, and when he argued with the umpire – who was still pissed about not getting a toke – he was thrown out of the game. The Flaming Bummers didn't argue since they had, when you look back on it, gotten four outs in the inning.

Meat went to the very end of his bench and got Kelvin Marr, who hadn’t played in a game in seventeen years because he had a boo-boo. Kelvin told Meat to go and... well, I won’t repeat such language here. He then went back to sleep in an equipment bag. And that’s when Meat turned to me.

“Hey, can you play softball?”

I looked behind me, nonchalantly, but I knew he meant me. After all, I was standing there in full uniform, with a knee brace on and holding a bat. Just in case, you know? I nodded.

“Well, then get in there! What’s your name?”


He scrunched up his nose as though he smelled something foul.

“Suldog? What kind of silly-ass name is THAT?”

I said, “Hey, do you want me to play or not?”

He considered that for a moment, while scanning the rest of the field to see if any better candidates might have appeared - perhaps a one-armed crack ho or something. When none became visible, he waved me in to first base.

Jake Hatton threw and the batter hit a pop-up into foul territory behind first base. I chased after it, reached out to grab it and had it hit off the very edge of my glove as I fell to the ground. I had my head snap backwards and hit hard. I... passed... out...


“Sully! Are you OK?”

I opened my eyes and saw Pete Mittell standing over me. He was joined by many more of the Flames. I remembered chasing a foul pop and then falling.

Kevin Meagher asked me if I could see how many fingers he was holding up. It was one, and not a very nice one, either.

“I... it was... there was this magic softball land...”

Big Jay Atton looked over at Carl Hyman and twirled his forefinger next to the side of his head. I got all indignant.

“No, it was real, I tell you. It was so real!”

I pointed at Pete and Jack and Brian.

“And you were there... and you... and you, too!”

Pete said, “Well, wherever you were, Sully, you’re home now.”

I clicked my cleats together three times and said, “There’s no place like home!”

Kevin muttered under his breath, “Yeah, unless it’s third base.”

I sicced my little black dog on him.


Anonymous said...

The almighty and powerful Oz was in fact Ozzy Osbourne behind the curtain!!

Anonymous said...

"Sharon! What are all these bloody softball players doing in my bedroom? Sharon!"

Crystal said...

I suck at anything involving balls.

I did not just say that.

Suldog said...

Well, I didn't think the comments on this piece could be any more surreal than the piece itself, but I think I've been proven wrong...

Betty Blog said...

Loved it Sul. I'm not one of the three, but I love anything you write. :-)

Anonymous said...

Yikes! What was that! Were you writing about a boftsall game or dad brugs you digested earlier?